The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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But what was this bewitching brew that had so thoroughly cap- tivated the Slovakian palate? Made from a top-secret number of ingredients (Hint: it's a lot), Tatratea is an enticing blend of Indian Assam tea and a variety of exotic herbs and spices, steeped and fermented in a molasses-based neu- tral spirit then aged for an average of 160 days, resulting in an intrigu- ing spirit with a unique herbal-tea-meets- honeyed-sweetness character. "People don't know what to expect from a product made from these ingredients," admits Dvorsky, "and tend to expect something like an herbal liqueur, something harshly unpleasant. But when people taste it, they love it right away." Taste the Tatra-Rainbow With five flavor expressions offered in proof varying from 64 to 144, there's a Tatratea for every occasion and palate. Here's your go-to guide: bottle reflects its contents: fun and fruity! Made from a blend of black tea and citrus, this is a sweet, mixable, sipable 64-proof liqueur that's great with a simple splash of soda. Tatratea 32%'s bright green bottle, offers brightly warming peach flavors. An herbal-peach-white tea blend is sweet and sophisticated without any cloying syrupiness at 84 proof. Tatratea 42%, in the bronze Tatratea 52% is the brand's original expression, already a huge success in Europe, where 500,000 bottles are sold annually. Smooth with a nice balance of sweet-and-bitter- herb, black tea-based 52% clocks in at a respectable 104 proof. Avant Garde Imports President Rado Dvorsky. Named after the Slovakian Tatra Mountain Range, Tatratea's mystical roots run deep, evoking both the power of nature and the spiritual connection tea conjures in cultures all around the world. The gorgeous Tatratea logo, which looks like a simple uppercase "T" from afar, is made up of ancient Slovakian folk symbols evoking protective, health and reproductive powers. "There is magic to it," says Dvorsky, "and I think that's part of why it is so special." But you don't have to be a mystic devotee to fall for this unique quaff, and Tatratea's got more than just exotic European appeal working in its favor. Stunning rainbow-colored packaging stands out on the backbar, and the brand's five unique flavors (see sidebar) continue to draw you in, sip after sip. "The whole product range is really appealing," continues Dvorsky, who's brought Tatratea to Southern California accounts by engaging with the on-premise trade to explore the brand's versatility. "With different flavors and different proofs, there's a Tatratea for everybody, and mixologists have really responded to that." powerhouse, melding high-proof heat (124 proof) with mixed-berry sweetness. A perfect option for the two-ounce-pour crowd. Tatratea 62% is a sweet purple ness, yet it so smooth you wouldn't believe it packs an incredible 144 proof. Complex and nuanced, call this awesome sipper "The Outlaw. " Tatratea 72% is high-octane good- The Tatratea logo is made up of ancient Slovakian folk art symbols. "The heart in the middle is the positive circle of love," explains Dvorsky. Above, to the left and right of the heart, deer symbols represent the male and female. "The inspiration for the logo was spiritual, but the product is what's really special." Coming Soon: Tatratea 22%—40 proof and coconut-flavored. Yum! august 2012 / the tasting panel / 101

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