In a new ad campaign, Smirnoff has decided to come clean about its long-standing ties to Russia:
It’s putting up posters that show a bottle of vodka, a Moscow mule, and a line of text that reads, “Made in America. But we’d be happy to talk about our ties to Russia under oath.” The timing obviously couldn’t be better, since that’s almost verbatim what Trump said he’d be willing to do on Friday, following James Comey’s Senate testimony.
Smirnoff’s Russian roots go all the way back to Moscow in 1864. That’s when founder Pyotr Smirnov created the distillery. He pioneered charcoal filtrating, a method still used nowadays to mellow out vodka’s astringent taste, and there’s even an entire book (The King of Vodka) chronicling his rise from serf to esteemed master distiller celebrated by Russia’s czars. His entrepreneurial success got him in trouble during the Bolshevik Revolution, though, and today the company is owned outright by British liquor giant Diageo. Of course, that’s the best part of the ad — that Smirnoff might actually have fewer Kremlin ties today than the Trump administration does.