Will A U.S. Ban on Vodka Sales Actually Hurt Russia?
As we see the images of war in Ukraine on our televisions each day, it might seem difficult to know ways in which you can show your support. Now let's be honest. There is very little that we can do here in Eastern Iowa that will actually affect the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. One way that many countries believe will work is to hurt Russia economically. So why not take away one of their biggest imports...vodka!
USA Today reports that governors in states like Ohio, Texas, and New Hampshire have ordered state retailers to get rid of vodka from store shelves. It is a growing trend across the nation. What is more 'Russian' than vodka, right? There is just one problem with this genuine gesture. Most vodka does NOT come from Russia. USA Today points out that according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, only 1.2% of vodka imports come from Russia.
Vodka has been associated with Russia for decades, and many vodkas have Russian-sounding names to take advantage of that fact. But USA Today reports that the most popular vodka brands in the U.S. including Smirnoff, Ciroc, Tito's, Absolut, Svedka, Grey Goose, SKYY, and New Amsterdam, are NOT made in Russia, They are produced in Sweden, France, the U.K., and the United States. So be careful what you pour down the drain. It was probably made somewhere other than Russia!
There have been other very cool symbolic gestures showing support for Ukraine. The lights on certain buildings in downtown Cedar Rapids are lit up in the colors of Ukraine.
And to show solidarity with Ukraine, the start of NBC's Saturday Night Live featured a Ukrainian choir from New York City singing the song 'Prayer for Ukraine'. A powerful gesture to show the world who we stand with.