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Friday, April 4, 2008

In Conclusion, Absolut is Absolut-ly Delicious! (UPDATED With Right-wing E-mail Seizures)

posted by on April 4 at 16:26 PM


I think this Mexi-friendly Absolut ad is just a clever way to get all the political blogs to paste up an Absolut ad for the whole weekend.

Mission accomplished!

Of course, I have no qualms with advertising for Absolut, as long as they send me a case or two of their sweet, sweet Mexican vodka.


It appears that Absolut Vodka is the new France, and Ketel One is the new Freedom Fries. The right-wing blogs, especially this lady, are up in arms.

Here is the furious right-wing Interweb machine in action. Samples:

I run a bar in Pt. Richmond, California - where the Kaiser Liberty Ships were built during WWII. After seeing your ad Campaign where you show a western map of the United States in which California is part of Mexico again, I’ve decided to do the following…

1) Never carry Absolut. Ever.
2) Lower the price of Ketel One vodka to $2 a shot indefinitely to build loyalty.
3) Print a copy of your ad and put it above the Ketel One drink special.
4) Tell all my friends and family what Absolut thinks of the United States of America and our right to enforce border laws.

I am on the front line of illegal immigration and its effects. Where are you? Oh yes, Sweden.
Good riddance.


Matthew Rogers
Pt. Richmond, Ca.


I make the best Bloody Mary you will every drink, and from here on refuse to use Absolut.

This is a despicable ad.

and, from I-just-got-a-thesaurusville:

Your company’s illustration of Mexico occupying a large part of the western United States is reprehensible for myriad reasons. Not only is it an anachronistic and ersatz view of geography, it also unnecessarily inflames American/Mexican tensions. I understand that marketing is to be provocative, but when it can be used as propaganda for certain people/nations it has crossed the line into the political realm and is, therefore, inappropriate.

It is my hope that this sophomoricand insulting ad is suspended immediately.

Most sincerely,
Paul D. Hergert

RSS icon Comments


I think somebody posting things in order to try and get free bottles and free lunches.

Posted by left coast | April 4, 2008 4:09 PM

And don't forget the free appetizers.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 4:17 PM

Absolut is Swedish Vodka, not Mexican.

Which makes the commodification of this cultural clash all the more relishing, if you ask me ;)

Posted by Non | April 4, 2008 4:17 PM

Vodka exists for bitches.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 4, 2008 4:22 PM

Paul Constant: Corporate Vodka Whore

Posted by michael strangeways | April 4, 2008 4:24 PM

Those crafty Swedes.

Posted by Abby | April 4, 2008 4:27 PM

In a world like that, wouldn't we be drinking tequila, not vodka?

Posted by PopTart | April 4, 2008 4:29 PM

I don't get it.

Posted by Wolf | April 4, 2008 4:30 PM

Pretty colors.

Posted by DOUG. | April 4, 2008 4:33 PM

Seems Stoli has bought Absolut for some billions. They will keep the label.

Giant vodka cabal....fuck you ....I like the stuff made in Flordia from citus waste.

Posted by John | April 4, 2008 4:35 PM

yay! nothing like a shot of historical truth to get the haters all frothed up. beats the hell out of "Absolut Manifest Destiny" . VIVA LOS SWEDES.

Posted by point x point synopsis | April 4, 2008 4:36 PM

Hey I gots this question and it's been bugging me. So like, I go to a bar and say I'd like a vodka martini. That's it. "I'd like a vodka martini. Please."

So who turns around and asks what brand of vodka I want? Or if I want an olive? Or fucking ICE?

I mean, when you order a drink and don't say, like, shaken not stirred and all that shit, it means, by implication, that you want the house vodka. And you want the standard martini, meaning an olive and no god damn ice (?) for god's sake.

Right? Do they think this upselling crap will make me tip better? I hate upselling. I'm right, right?

I also don't get it. It's just an old map of Mexico.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 4:39 PM

I guess it's not a problem that Mexico also is shown messing with Texas. Just California.

Wait, doesn't Austria own California already?

Posted by egid | April 4, 2008 4:39 PM

I've always liked Absolut's ads. Now I want some vodka... maybe I'll go to that guy's bar for cheap Ketel One.

Posted by Katelyn | April 4, 2008 4:42 PM

Then why don't you drink vodka?

