Springfield restaurant shows solidarity with Ukraine
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — To show support for Ukraine, a Springfield bar pulled Russian vodkas or vodkas with Russian history off the shelves.
Vodka, a drink popularized in the West by James Bond and which has long been one of Russia’s most visible exports, is the target of international anger over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Vodka has a long history in Russian culture, with The New York Times describing it as “an inseparable part of Russian social life.” Colorless and odorless, it can be combined with countless types of mixers to create a wide range of concoctions.
Mike Hickman, owner of Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More, pulled drinks from shelves at both bar locations and wanted to find a way to support Ukraine during the Russian invasion.
“I texted the distributor and asked if he was selling Ukrainian vodka because I’m going to pull my Russians off the shelves and we’re going to sell Ukrainian stuff and return the product to Ukraine,” Hickman said. .
On Tuesday, March 1, the restaurant will serve Ukrainian Nemiroff vodka and create drinks in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Nemiroff is one of the largest alcohol producers in the world and its products are sold in more than 80 countries.
“Let’s give Ukraine a little solidarity and we’re going to do it by selling Ukrainian vodka and selling cute little yellow and blue drinks with the Ukrainian flag,” Hickman said.
In Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Saturday, “true Russian brands are hard to come by.” However, Hickman says this is to send a message to Russia.
“It’s more about the declaration of solidarity with Ukraine. I think that’s something we can do for them to give them some support,” Hickman said. “It’s not like we’re going to stop Russia just with vodka. There are embargoes. But that’s what we can do.