(NEXSTAR) – You might not be able to punch Putin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dream about it over a cold bottle of pop.
A soda company in Connecticut was inspired to create its newest flavor, called “Putin Punch,” while brainstorming ways to raise awareness and money for Ukrainians amid Russia’s ongoing attack on the country.
“At least 50 cents from every bottle is being donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society,” Rob Metz, the general manager of Avery’s, said in an interview with Nexstar. “So far, as of today, we donated $2,000.”
Avery’s, which is based in New Britain, has also marketed other novelty flavors in the past, including “Biden Berry” and “Trump Tonic” during the 2020 election. But Metz says Putin Punch is “a little more serious” than some of the company’s previous efforts — even if it does feature a caricature of Putin getting punched in the face on the label.
“A lot of the other stuff we do has some political overtones to it … but this one has universal positive appeal,” said Metz. “I’m not sure there’s too many Putin-lovers out there.”
The idea for the soda, which was conceived earlier this week, was fast-tracked almost as soon as Avery’s came up with a name.
“We’ve got a really good group of folks that help us out with these things,” said Metz, who explained that Avery’s contacted a local artist to help with the caricature. The production team also tweaked the company’s existing recipe for fruit punch soda — to give it a bit less sweetness and more citric acid — so it would be ready for bottling by Tuesday afternoon.
Metz said the soda has been met with positive reactions on Facebook, where some of Avery’s followers are even asking for the company to start working on a “Zelenskyy Zinger” to celebrate the Ukrainian president.
In the meantime, the company is happy to help any way it can, Metz said.
“We were asking ourselves, ‘What can we do?’” he said. “We can’t go over there and fight. But we can make soda. So we figured out a way that we can maybe make a little bit of a difference.”