The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

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Page 59 of 100

november 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  59 Royal Elite Gluten Free Ultra Premium Vodka, Uzbekistan ($24.99) On the nose, orange peel is a fresh start for this expressive, seven-times distilled white spirit. The textured palate is round and billowy, with a touch of salinity, vanilla wafers and a bright tart citrus finish that showcases its exotic foundation of quince. 91 —Meridith May Royal Elite Black Label Luxury Vodka, Uzbekistan ($19.99) Perfumed with vanilla and summer pear, this Eastern European marque has a black pepper entry that melts into a wave of lemongrass and toasted grains. Six-times-distilled and true to its name, the luxury is apparent from the entry to the gliding finish. 92 —M. M. The Final Say by Austin Walker, Beautique, New York City ◗ 1½ oz. Royal Elite Purple Label ◗ ½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur ◗ ½ oz. Yellow Chartreuse ◗ ½ oz. lemon juice Shake over ice and serve up in a coupe. Garnish with lemon zest and Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries. All the Way Up by Blair Harrell, Bounce, New York City ◗ 1½ oz. Royal Elite Black Label ◗ ½ oz. lime juice ◗ ¼ oz. simple syrup ◗ 2 slices cucumber, muddled Shake and strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a thin slice of cucumber. Free expression starts with quince—a fruit indigenous to the area that looks similar to a pear or apple—giving it brighter, more vibrant notes on the palate. These options allow mixologists endless possibili- ties for where they can take a cocktail. Blair Harrell, Beverage Director for Bounce Sporting Club in New York City, explains: "With vodka, you can become a mad scientist; it can go with anything. That being said, the crisper and the cleaner the vodka is, the better, and Royal Elite has a nice smooth texture that will work well in just about any creation." He also notes that it has done well with their bottle service, which he partly attributes to the stunning packaging, which catches many guests' eyes and prompts them to ask about it—because after all, "you drink with your eyes first." Proving Royal Elite can find its way into any cocktail, Austin Walker, bartender at Beautique restaurant near Central Park in NYC, made a twist on The Last Word, a classic libation, by replacing the gin with Royal Elite Purple Label. "By cutting out the gin and using Royal Elite," Walker says, "you create a pure base for building cocktails." Instead of muddying a cocktail's taste profile, it enhances and brightens the flavors. With Royal Elite slated to enter 20 states by December, it looks like we can all be drinking like royalty before the New Year. Austin Walker, bar- tender at Beautique restaurant near Central Park in NYC.

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