Even with a full boycott, a national spirits council said that only about one percent of all vodka sold in the U.S. comes from Russia
Some bar and restaurant owners who want to show their support for Ukraine and protest the Russian invasion are pouring out every bottle of Russian liquor they have, and vowing not to buy anymore.
However, there’s a problem in doing so: Many liquors commonly believed to be Russian are not, and dumping the product may only be hurting the U.S. businesses behind the liquor.
On Monday, Hempstead town officials poured out vodka bottles in a photo op punctuating their call to boycott Russian products, as they look to find ways to support Ukraine and distance themselves from Russian business.
But it’s not that simple.
“It’s a lot more complicated, as most things are,” said bar owner Tim O’Hagan, explaining that what many view as Russian vodka, may not actually be from Russia.
“People think Stoli is from Russia. It’s not from Russia. It’s from Latvia,” he said.
Two of the vodka seen poured out in the Long Island city have complex stories as well. One is imported from Russia by a company described on its website as a Massachusetts-based small business — which stands with Ukraine.