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Purity Vodka Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge: Jenny Pedraza

THE TASTING PANEL and Purity Vodka have teamed up to put nine of the nation’s top bartenders to the test in our Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge, open now until Dec 15, 2011. Visit the Purity Vodka Facebook page to view all of the entries and vote for your favorite today!

NoBar BKNY may call Brooklyn home, but its roots are thoroughly rooted in NOLA, with craft domestic brews and classic cocktails making this one of the neighborhood's hottest hotspots. It doesn't hurt that the bar is owned by actor Anthony Mackie, who has starred in such films as Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker. Bartender Jenny Pedraza is a Purity Vodka fan, and created Purity on Nostrand, in homage to Nostrand Ave, the bar's street.


Purity on Nostrand

2 oz. Purity Vodka
1 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
½ oz. oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. powdered sugar simple syrup
1 barspoon Herbsaint absinthe

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake hard and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with lime wheel and dusting of powdered sugar.



JENNY PEDRAZA



THE TASTING PANEL: Purity Vodka is leading the ultra-premium vodka trend away from neutral spirits towards vodka with more complexity and character – how would you describe it to a customer at your bar to convince them to try it?
Jenny Pedraza: I would tell them that it is 34 times distilled and unfiltered, and the world’s most award-winning ultra-premium vodka. If that didn’t work, I would tell them that it is the world’s most highly-refined spirit, with only 10% of the distillate kept.

TTP: What’s the “vibe” at NoBar, and how do you convey that through your cocktail menu?
JP: The vibe at NoBar is very friendly, diverse, and fun. Our cocktail menu has the same attitude. There are classics and modern riffs… a little bit of everything— just like our clientele.

TTP: What are the current mixology trends in Brooklyn?
JP: Fire. I see a lot of people flaming citrus zests and burning absinthe on sugar cubes before dripping water on them.

TTP: What is your favorite mixology technique?
JP: Atomizing absinthe, vermouth or other liquids to provide just the slightest hint of flavor and smell.

TTP: If you could make a drink for anyone alive or dead, who would it be and what would you make them?
JP: Federico Garcia Lorca. I would make him a Caol Isla Sidecar.

TTP: You’re trapped on a deserted island with a case of Purity and bountiful fruit trees. What three bar tools do you bring with you?
JP: A cobbler shaker, a sharp knife, and a lighter.

TTP: What’s your bartending pet peeve?
JP: Dirty glasses. I can’t stand when other bartenders don’t polish glasses before serving drinks in them. Even worse is when they touch the rim of a glass when serving the drink.

Good luck, Jenny! To vote for Jenny, visit: www.Facebook.com/PurityVodka




BACHE HOLLAND

Goldfish in Atlanta is a fish-lover's paradise. From fabulous seafood and sushi to the restaurant's 600-gallon salt water aquarium, not a single detail is missed at this upscale eatery. Mixologist Bache Holland is holding down the bar with Purity Vodka in a complex cocktail called Purity Pingsation, and THE TASTING PANEL threw a few questions his way.



Purity Pingsation
1 ½ oz. Purity Vodka
1 oz. lychee liqueur
1 jalapeño slice (seeds removed)
2 pieces of lychee
3 lemon slices
5 mint leaves
2 tbs. agave nectar
Splash of sour mix
Splash of pineapple juice

Muddle jalapeño, lychee, lemons and mint with agave nectar and sour mix. Add Purity and lychee liqueur and shake in ice. Strain into Martini glass. Garnish with lychee and lemon twist.


BACHE HOLLAND



THE TASTING PANEL: Purity Vodka is leading the ultra-premium vodka trend away from neutral spirits towards vodka with more complexity and character - how would you describe it to a customer at your bar to convince them to try it?


Bache Holland: I would inspire my guests by not only telling them about the properties of the vodka, but also by allowing them to do a taste test side by side with a vodka of their choice. The constant distillation in Purity creates a smooth passage over the tongue and down the throat. I would tell them that their senses will love the smooth feeling of this wonderful vodka as it soothes the throat and encourages other flavors to enhance it, as opposed to other vodkas that overpower mixers.


TTP: What is your bartending pet peeve?

BH: Customer who asks me to "Just make them something."


TTP: What was your inspiration for this recipe?

BH: My friend Ping who likes the kick of jalapeños in his drink.


TTP: What is your favorite mixology technique?

BH: Layering flavors.


TTP: What are the current mixology trends in Atlanta?

BH: Mixology has grown fast in this city. There are competitions springing up every other month. It has become a hot commodity.


TTP: Who inspires you to make great cocktails?

BH: My bar manager Ben Mizel and my guests that frequent every weekend.



Good luck, Bache! To vote for Bache please visit: www.Facebook.com/PurityVodka