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Smirnoff is the largest vodka brand worldwide. It is owned and created by the Diageo company. The Smirnoff brand began with a vodka factory founded in Moscow by Pytor Arsenyevich Smirnov ( 1831–1898 ).

When the tsar nationalized the Russian liquor industry in 1904, Vladimir Smirnov was forced to sell his distillery and the brand. During the October Revolution in Russia, the Smirnovs fled the country. Vladimir Smirnov founded a factory in Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1920. He went to Lviv (Lwów) (Poland) four years later. He renamed the vodka “Smirnoff.” It was a success, but not nearly as successful as in Russia before 1904. Even though another distillery was founded in France in 1925, sales remained considerably lower than those produced in Russia.

Vodka was not known for its success in the United States before Smirnoff arrived in the 1930s. By the end of World War II, Smirnoff vodka was already established in the market, and its sales tripled. Vodka has been experiencing another significant spike in US consumption since the 1960s and has boomed since the 1980s and ’90s, with Smirnoff being its market leader.

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