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Smirnoff Vodka No. 21 owes its numbering to the 20 unsuccessful attempts that preceded the satisfactory formula. It has been discovered in 1864 in the Moscow distillery. Vladimir Smirnov, the creator's son, had to flee Russia after the Bolshevik revolution, beginning an adventurous journey which led him to settle in the United States. He had previously "francized" the name of his vodka. Lacking the necessary funds, he sold the brand in 1934 to a naturalized Russian-American, director of cosmetics Helena Rubinstein, who set up the distillery in Connecticut. Smirnoff is today owned by the British group Diageo.