June is here, and for many people around the world, that means the commencement of Pride month. Pride month is celebrated in remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan. Now, after 31 years, Pride month has become a month-long celebration of the LGBTQ+ community with beautiful parades waving rainbow flags.
Pride month celebrates love and inclusivity and the choice every person has to love who they want to. People celebrate Pride in their own ways. But if there is one common thing among all celebrations, it is vodka. Yes, vodka is the unofficial drink of choice for the LGBTQ+ community, hence the Pride month.
This has benefitted many vodka brands as the LGBTQ+ community has a great spending power that benefits them. Many brands are also true allies and actually work behind the scenes for the betterment and upliftment of the community. The big and small names in the games make sure to make the LGBTQ+ feel seen.
So, today we’ll look at the big vodka brands like Absolut, Smirnoff, etc., and do this Pride month. Before we explore that, let’s quickly see why vodka is the preferred drink for Pride.
Why Is Vodka The Drink Of Choice For Pride?
Today everyone knows that vodka has significance in the LGBTQ+ community. Vodka is also the most consumed and very popular drink in the U.S.A. This status may also result from the LGBTQ+ community, their love for vodka, and their spending power.
Vodka has been embraced by gay clubs, drag performers, and DJs who love the taste and texture of the drink. It would not be wrong to call this clear spirit the unofficial queer spirit. Vodka is associated so closely with the Queer community that it is relevant all year round and not just during Pride month.
The reason behind this extreme inclination seems to be that the drink is not traditionally associated with masculinity as other liquors. People pointed out that drinks like Whiskey, Beer, Rum, and even Tequila were marketed and somewhat had a masculine edge.
But vodka isn’t essentially associated with masculinity. It has a little femme quality, but it is not feminine either. This makes it a great drink for the LGBTQ+ community as it has the balance. Vodka brands have noticed and accepted this affection and many vodka companies are supporters of the community.
What Are The Vodka Brands Doing This Pride Month?
There are many ways to show support to the community. Pride month is a great opportunity for many brands to show their solidarity and support. Some brands do it by changing their labels, while some do it by making statements and donations. So, let’s see what the big vodka brands are doing this Pride month.
Absolut is a brand that has always proved to be a true ally. The brand has a rainbow-themed bottle called Absolut rainbow. The great thing is that the bottle is available all year round and not just in Pride month. It was also the first among the bottles to showcase the rainbow flag.
The bottle was designed in collaboration with Gilbert Bakes, the flag’s original creator. Absolut’s support for the community isn’t something new. They started referencing the community in the 1980s.
Absolut is also a founding sponsor of GLAAD media and one of the first sponsors of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Absolut also has the statement ‘Taking Pride In Diversity’ printed on the back of the bottle. Absolut has made donations worth more than $40 million to gay and lesbian centers such as OUTserve, OUTFEST, and God’s Love We Deliver.
Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s Chief Programs Officer, said, “Absolut’s commitment to celebrate the LGBTQ community all year long, and not only during Pride month, is a shining example of how brands can bring inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance to the forefront of their mission.” If that’s not true allyship, I don’t know what is.
You can buy a bottle of Absolut Rainbow easily on Drizzly. A bottle of 750 ml for $17.91, and the 1 L bottle for $27.72.
Another brand that has been a proud LGBTQ+ ally for decades is Smirnoff. Smirnoff, too, has supported LGBTQ+ rights for decades. The brand launched its “Love Wins” campaign with limited-edition rainbow-colored vodka bottles. The packaging was a gesture of support, but Smirnoff actually donated $1 from the sale of each bottle.
The money raised was donated to the Human Rights Campaign. Jay Sethi, Smirnoff vice president, says, “We are a brand that stands for inclusivity and fun for all, and supporting the LGBTQ community is a huge part of that purpose.”
Smirnoff collaborated with the Phluid Project and Cocktail Courier to make the “Color Your Future” cocktail kit. The cocktail consisted of Smirnoff vodka, some cocktail ingredients, and some sparkly additions for fun. $10 from each kit was donated to the project, so they encourage people to wear whatever they want to.
A 750 ml Smirnoff Love Wins Vodka bottle will cost you $14.59, while a 1 L will cost you $19.39.
3. Crystal Head Vodka
Crystal Head vodka is famous for its signature skull-shaped bottle. For Pride, they have added color to the otherwise grim bottle. Crystal Head vodka is releasing their Crystal head Pride vodka for a limited time, i.e., Pride month. The rainbow-colored skull is more than a pretty bottle. It is a gesture of solidarity and support.
Crystal Head vodka works all year round to support organizations like Stonewall Sports Program, The Test Positive Awareness Network, Kaleidoscope Trust, and Lurie Children’s Hospital Transgender Youth Program.
They also made a new “Made with Pride” t-shirt in collaboration with Gay Pride Apparel. The proceedings from the shirts will go to the Human Resources Campaign (HRC). A pretty Crystal Head Pride vodka bottle will cost you about $55.99.
4. EFFEN Vodka
EFFEN Vodka is another vodka brand that is a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community. EFFEN Vodka, too, designed a thoughtful bottle called the ‘Pride 365 Vodka.’ The Pride-themed vodka bottle was made in collaboration with Chicago-based muralist Sam Kirk. Other than a pretty bottle, it was also a way to support the community.
EFFEN vodka decided to give $1 from each bottle to the Allies In Arts. “As long-term supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, we at EFFEN are proud to work with social causes that celebrate diversity and intersectionality and level up the playing field for every group regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or cultural background.
Which is why we’re delighted to be partnering with a non-profit organization, Allies in Arts, who support artists identifying as BIPOC, womxn, and LGBTQIA+,” said EFFEN vodka in a statement. You can learn more about it on the official EFFEN vodka website.
5. SKYY Vodka
Last on our list is Skyy Vodka. Skyy vodka, another strong ally, sponsors Pride parades in Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Austin, and Palm Springs. Skyy vodka also supports transgender rights. They do so by partnering with Freedom for All Americans and Amazon Prime’s “Transparent.”
Skyy vodka also claims that they are the first vodka brand to air an ad featuring a lesbian couple in 2002. The brand has also supported events like the Queerties, Frameline, the MASQ Ball, and Outfest. Another of its philanthropic pursuits includes supporting cause-oriented organizations like Project Lazarus and the Stop AIDS Project.
Skyy vodka also came up with the Pride glass. It is a glass designed with a prism at its bottom. So when light passes through it, you see a rainbow. This gesture was also permanent as everyone will be reminded of the cause as long as they own the glass.
The world is shifting to an era where everything is about marketing. Thus, it becomes important to determine whether the brands actually support a cause or just use a demographic as a marketing tool. These were some brands that I feel are doing the work and are not just all show.
Did you like this article? If yes, do leave a comment. We are open to suggestions. With that, I’ll take your leave. I’ll see you next time. Until then, happy Pride!