18 September 2014

A Stoli Night!

India's vodka market is pretty restricted to a few, limited brands we all know of and have been drinking since ages. I'm not much of a vodka drinker myself, but I recently got the opportunity to learn more about this spirit at the launch of  the Stolichnaya brand of premium vodka in collaboration with Aspri Spirits. We were at Lagerbay, one of my old time favorite watering holes. I was looking forward to tasting and trying my hand at making some signature cocktails.

I was surprised to know that the Stolichnaya brand is almost 80 years old and that one bottle of the Stolichnaya Premium vodka is sold every second around the world. The Stoli vodka comes from the group's own ultra-modern raw alcohol distillery in Tambov, Russia. 

The Stoli Premium vodka is classic and smooth to taste and has a citrus and peppery aftertaste. The Stoli Elit is a higher end product and undergoes an additional distillation called freeze filtration. This makes the vodka far more creamier and heavier than the original. 

Stoli Premium Vodka
We also got to meet and interact with Meagan Sacher, Global Brand Ambassador, Stolichnaya, who gave us more gyaan about the brand. She also demonstrated a few signature Stoli cocktails that she had concocted especially for the occasion. It was wonderful seeing her in action, and I was particularly interested in the 'Vodka Pairing' meals that they've initiated across the United States. It is basically a specially created meal pairing various foods with vodka, akin to wine pairing.

Meagan in Action!

I tasted my way through seven of their signature cocktails and narrowed down my top three. They're so simple to make, that I got inspired to try making them at home. Sharing the recipes here, so the inspiration may rub off on you too!

Stoli Big O:
1 ½ parts Stoli
1 part orange juice
1 part fresh grapefruit juice
¾ part simple syrup 
½ part fresh lemon juice
Dash of pomegranate juice or grenadine.
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Stoli Big O

Cucumber Apple Cobbler:
60 ml - Stoli Premium
30 ml – fresh lemon juice 
20 ml - 1:1 simple syrup, muddled with fresh ginger
60 ml - apple cucumber puree
Splash Appy Fizz
Shake & double strain in a Collins or tall glass on regular ice.
Garnish with cinnamon-dusted apple slice.
Cucumber Apple Cobbler

Masala Chai Martini:
40 ml - elit by Stolichnaya
40 ml - Chai-Infused French Dry Vermouth
2 dashes - Orange or Cardamom Bitters
Stir / Strain
Serve in Tea Cup with Orange Twist

Masala Chai Martini

Hope you've had a boozy, fun-filled read. Cheers!

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