The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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40  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2015 VODKA "W e don't consider Absolut Elyx to be a 'super premium vodka' because we believe that category has lost its meaning," says Matthew Schaefer, Elyx Agent in Los Angeles. So, how might one categorize the luscious spirit? Luxurious. The name Elyx has roots in the English word elixir and the Swedish word lyx, meaning luxury. For the single-estate handcrafted wheat vodka, all ingredients are sourced from the Skåne region in southern Sweden, where Master Distiller Krister Asplund and his team carefully monitor the manual distillation of the spirit through a restored copper rectification still built in 1921. Copper's chemical reaction purifies the vodka, removing trace compounds and, ultimately, crafting its silky smooth texture. This high level of quality and care is reflected in the product's price point, double what regular Absolut costs. Although Absolut Elyx tripled its sales volume last year and is currently available in 13 cities, with plans to double over the next few months, the organic growth has blossomed under a discerning eye. Smart partnerships, rather than discounts or promotions, drive the brand's growth, as typical accounts cater to clientele that readily pay for a more expensive, high-quality product. "This vodka is very difficult to make and splashing cranberry or energy drink on it is kind of missing the point," says Jonas Tahlin, Absolut Elyx CEO. Absolut hit a cultural nerve in the '70s and early '80s that helped propel the brand into the icon that it is. Today's craft spirits movement opens the door for Elyx to walk right in and announce itself as "not just a mixer, not just alcohol with water, but a handcrafted spirit you can really enjoy," Tahlin says. He predicts that the culture of nightclubs that flaunt sparklers on bottle service is changing as consumers gravitate toward more consci- entious consumption. Right on cue, as Absolut Elyx just launched a five-year partnership with Water for People, an organization working to solve the global water crisis that leaves 1.8 billion people around the world with- out access to safe water. Every purchase of a bottle of Absolut Elyx we will provide one week of safe water for someone in need. "As proud as we are of being made with integrity, a luxury brand also has to act with integrity," Tahlin says. A Class Act in Koreatown "I was in L.A. when Absolut Elyx came out and all my New York friends were like, 'You gotta taste this,'" recalls Daniel Eun, General Manager at The Normandie Club in Los Angeles. Sampling the spirit left a distinct impression on him and it was promptly added to the lineup at the stylish Koreatown cocktail den. "We have a lot of bottles here, but we don't pick them arbitrarily," Eun says. The vodka's smooth mouthfeel and pleasant viscosity combined with its quirky history speak to the classy bar set on the ground level of a newly renovated historic hotel. The trendy, swanky destination opened earlier this year to much acclaim for its draft cocktails and innovative take on clas- sic drinks. The Walker Inn, a 27-seat secret cocktail lounge in back, also features Absolut Elyx in four cocktails; the space played host to an Elyx Martini Master class for consumers earlier this year. "I'm a huge advocate of keeping things playful and fun," says Schaefer, as he wields an oversized copper pineapple. Whimsical drinking vessels—like the Elyx Copper Pineapple of Hospitality and a copper owl that's available at a limited number of on-premise accounts—embody the brand's image and prove that crafts- manship and creativity can co-exist. "I see bartenders using Absolut Elyx to create refreshing cocktails that are easy drinking, like the one Daniel made." Absolutely Out of This World by Becky Tsadik / photos by Dustin Downing ABSOLUT ELYX UNITES FUN AND FANCY TO APPEAL TO DISCERNING PALATES Matthew Schaefer, Elyx Agent, and Daniel Eun, General Manager at The Normandie Club in Los Angeles. Pineapple Bliss ◗ 1½ oz. Absolut Elyx ◗ ½ oz. Boissière Dry Vermouth ◗ ½ oz. pineapple gomme ◗ ¼ oz. clarified lime juice ◗ 2 drops Bitterman's 'Elemakule Tiki Bitters

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