written by
Bert Gallagher

Trump Vodka: The Rise and Fall of a Presidential Drink

Brands of Vodka 8 min read

Trump Vodka, an American brand introduced in the mid-2000s, was produced initially in the Netherlands and later in Germany by Drinks Americas. The spirit was developed under license from the Trump Organization, adding to the wide array of products associated with the Trump brand during its heyday. Launched in the United States in 2005, Trump Vodka gained attention for its luxurious image, but ultimately failed to reach the required distribution levels and ceased production under the Trump name in 2011.

The production process of Trump Vodka involved using select European wheat, which was then distilled five times. Before bottling, the vodka was rested for six months in stainless steel vats, aiming to ensure a high-quality and refined product. Advertised as a premium spirit, Trump Vodka was positioned to compete with established and well-known brands in the market. Despite the initial aspirations, Trump Vodka faced numerous challenges during its relatively short run that ultimately led to its discontinuation.

Trump Vodka

History of Trump Vodka

Founding and Partnership with Bruni Glass

Trump Vodka was an American brand initially produced in the Netherlands before moving production to Germany. The brand was launched in the United States in 2005, under a partnership with Bruni Glass, which was responsible for packaging the vodka bottles in creatively designed glass bottles that exhibited the luxury and opulence associated with the Trump brand.

Donald Trump's Involvement

Donald Trump played a significant role in the launching and marketing of Trump Vodka. As a business tycoon, he leveraged his reputation and celebrity status to promote the vodka brand. Trump attended the launch party in Hollywood, California, in 2007, making it a high-profile event. Under his leadership, the Trump Organization licensed the brand to Drinks Americas, which handled production and distribution.

Market Expansion to Israel

In an effort to expand the brand's international reach, Trump Vodka sought to enter the Israeli market. Israel proved to be an interesting choice for expansion, as it opened new possibilities for the brand in a different region and target market. However, Trump Vodka ultimately failed to meet the required threshold for continued distribution, leading to the discontinuation of the brand under the Trump name in 2011.

In summary, Trump Vodka was a short-lived venture that aimed to capitalize on the luxurious image and celebrity status of Donald Trump. The brand's partnership with Bruni Glass contributed to its unique packaging, and its market expansion to Israel showed ambition for further growth. However, despite these efforts, Trump Vodka ceased production under the Trump name, due to a failure to meet distribution requirements.

Characteristics of Trump Vodka

Distillation Process

Trump Vodka is created at Wanders Distillery in Holland, using select European wheat as its base. The vodka undergoes a thorough five-time distillation process that ensures its purity and smoothness. After the distillation, the vodka is rested for six months in stainless steel vats before bottling.

Premium Quality

As a premium vodka, Trump Vodka stands out due to its distinct taste and smoothness. The vodka's production using European wheat and the meticulous five-time distillation process contribute to its high-quality and enjoyable flavor. The bottle itself, designed by New York designer Milton Glaser, is reminiscent of Trump's real estate ventures, featuring a square shape and a gold facade adorned with a capital 'T'.

Kosher Certification

Trump Vodka is not only known for its distillation process and premium quality, but it also holds a kosher certification. This makes it suitable for consumption by those who follow a kosher diet, adhering to the dietary guidelines and restrictions set by Jewish laws. Consumers can appreciate the versatility of Trump Vodka, knowing that it aligns with various lifestyle requirements without compromising on taste or quality.

Comparison with Other Vodka Brands

Trump Vodka vs. Grey Goose

Trump Vodka was an American brand that was produced at first in the Netherlands, and later in Germany by Drinks Americas under license from the Trump Organization. Launched in the United States in 2005, it ceased production under the Trump name in 2011 when it failed to meet the required threshold for distribution. On the other hand, Grey Goose is a popular French vodka brand that has maintained its position in the premium vodka market.

When it comes to ingredients and production process, Trump Vodka was made from a blend of European grains and pure spring water, distilled five times to ensure purity and smoothness. Grey Goose, however, is crafted from single-origin French wheat and spring water from Gensac-La-Pallue, then filtered through Champagne limestone and distilled once in a continuous-column distillation process.

In terms of taste, Trump Vodka was described as having a clean, crisp flavor with hints of citrus and a smooth finish. Grey Goose is known for its smooth, clean taste as well, but with a slightly sweet and creamy texture, and a soft, rounded finish.

