Absolut is the third largest alcoholic spirits brand in the world after Bacardi and Smirnoff, and it is produced in Åhus in Sweden. Absolut started life in 1879 as "Tiodubbelt Renadt Brännvin" (Tenfold Purified Vodka) and was created by Lars Olssen Smith, who is responsible for introducing fractional distillation to Sweden. Soon after, Smith changed the name to "Absolut Rent Brännvin" (Absolutely Pure Vodka), and this vastly superior product made Smith a rich man, challenging the monopoly on vodka in Stockholm at the time. In 1917 the alcohol industry was taken over by the Swedish government, and Absolut was sold under a variety of different names until being re-launched to the world in 1979. At that time, Absolut produced 90,000 litres, and by the time of it's sale by the Swedish state to Pernod-Ricard in 2008 for 5.63 billion Euros, it was producing 96.6 million liters. That's quite a lot of vodka!
These photos are of the old distillery, dating from 1921, that produces Absolut's Elyx vodka, their new premium product. Everything that goes into the bottle has been produced within a 20km range of the distillery.
Shot for Wallpaper* magazine.