The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2015

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Page 14 of 136

14  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2015 THE MESSAGE 14  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2015 Brief Encounters Whether THE TASTING PANEL goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world's most influential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it's in the publication, we deem it noteworthy. —Meridith May, Publisher & Editorial Director THE MESSAGE The Conservation Martini: Snow Leopard vodka, dry vermouth and a sprig of rosemary. PHOTO COURTESY OF SNOW LEOPARD VODKA Let it Snow W e stopped at The Eveleigh in West Hollywood, CA last month for the L.A. launch of Snow Leopard Vodka, where we met the brand's founder, Stephen Sparrow. The jolly Brit blushed at the name of the first cocktail of the night: the Sparrow Swizzle, an icy blend of Snow Leopard Vodka, Chartreuse V.E.P., fresh lemon juice and lavender. "It might be my ego thinking it's named after me and not the bird," he grinned. Whatever the case, Sparrow checks his ego at the door: Fifteen percent of Snow Leopard Vodka's profits, plus money raised through the brand's fundraising efforts, go directly to snow leopard conservation projects through the Snow Leopard Trust. To date, the brand has raised close to $140k to help the endangered animal, a sentiment that made the Conservation Martini that much more enjoyable—made simply with Snow Leopard Vodka, dry vermouth and a generous sprig of rosemary, the herbaceous garnish playing perfectly off the Polish spelt grain vodka's hearty, nutty body. A sturdy ancient grain, spelt is grown without pesticides or fertilizers; the vodka is distilled six times using natural spring water. A creamy, smooth texture and peppery kick ground the ethereal floral accents on the nose, making a sweet match for the tangy Lustau Fino Sherry, Breckenridge bitters and pamplemousse in the blush-colored The Ghost Cat. This truly is "great vodka for good!"—Becky Tsadik TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL

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