Market-wise, Trump Vodka had the ambition to overtake the premium vodka market, aiming to compete with brands like Grey Goose. However, it didn't succeed in doing so, and was eventually discontinued. Grey Goose, on the other hand, has continued to garner accolades and awards for its quality, and is considered one of the world's top premium vodka brands.

To summarize, while both Trump Vodka and Grey Goose boasted high-quality ingredients and a smooth taste, Grey Goose has been more successful in maintaining its position in the premium vodka market. Trump Vodka was unable to meet the distribution requirements in the United States and ceased production in 2011, whereas Grey Goose remains a popular choice among vodka enthusiasts.

Trump Vodka in Media and Popular Culture

Cocktail Recipes

Trump Vodka was often used as a base for different cocktail recipes. Although the vodka is no longer available for purchase, some of the classic cocktail recipes that it was once used in are still popular among mixologists and enthusiasts. These cocktails included:

  • Trump and Tonic: A simple combination of Trump Vodka, tonic water, and a twist of lemon or lime. An easy-to-make, refreshing beverage that highlights the vodka's taste.
  • The Trump Tower: A more sophisticated concoction, featuring Trump Vodka, cranberry juice, a splash of lemon-lime soda, and a lemon wheel for garnish. This cocktail was likely inspired by the iconic Trump Tower in New York City.

These cocktails showcased the versatility of Trump Vodka as a base spirit for a variety of mixed drinks.

Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks

Another notable aspect of Trump Vodka's place in popular culture is its association with Trump Steaks, a luxury line of beef products also launched by Donald Trump. Both Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks were marketed with the same luxurious image and pursuit of high-quality ingredients. However, much like the vodka, Trump Steaks were also short-lived and eventually discontinued.

Despite their limited time on the market, Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks garnered significant attention in the media due to their connection with the now-former president, Donald Trump. The products were both examples of Trump's various ventures into the consumer products industry, although neither managed to sustain long-term success.

Decline and Discontinuation

Trump Vodka, launched around 2006, experienced a decline in popularity in the United States before it was eventually discontinued in 2011 due to sales failing to meet company threshold requirements. There were several factors attributed to the brand's diminishing success, which contributed to its eventual discontinuation.

One of the factors that played a role in the downfall of Trump Vodka was the competition from other high-end vodka brands in the market. The vodka industry is highly competitive, and when pitted against established brands, Trump Vodka struggled to make a significant impact and attract the desired attention of customers.

Another reason for the decline could be attributed to the lack of effective marketing and distribution. While the brand initially generated some hype with its connections to Donald Trump's persona and image, this was not enough to sustain sales. Moreover, insufficient investment in marketing made it challenging for Trump Vodka to maintain visibility and presence in the growing vodka market.

During its short lifespan, Trump Vodka did not seem to make any substantial efforts to collaborate with prominent industry partners or pursue strategic partnerships, which may have held the brand back from achieving a more prominent position in the market.

According to Bloomberg, the sales figures for Trump Vodka indicated that the brand was not able to achieve its targeted goals, which ultimately contributed to its discontinuation within the United States. Although the brand ceased to be available in the US, it appears that it continued to be sold in limited quantities internationally for a few more years.

In summary, the decline and discontinuation of Trump Vodka can be attributed to various factors such as fierce competition, insufficient marketing, and lack of strategic partnerships. The brand's sales failed to meet the company's threshold requirements, making its discontinuation in 2011 inevitable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Trump Vodka?

Trump Vodka was an American brand of vodka produced first in the Netherlands, and later in Germany, by Drinks Americas under license from the Trump Organization. The brand was discontinued in 2011 due to poor sales (source).

How much did it cost?

The price of Trump Vodka varied depending on the retailer and location. Typically, the cost was around the mid-range of vodka prices, competing with brands like Grey Goose and Belvedere.

Was it successful?

Trump Vodka was not a commercial success. The brand faced several challenges and was eventually discontinued in 2011 due to poor sales.

When did it launch?

Trump Vodka was launched in October 2006 with high expectations from the Trump Organization (source).

What were the reviews?

Reviews of Trump Vodka were mixed. Some people enjoyed its smooth taste, while others felt it was overpriced and failed to deliver on its high-quality promises. Its packaging, which featured a 24-karat gold leaf label, was sometimes criticized as gaudy and excessive.

Are there similar products?

While Trump Vodka is no longer in production, there are many other premium vodka brands available, such as Grey Goose, Belvedere, and Absolut. These brands offer a range of quality products and are easily found in stores and online.