The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2017

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44  /  the tasting panel  /  march 2017 A bsolut has been a powerhouse brand in the premium spirits category since its global launch in 1979. It's maintained its stellar reputation through the rise of flavored vodkas in the last ten years, holding the leading role as a clean, crisp-tasting spirit among other overly sweet, confection-like offerings. "We launched Absolut Citron 30 years ago," Nick Guastaferro, Brand Director for Absolut U.S., noted, "and Absolut Mandarin in 1999, well before the flavored vodka craze." The brand's knack for getting ahead of the trend has paid off: Absolut Citron is the number one lemon-flavored vodka, and Absolut Mandarin is the number one orange-flavored vodkas in the market. However, once there was a glut of flavored vodkas hitting the market, Absolut wisely decided to step back. Guastaferro explains, "We took an intentional pause on flavors then, as we felt the market was getting overly expanded." However, a lime flavor had been considered within the company for some time, and eventually the moment became right to produce a spirit that could hold up to the other vodka in Absolut's citrus-flavored portfolio. "There was over a year of work put into Absolut Lime," Guastaferro notes. "We worked with a sensory expert in Sweden to get the perfect lime flavor. Lime is a complex, dynamic flavor to craft, and the company wanted to make sure that we maintained our integrity and could showcase the subtle aromas from a lime with- out it being overly confectionary or artificial." Kevin Denton, Absolut's Corporate Mixologist, also worked to identify the right product that would both stand on its own and have a robustness that would make it perfect for mixing cocktails. With the premium product created to Absolut's high standards, Absolut Lime ($19.99 for 750 ml.) has been rolled out nationwide and held its red carpet debut at the Grammy Awards on February 12th. "Absolut wants to focus on both off- and on-premise accounts, as well as consumers and bartenders," adds Guastaferro. "It's a product that has the right flavor, whether it's behind the bar or for drinkers at home." Tasting Notes A nose of bright lime leaves and Jell-O leads to a round mouthfeel and tart and zesty citrus with a lingering fresh finish. Smooth enough to be enjoyed on the rocks. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ABSOLUT In the Lime-Light ABSOLUT LIME MAKES ITS STAR DEBUT by Jesse Hom-Dawson The Matcha ◗ 1½ oz. Absolut Lime ◗ 1½ oz. fresh-pressed green apple juice ◗ ½ oz. lime juice ◗ ¼ oz. simple syrup ◗ ½ barspoon matcha powder Shake, fine-strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a basil sprig. "It's a product that has the right flavor, whether it's behind the bar or for drinkers at home." VODKA

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