The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 68 of 132

Rudy Aguero, ABSOLUT Brand Specialist with Pernod Ricard USA, was behind the stick, serving cocktails like the ABSOLUT Cardamom Lilt, a refreshing pineapple-grapefruit concoction with complexly aromatic cardamom notes. Steve McGarry, On-Premise Trade Marketing Manager for ABSOLUT, explained, "We're here to educate, to give everyone a chance to take a look under the hood and see what makes ABSOLUT tick." Behind him, a lesson in ABSOLUT's production process was projected onto a wall. Three of the most celebrated bartenders in the world— Oliver Peyton, Toby Cecchini and Nick Strangeway— recounted their experiences with ABSOLUT vodka. Cecchini made his version of the Cosmopolitan for the event and recalled the brand's importance in the creation of the classic Cosmo: "I created the Cosmo using ABSOLUT Citron back in the '80s. I have always enjoyed their products, but was blown away when I fl ew to Sweden and saw how ABSOLUT was produced. It is beautifully made." Peyton added, "ABSOLUT were the fi rst to make brands cool and associate with bartenders." Peyton, who will be receiving an Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II this year for his services in the hospitality industry, recalled ABSOLUT's role in the creation of his own career. "ABSOLUT was the fi rst brand that gave me a chance when I was young and inexperienced. It was the turning point in my career." 68 / the tasting panel / july 2012

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