The family-owned brand from Sweden was surrounded by fans at Lawry’s: newcomers and loyalists who have adopted the vodka as their own. The 110-year old recipe was resurrected by Chet Swensen and is marketed by his daughter Erica, who oversees a strong sales team to promote the brand.
Triple distilled and made from 100% wheat, Stockholm Krystal is distinctive for its mineral-citrus nose, which douses the palate with weight and a demure aftertaste. The finish is a gratifying balance of aromas and flavor.
Belvedere has been referred to as the world’s first luxury vodka, made exclusively of Dankowskie Gold Rye, a premium Polish grain. The spirit is distilled four times, craftsmanship that goes back 600 years in Poland.
Utilizing the citrus skill set of Belvedere Cytrus, with its subtle combination of pure lemon, enhanced by an exotic spicy hint of lime, guests were invited to Belvedere Cytrus Lemon Drops. Mixing lemon juice, simple syrup and rimmed with Stirrings Lemon Drop sugar, the oohs and ahhs of refreshing and lively were heard.
The statuesque Skyy 90 represents the ultra-premium label for Skyy vodka’s portfolio. This top shelf contender, sourced from the finest ingredients such as amber winter wheat and Sierra mountain water, is bottled 90 proof, to optimize the modern martini experience.
At its debut last year, Skyy90 was termed as the “definition of modern luxury,” merging aesthetics and design and capturing more than a price tag by also capturing a lifestyle. According to sources, the base spirit attains the world’s first 100% distillate, resulting in unmatched pureness. (SW&S in CA)
A vodka created in Cognac distinguishes Grey Goose’s origins. Wheat from France’s “bread basket” region and natural spring water filtered through limestone enhance the brand’s soft sweetness.
Guests were treated to Grey Goose’s flavor line-up, but La Vanille was commented on for some lovely tasting notes such as “white chocolate,” “vanilla pudding” with a nice, clean, non-cloying finish. (Imported by Bacardi for Young’s in CA)
Only fresh potatoes are used to make Chopin, straight from the fields of Poland, when harvest conditions are ideal. The four-times distilled spirit offers up a memorably creamy mouth-feel, a plush pillow effect with a lightly sweet finish.
Truth be told (“Pravda” translates as TRUTH in Polish), Polish late harvest rye is the foundation for Pravda, on which a tanzanite medallion adorns every bottle. Five times distilled, water from the Carpinthian mountains and white birch charcoal filtration allow the brand’s characteristics to shine through in its liquid. (Young’s Market in CA)
From Boisset Vins & Spiritueux, world renowned for their production of exceptional wines, grapes from France’s Burgundy region grace the spirit that is IDOL Vodka. The brand was crafted by Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset America.
Produced with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and pure water sourced from Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, IDOL is distilled seven times and then filtered five times.
Its taste profile is clean, with aromatics of perfumed roses, white pepper and jasmine – almost a hint of sweetness. It offers an elegant finish with absolutely no bite. (Distributed in CA by Young’s Market Co)
Imported from Iceland, Reyka rocks. To be more precise, it is lava rocks we refer to as the pure lava rock filtration with Icelandic water offers a purity to this crisp, clear liquid. Customers at Lawry’s were served the Reyka Ber, an Icelandic word for “naked.” Simply, the vodka is poured over shaken ice and garnished with lemon, which highlights its lovely mineral-rich lemon-lime fragranced profile. (Imported by William Grant & Sons – distributed by Young’s in CA)
We introduced Yes! to our readers last month: Distilled in Holland, Yes! is quadruple filtered and offers a nutty, lush palate, made from 100% wheat grain and purified water.
At the event, the Yes! Classic Martini was proffered to the crowd, it’s only companion a vermouth atomizer. (Distributed in CA by Southern Wine & Spirits)
Wish they all could be California grown…
Mixologist Blake Donaldson streamlines the art of martini-making at Lawry’s
Mixologist Blake Donaldson, author of The Bartender’s Entertainment Guide, was showcasing his craft to a crowd of on-lookers. Dipping and dicing, liquids diving headlong into rimmed, trimmed and colorfully swirled martini glasses, Donaldson appeared super-hero quick in his motions.
