About Smirnoff Vodka

Written by l.a. o'hare
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About Smirnoff Vodka

Smirnoff vodka is one of the most popular liquors worldwide. Founded under the name PA Smirnoff in the 1860s by Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov, it became the official vodka of the Russian Imperial Court in 1866. Upon Pyotr's death in 1910, his successor, Vladimir Smirnov, took over the distillery but was forced to flee Russia during the revolution. Relocated first to Istanbul and then Paris, Smirnoff vodka gained popularity in Europe. The Smirnoff brand landed in the United States in the 1930s.

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Modern Day Smirnoff

Today, Smirnoff vodka is distilled, distributed and marketed in 130 countries by the England-based Diagoeo Company, whose other distributions include Guinness, Bailey's, Tanqueray and Cuervo.


Smirnoff vodka is grain-based, triple-distilled and charcoal-filtered for eight hours over hardwoods such as birch, which gives it its smooth flavour.

Smirnoff Family of Vodkas

Smirnoff offers about 15 different varieties and flavours: Smirnoff 21, Smirnoff Ice, Smirnoff Black, Smirnoff Twist, Smirnoff Black Ice, Smirnoff Flavors, Smirnoff Blue, Smirnoff Spin and Smirnoff Caipiroska. Smirnoff 21 with the red label is the most popular.


Although Smirnoff is distributed throughout the world, not all kinds are the same or available in every country. In the United States and countries supplied by the United States, Smirnoff Ice contains no vodka. However, in most other countries, it contains Smirnoff 21. Smirnoff Spin is the South African version of Smirnoff Ice.


Smirnoff prides itself on its purity. The company challenges drinkers to compare purity between its brand and other vodkas. Pour a little vodka into your hands and then rub them together. If the result is slimy, oily and/or has a smell, it is not pure vodka.


In the 1990s, one of Pyotr Smirnov's descendants began producing vodka in the Ukraine under the name Smirnov Vodka. The Diagoeo Company successfully sued, claiming trademark infringement and won. In 2006, Diagoeo entered into a joint venture with the Ukrainian Smirnov company.

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