During July’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, Absolut Vodka hosted a three-day House of Elyx party, featuring mixologists Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale of Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel, London, UK as well as inspired ideas to keep partygoers enthused, educated, and entertained.
Offering a Swedish-style brunch from noon to 3:00 p.m. each day in honor of the vodka’s heritage (distilled in Ahus, Sweden) and then continuing later into the day, the two mixologists also conceived of a “show” of sorts, winding through a series of rooms that entertained and also educated the guests about cocktails. For example, in one room, guests would reach into a fish tank and pull out a sea urchin shell that was then filled with a cocktail. Guests were asked to go barefoot and stand on wet sponges to enjoy a full-on experience!
Author and actress Aisha Taylor (Ghost Whisperer, CSI) was at the event each day, engaging guests in live karaoke and conversation.
Let’s take a look at this three-day event. —Kathleen Stoehr
This copper vessel was created by Jack Hubbard to represent the luxurious elegance of the vodka brand. Being Elyx vodka is copper distilled, it was apt to choose this material to serve it in. (Each vessel retails for about $30, in case you’re wondering.) Served inside was the following. Steal this recipe!
2.5 oz Absolut Elyx
1.0 oz pineapple purée
.75 oz lemon juice
1.0 oz Olrosso Sherry
.50 oz rosemary syrup
.25 oz salted caramel syrup
3 dashes Bitterman's tiki bitters
Crushed ice, dried pineapple, and torched rosemary garnish
Beverages were also served in copper chicken (shown) and owl vessels
A circus-motif clad showgirl walked an adorable pony through the nearby Hotel Monteleone lobby to draw attention to the event happening a few blocks away.
A large poster greeted guests near the entrance to the event
The two mixologists dressed up in gorilla costumes to amuse guests
Out of costume, Kratena and Caporale were a bit more approachable.
The bar was awash in copper tones with bartenders David Moo of Quarter Bar (near) and Maxime Belfand of Saxon + Parole (back)—both New York bars—in matching shirts and aprons
Swedish artifacts were used as props, including Dala horse tchotchkes
Aisha Taylor poses with guests
Aisha Taylor and cocktail Renaissance man Toby Cecchini (New York Times, Long Island Bar, etc.)
Blues singer Annie Bea killed it with spectacular tunes daily
Copper straws and stir sticks festooned many a beverage
Get Fresh September 2015
eNews September 2015