Do you know about vodka legend, Lars Olsson Smith?

Few people know who he is. But the irony is, his silhouette is literally all over the world - we honor him and his revolutionary legacy by featuring his likeness on the medallion of every single Absolut bottle. 

Lars Olsson Smith, or L O Smith, is the legend who introduced a new kind of vodka to the world in 1879. 

Born to a poor family in southern Sweden, where our One Source process takes place, Lars got his foot into the business world at a ripe young age. And not much longer after that, while most his age were still learning to shave, the intrepid business prodigy decided to make the most of the huge, rich wheat fields around him. Despite the fact he was a teetotaler, his aim was to change the vodka game for ever. 

Striving to improve the quality of the vodka in Sweden, he bought the fields and distilleries he needed to do just that. He then used his entrepreneurial skills to adopt an innovative distillation method that had never been attempted on such a large scale before. Previously considered too expensive, Lars took to distilling his alcohol five times to ensure his vodka “Absolut Rent Bränvin” (which translates literally as absolutely pure vodka) was as free from impurities as possible. This revolutionised the distillation process to such a degree that our uniquely clear vodka still benefits from his innovations today. 

His constant drive to better the quality of everything around him didn’t just stop at vodka either. As well as speaking seven languages, he also became a well respected politician, fighting for social inclusivity and an open world. A legacy that Absolut upholds to this very day. So, skål to you King of Vodka – you truly earned your title. 

We’ll be be sharing more stories in honour of the visionary LO Smith very soon, so watch this space.