Mother Russia absorbing a vodka label

When American-born Harry Lee Danziger set up a small vodka company in Ireland, he was hoping to cash in on the international popularity of the iconic Russian drink.

Now, the North-West Oil Group (NWOG) of Moscow has purchased Danziger Gold Vodka from its founder for an estimated $20 million.

The company bottles its gold leaf-flecked product in Waterford. It also produces a liqueur version and a single-malt whiskey called John Ireland.

Danziger died last year. His son, Nick, a well-known photojournalist, has been running the operation on an interim basis since then along with Stephen Duffy, a friend of the Danziger family and a business consultant who is know to have been the driving force behind the brand.

In a statement, NWOG said it plans to invest heavily in the brand to increase sales up to 12 million bottles a year. Danziger Gold currently sells a fraction of that amount, and is available only in duty free outlets around Europe.

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