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A I s THE TASTING PANEL rounds out its fi ercely feminine Year of the Woman, it’s only fi tting that we take note of some of the most talented lady ‘tenders out there, but we’re upping the femme factor by also incorporat- ing one of the most distinctively ladylike potions on the market: Chambord Flavored Vodka. Following in the fabulous footsteps of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, the brand’s newest foray into the spirits realm has resulted in a true love affair between the striking vodka and the mixologists who’ve gotten to know her. Talk to any cocktailian who’s been lucky enough to be seduced by Chambord Flavored Vodka’s many charms, and Desert Seduction NATURAL BEAUTY AND EASY ROMANCE REIGN IN SCOTTSDALE f you instantly associate the word desert with a barren, colorless landscape, you clearly haven’t spent enough time in Scottsdale, AZ’s Sonoran Desert. From the vibrant red rocks of Papago Park, to the variety of plants and animals that thrive on Camelback Mountain, this region is a bounty of natural beauty. But the real showstopper is this stretch of desert’s famed sunsets: violent swaths of pink, orange and purple across a vast expanse of sky that are enough to inspire love with just one glance. “I think sunsets are very romantic, and I was really trying to bring a refl ection of the Arizona sunset into a cocktail,” explains Trudy Thomas, Director of Beverage at The Camelback Inn, where Chambord Flavored Vodka has fi t the bill perfectly for light and lovely elegance in a glass. “The bright orange of the passion fruit purée with the hint of fresh raspberry and the bright glowing Chambord gives it this really pretty look that really brings out the natural colors of the sunset.” Though Thomas’s cocktail is a visual pleasure, when it comes to capturing the essence of romance, it’s the drink’s natural elegance that does the trick. “For me, romance is being with someone where you can be 100 percent yourself, and you don’t have to be anything but. It’s when everything is real and natural and spontaneous, and I think that is refl ected in the cocktail,” continues the blonde, who built the Inn’s beverage program on the philosophy that fresh and natural is always preferred. “We don’t use anything artifi cial and only premium spirits—everything is the best that I can give. And I really, truly put my heart into everything I try—whether it is a romance or a cocktail.” THE PASSIONATE SUNSET 1½ oz. Chambord Flavored Vodka ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 1 oz. passion fruit purée 1 oz. rosé champagne 4–5 raspberries muddled with a splash of agave nectar Muddle raspberries, shake with ice and double strain into a Martini glass. Float a kiss of Chambord to the bottom, garnish with fresh raspberries. december 2010 / the tasting panel / 73 you’ll likely hear some of the same words pop up again and again: lovelys, sweets and fl orals abound. Without fail, however, the vodka’s unique color prompts comment with a vibrant purple-pink that seems to glow from within the brand’s signature orb-bottle. This delicate hue, striking on its own, adds a kiss of pink to cocktails, a vibrant blush that has resulted in the brand’s invitation for mixologists to “Pink your Drink.” It is with this in mind that we set off to explore the romantic possibilities of Chambord Flavored Vodka as expressed by four of the West Coast’s most beguiling bartenders, each of whom is spreading the love with a Chambord Flavored Vodka–based love potion of her own. Trudy Thomas, Beverage Director at The Camelback Inn, adds a touch of romance to cocktails with the com- bination of Chambord and champagne. “The Chambord gives it a really pretty look, and any time you add champagne it is just a little bit more indulgent.” PHOTO: BRANDON SULLIVAN

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