SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — To show support for Ukraine, a Springfield bar has pulled Russian vodkas or vodkas with Russian history from the shelves.
Vodka, a drink that was popularized in the West by James Bond and that has long been one of Russia’s most visible exports is the target of international anger over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Vodka has a long history in Russian culture, with The New York Times once describing it as “an inseparable part of Russian social life.” Colorless and odorless, it can be combined with countless types of mixers to make a wide array of concoctions.
Mike Hickman owner of Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More pulled the drinks from the shelves from both of the bar’s locations and wanted to find a way to support Ukraine during Russia’s invasion.
“I texted by distributor and asked him if he sold any Ukrainian vodka because I’m going to pull my Russians off the shelves and we’re going to sale Ukrainian stuff and give the proceeds back to Ukraine,” said Hickman.
On Tuesday, March 1, the restaurant will be serving the Ukrainian vodka Nemiroff and will create drinks with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Nemiroff is one of the world’s largest producers of alcohol and products are sold in more than 80 countries.
“Let’s give a little solidarity to Ukraine and we are going to do it by selling some Ukrainian vodka and selling cute little drinks that are yellow and blue representing the Ukrainian flag,” said Hickman.
In Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Saturday, “true Russian brands are hard to find.” However, Hickman says this is about sending a message to Russia.
“It’s more about the statement of solidarity with Ukraine. I think it’s something we can do for them to give them a little bit of support,” said Hickman. “It’s not like we are going to stop Russia just with vodka. There’s embargos. But it’s what we can do.”