The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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130  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 VEEV President Bryan Crowley and Carter Reum, co-founder of VEEV, at Herringbone in West Hollywood, CA. Blank Canvas L isten up, vodka drinkers: Who says the whiskey and gin craft cocktail scene gets to have all the creative swagger? "It's easier than you think to do something interesting," says Carter Reum, who founded the VEEV brand with his brother, Courtney. Doing something interesting, in this case, means tweaking the vodka itself. Because quality vodka is by definition odorless and flavorless, it's hugely accessible but somewhat lackluster, often sidelined from the creativ- ity of the craft community because it doesn't stand up to the sophisticated vermouths, bitters and liqueurs that are de rigueur in today's cocktail landscape. "Vodka is a legitimate part of the spirits industry," says Reum, "but a lot of people drink it because they're not sure how to branch out." Enter VEEV 2.0. "When using vodka, you're really starting with a blank canvas," says Willy Shine, the ebullient NYC-based mixologist, who counts VEEV to be among his favorite spirits. "But when using VEEV 2.0, you have a great starting point and flavors to work with." Those flavors come from the balance of organic açaí, prickly pear and acerola cherry that are infused into VEEV's base spirit, a neutral grain distillate made from Idaho winter wheat and Rocky Mountain spring water. "All of these elements together become the blueprint of premium," Shine says. He adds, "VEEV as a company does a lot for our industry—they are thoughtful of our planet, and they also use organic ingredients and a distillery that runs on wind power." VEEV originally launched in 2007, when "we were Blank Canvas More Than a

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