In 1864, Pyotr Arsenjevitch Smirnov founded his vodka distillery in Moscow under the trading name of PA Smirnov. He was a pioneer in charcoal filtration in the 1870s, and becoming the first to utilize newspaper advertising along with charitable contributions to the clergy to stifle anti-vodka sermons. His brand was reportedly a Tsar favourite. When Pyotr died, he was succeeded by his third son Vladimir Smirnov, upon whom, the company flourished and went on to produce more than 4 million cases of vodka per year.
Smirnoff has expanded its portfolio significantly since, introducing a range of flavoured vodkas, malt beverages, and Smirnoff Ice Cocktail range.