Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America

By Victorino Matus

It begun as toxic rotgut in Medieval Russia—Ivan the bad cherished it, Peter the good loved it—but this grain alcohol “without certain personality, aroma, flavor, or colour” has turn into our uncontested king of spirits. Over 1000 manufacturers struggle for marketplace proportion, shelved in glass skulls, Tommy weapons, bulletproof bottles; flavored with pears, currants, chipotle; or quintuple distilled through Donald Trump. however it wasn’t continually hence. For 2 hundred years, the US drank the brown stuff, which gave us Colonial rumrunners, the Whiskey uprising, and Bourbon County, Kentucky. So how did Russia’s “little water,” initially a medieval rotgut drugs, unseat America’s favourite hooch? Vic Matus takes us on a tremendous visible trip from vodka’s humble American origins in a Depression-era Connecticut factory—using the relatives recipe from a negative Russian exile in France named Vladimir Smirnov—through its upward push to glamour and status by the hands of James Bond and the Nineteen Nineties growth enshrined in Sex and the City’s gray Goose Cosmos to today’s craft distillery stream, which ways the drink as an artwork shape. You’ll see in transparent, intoxicating element how hippie tradition, women’s lib, and a fully inventive Swedish corporation all performed their half, remodeling the booze right into a prestige image. by way of 1975, the conflict had ended: Vodka formally turned our favourite spirit. this present day, a 3rd of all cocktails ordered include it. final 12 months $20 billion in revenues poured in from greater than a hundred and forty million gallons of the stuff. this is the crisply distilled, bracing tale of ways risk-taking marketers defied the percentages and grew to become medieval drugs right into a multibillion-dollar industry.

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6 billion in revenues. this is the crisply distilled, bracing tale of the way marketers defied the chances and grew to become medieval drugs right into a multibilliondollar undefined. 5/8/14 12:19 PM Vodka Vodka_3pp. indd 1 4/30/14 9:07 AM Vodka_3pp. indd 2 4/30/14 9:07 AM Vodka How a drab, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered the US Victorino Matus Lyons Press Guilford, Connecticut An imprint of Globe Pequot Press Vodka_3pp. indd three 4/30/14 9:08 AM Copyright © 2014 by way of Victorino Matus All rights reserved. No a part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any shape in anyway, digital or mechanical, together with photocopying and recording, or via any details garage and retrieval process, other than as might be expressly authorized in writing from the writer. Requests for permission can be addressed to Globe Pequot Press, Attn: Rights and Permissions division, PO field 480, Guilford, CT 06437. Lyons Press is an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. Absolut® vodka, Absolut state of Sweden vodka & emblem, Absolut, Absolut bottle layout, and Absolut calligraphy are logos owned through the Absolut corporation AB. Frontispiece: approved by means of Shutterstock. com textual content layout: Sheryl P. Kober format: Kirsten Livingston undertaking editor: Julie Marsh Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication info Matus, Victorino. Vodka : how a drab, odorless, flavorless spirit conquered the United States / Victorino Matus. — First variation. pages cm precis: “How risk-taking marketers defied the percentages and became medieval drugs right into a multibillion-dollar industry”— supplied by means of writer. ISBN 978-0-7627-8699-2 (hardback) 1. Vodka—United States. 2. Distilleries—United States. three. Distilling industries—United States. I. identify. TP607. V6M37 2014 338. 4'76635—dc23 2014015139 published within the u . s . 10 nine eight 7 6 five four three 2 1 Vodka_3pp. indd four 4/30/14 9:08 AM To KaTe Vodka_3pp. indd five 4/30/14 9:08 AM After the 1st glass of vodka you could settle for absolutely anything of existence even your individual mysteriousness —Frank O’Hara, “As deliberate” Vodka_3pp. indd 6 4/30/14 9:08 AM Con t en ts creation Vodka_3pp. indd 7 ix 1 “A Plunge Off the Very Deep finish” 1 2 Vodki three Breathless appeal 27 four Absolut energy forty five five The Dutch Masters sixty three 6 SKYY’s the restrict eighty one 7 the best Vodka tale Ever instructed ninety five eight The Legend of Tito Beveridge nine Hollywood 121 10 Las Vegas 139 eleven style state 157 12 Backlash a hundred seventy five thirteen Pioneering Spirit 187 14 the center nation 213 eleven 107 Epilogue 227 Appendix: The Vodka increase 237 Acknowledgments 240 decide on Bibliography 243 Index 245 4/30/14 9:08 AM Vodka_3pp. indd eight 4/30/14 9:08 AM IntroduCtIon i think that if existence grants lemons, you might want to make lemonade . . . and take a look at to discover someone whose existence has given them vodka and feature a celebration. —Ron White within the early morning hours of August nine, 2006, Maurice Clarett, a former Ohio country tailback, led police on a ten-minute automobile chase via Columbus, Ohio. Clarett had run over a spike strip, and his Hyundai Santa Fe hobbled right into a eating place car parking zone the place professionals surrounded him.

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