Ted Danson Visits SMIRNOFF™ Vodka Facility in Plainfield, Ill. to Experience How the Brand is Made In America
Ted Danson Gets to Know the People Who Help Make America’s Favorite Vodka in America’s Heartland
NORWALK, Conn. (October 5, 2017) – Yesterday, in honor of National Vodka Day, actor and environmentalist, Ted Danson, joined SMIRNOFF™ at the Diageo Facility in Plainfield, Ill.to meet the more than 600 hardworking employees who are personally responsible for creating America’s favorite vodka in America’s heartland. The Facility is a state-of-the-art plant that produces many of Diageo’s most well-known brands.
Throughout the day, Danson joined SMIRNOFF for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Facility where he got to know a number of employees personally and learn about their role in the process. While on the tour, Danson learned how SMIRNOFF is ten-times filtered which requires careful attention to detail in order to create a quality vodka at an affordable price that is tasteless, odorless and smooth. The series of steps includes a sensory analysis test during which a team of certified employees vet the quality of the vodka to achieve perfection in every batch. As a result of this careful evaluation, SMIRNOFF No. 21 recently earned Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
“Many people don’t know that SMIRNOFF vodka is made right here in America,” said Danson when discussing his visit to the Diageo Plainfield Facility. “One of the things I love about SMIRNOFF is that it never pretends to be something that it isn’t. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with the men and women who have true passion for making this vodka each day.”
Following the Facility tour, Danson and SMIRNOFF co-hosted a special barbecue and happy hour to celebrate the employees who put the quality into SMIRNOFF right here in America’s heartland. The Americana-themed celebration featured specialty cocktails including the “Red, White and BOOM,” as well as entertainment and backyard games.
“The fact that we’re with Ted in Plainfield, Ill., the town that has been home to SMIRNOFF for almost two decades, with the people who make it possible every day, is truly special,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, SMIRNOFF, while on-site at the Facility. “These people who come to the Diageo Plainfield Facility each day and night are the reason why SMIRNOFF has been the most awarded name in vodka for the past decade. Today’s events are a small token of our gratitude for everything that they do.”
During the tour, seven employees spoke with Danson to educate him on the critical steps that are taken to produce top-notch quality vodka and tell him a little about themselves. Brandon Crow, a Warehouse Team Member, shared with Danson while beaming with pride that he was inspired to join his father, a Machine Operator, at the Diageo Plainfield Facility, after seeing firsthand how much he loved his job. Omar Hill, Operations Team Member, has been an employee at the Diageo Plainfield Facility for more than fifteen years and demonstrated on the tour to Danson just how well he knows the ins and outs of facility. When asked what working for SMIRNOFF means to her, Christina Vargo, Operations Team Member and Army veteran said, “Working here is a badge of honor, but the employees make this place what it is. There is so much rich culture and diversity at the Diageo Plainfield Facility and we all have an unbreakable bond.”
To conclude an eventful day at the Diageo Plainfield Facility, employees joined Danson for a toast to America’s number one vodka, to the people who make it and to celebrating SMIRNOFF being made in America. During the gathering, Ted mingled with employees and Diageo executives while enjoying his favorite vodka cocktail, the Filthy No. 21 Martini. Ted insisted that everyone drink responsibly and to savor each sip of cocktail, especially after he saw firsthand how much work goes into perfecting each batch.
“This Facility is Diageo’s premier manufacturing site in North America,” said Mark Laven, Vice President of Supply at the Plainfield Facility. “Next year will be the 20th Anniversary of SMIRNOFF coming to Plainfield. We’re proud to play a role in a brand that’s been America’s number one vodka for the last two decades.”
The day at The Diageo Plainfield Facility followed SMIRNOFF’s announcement earlier this year that the brand would be partnering with Ted Danson as part of the SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka “Only the Best For Everyone” campaign. To kick-off the campaign, Danson and SMIRNOFF co-curated a comical series of short videos communicating cleverly how SMIRNOFF vodka is made in America. These videos are available to view on YouTube here and are currently airing on national television.
SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka is available at retailers nationwide in 1.75L, 1L, 750mL, 375mL, 200mL, and 50mL bottles. SMIRNOFF No. 21 has a 40% ABV and a suggested retail price of $14.99 for a 750mL bottle (price varies by size). SMIRNOFF vodka is made in America for people to enjoy responsibly; no one likes “that guy” who overindulges.
Filthy No. 21 Martini
- 1.5 oz. SMIRNOFF No. 21 Vodka
- .5 oz. Dry Vermouth
- .5 oz. Filthy blend (olive/pickle brine)
Prep: Add SMIRNOFF No. 21, vermouth, and brine mixture in mixing glass, fill with ice and stir to chill thoroughly. Strain into chilled martini glass.
Garnish: 1 filthy olive
Glassware: 6 oz. martini
Red, White, & BOOM!
- 1 oz. SMIRNOFF Red White & Berry Vodka
- .75 oz. SMIRNOFF No. 21 Vodka
- .75 pineapple juice
- .25 oz. fresh lemon juice
- .75 oz. blueberry simple syrup
- Float Peychaud's bitters
Prep: Build in glass, add juices and blueberry syrup, pack with ice, add SMIRNOFF Red White & Berry and SMIRNOFF No. 21, top with ice and dash with peychaud bitters (Drink will be layered: red on top (Peychaud bitters), white in middle (clear with vodka), and blue at the bottom (with juices and blueberry syrup).
Garnish: 2 blueberries, 1 raspberry
Ice: pebble ice only
The SMIRNOFF brand that boasts the world's number-one selling premium spirit and the top-selling flavored vodka in North America, traces its heritage back to 19th century Russia. As the most awarded vodka brand in the world in the last 10 years in major international spirits competitions, SMIRNOFF has always been known for quality and is enjoyed responsibly in 130 countries around the world. For more information, log on to www.smirnoff.com.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, SMIRNOFF, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
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