The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2014

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84  /  the tasting panel  Life's a Beach Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Manhattan Beach Pier and the surfers catching the waves, the Strand House's Bar Manager Levi Luperico has a view that anyone would envy—but as he puts it, "most days, I'm so busy that I can't even look up." We can see why: Levi manages both the bar and wine program of this always-packed establishment. Striving to offer both unique and bou- tique choices, Levi seeks out spirits that may not be household names and encour- ages guests to test out something new, which is one of the reasons that he enjoys Soyombo. Levi sums it up: "I'm a huge vodka fan, and Soyombo has such a clean, pure profile on top of having a really cool presentation." Jack of All Trades When not on his surfboard, Bar Consultant Aaron Alvarez enjoys tinkering, whether that's on his motor- cycle or behind the stick. Toying with new ingredients and combinations gives his concoctions distinct and complex flavor profiles, but that's not to say that he overthinks every ingredient in his recipes. He focuses his energy on hospitality, accenting the guest's experi- ence and, of course, great drinks. Taking inspiration from his surroundings, Aaron skillfully crafted a modern cobbler featuring Soyombo that reflected the rustic Tuscan interior of RivaBella in West Hollywood. He adds: "People come to RivaBella to escape, and Soyombo is a very pretty vodka—soft and lush—that works well in this environment." Bar Consultant Aaron Alvarez, July's Nomadic Ambassador for Soyombo Vodka. Zansiberry Cobbler ◗ 1 ½ oz. Soyombo Vodka ◗ ½ oz. Vinsanto Tenute Marchese Antinori ◗ ½ oz. Cio Ciaro Amaro ◗ 3 raspberries ◗ 2 blackberries ◗ 2 heaping bar spoons of super fine sugar ◗ Swizzle all ingredients and cracked ice in a snifter. Top with ice and serve in a pilsner. Garnish with raspberries and blackberries. At the Strand House, Aaron and Bar Manager Levi Luperico soaking in the view and sipping on Mango-lians. Mango-lian ◗ 1 ½ oz. Soyomobo Vodka ◗ 1 ½ oz. mango ◗ ½ oz. homemade ginger syrup ◗ ¾ oz. soda

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