Posted by M.P's.J. | April 4, 2008 4:43 PM

damn i wish it was like that. It'd be soooo much easier to goto mexico. *sad face*

Posted by deeplennon | April 4, 2008 4:44 PM

Since the ad copy on the map is in spanish it seems that Absolute is trying to increase its Hispanic market share. They probably have market research to show that chauvanistic patriots don't buy a lot of their product anyway. Also Cinco de Mayo is coming up, along with St. Paddies it's mainly about drinkinghere anyway.

Posted by inkweary | April 4, 2008 4:47 PM

I think Absolut got bought out in a recent merger, actually.


Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 4:48 PM

As long as my friends at Lagavulin keep their fucking mouths shut, everything will be fine. But the Scots always are polite to we Americans- because we're not the English.

Posted by Big Sven | April 4, 2008 4:49 PM

Would someone please tell elenchos that he's terminally clueless? Google "Aztlan," dipshit.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 4, 2008 4:50 PM

I don't think it's about increasing their Hispanic market so much as reminding us that, you know, Absolut is the clever person's vodka. Which it is. (Absolut, if you need my mailing address for those free samples, I'll be happy to oblige!)

Posted by Katelyn | April 4, 2008 4:50 PM

What, macho man? What? If you have a point, make your point. Does this "Aztlan" have anything to do with how you order a drink?

I didn't even say that weak men with small dicks should get therapy instead of bragging about their guns on the internet from their mom's basement, and here you're all pissy.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 5:00 PM

Well, clearly you're too fucking stupid to perform a simple task, such as Googling "Aztlan," and prefer frothing at the mouth instead. Go ahead, froth away, it's a hoot.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 4, 2008 5:06 PM

Paul, you forgot to bold sophomoricand.

Posted by Julie | April 4, 2008 5:07 PM

Stay out of this, Sven, this one's all mine.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 4, 2008 5:09 PM

I did Google it! I did! I found a bunch of stuff about "La Raza" and nothing about whether or not the bartender is required to assume you want the house vodka when you ask for a vodka martini without saying ahead of time which vodka you want.

Is there a chickenhawk thing here and not a gun thing? I'm assuming it's a gun thing and it's actually a chickenhawk thing, is that it? Or what?

I'm just tired of always having to say "no, house vodka" when I don't want to pay a lot for brand name. And I think they're trying to embarrass me into spending more, which I say is not cool bartending.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 5:12 PM

Whatever you feel about the justice of the war (isn't that the one Thoreau protested by not paying taxes), at current birth rates, Mexican Immigrants will have outbred us within this next century or so. If you want to keep up, get busy.

Posted by Mr. Joshua | April 4, 2008 5:12 PM

Gosh with such an uproar one would think The prophets picture was posted with a bottle of Vodka on top!

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | April 4, 2008 5:14 PM

I always perferd ketal one anyway...I now I have something in common with those right wing vietnam vets hanging in those montana bars...mutal love for ketal one...for different reasons, but still common ground is common ground

Posted by LINUS | April 4, 2008 5:15 PM

Absolut isn't very good. Anyone talking about how they've been making the "best bloody mary you'll ever have" with it his suspect. Clever ad - cheap shot, but clever.

Posted by Dougsf | April 4, 2008 5:17 PM


I'm drinking Absolut Vanilla straight right now (it's delicious). I also happen to be wearing a hot-pink t-shirt with a giant "B" on the front (not kidding). But fuck you anyway, you shameless slut.

Posted by Irena | April 4, 2008 5:18 PM

history is so offensive

Posted by mr. ed | April 4, 2008 5:18 PM

I'm still no closer to getting it, but I no longer care.

I'm now going to go eat my dinner, curl up and read for a bit and fall asleep.

Good night, sloggers.

Posted by Wolf | April 4, 2008 5:24 PM

Okey-dokey, elenchos, you Googled it, but not very thoroughly. However, not being one to stoop to your level of name-calling, I will simply point out that Aztlan is that part of the US that Mexicans think was stolen from them (e.g., California, NEW Mexico, Arizona, Colorado), in, I believe, the 1860s, though am unsure of the exact time-frame, since I haven't Googled it lately.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 4, 2008 5:25 PM

Like I said, an old map of Mexico. The way Mexico used to look before we started carving away pieces of it. I don't need Google for that.

What I don't get is why anyone would get bent out of shape over an old map of Mexico. But it's clear this is a chickenhawk thing. Any time little men obsess over symbols, like having a fit over folding a flag in a magic triangle, is a chickenhawk thing. So get puffed up over an old map of Mexico if you like. You still need therapy to address your yearning to be seen as a big man.

None of which I care about as much as my bartending question.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 5:32 PM

And they don't think it was stolen. It was.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 5:33 PM

Mexicans can't afford Absolut; so yeah, nice publicity stunt.

