September Tasting Panel Newsletter

Belvedere Bartender’s Dream Job

By: Lana Bortolot


Get out your Flip video: Belvedere Vodka has announced its first global search for a new brand ambassador, and they don't want a paper résumé.

Instead, the peppy party brand is asking applicants upload a one-minute video resume on its Facebook page, and then asking its nearly 152,000 followers to cast votes during a month-long open call. Talk show host Chelsea Handler will announce the call on Sept. 15 and finalists will be chosen by an official panel in December.

The winner will assume spokesperson duties and work stateside with Claire Smith, Belvedere Vodka's Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology, who has been with the brand since 2003. Smith will continue stewardship of Belvedere, but will also focus on other projects. The new face of the vodka will travel the world with Smith, educating mixologists and collecting a $100,000 salary.

"I'll still be very hands-on but the brand is big enough now to warrant two people to spread the word," Smith says.
Claire Smith, Belvedere's Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology, will work with the winner of the Dream Job competition.

  Should you go for it, even if you've never been behind the bar? Yes, says Smith, if you're articulate and passionate.

"We're looking for people who are cocktail enthusiasts, with a real passion and interest and who can communicate that." She added the winning candidate must demonstrate a respect for the brand heritage and what it represents in the competitive world of vodka.

"I always remind people that we're a Polish vodka and with that comes a responsibility of heritage and character." — Lana Bortolot 

Top Bars/Bartenders Offer Tips on How to Create a Perfect Belvedere Cocktail

Living Room Bar at the W South Beach
Miami, Florida 

Bartender: Gabriel Orta

Use better ice, or seek it out. Ice is super important!

When shaking a drink, shake the hell out of it.  When stirring a drink, same thing, really stir it! Temperature and dilution are critical in a proper cocktail.

Balance. Learning to balance sweet and sour is one of the most important elements of mixology. 

Learning the seven classics—sour, sling, punch, milk punch, cobbler, highball and cocktail—is crucial. Mastering those will open up doors to countless variations.

      Suggested Cocktail
The Rubus

1 3/4 oz. Belvedere
3/4 oz. lemongrass syrup
4 fresh blackberries
3/4 oz. lemon juice
4 mints leaves
1/2 oz. apple cider 

New York City

Bartender:Benny Kong

Approach drink recipes from the perspective of a professional chef, with the ultimate desire of keeping the customers satisfaction in mind.

A drink must not only taste good but simultaneously must have visual impact, proper ingredients and hopefully create the desire for a guest to order another.

The specific drink must be prepared with integrity, honoring timeless flavors and recipes.

      Suggested Cocktail
Belvedere Black Raspberry Swirl

Belvedere Black Raspberry
Crushed raspberries
Simple syrup
Splash of 7-Up

First throw muddled black raspberries onto ice cubes in a rocks glass. Add Belvedere Black Raspberry vodka with a dash of simple syrup and a splash of 7-Up; garnish with a lime wedge.


The Underground

GM and Operating Partner: Benjamin Newby


Know your audience. Are they mixology buffs or just girls wanting to have fun? Don't make the cocktail you want; make the cocktail your guests want.
Use what you have around you. No need to run out and order some obscure liqueur or berry from the mountains of Tibet. If people love your drink, they will want it all the time. So make sure you can give it to them.
Take advantage of the flavors. How to spruce up a classic cocktail? Maybe a Cosmopolitan using Belvedere Pink Grapefruit or Black Raspberry. Just a simple change can tantalize the taste buds.
Keep It Simple, Stupid. When people want a drink, they usually want it there and then. Don't be afraid to combine your flavors into syrups or purées. It's quicker than muddling for sure!

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