I realize we have covered various topics up to now, such as technology, baby products, cars, cigarettes, retail shops, etc. However, there is one set of products that people “use” every day. Alcohol.

absolut vodka name origin

Absolut Vodka is one of the best-selling alcohol brands in the world. Тhe name itself brings out positive references in one’s mind as absolut (absolute in English) suggests something that cannot be improved, something that is the best, the ultimate. But there is a different meaning attached to the name origin of the vodka, one brought by practicality.

Back in 19th century when drinks similar to vodka were popular in Northern Europe, vodka was actually already considered national drink in Sweden. In 1836 Lars Olsson Smith was born – the guy who introduced the original Absolut Vodka. He showed his first product on the market in 1877 and it was called “Tiodubbelt Renadt Brännvin”, literally meaning Tenfold Purified Vodka. The word brännvin was used in Scandinavia instead of vodka in that time – a term that translates as burn-wine. Two years later Smith introduced an innovative distillation technology, called rectification – one that is used today. A new name was needed to show the advance of the technology and products and this was “Absolut Rent Brännvin” – Absolute Pure Vodka.

By the turns of events, Lars Smith died in 1913 and a few years later the entire Swedish alcohol industry was monopolised by the government. Later, during the 1950’s the word vodka entered the Scandinavian dictionary. Fortunately, the know-how of the Absolute liqueur managed to survive through time, only to be rediscovered by Lindmark – the president of the Swedish Wine and Spirits Corporation V&S Vin & Spirit AB. With the approaching of the 100 year anniversary of the amazing alcohol beverage, Lindmark wanted to re-establish the Absolute alcohol drink and make it worldwide-known. Marketing team, product positioning, advertising and so on, led to the beginning of a new era – the Absolut Vodka era. The reasons behind changing the name from the originally propositioned “Absolute Pure Vodka” in the US was that “absolute” a common adjective, not suited for a trademark, so changed to Absolut (bringing out the Swedish background). The word “pure” was left out for the same reason. And today, 144 years after Lars Olsson Smith introduced his unique brännvin, this absolute Swedish liqueur is one of the finest vodkas in the world.

absolut vodka original bottle design

If you interested in the special vodka grew and you want to learn the interesting story behind the bottle design of the Absolut Vodka, as we know it today, click here.

You can find more naming articles in our blog – check out our articles on the naming history behind Dom Pérignonor if you like smoking – the name origin of the Marlboro brand.