Posted by Bum Luck | April 4, 2008 5:39 PM

You know, if we just seceded ...

Posted by Will in Cascadia | April 4, 2008 5:40 PM

@36, much of the land that was "stolen" from Mexico was never really Mexican -- it was full of Apaches, et al.

Posted by joykiller | April 4, 2008 5:44 PM

Well, now that you've calmed down, maybe we can talk. Yes, they think it was stolen, because it's actually debatable whether they ever really owned it in the first place. Notwithstanding, we took it from them fair and square, or at least as fair and square as war ever is. Or maybe you think Texas should still be part of Mexico too? (Extrapolation of that same logic.)

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 4, 2008 5:46 PM

37, the richest man in the WORLD is Carlos Slim, a Mexican.

My posts on Slog will be extremely limited here on out due to health problems: my liver will completely fail in about six months because I will be guzzling Absolut (which I don't even really like that much) day and night from now on, as much as possible. Fuck you, Michelle Malkin! I should be dead around Thanksgiving.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | April 4, 2008 5:48 PM

It's funny that you linked to Michelle Malkin's blog.

Her faux outrage remind you of anyone *cough Erica cough*.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | April 4, 2008 6:02 PM


1860s? Great.

Anyway an old map of Mexico certainly wouldn't have Panama on it.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 4, 2008 6:24 PM

Fifty-Two-Eighty, I told you, I don't care. This is a stupid thing to get excited over.

Talking to me won't help you with this problem anyway. You need to talk to a psychiatrist. You'll probably need to recollect your earliest memories of feeling inadequate, and then connect that to when the bragging and exaggeration started. This will shed light on your desire to be seen pushing others around, and to create imaginary connections with those you perceive as being stronger.

I'm thinking there will be drugs prescribed, but what do I know? Best of luck with all that. Oh, and lay off the drinking. Really.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 6:26 PM

Fifty-Two-Eighty, you are referring to this:

but I'm not sure that is what is being represented here.

The green portion of the map represents modern Mexico and the following U.S. acquisitions: the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, the Mexican cession of 1848, and the Texas Annexation of 1845.

This is precisely what Mexico looked like prior to the Texas Revolution in 1835.

Posted by w7ngman | April 4, 2008 6:29 PM

Vodka is piss, and people who pay extra for "premium" piss deserve to be robbed, which they are. NONE of you boobs could tell Ketel One or Absolut or Grey Goose from freaking Fleischmann's in a blind taste test.

And elenchos is right: the bartender should just serve the goddamn drink the right way. If it was any of the bartender's business to make moral judgements, he's refuse to serve a person who ordered a vodka martini, because vodka martinis are disgusting, but they're not. If that's what you ask for, that's what you should get. I have EXACTLY the same problem when I ask for scotch'n'soda. I WANT the well scotch, which is why I said "scotch" instead of "Macallan 18 year". Which I would never do, because paying bar prices for good scotch goes against the, er, Scotch in me.

But Sven, if you have "friends at Lagavulin", then I need to flatter you more, because that's the best stuff there is, or at least that you can get in this godforsaken state, when you can even get it. I like the various kinds of Caol Ila I've tried better but they're IMPOSSIBLE. I bring them back from California or Nevada whenever I go there.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 6:30 PM

So yes, #12, you're right on both counts, though I despise house liquor. This was merely reinforced by the fact that I paid $7 for a well gin at Spitfire last night. That and over $15 for a double Jamison. Really? REALLY?

#43, I thought that was interesting, too. It's Mexico and the United States plus Oregon Territory circa 1835, with modern Central American and Carribean borders. Clearly this isn't just a historical map, it's an "if X, Y, and Z hadn't have happened" kind of thing.

All this, of course, doesn't diminish in any way the hilarity of clueless wingnuts.

Posted by w7ngman | April 4, 2008 6:44 PM

Thank you. That's all I wanted to know.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 6:47 PM

@46 -

NONE of you boobs could tell Ketel One or Absolut or Grey Goose from freaking Fleischmann's in a blind taste test.

You know, I would've agreed with you, but I actually bet my girlfriend on this and was proven wrong. Sort of. In a taste test between Smirnoff, Monarch, Grey Goose, and Finlandia, we were able to guess the Monarch and determine that it tasted like horse semen. Smirnoff, Grey Goose, and Finlandia, however, were indistinguishable.

The lesson here, I guess, is that anything from the second lowest shelf or higher tastes about the same. But stay the fuck away from that bottom shelf.

