Thursday, September 13, 2012


The tasting of three of Belvedere Vodka's selections: (left to right): original, pink grapefruit, citrus

A bottle of Belvedere Vodka specially made with acid etched glass through which the Polish architectural marvel can be seen

 Philippe Grandois of co-hosted the event

Allison Dedianko Global Brand Ambassador of Belvedere spoke about the brand

Ahi tuna and compressed watermelon a delightful combination at Candela Lounge

A rosemary gimlet cocktail - beautiful and simple (recipe below)

Belvedere Vodka and hosted a tasting at Candela Lounge in Calgary.  The theme that emerged was debunking common myths about vodka.  When first introduced to the North American market in the 1930s vodka was touted as an odourless, tasteless and colourless drink.  Since then, the industry has been working to erode this definition.  Vodka, which means little water, is any spirit that contains 96.5 per cent alcohol by volume. 

Part of the super-premium category of vodka, Belvedere is distilled in Poland from Dandowski gold rye, usually reserved for baking.  With the emblematic Presendential Palace emblazoned on each acid etched glass bottle, Belvedere is "all about provenance - local water, rye and Polish pride," explained Philippe Grandbois who co-hosted the event.

Global Brand Ambassador, Allison Dedianko who won the Bartender's Dream Job Search, called vodka "the cowboy of the spirit world because it can be made in any country, with any raw material, and any amount of distillations."  The dynamic and friendly Dedianko (and one of the most engaging and approachable spirits Ambassadors we've met) spoke about the points of distinction that have made Belvedere a leader in the super premium category.  "We are an open book at Belvedere there are no smoke and mirrors - we did start the category.  We use a four column continuous still and only use a pot still for maceration.  Belvedere is quadruple distilled and for our macerated vodka we use real ingredients instead of compounds." The tasting included Belvedere Pure, Belvedere Citrus and Belvedere Pink Grapefruit. 

Guests sipped vodka while nibbling olives, hummus featuring carrots, naan, ras-al-hanout chicken, balkan yogurt and short rib and desserts of gorgonzola ice cream with poached pear and brownies with pistachio ice cream.  With rosemary gimlets passed to guests and glasses raised in cheer Grandbois reminded guests that, "with vodka, unlike Scotch whiskey where you are in constant contact with the glass and spirit, you have to impress quickly."  And impress they did.

Rosemary Gimlet
1 1/2 oz Belvedere Pure
3/4 oz rosemary infused simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water simmered with rosemary sprigs)
3/4 oz fresh lime

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