The liquor store may appear to be an unlikely place for you to make a difference for snow leopards. Now, that is about to change – thanks to Snow Leopard Vodka.
First, lets get the obvious out of the way: We’re not encouraging anyone to drink alcohol. But we do want to make a recommendation to those among you who like a drink every now and then, because your choice of spirit can have a big impact on the future of the endangered snow leopard.
The next time you are shopping for vodka, take a look beyond the Stolis, the Smirnoffs, the Skyys and the other undoubtedly fine, well-known brands and see if you can spot a bottle of Snow Leopard Vodka.
Vodka connoisseurs swear it’s the best of the bunch, and numerous awards prove their point.
More importantly though, Snow Leopard Vodka helps save snow leopards, with 15% of the profits from the sale of every bottle – as well as other fundraising activities – benefiting conservation projects!
Since its launch as a small batch boutique brand in 2006, Snow Leopard Vodka has donated more than $185,000 for the protection of these endangered cats!
It’s a big sum – but Snow Leopard Vodka founder, conservationist and restless enthusiast Stephen Sparrow has even bigger plans: “From day one I had a vision that if Snow Leopard Vodka became a big global brand, it could be a game changer for these cats”, he says.
“Our goal is to be able to donate one million dollars annually to snow leopard conservation projects. The Snow Leopard Trust has told us, that if we can maintain that for a generation then that’s the step change needed to help get the snow leopard off the endangered list.”
These numbers seem daunting, but to Stephen, they’re within reach. “The market leader currently sells 3 million cases per year in the US. To reach our goal, we need to sell one bottle for every 20 they sell. That seems doable, doesn’t it?”
Edrington: the right partner
For years, Stephen has practically ran the marketing and distribution of Snow Leopard Vodka by himself, sometimes riding through London on his bicycle and selling cases to bars and restaurants. Now, he’s found the right partner to scale up with: Snow Leopard Vodka was recently purchased by the Edrington Group; the unfamiliar name behind very familiar spirit brands such as The Macallan, Highland Park, Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Brugal Rum.
“I knew I needed to partner with an international drinks company with great international distribution and a strong presence in the USA, and a company which was committed to Snow Leopard vodka from top to bottom. Edrington fits the bill, both in terms of size, and more importantly, in spirit: It has philanthropy and good causes flowing through its veins. It’s owned by a charitable trust and is the biggest donor to charities in Scotland.”
The Edrington Group is putting their resources behind the brand, but they won’t change its heart – the connection to snow leopard conservation.
“15% of profits from Snow Leopard Vodka will continue to go to conservation programs in the field”, Stephen says, “as well as the proceeds from other fundraising activities.”
Snow Leopard Vodka is produced in Poland from the rare, expensive spelt grain. Its depth of flavor has been described as “silky smooth” and “clean”, with notes of creamy vanilla and nuttiness. Experts rate the spirit as “exceptional” – and that doesn’t even take into account what the brand does for the endangered cats it took its name from.
Now you can taste Snow Leopard Vodka for yourself. The brand’s been officially launched in the US in the fall of 2014, with the national launch event at Central Park Zoo. It’s available at liquor stores, bars and restaurants in NY, DC, MD, FL, TX, IL, WA, CA, CO, AZ, NV and OR, as well as in select markets in Asia and Europe.
You can find your nearest store at http://www.snowleopardvodka.co.uk/drinks/bars-list