Posted by tsm | April 4, 2008 6:50 PM

I've had a hard time paying what they charge for vodka ever since I got a 750ml bottle of "Ruskaya Rulyetka" (you can figure out the translation) in Moscow in 1994 for about $2 - and it was the smoothest vokda I've ever tasted. Those markups aren't all going toward shipping, duties and tariffs.

Posted by Matt from Denver | April 4, 2008 6:57 PM

@ 43 - Good catch. I'd forgotten that Panama is a very recent addition to the map. I've been told that Colombia is still smarting over that one.

Posted by Matt from Denver | April 4, 2008 6:59 PM

#46, "NONE of you boobs could tell Ketel One or Absolut or Grey Goose from freaking Fleischmann's in a blind taste test."

Maybe not those brands (maybe), but there is good vodka out there. I had a shot of vodka from a bottle my friend brought back from some remote village in Russia, probably made in tiny batches, and that shit was oh so smooth. I would have brushed my teeth with it.

Tequila is the same. Anyone that writes off tequila needs to pick up a bottle or two if they're in Mexico, or just invest in an import, because it really is worth it. Even the stuff that was 300-400 pesos is like butter. I tried two brands, 100% blue agave, reposado. You really do not need the training wheels, in fact that would be a travesty.

Posted by w7ngman | April 4, 2008 7:01 PM

And that was 300-400 pesos in a touristy specialty tequila store. The true price was probably a bit less. I looked up the brand that was 400 pesos ($40) and it was something like $80 to get an import.

Posted by w7ngman | April 4, 2008 7:03 PM

Gee, whole lotta Denver - er - Mexico goin' on here tonight.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 4, 2008 7:07 PM

Laffed my brown Mexican-American ass off!!!! I'm going to the licker store right now to buy 2 bottles of Absolut and I don't even drink.

Posted by SLOGGER | April 4, 2008 7:11 PM

I don't understand why they decided to tack on Oregon and parts of Idaho and Montana.

Wikipedia pwns absolut. Next time try and get a more historical map. Yeesh, nice pandering.

Posted by Lick Orr | April 4, 2008 8:45 PM

I like it better that way. Pretty green... Much better than that drab brown... Let's keep 'em!

Posted by DanFan | April 4, 2008 8:46 PM

Tequila is a whole different thing. Vodka by legal definition has no taste, aroma or color. "Smoothness" doesn't mean anything, and if it did, why would it be good? You don't judge a scotch or a rum or a wine or a beer on "smoothness". It always sounds to me like you're saying "geez, that didn't hurt much". Booze is supposed to be a pleasure, not an endurance test.

And Russians? Russians drink cologne, they spread shoe polish on bread and scrape it off after an hour and eat the bread. The traditional way to drink vodka is for three guys to take one pull each off the bottle, emptying it. A popular entertainment in Russia is to pay a homeless dude a few rubles to down a liter of vodka in one. They know drunk but they don't know drinking.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 10:22 PM

fnarf@46&58: I should be more clear. I don't actually have any friends on Islay. Though I do want to visit there next year. I just consider the fine folks at Lagavulin my friends because they make the only alcohol that I enjoy, so they get pretty much 99% of my booze money.

What little else I spend goes to Don Julio. I thought I hated tequila, and then I realized that Jose Quervo is as related to real tequila as Will in Seattle is to real human beings.

Posted by Big Sven | April 4, 2008 11:31 PM

There's no pleasure in scotch either, unless tasting turpentine is your idea of fun.

Posted by Matt from Denver | April 5, 2008 7:56 AM

I'm not really allowed to drink tequila, since every time I do something catches on fire -- carpets, furniture, hair....

Islay's on my travel list, too. I got pretty close once, on the Cowal Peninsula, but that's about the only place in Scotland they DON'T distill in.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 8:01 AM

Actually, the mexi's didn't own colorado, just part of it.

Everything south of the Purgutoire and Arkansas rivers was Mexico.

Posted by ecce homo | April 5, 2008 8:49 AM

@59 Don Julio is MY friend. Ever since my friend's dry wedding (terrible idea) and a couple of us snuck out to fortify ourselves, I've considered Don Julio a true friend.

