Main | Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dan Savage: Boycott Russian Vodkas

"Seattle's bars, gay and straight, must dump Stoli. Seattle's drinkers, gay and straight, must dump Stoli. Some are arguing—based on Stoli's outdated Wiki page—that Stoli isn't a Russian vodka. 'Presently the internationally distributed version of Stolichnaya is not a Russian vodka but is distilled and bottled in Latvia,' Stoli's Wiki page reads. 'In 2009, William Grant & Sons signed an agreement to distribute Stolichnaya in the USA, taking over from PepsiCo.' That's old news. On January 1, 2014, Stoli becomes a Russian vodka again. The SPI Group—which will be distributing Stoli in the USA before the Olympic games begin this winter—is owned by Yuri Scheffler, one of the 100 richest men in Russia. Stoli is a Russian vodka.

"If you drink a Russian Vodka like Stoli, Russian Standard, or any of the other brands listed above, switch to another brand from another country, or even a local brand from a local distillery. Stoli is the iconic Russian Vodka and it's returning to Russian ownership in 2014. Other brands like Russian Standard should also be boycotted. Do not drink Russian vodka. Do not buy Russian vodka. Ask your bartender at your favorite bar—gay or otherwise—to DUMP STOLI and DUMP RUSSIAN VODKA." - Dan Savage, writing for The Stranger.

RELATED: Chicago's famed Sidetrack club is already on board.
Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St., today said that it would be removing Stolichnaya Vodka and other Russian products from their shelves. The decision comes in the wake of Russia's implementation of oppressive anti-gay laws last month. "I had been following the various news reports about what was going on in Russia," said co-owner Art Johnston. "It's hard to believe that they could carry out and enforce that kind of a law, but they did." He added that there was no way he could in good conscience continue to serve Stolichnaya or any other Russian products at the nightclub.

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