Vodka has gone through many highs and lows in the U.S., from its heyday in the ’80s, to its cold-shouldering by the craft-cocktail movement, right through to its current resurgence with the popularization of artisan brands. Now, it looks like the spirit could be primed for another watershed moment, but this time the driving force is international politics rather than changing tastes.
In response to Russia’s anti-gay laws—which amount to a “war on homosexuals,” according to the New York Times—many gay rights advocates are calling for a boycott of Russian vodka brands such as Stoli. Bars across the U.S. and Canada—including NYC spots like Ninth Avenue Saloon and Gym SportsBar—have already instituted a ban, and in San Francisco, places that haven’t joined the boycott are seeing reduced sales as customers avoid buying Russian.
Hashtags such as #DumpStoli and #DumpRussianVodka are spreading the word, and American-made vodkas like SKYY are seeing the opportunity to drum up some pro-gay business:
— SKYY Vodka (@SKYYVodka) July 27, 2013
We’ll see how this plays out. Suffice to say, they’ll be dancing a jig at Grey Goose headquarters.