The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 69 of 132

The ABSOLUT Stuga event was equal parts entertainment and education: Following the in-depth presentations, industry professionals gathered around ghostly trees, with blue lights and mirrored tables bringing guests as close to Sweden as possible, all while in L.A. Marcos Tello of of Tello|Demarest Liquid Assets watches as Dick Stafström tastes bartenders on the brand. Onödigt Bra on the back of Stafström's lab coat is Swedish for "unnecessarily perfect," and Tello doesn't disagree. "ABSOLUT has one of the smartest marketing campaigns out there. They hire bartenders to talk about their product, and as a bartender myself, hearing about a product from one of my own, I am more inclined to listen." Zahara Bates and Vincenzo Marianella, founders of cocktail consulting fi rm My Mixology, share a hug. Marianella was impressed and educated by the Stuga experience. "When making ABOLSUT, everything is done locally. They have their own little economy in a small part of Sweden, and that really amazed me!" Simon Ford, Trade Marketing Manager for Pernod Ricard USA, indicated that the no-holds-barred Stuga event was designed to be somewhat of a "thank you" to the bartenders who have been longtime supporters of the brand. "No expense was spared," he admits, as if the impressive and impeccable set could indicate otherwise. "This event was designed to educate industry professionals on the quality of our great product, to show we're still around and we care." july 2012 / the tasting panel / 69

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