The main ingredients of Absolut Vodka are water and winter wheat. Absolut is a brand established in 1879 in Ahus, Sweden, by Lars Olson Smith, who introduced the continuous distilling method to create Absolut Rent Brannvin, or Absolute Pure Vodka.
The method used by Lars Olson Smith is also called a fractional distilling method in which the liquor is produced without using fusel alcohol. "Brannvin" is Swedish for "burnt wine." The word "vodka" was not used for Swedish-made liquor until 1958 with the Explorer Vodka.
Absolut Vodka was introduced to the global market in 1979. Since the year it was launched, its initial yearly sales of around 90,000 liters grew exponentially to more than 96 million liters in 2009. As of 2014, the Absolut brand is owned by the French group Pernod Ricard. Absolut Vodka is the third largest brand in the world behind Bacardi and Smirnoff.
Unlike other vodkas that use a variety of ingredients such as potatoes, fruits and sugar, Absolut uses winter wheat almost exclusively as its main ingredient. It is estimated that around 2,900,000 bushels of winter wheat are used yearly to produce Absolut Vodka. It takes more than 2.2 pounds of winter wheat to make one liter of the liquor. Among the core flavors of Absolut Vodka are Absolut Vodka Blue Label, Absolut Citron, Absolut Kurant, Absolut Hibiskus and Absolut Cilantro.