Absolut Vodka is a brand of vodka, produced near Åhus, in southern Sweden. Absolut is a part of the French group Pernod Ricard. Pernod Ricard bought Absolut for €5.63 billion in 2008 from the Swedish state. Absolut is one of the largest brands of spirits in the world (after Smirnoff, Bacardi) and is sold in 126 countries.
Absolut practices a One Source production philosophy, meaning that all of their production takes place in and around the village of Åhus, Sweden. The water and wheat are both sourced only from the village. Absolut uses CO2 neutral distillation (carbon emissions offset by planting trees that absorb CO2 over their lifetime). Absolut was established in 1879 by Lars Olsson Smith and is produced in Åhus, Sweden. Smith challenged the city of Stockholm’s liquor marketing monopoly with his vodka. It was sold outside the city border at a lower price than the monopoly’s product. Smith offered free boat rides to the distillery and “Rent Brännvin” was highly successful. L.O. Smith the founder of Absolut Rent Brännvin. In 1917, the Swedish government monopolized the country’s alcohol industry. Vodka was then sold nationwide under the name “Absolut Rent Brännvin”. In 1979, the old name Absolut was picked up when the upper-price range ABSOLUT VODKA was introduced. Renat is the name of another vodka product sold by Pernod Ricard Sweden AB.
Absolut Vodka was introduced to the global market in 1979. Today, Absolut sells over 100 million litres of vodka annually (2018). The vodka is made from winter wheat.