In Sweden, vodka was originally made from grapes and grains. Then the potato took over as did a government monopoly on production (except for a little export product called Absolut). Absolut vodka was a brand dating to 1879, named for being "absolutely pure." The brand was resurected by Vin & Sprit for its centennial anniversary, and in 1979 was made from grains rather than potatoes. This was allowed because Absolut was solely an export product. Obviously, Absolut was a huge success and in 1985 it was the largest-selling imported vodka in the USA. But when Sweden joined the European Union they sold off V&S. Vin & Sprit was bought by Pernod-Ricard in 2008 for 5.69 billion euros.