Absolut Vodka is arguably the most popular brand of vodka in the world as it is sold in more than 126 countries worldwide. However, there’s more to this vodka brand apart from its distinctive bottle shape and great taste, such as:
1. Its Founder Is Pictured On The Seal On The Absolut Bottle
No one can blame you if you don’t pay attention to the bottle design of Absolut, because you’re after what’s inside. But if you look closely at the seal on the front of the bottle, you’ll notice a bearded face featured front and center. That face belongs to its founder, Olson Smith.
Smith’s company Absolut Rent Bränvin was the forerunner of the company that produces Absolut Vodka. Smith was an entrepreneur who distributed ¾ of all vodkas in Sweden at the tender age of 26 years old.
2. Its Bottle Design Was Inspired by an 18th Century Apothecary Bottle
The distinctive design of Absolut’s bottle was based on the glass apothecary bottle that was made in the 18th century. The said bottle was discovered in an antique store in an old neighborhood in Stockholm. The bottle really didn’t have a paper design.
When Absolut was introduced to the American market in 1979, the design of the bottle made the product stand out. Other vodkas at that time were in taller and thinner bottles.
3. Andy Warhol Made the Bottle More Popular
Artist Andy Warhol made the bottle even more popular by creating more than 50 works of art depicting the bottle. One of those eventually became the Absolut Warhol ad. In 2014, the company released limited edition Warhol bottles. These bottles had a three-dimensional replica of the original 1985 artwork made by the revered artist.
Curiously, the late artist didn’t drink vodka. But he claimed to use it as an aftershave. He was also said to carry the bottle with him to parties.
4. All the components of the vodka are obtained in southern Sweden
The company adheres to its One Source Philosophy, so all the components of the vodka are sourced within a 75-mile radius of Åhus in the province of Skåne in Southern Sweden.
For example, the iconic bottle is manufactured at a 300 year old glassworks. The water is sourced from a deep water wall, which is filtered by an aquifer.
5. It Takes Two Pounds of Winter Wheat to Produce a Bottle of Absolut Vodka
The company makes use of winter wheat in producing the vodka because of its high starch content, and the fact that it is very sturdy. This also allows farmers to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Absolut is also proud that there are no ingredients in the vodka that can be classified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
6. Absolut Works Closely With Local Farmers
The company employs around 400 local farmers who grow the winter wheat, which is used in producing all the vodkas sold worldwide. Out of the said number of farmers, 150 act as backup in case an issue regarding the wheat harvest comes up. These farmers utilize sustainable growing techniques such as crop rotation to replenish the soil naturally.
7. Absolut Cares for the Environment
The company maintains a laser-like focus on sustaining environmentally friendly operations. For one, carbon dioxide that is released during production is bottled and sold to various beverage companies. More than 40,000 cows and 250,000 pigs in the Skåne region are provided with wheat residue from mash after distillation.
It recently installed a biofuel section for transport vehicles with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
8. Its Creator Started a Trade War Between Stockholm and Southern Sweden
Before Smith hit it big, Stockholm monopolized distilled spirits. So when Smith created a better-tasting vodka, he refused to apply for a permit to sell his product in the nation’s capital. Instead, he opened a store on the island of Reimersholme, just outside the borders of Stockholm. He even offered a free shuttle boat to the island, which even made the public interested in his product.
His ploy was a huge success. He then expanded his business by moving his vodka production to southern Sweden, a region that had been famous for its vodka production for centuries.
9. Its biggest market is the United States
Although the vodka is produced in Sweden, the United States remains its biggest market with a starting price of $15.99 for a 750ml bottle. In fact, the U.S. represents 45 percent of its market. The company’s distillery in Åhus produces half a million bottles every day to keep up with the demand. The company is also very efficient, with fewer than 300 employees working to man the entire production process, from distilling to shipping.
10. There are 31 labels and flavors
You might know the popular flavors like Citron and original, but there are other Absolut flavors like Absolut Wild Tea (a combination of oolong tea and elderflower flavors) and Absolut Orient Apple (with ginger and ripe red apples).