The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2014

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16  /  the tasting panel  / august 2014 T he mint was plucked, the lemons were zested, infusions and ice were prepped and ready to go at the Pheonix in Beverly Hills, CA. Amid the buzz and excitement leading up to the VEEV Spirit 2.0 "Reinvented Classics with 70 proof" Cocktail Competition, guests and competitors enjoyed VEEV-centric creations by mixologist and consultant Willy Shine and chatted about the newly- released VEEV 70 proof. "The decision to bump VEEV to 70 proof was really based off of amazing feedback we were getting from the craft bartending community," explained Courtney Reum, co-founder of VEEV. "Moving from 60 proof to 70 proof gives our spirit just a touch more structure." Willy Shine jumped in, noting, "VEEV 2.0 is now able to stand up to higher proof craft spirits and can run the gamut of classic cocktails." Tricia Carr, Director of Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits and Treasurer for the Southern California USBG, joined judging on the technical side of the competition. "The competing bartenders clearly studied to perform well in their technical execution; they were all great," observed Carr after the competition. "The response to the new VEEV 70 proof is very positive. Bartenders are enjoying how it is even more flexible and useful for making delicious cocktails." And delicious may be too tame a word for these amaz- ing serves! Check out the winning recipes to the right. 3RD PLACE Martinez Parte Dois Created by Elizabeth Mickiewicz, Sadie Kitchen and Lounge ◗ 1 ½ oz. VEEV ◗ ½ oz. London Dry Gin ◗ ¾ oz. Bianco Vermouth ◗ ¼ oz. orange liqueur ◗ Dash bergamot bitters ◗ Combine all spirits in a mixing glass; stir and strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a Luxardo cherry. 2ND PLACE Flowers in the Attic Created by Joseph Valdovinos, The Playground ◗ 1 ½ oz. VEEV ◗ ½ oz. Campari ◗ ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice ◗ ¾ oz. Bigallet Viriana China China ◗ ½ oz. simple syrup ◗ Combine spirits, juice and simple syrup together in a shaker; shake and strain into glass over ice. Garnish with edible flowers. 1ST PLACE Savannah Slap Created by Gia St. George, Ebanos Crossing ◗ 1 ½ oz. VEEV ◗ ½ oz. Grand Marnier ◗ ¾ oz. homemade grilled peach syrup ◗ ½ oz. fresh lemon juice ◗ 3-4 drops of fresh chili oil ◗ Add spirits, peach syrup and lemon juice to shaker. Shake and strain into cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with basil sprig and fresh chili oil. WINNERS RECIPES Reinvented Classics for the Reinvented VEEV Elizabeth Mickiewicz, Sadie Kitchen and Lounge; Gia St. George, Ebanos Crossing; and Joseph Valdovinos, The Playground. LOS ANGELES AREA BARTENTERS RETHINKING THE AÇAI SPIRIT WITH VEEV 70 PROOF by Karen Moneymaker / photos by Greg Ripko

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