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The world-famous vodka brand was born in 1818 when the Alexeyevich brothers who were serfs set up their own business in Moscow.


After a while, they purchased their freedom with the money they earned from their vodka business and took the family name Smirnov. Half a century later, Pyotr Smirnov founded his own independent distillery and pioneered charcoal filtration.


The result was amazing – compared to other vodkas at the time, Smirnov’s vodka was crystal clear. Around the same time, the Russians began to use the word ‘vodka’ to refer to this drink in their everyday language.


In 1886, the company received the title of “Purveyor to the Imperial Court” and held it until the abdication of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia. By this time, Smirnov had captured two-thirds of the market in Moscow. It is not surprising, as his vodka really stood out from the competitors’ products. However, the majority of people in Europe and other parts of the world did not know much about vodka at the time and preferred brandy, whiskey, or rum.


Due to the October Revolution, the Smirnov family had to discontinue their business in Russia. The distillery was nationalised and the Smirnov family fled the country, taking all their production secrets with them. He first established a factory in Constantinople, then in present day Lviv, Ukraine. There he changed the name from Smirnov to the French spelling of the name – Smirnoff. The business did not go as well as it had in Russia. In 1925, he founded a distillery in Paris. In 1933, Pyotr’s son Vladimir met Rudolph Kunett, a Russian who had emigrated to the USA and whose family had been a supplier of grains to Smirnov in Moscow. Vladimir sold Kunett the rights to produce Smirnoff vodka in North America. Initially, the business was not very successful, but then the trader had an idea.


In 1939, they began advertising Smirnoff as “white whiskey” with “no taste, no smell”. That was a major breakthrough on the American market. Vodka established itself among other well-known alcoholic beverages and is one of the main base spirits in cocktails.

Renowned brand

Smirnoff vodka is one of the world’s best-known and best-selling premium distilled spirit and can be found in almost all the bars in the world.



Smirnoff was the first vodka to be purified through charcoal filtration. Charcoal filtration ensures ultimate purity and best quality.


From the birthplace of vodka

The word ‘vodka’ is of Russian origin and so is Smirnoff vodka. The brand is currently owned by beverages giant Diageo.



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