The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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Page 49 of 132

KARLSSON'S GOLD ON-PREMISE Black Market Liquor Bar, Studio City, CA Los Angeles showbiz enclave Studio City is aptly named, for this Hollywood hotspot is home to numerous Tinseltown makers and shakers, many of whom hang out at the rollicking Black Market Liquor Bar ("Purveyors of Cocktails, Bites & Candy") located on historic Ventura Boulevard. Here, tapas and cocktails sustain the nocturnal energy level of customers, who have found a cheerleader in mixologist Lacey Murillo. Small wonder she, in turn, has struck gold with Karlsson's as a key ingredient for some of her most celebrated cock- tails alongside Black Market side plates such as deviled quail eggs, soft shell crab po'boys and spiced chocolate pudding. "Karlsson's Gold works great with savory ingredients and herbs," Lacey says. "I prefer my Bloody Mary's with Karlsson's because it pairs so well with spices and fresh ingredients." Seizing upon Karlsson's Gold's culinary compatibility, Lacey created one of her most celebrated cocktails, The Morning Sun. "I wanted to strip down the Bloody Mary and use Karlsson's in a cocktail that was savory but also crisp and refresh- ing, " she said. Black pepper is a signature condiment with Karlsson's Gold, as used in the Summer Harvest cocktail from Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco. potatoes is Sweden's relatively short growing season, which lasts only from May until August. Because these potatoes, grown in sandy earth, represented wealth for these poor farmers, they became known as "farmer's gold." A world- class vodka made from these same potatoes would be spectacular, Ekelund reasoned—and he knew just the man who could do it. With Börje Karlsson's involvement, the new vodka created from "farmer's gold" would be born: Karlsson's Gold. Unique Production Technique It's not just the potatoes that make Karlsson's Gold unique. It is also Karlsson's production technique, which took three years to perfect. It was inspired when he discovered that of the top seven varieties of virgin new potatoes he had selected for his vodka, each differed in flavor from year to year, according to the harvest. Consequently, to maintain consistency after fermentation, Karlsson column distills each variety separately—just once—resulting in seven individualistic single-distilled small-batch vodkas. He then blends these distillations, vary- ing percentages from batch to batch to maintain consistent flavor in the finished product, much like single malts are combined in varying percentages "Using Karlsson's highlighted the sweetness of the bell pepper but also let the flavors of Karlsson's Gold shine through. Karlsson's Gold is unique as it does not act as a blank canvas, but has distinct savory notes. I enjoy working with it because it pro- vides a backbone within the cocktail along with the natural flavors of the potatoes. The Morning Sun pairs very well with the baby beet salad on the menu, and goes great with the sweetness of the vanilla and fig in the salad. Also our hamachi tostada tastes delicious with The Morning Sun because the cocktail adds another level of flavor to the dish and complements the delicate hamachi." —R. C. H. Mixologist Lacey Murillo of L.A.'s Black Market Liquor Bar loves the distinct savory notes of Karlsson's Gold in cocktails. THE MORNING SUN ◗ 2 oz. Karlsson's Gold Vodka ◗ ¾ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice ◗ ¾ oz. simple syrup ◗ ¼ yellow bell pepper, cut into wedges ◗ ¼ barspoon Maldon Crystal Sea Salt for garnish ◗ Muddle the bell pepper in the small tin. Add the lime juice, simple syrup and Karlsson's. Fill the large tin with ice and shake for 8–10 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass. Spread the sea salt over the top of the cocktail. Split a julienne sliced bell pepper in the middle and place on the side on the glass. september 2012 / the tasting panel / 49 PHOTO: ERICA BARTEL PHOTO: NIKKI RITCHER PHOTO: ERICA BARTEL

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