Monthly Archives: July 2013


Sorry Pats, no more Stoli-Bolli’s for you There’s a Boycott!


To Whit–

In July 2013, gay activist Dan Savage joined gay bars and clubs and called for a boycott of Stolichnaya and other Russian vodkas. The boycott is in response to anti-gay laws enacted by the Russian government.

In response, Stolichnaya released a statement expressing their firm opposition to Russia’s anti-gay policies, stating that, “Stolichnaya Vodka has always been, and continues to be, a fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community.”

Which, needless to say, is a pile of shit.

Fermentation of Stolichnaya starts with wheat and rye grains and artesian water from the Russian city of Samara and the Kaliningrad region The fermentation takes about 60 hours. Once fermentation is complete the resulting liquid is distilled four times to a strength of 96.4% ABV. This spirit is then diluted to bottling strength with more artesinal well water. It is then filtered through quartz, sand, activated charcoal, and finally through woven cloth.

How yummy.

The brand’s logo features the words “Stolichnaya vodka” in gold cursive script, over a drawing of a Moscow landmark currently under re-construction, the Hotel Moskva, where Stalin once stayed and the site of one of the first Metro stations in the capital city. (“Stolichnaya” is the adjectival form of “stolitsa” [“столица”], meaning “capital city”.)
Stolichnaya has its origins in the Moscow State Wine Warehouse No. 1 which was opened in 1901 by the authorities to ensure higher quality vodka production
There is confusion about the actual birth date of Stolichnaya vodka. The earliest confirmed production date is 1948, but the label design clearly predates 1946. It is likely that it was created by V. G. Svirida around 1944. However, there is a trademark patent dated 1938, which is sometimes quoted as another birth date.
In 1953, Stolichnaya was introduced at the international trade show in Bern and received a gold medal
If bought in Russia, the label reads: Russian Vodka (as seen in the photo). If bought outside of Russia, the label reads: Premium Vodka. Stoli is now produced and bottled in Latvia for SPI Cyprus and is labeled as Imported Premium Vodka

Quite the Shell Game, isn’t it?


As I have noted Harvey isn’t fooled

He’s been only to happy to fill in for Darth Larry


who’s currently in Intensive Care


(Get Well Larry!)

But as crucial as their efforts are they still don’t explain the virulent opposition to them that can be found at such LGBT sites as Towleroad and JoeMyGod There you’ll find an endless procession of Auntie Toms, whining that “Boycotts are counterproductive (despite the success of the Coors boycott) and warning against taking any action whatsoever to defend ourselves.

This is scarcely a new phenom. Back in the days following Stonewall when the modern LGBT rights movement was stretching its muscles, our greatest enemy was often as not other LGBTs. Being “out” was exceedingly avant-garde back then. In fact when I first met Edmund White


He was still in the closet. Almost everybody was — until AIDS came along, making the closet unviable, as well as ridiculous. Now it’s OVER


But its side effects remain. You can see it in the way far too many of us choke at so much as the thought of doing something to defend ourselves.

Boycotting Stoli is not an end in itself but a means to a much larger end What we need now as always is leadership. But we’re not getting it from the “Human Rights Campaign”– the famously LGBT org without LGBT anywhere in its name.

When Russia first moved to bring down Draconian laws agains it LGBT citizens the HRC suggested that we write a letter

Well isn’t that special?

What we need is real leadership and a long-term strategy. For while we may be living in the post Neil Patrick Harris era, we’re acting as if The City and the Pillar has yet to be written.

Tom Robinson will sing us out with a number he wrote 37 years ago.