Although empowered with inviting garnishes such as olives stuffed with pepper fennel seed blue cheese, chili flake gorgonzola, neon cherries or raspberries brimming with honey cream, it was ROTH vodka that was his true crusader, its base of California grapes a stirring reminder of championing the cause for truth in mixability, justice in fresh ingredients and the American way of production.
Roth – the Spirit of California™ - is a bold player in the luxury category, a notable choice of some of the nation’s most renowned sommeliers and mixologists.
Anthony Dias Blue calls Roth “racy and stylish,” and wine lovers can appreciate its dynamic palate.
“The garnish is the thing, to make the ‘Grapes of Roth’ a Royal King”
The Roth Raspberry-Peach Experience:
1-1/2 oz Roth vodka
DeKuyper Peach Pucker
Splash of 7-Up
Swirl glass with raspberry gel and garnish with raspberries filled with honey cream
Grapes of Roth:
1-1/2 oz. Roth Vodka
1/2 oz. Sauternes or other dessert wine
2 lime wedges
Garnish with 5 seedless red grapes
If you haven’t yet tasted Marani, the Armenian vodka distilled with honey and skim milk (and wheat based) then it does come highly recommended by our editorial team. Bartenders are enjoying its mixability and Patterson’s will be profiling mixters and mixtresses who have discovered this smooth sipper. (SW&S in CA & AZ)
Ani Kevorkian owns the Marani brand along with her sister Margrit and brother Ara.
Lawry’s Vodka-Paired Menu
An array of assorted domestic and imported vodkas were sampled to unveil aroma, texture and distinctive flavor of this “neutral spirit.”
Thai Corn Fritters with Chili Pepper Cilantro Sauce
Little Zucchini Cakes with Dill Yogurt Sauce
Salmon Pineapple Skewers with Pepper Glaze and Lime Crème Fraîche
Lobster Bonbons with Vodka Citrus Sauce
Sage and Lemon Meatballs with Parmesan
Pepper-Vodka Soaked Cherry Tomatoes
Oysters à la Russe with Vodka Relish
Serrano Ham and Melon
Tuna Tartare Cucumber Cups
Olives Stuffed with Maytag Blue Cheese
Nicknamed “The Silk Vodka,” Soyuz-Victan, a leading producer of alcohol beverages in the Ukraine and Russia – has launched SV Supreme Vodka – in the U.S.
Along with its Russian heritage, SV Supreme is a palate of extreme smoothness, a metaphorical message of a silk scarf flowing in the breeze. Chocolate berry notes, rounded with marshmallow and a hint of black pepper are housed in an unctuously textured liquid. Palate memory lasts long after the previous sip.
Soyuz-Victan’s SoCal Market Managers Dana Fares and Rachel Simmons flank Regional Sales Manager Fran Vivenzio
Six sophisticated cocktails made with the silky smooth super-premium vodka from Russia were created by Robert Plotkin, an expert in the field of mixology from BarMedia. “Consumers and bartenders will find these SV Supreme silk drinks as must- haves in their repertoire of popular drinks,” states Mark McKethan, General Director, Soyuz-Victan-USA.
“Although we’re new to the U.S., we are the third largest vodka marketer in the world,” McKethan informed us. “After the fall of Communism, we experienced incredible growth and branding throughout the world, a 54% increase in volume, which was why we were listed by Impact as the second fastest-growing brand in the world.”
McKethan acknowledges that there is much skepticism about the ability of yet another super-premium vodka brands’ potential, and he points out, “The category is expected to grow by 10 million cases through 2010, according to Adam’s handbook. There’s definitely room for existing brands, but perhaps even more room than ever for innovative concepts and ultra-smooth, sophisticated vodkas such as SV.”
