Absolut was established in 1879 by Lars Olsson Smith and is produced in Åhus, Sweden.
Smith introduced fractional distillation which produces liquor without fusel alcohol in Sweden in 1877, under the name "Tiodubbelt Renadt Brännvin" (Tenfold Purified Vodka). Brännvin literally means "burn-wine" and is analogous to the German "Branntwein".
The term is also used in Norwegian, Danish, Faroese and Icelandic
Smith challenged the city of Stockholm's liquor marketing monopoly with his vodka. It was sold at a lower price than the monopoly's product, just outside the city border. Smith even offered free boat rides to the distillery and "Rent Brännvin" made Smith a fortune
In 1917, the alcohol industry in Sweden was monopolized by the Swedish government. Vodka was then sold nationwide under the name "Absolut Rent Brännvin". The name changed with intervals, Renat Brännvin or Absolut Rent Brännvin. In 1979, the old name Absolut was picked up when the upper-price range ABSOLUT VODKA was introduced.
Renat is still a euphemism for spirits in Sweden, and the name of another vodka product by Vin & Sprit
Absolut Vodka was introduced to the global market in 1979. Since its launch, Absolut has grown from 90,000 liters to 96.6 million liters in 2008. It has become the largest international spirit and is available in 126 countries
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