Posted by Katelyn | April 5, 2008 9:07 AM

Photo at:

Beverly Morris, bottom right, screams and collapses as the casket carrying her brother, U.S. Army Spec. Charles Jankowski, arrives at the Panama City-Bay County International Airport in Panama City, Fla., on Friday. Comforting Morris are her sister, Felicia Kirkland, left, and Jankowski's girlfriend, Karen Hainley. Jankowski died from wounds from an exploding improvised explosive device near Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday, March 28, 2008. He will be buried on Monday, April 7, 2008.
(April 04, 2008)

Posted by Brave and mighty SAVAGE warrior Dan | April 5, 2008 9:09 AM

how do you know what horse semen tastes like, tsm? hmm?

Posted by scary tyler moore | April 5, 2008 10:19 AM

First: the phrase "We're going to need a bigger fence!" comes to mind.

Second: This is now my new wallpaper.

and Third: Absolut sucks anyway. I prefer Glacier from Oregon anyway.

Posted by elswinger | April 5, 2008 11:28 AM

A martini by a purist's definition requires gin to be the essential alcohol.

However, you can never know too much about the martini. Check out the Churchill martini. And perhaps there's the apocryphal story about the the Gibson's creation. As a long time social alcoholic, I've discovered the more you pay for higher-shelf vodka, the more you might as well be buying elegantly packaged water. For example, Grey Goose: if I'm going to pay $40+ for a bottle of vodka, I want to know I'm drinking alcohol and not Fiji water.

Instead of getting upset over Bush and Iraq and expensive gasoline, when are people going to start militating against the highway robbery costs of liquor and wine served in restaurants and bars? The only reason they charge $10 for a drink is because they discovered you'll pay $10. There should be no social stigma for ordering booze from the well.

I would sign this 54-40 or fight, but so few would understand.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | April 5, 2008 11:52 AM

#56, it's not supposed to be historically accurate, or Central America wouldn't have modern borders. It's supposed to be some kind of alternate universe (deep). Read #45 and #47 and look at this:

It matches perfectly.

#58, I'm rolling on the floor @ your second paragraph, hold on.

Ok. I agree 100%. When I drink liquor straight it's always scotch, irish whiskey (sipped, neat), or tequila (shot, usually reposado). I personally don't drink vodka. That shot over a year ago was probably the only vodka I've had in at least 5 years, even mixed. All I meant by "smooth" is that it did, indeed, have no taste or aroma. The whole point of vodka, I think, at least I hope, is to drink it fast and get crunked. The less it tastes like hairspray, the better.

I'm not really in the habit of describing anything else as smooth, except maybe a tequila shot, provided it doesn't want to make me wash my mouth out with a mild acid. Smooth, to me, just means that the intended flavor of the particular beverage isn't overpowered by a nasty burning hairspray/ethanol taste. Beer being smooth is a given. Moonshine and shitty vodka are not smooth.

#59, you should know, from what I saw in stores and bars in Mexico, Don Julio is to them as Jose Cuervo is to us. Not trying to diminish your attempts at drinking good tequila, just sayin'.

Posted by w7ngman | April 5, 2008 12:43 PM

w7ngman@68: isn't Don Julio really expensive? It is here.

Can you recommend something better that I can try?

Posted by Big Sven | April 5, 2008 1:28 PM

if this ad were for Canadians, they would have the green extending ocean to ocean and all the way up to the fucking border. Do you know how much happier I would be if I could cross the border and get mexican food? VERY.

Posted by ams | April 5, 2008 2:37 PM

#69, I can't say I've actually tried Don Julio, all I know is that it was practically bottom shelf tequila in Mexico at the grocery stores. There were guys walking around the beach selling shots of what would have been 'well' tequila, and they would have a bottle of Don Julio and a bottle of Jose Cuervo for the particularly non-adventurous tourists.

As for what I know is good, I just recently finished a bottle of Arette Reposado that was an insanely good shot. That was 300 pesos. I also got a bottle of Conquistador Reposado that I have yet to open, that one was 400 pesos.

You might incur some cost to import those, though I just saw Arette for $31.

Posted by w7ngman | April 6, 2008 12:54 PM

ok let's get one thing straight. I make the best bloody Mary you'll ever taste. end of story. viva la Mexico, give 'em Texas.

Posted by rustdye | April 8, 2008 11:18 AM

vodka is to booze what beige is to color. boring, tasteless, kinda gross in my opinion. it has it's function but mainly it exists solely for people who just want to get their drink on and not have to deal with stuff like flavor and nuance. and, i'm not sure what bars some of you are going to, but as a bartender i would always default to the well vodka when simply asked for a vodka martini. i would also add vermouth unless told dry and i would include olives unless something else was requested, like a twist or whatever. and i would NEVER present that martini on the rocks unless requested to do so.

Posted by douglas | April 8, 2008 5:09 PM

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