Recipes for this sophisticated collection of cocktails can be found at off-premise outlets and on line at www.svvodka.com.
SV Silk Martini
1/2 oz. Limoncello
2 1/2 oz. SV Supreme Vodka
Lemon Twist for garish
Distribution to be announced – contact 860-523-5437
Partying with Imperia Vodka
Amy K. Fellows travels to St. Petersburg for the Opening of the Russian Standard Distillery
The Governor of St Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko, has to be happy about the October opening of Russian Standard’s $60 million state-of-the-art vodka distillery located at the center of St. Petersburg, with its unspoken promise to pump new life into the local economy.
Founder and Chairman of the Russian Standard Company, Roustam Tariko and the Governor of St Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko at the opening ceremonies of Russian Standard’s $60 million state-of-the-art vodka distillery.
A seemingly quiet, soft-spoken man, Roustam Tariko, Founder and Chairman of the Russian Standard Company, knows how to live the good life. Earlier this year, to celebrate the US launch of his flagship vodka Imperia, he rented Liberty Island in New York Harbor for $3 million and invited over a thousand people. In September, he dished out another $3 million to host a three-day event in St Petersburg to celebrate the opening of his new distillery. Those invited were chauffeured via police escort to dinner at the famed Marble Palace, to enjoy Tariko’s dream of luxury while sipping on “Pavillion Blanc” de Chateau Margaux 1994 and Louis Latour Puligny Montrachet Les Referts. On another hosted evening, guests listened to the first ever live performance of Andrea Bocelli in Palace Square.
The first bottles off the line
Russian Standard Company
As the Founder and Chairman of the Russian Standard Company, Roustam Tariko has come a long way from his humble beginnings in the early nineties as an importer of Ferrero Rocher chocolates and Martini & Rossi. Although very successful (by the mid-nineties his company, Roust, had become one of the leading importers of premium wines and spirits, with a portfolio of more than 90 brands including Veuve Clicquot, Bacardi, Bailey’s, Johnnie Walker and Krug) he felt Russians wanted and deserved more.
So, in 1998 Tariko created the Russian Standard Company and immediately set out on two entirely different business ventures: Russian Standard Vodka and Russian Standard Bank, with the hopes of eventually becoming an umbrella company, similar to Disney or Virgin.
During the first year he launched Russian Standard Original vodka, followed by Russian Standard Platinum vodka in 2001. In 2004 he released Imperia, an ultra-premium, 8-times distilled luxury spirit that sets new standards for vodka taste, design, purity and craftsmanship.
Passionate about including Russian heritage and history in every aspect of his vodka, Tariko follows the strict standard for vodka distillation created in 1894 by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. “Our task is to preserve unique recipes,” he says. Russian Standard labels use only the finest hand-selected winter wheat and glacial waters.
Russian Standard Vodka is now the number one best selling premium brand of vodka in Russia, holding 60% of the market share and selling over 1 million cases per year at home and in its 18 export markets.
The American Market Shift
Tariko’s formula for entrepreneurial success is simple: intuition, innovation and execution. A man of great integrity and ability with a true passion for what he does, Tariko welcomes the challenge to expand Russian Standard into the American market. “It will take hard work, many years, but we will make it.” With his track record, it is hard not to believe him.
Imperia is Imported by Remy Cointreau USA
Banking, Russian Style
With Russian Standard Bank there was purity in purpose as well. Tariko set out to create a Russian owned and operated bank that would enable “Russian consumers [to] translate their dreams into a reality by financing the purchase of premium quality goods… to fulfill the desire to live an elegant and beautiful life filled with the same promise and opportunity as Westerners.” Today Russian Standard Bank is the most profitable privately-held bank in Russia and the nation’s biggest consumer lender— issuing over 20 thousand new credit cards a day with over 9.1 million to date and 67% of the consumer credit card market.