The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2014

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Page 124 of 132

124  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2014 marketing agency Engine Shop and their long-term marketing relationship with Panache. "For us, it was building the brand on the back of great quality and word of mouth, and passing all of that savings on to the consumer." Generating Buzz Gordon, a Californian, leveraged the trio's individual sensibilities to come up with an advertising campaign that perhaps would be unremarkable in Europe or New Zealand, but nonethe- less managed to spark the ire of the politically correct and the attention of the media. Ads proclaiming "Hamptons quality, Newark pricing" or "Escort quality, hooker pricing" or "Christmas qual- ity, Hanukkah pricing," sprang up around the New York metropolitan area. Wódka was sometimes attacked for being sexist or anti-Semitic. The publicity was priceless and the buzz was generating sales. Gordon chafes at being labeled disruptive. "We had to do things differ- ently. But it involves no less strategy, no less planning and no less reason for doing something. It is calculated very carefully throughout." Panache bought a Florida distillery last summer and, working with Master Distiller Ron Call, Dale was able to real- ize his desire to make a brown spirit: Alibi American Whiskey. "It had to be within our wheel house: approachable, affordable and of high quality." Their wheelhouse also expanded to include design and labeling as another way of retaining control and cutting Wódka at Red Rooster At Red Rooster in the heart of New York's Harlem, mixologist Lonn Coupel- Coward finds Wódka is his go-to base when he wants the flavors the fruit in his cocktails to shine. "The beauty of Wódka is the quality at that price point. It's smooth and it mixes wells. And to have all those elements present, while also not paying $30 a bottle is a really pretty attractive aspect of Wódka," he says. As would be expected at Red Rooster, with its French café ambience, its open kitchen layout and cuisine that melds American and French comfort foods, cocktails play a central role. There are several that use Wódka, but Coupel-Coward's favorite is The Savoy. At Jukebar in New York City, Alibi American Whiskey is featured in the Juke Bar Maid cocktail. At Harlem hotspot Red Rooster, Lonn Coupel-Coward uses Wódka Vodka to make cocktails shine. The Savoy ◗ 2 oz. Wódka Vodka ◗ 1 oz. fresh lemon juice ◗ ½ oz. agave nectar ◗ 2 each muddled green and red grapes ◗ Muddle the grapes in a rocks glass. Add in agave nectar. Mix in remaining ingredients and then add ice. Shake the rocks glass vigorously and then dump all contents back into the rocks glass. Garnish with a skewer of mixed grapes. TP0414_102-132.indd 124 3/21/14 6:04 PM

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