One of the nation’s top vodkas is based out of Miami, Florida. David Katz the creator of the Russian-made ZYR Vodka began this dream many years ago. Katz always had a fascination with Russia. He took Russian in college and even studied abroad in Moscow, mostly to get out of the 3-semester requirement at the time.
He ended up developing a real passion for all things Russian, and moved there after graduating, at first for a few months to perfect his language. Later Katz landed a job in manufacturing and marketing, for Miami’s Ben Lebow (Brooke Group, now Vector Group).
He moved back to the USA around the millennium and considered his next moves with Russia, branding, sales, marketing, and sampled all of the ocean of vodka brands hitting the US shores. He knew he could find a better vodka, so at first, he aimed to find one and import it. After more than a dozen trips and 40 factories throughout Russia in 2000-2002, led him to the decision that making his own recipe.
Almost all recipes and brands that existed added lots of things (and still do). He hired Muts & Joy in NY to create the package and named Zyr from a song he loved Zyrkalo Mira, or reflection of the world.
He started out of his bedroom in Manhattan, with no knowledge or any distributor. Sales began in July 2002 in the Hamptons and NYC, but as Thanksgiving approached, he learned that most stores and restaurants said to come back closer to Valentine’s Day.
So, his small team rented an apartment in South Beach and began going door to door in 2003. He closed the NY office in 2008 and consolidated, and is now based in Dadeland, close to his home.
ZYR was submitted for reviews back in 2002/03 and it won the World Spirits Competition, which is considered the highest rating from Wine Enthusiast.
“A vodka with the full flavor of Russian vodkas and the smoothness American drinkers prefer.”- Food and Wine
“Palate entry reflects the spirit’s Russian heritage as the dry-off taste of grain mash blankets the tongue in richly textured waves” – Wine Enthusiast
You can find ZYR at Big Daddy, Vintage, Crown, Mega, Total Wine, ABC, Winn Dixie, all Publix stores and Walgreens.
You can learn more about ZYR Vodka at: https://zyrvodka.com/