The counterfeit liquor industry is growing by the day. The scourge of Asia has made its way across the EU, down to South America and throughout the USA. It is not a new phenomenon for bars, clubs, lounges, resorts and casinos to try to boost their alcohol sales nor their profits, what is new is the sophistication of the counterfeit industry.
Establishments who profit from serving liquor have always had ways to increase their profit per bottle, shot glasses that weren’t a shot, false bottom mixers, adding water to open bottles, pouring with a finger over half the opening. When they double the shots per bottle their profits also double.
In the past liquor establishments would save their old higher end bottles and refill them with a less expensive brand of vodka, gin or whiskey or water down the contents thus doubling and tripling their profits. A disturbing new trend in the industry is fake alcohol in fake bottles.
The global market place aids all industries including the counterfeit alcohol industry. In today’s marketplace liquor establishments can buy counterfeit liquor bottles for as little as .12 from Asian producers and have them shipped throughout the world. No longer do bars and clubs save up empty bottles, they can now buy them by the case and have them shipped at a small cost.
A quick search of global suppliers can yield you empty replica bottles of almost any brand liquor bottle you want, imprinted, etched, or engraved. No brand seems to be sacred in the counterfeit bottle business. Every kind of bottle is available, etched, frosted, labelled, and capped. Bottles for brands of liquor that retails for $9.99 USD and up are available to be purchased and shipped throughout the world.
There doesn’t seem to be a brand name liquor that is off limits to the counterfeit liquor bottle industry. Bottles from decades old world renown brands such as Gordon Gin to handcrafted brands such as Tito’s. They are all there, Ukraine and Russian Conga Bottles, Vodka Bottles, Gin Bottles and even wine bottles are ready to be shipped around the world.
The evolution of the empty liquor bottle leads us to another question, what is in the bottles that the bartender is pouring in our drinks?