Smirnoff (Men behind the brands)
Smirnoff is a brand of vodka which began with a vodka distillery, founded in Moscow by Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov who was pioneered in column charcoal filtration in 1870. He built a premium product that by 1886 had captured two-thirds of the Moscow market and becoming the first who used the newspaper ads along with charitable contributions.
His brand was reportedly a Tsar favourite. When Pyotr died, he was succeeded by his third son Vladimir Smirnov (1875–1939) who attempted to rebuild his father’s brand. In 1904, later the Tsar nationalised the Russian vodka industry and Vladimir Smirnov was forced to sell his factory and brand. Four years later he moved to Lviv, Ukraine and started to sell the vodka under the contemporary French spelling of the name, “Smirnoff“.
Smirnoff Vodka is prepared by passing vodka through columns of birch charcoals not only once but as many as five times to make it more pure and refined. The Vodka produced by Smirnoff is a mixture of demineralized water and one of the best qualities neutral spirits. Usually, they use a neutral spirit formed out of grain products and then blend it with purified water which dilutes the spirit thus enabling it to effectively go through the filtration process performed with charcoal.
This filtration of spirit with charcoal not only removes impurities of the spirit but also adds certain minerals to the Vodka, which is a unique quality of the Smirnoff Vodka.
Through the time new vodka cocktails emerged. Thanks to some work from Smirnoff executives in the US in the 1940s, and with Smirnoff No.21 as the base, the Moscow Mule was invented. Ginger beer and lime were mixed along with the premium vodka. As a result, sales of Smirnoff No.21 doubled and the cocktail sparked a craze for the white spirit. The Bond films brought Smirnoff firmly into the mainstream, thanks to 007’s signature request for a “Martini, shaken not stirred”. Smirnoff featured in the very first Bond film, Dr No, in 1963.
Today new flavours added alongside like Smirnoff Blueberry flavour, Smirnoff Lime flavour, Smirnoff Vanilla flavour and Smirnoff Green Apple flavour, all fabulous sipped neat or mixed. Smirnoff Gold, a glitzy new product with edible gold flakes and a subtly spicy cinnamon taste has also burst on the scene. Plus there’s Smirnoff Espresso, which takes the flavour of real coffee beans for a great mixed drink.
The company flourished and produced more than 4 million cases of vodka per year. It is now distributed in 130 countries. In March 2006, Smirnoff vodka was the best-selling distilled spirit brand in the world.
Smirnoff No.21 (Red Label) Vodka is triple distilled from a blend of different grains which gives an exceptionally pure tasting, smooth spirit. It has a clear, crisp taste and a cool finish.