From Academic Kids

Smirnoff is a famous vodka distillery founded in Moscow. The Smirnoff company dates back to its creation in the 1860s by Piotr Arsenieyevich Smirnov.

His distillery was the first in the world to use charcoal filtering process. By 1886 the Smirnov factory received the official purveyors to the Imperial Russian court mark. Piotr Smirnov died in 1910 and was succeeded by his son, Vladimir Smirnov. The company flourished and produced more than 4 million cases of vodka per year.

During the October Revolution, the distillery was confiscated and the family had to flee. Vladimir Smirnov re-established the factory in 1920 in Constantinople. Four years later he moved to Lwów and started to sell the vodka under a new, French name "Smirnoff". The new product was a success and by the end of 1930 it was exported to most European countries. An additional distillery was founded in Paris in 1925.

However, the Great Depression made Vladimir Smirnov sell the brand to an American, Rudolph Kunett, in 1934 who moved the company to the USA. Thanks to the successful advertisement campaigns, the American Smirnoff vodka is now one of the best-selling vodkas in the world.

In 1990s in Russia one of the Piotr Smirnov offspring started to produce Smirnov' (Смирновъ in Russian) vodka, claiming to be the "The Only Real Smirnov". After number of trials American Smirnoff claimed the trademark back. See "History of Smirnoff Brand" under External Links.

The Smirnoff company has the naming rights to the Smirnoff Music Centre, a concert amphitheatre in Dallas, Texas.

In the late 1990s Smirnoff introduced a series of new products onto the North American market. This included Smirnoff Ice, citrus-flavored malt beverage (7% ABV) which quickly became popular among young people, especially within the club scene (See "Alcopops"). They also introduced a line of new flavored vodkas with the "Twist" moniker appended on the end of the name, including Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka Twist. Other flavors include Green Apple, Vanilla and Mandarin, flavors also closely imitated (or at least sold by) the Swedish vodka company Absolut.

Vodka sold under the Smirnoff brand in Australia is manufactured in New Zealand and is 37.5% ABV and is considered to be inferior to other Smirnoff vodkas.

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