Absolut Vodka unveils new bottle design

Absolut Vodka has announced a new bottle, the brand’s biggest design update since 1979.

The new bottle design is said to be influenced by the Swedish vodka brand’s home of Åhus, Sweden, where every bottle of Absolut is produced and distilled in or around.

“Our new look reflects the efforts we put into the making of our vodka,” said Charl Bassil, global vice president of marketing at Absolut.

“We’ve taken a look at ourselves and have landed in a place where we’ve kept our distinct DNA, communicating our provenance, heritage, and authenticity more clearly than ever before.”

The new design also features enhanced legibility, the address of the original distillery on the front label, and founder Lars Olsson Smith’s name on the medallion seal of the bottle.

“We were keen to capture our rich, quality story and make that clearer on the bottle, signposting to what makes our vodka unique,” said Elin Furelid, global head of product portfolio and design at Absolut.

“We have of course kept the most important design elements that make Absolut, Absolut.”

The new Absolut Vodka bottles will be available in the US from September 2021 before a global roll-out.


‘World’s most sustainable spirit’: the vodka made with CO2 captured from air

The disastrous consequences of the unfolding climate crisis is enough to drive some people to drink, so making alcohol from planet-heating gases is perhaps a logical next step.

A company in New York City has created what it calls the “world’s most sustainable spirit” by making a vodka out of carbon dioxide that has been captured from the air. The 40% proof drink, appropriately called Air vodka, removes a pound of CO2 from the atmosphere for each bottle made, its maker has claimed.

Water drips from a faucet near boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area of drought-stricken Folsom Lake, California

The Air Company, which started manufacturing the vodka from a Brooklyn plant in 2019, produces about 5,000 cases of the product a year, with a new factory planned to ramp up production. The business, which was a finalist in Elon Musk’s Xprize, hopes to be at the vanguard of companies that create things from captured CO2 – other uses include the reinforcing of concrete and the production of materials to replace certain plastics and metals.

“People thought we were batshit crazy when we started – some still do, I think,” said Gregory Constantine, an Australian entrepreneur who started the climate-friendly distillery with Stafford Sheehan. The duo claim that traditionally made vodka, which involves the fermentation of grains, releases about 15lb of CO2 for each bottle made.

The Air Company takes CO2, either sucked directly from the air or captured at source at industrial facilities, and combines it with hydrogen created through electrolysis – the process where electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The technology used to merge these elements creates ethanol which, when combined with water, becomes a vodka.


‘Am I an alcoholic?’: the blurred line between a daily drink and a drinking problem

Almost every day someone will enter my office and ask, “Am I an alcoholic?” or, “Do you think I have a problem with alcohol?” and sometimes, “My partner says I drink too much.”

Alcohol is a drug that has its claws deep in Australian life. If you’re happy, sad, bored, have won a promotion, lost a family member, bought a house or graduated from university, these can all be seen as reasons to drink. Drinking is so common that if a person says they don’t, this lends itself to usually negative and intrusive comments.

The lines become blurred when it comes to deciding if a person has a problem with alcohol and whether they have developed an alcohol use disorder (formerly known as alcohol dependence). This is colloquially known as being an alcoholic – a term we avoid in addiction psychiatry. It’s not surprising to hear that people with AUD are told their drinking is a problem by family, partners or work colleagues. Depending on your upbringing, cultural background and exposure to alcohol, you may believe that drinking a six-pack of beer most days is “normal” and that problem drinking is when you start drinking litres of cask wine daily.

AUD is a term from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. It’s defined as a problematic pattern of alcohol use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of 11 criteria within a 12-month period. Some of the criteria are: alcohol taken in larger amounts than intended; having a strong desire to use alcohol; increased time spent obtaining alcohol; tolerance – increasing amounts of alcohol are used to achieve intoxication; and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is ceased.