Vanguard Luxury Brands has taken a serious topic and made it humorous with the release of its “huge batch”, “not craft or artisanal” vodka, Schitski.

Described as “flying in the face of small-batch, hand-made, artisanal spirits, Schitski is made in huge uncaring batches, around the same time every morning”, the spirit has found its home in Vanguard’s premium portfolio, despite James France from Vanguard noting that not everyone was fond of the premise.

“Schitski is designed to just have some fun in the industry. Pretty much everyone I’ve shown it to loves the idea. Although a few did think I was insane,” says France. “With a name like Schitski, the promotional ideas and word play are almost limitless. Do we create swizzle sticks called Schit stirrers? Do we have Schit drink of the week blackboards made up? Do we have a VIP list for a launch event, called the Schit list? Do we even bother having a launch event or do we just pack up our Schit and go home?”

There is a serious side to all the fun, with France noting that he himself has a family history of bowel cancer, the second biggest cancer killer in Australia. The brand is his way of talking about something that not a lot of people want to discuss, despite the fact 90 per cent of bowel cancer is preventable with early detection. With that in mind, Vanguard will donate $1 for every bottle sold to Bowel Cancer Australia.

Referring to itself as “the vodka created for bartenders who hate vodka”, the brand even comes with its very own pre-fabricated tale to pass on to hapless vodka, lime and soda drinkers:

“Legend has it that Schitski vodka comes from the bowels of Eastern Europe in the now defunct Eastern European kingdom of Schitberg. Once lorded over by King Schit, sadly this kingdom no longer exists. However his legacy lives on in Schitski vodka. Mass-produced using the purest effluent from the River Schit, and flush-distilled once (or twice if the first flush is unsuccessful), Schitski vodka brings back pungent memories for the descendants of King Schit (the little Schits) who are fond of saying that their vodka smells like Schit and tastes like Schit.”

So Schitski vodka is a joke, but it’s not – at the same time.

For those that are interested, the vodka is distilled in Australia as there is no River Schit. And France wants to assure everyone that it’s also not actually a bad vodka.


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