Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.
In the mid-2000s, Donald Trump licensed his name—in exchange for about half the profits—to a high-priced line of vodka that came in a distinctive gold bottle. Though Trump doesn’t drink, he praised the “smooth” and “great-tasting vodka,” which was produced by a Dutch distillery. “I don’t know if it tasted so good,” the distillery’s manager told Bloomberg earlier this year. “I’m not a vodka drinker.” One of the markets Trump Vodka targeted was Russia. Given the vast quantities of vodka Russians legendarily consume every year, it seemed like a business no-brainer. In 2007, Trump and his partners attempted to make a splash in the Russian market with a grand premier at something called the Moscow Millionaire’s Fair (an annual event for millionaires to market the latest in luxury goods). To promote the booze, the brand’s marketing team put together a bizarre video featuring images of Trump, the Kremlin, tigers (for some reason), and, uh, Vladimir Lenin (who probably would not have had a high opinion of Donald Trump).
It was all downhill from there for Trump Vodka, whose parent company was later sold off and repurposed to market Mexican-themed liquors.