The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2011

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Page 34 of 128

ment that produces Beluga's components rests more in the distillery's tradition than current fashion. "We believe that our success lies within the traditions of our factory, which was founded in 1900, as well as the rare ecological purity of the Siberian region and the commitment demonstrated among everyone involved with Beluga," says Proskuryakov. "In the age of hyper-speed and globalization, we still produce our vodka in a place with no industrial objects within 180 miles. This has helped us to remain the number-one vodka in the super-premium and ultra-premium segments in Russia for several years already." Mixologists at the hand- selected luxury establishments Proskuryakov describes have revealed themselves to be the most enthusiastic converts, and for good reason. With the naturally sourced fruits, vegetables and herbs replacing prefabricated mixers at these destination bars, these professionals are going to opt for a neutral but rich spirit that will allow these hand-selected cocktail ingredients to shine, as opposed to a vodka flavored at the distillery. Beluga Catches On with Mixologists in the Know! We recently visited two Beverly Hills hotspots that find Beluga the perfect match. Here's why. Name: Eric "ET" Tecosky Port of Call: Erbe Matte, Beverly Hills, CA The Hook: "Every time you buy spirits for a restaurant, you want the best products on the shelves and on the menu. Though the market is flooded with vodkas in the ultra-premium category, when you have something like Beluga that comes from Russia—a country that only drinks vodka, and drinks it straight!—that vodka has to be authentic. You cannot trick a Russian into thinking a vodka is better than it is, and discerning American consumers are just as savvy." Why Beluga?: "Beluga is a perfect fit for our restaurant, as it is in the heart of Beverly Hills and there's a pre- conceived and often accurate notion that the clientele here wants the best in the world, including vodka and cocktails. From the inside out, Beluga helps reinforce that Erbe Matte has what that clientele is looking for. Furthermore, the process in which Beluga is distilled results in a vodka that tastes the way a vodka should if it is sipped straight. When you start with a well-balanced spirit, you're going to get a very well- balanced cocktail with hand-picked market ingredients; you will have a win- ner every time." THE RODEO DRIVE ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 2 oz. Beluga Noble Vodka 2 teaspoons raspberry sorbet 3 fresh market raspberries Top with Prosecco mint for garnish ■ Eric "ET" Tecosky of Erbe Matte. Combine and shake Beluga, 2 raspberries and raspberry sorbet and strain into a champagne flûte. Top with Prosecco and garnish with third raspberry and mint leaf held together with a toothpick. 34 / the tasting panel / december 201 1

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