They’re back…and just as fabulous! To celebrate the release of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (in cinemas 1st July 20163), Stolichnaya® Premium vodka is partnering with Fox Searchlight Pictures to add an extra dash of glitter to the party.
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE sees Edina and Patsy still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hotspots. But when they accidentally push Kate Moss into the river Thames at an uber fashionable launch party, Eddy and Patsy become entangled in a media storm surrounding the supermodel’s untimely demise and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!
Inspired by the highly anticipated film, Stoli has created a series of suitably marvelous cocktails fit for the Ab Fab ladies. These delicious cocktails will not only be served at the film premiere’s fabulous after-party, but will also be available nationwide for you to have your own absolutely fabulous moment at a selection of the UK’s top bars such as Freedom.
THE STOLI BOLLI
Arguably the most famous and fabulous cocktail inspired by the film, ‘The Stoli Bolli’ is fit for any glamorous occasion:
35ml Stolichnaya premium vodka
1 white sugar cube
2 drops lavender bitters
60ml Bollinger® champagne
Garnish: Rose petal
Add drops of bitters onto the sugar cube and place into a chilled champagne flute. Pour over Stoli and gently crush the sugar cube. Top with Bollinger champagne, stir gently and garnish with a rose petal. Serve Immediately.
‘The Glitteratti’, a zesty twist on a classic:
25ml Salted Karamel Stolichnaya premium vodka
25ml lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass
Keep the party rolling in true Ab Fab fashion with ‘The Bombshell’ cocktail:
50ml Stolichnaya premium vodka
25ml lemon juice
4-6 fresh raspberries
50ml Sparkling water
Pour all ingredients over ice in a glass, top with sparkling water and garnish
Fancy some Christmas cocktail ideas? Stolichnaya have shared with me some festive ideas, one for each month and occasion!
THE STOLI HOT CIDER LEMONADE
Get into the festive spirit with a hot cider twist on a Stoli Lemonade. Pre-batch and pop in a thermos ﬂask to keep warm with friends on a winter night.
50ml Stolichnaya® Premium Vodka into a small saucepan.
Add 25ml fresh lemon juice
Add 25ml cider
Add 12.5ml sugar syrup
Stir gently until warmed, do not let it boil.
Pour carefully into a mason jar and garnish with a cinnamon stick (and sparkler!)
Multiply the quantities by 4 for a ﬂask recipe to share with friend.
THE STOLI POMEGRANATE LEMONADE
A seasonal speciality from September to February, the crimson Pomegranate comes into its own at hristmas with its jewels of juice adding sparkle to any festive feast. ombine with Stoli Lemonade for a guaranteed party stunner!
50ml Stolichnaya® Premium Vodka into a mason jar
Add 25ml fresh lemon juice.
Add 12.5ml sugar syrup
Add 25ml fresh pomegranate juice
Add cubed ice to the top of your glass.
Top with water (still or sparkling). Swizzle ingredients to ensure all have mixed together.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds to garnish. Multiply the quantities by 4 for a pitcher recipe to share with friends.
THE STOLI LEMONADE ROYALE
You can͛t top the pop of a Champagne cork to get the party started. This play on a classic Champagne cocktail makes an elegant way to see in the New Year!
50ml Stolichnaya® Premium Vodka into a hampagne coupe or ﬂute.
Add 25ml fresh lemon juice
Add 12.5ml sugar syrup
Tdopped up with Champagne.
Built in a champagne glass. Serve with a lemon peel twist.
Sweeten up the festive season with Stoli Salted Karamel, the world’s first salted caramel vodka, RRP £21, available nationwide.
The ideal Christmas gift, Stoli Salted Karamel offers the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. Indulge loved ones’ taste buds with flavours of caramelised sugar and soft English toffee, complimented by a light saltiness and a smooth elegant finish. Delicious on the rocks by a warm fire on Christmas day and perfect in a festive cocktail to ring in the New Year, Stoli Salted Karamel is a gift everyone will enjoy.
Just one from Stoli’s range of premium flavoured vodkas, Stoli Salted Karamel is triple distilled, blended with artesian water and four times filtered for an award winning Alpha grade spirit.
Intrigued? Pop into London Cocktail Club for a Bump n Grind!
This exciting new form from Stoli®, highlights contemporary and premium cues whilst remaining true to the brand’s iconic and longstanding heritage.
Stoli® will roll out this striking new design across the assortment, which includes Stolichnaya® Flavoured Premium vodka, Stolichnaya® 100 Proof and Stolichnaya® Gold. The new design is an evolution of the original but with significant upgraded features including:
· A taller and more elegant bottle
· An anti-slip embossing on the neck that improves both pouring and control for bartenders
· A state of the art capsule with anti-counterfeit and anti-refill technology*.
· A revised front and back label, highlighting Stolichnaya’s use of Certified Alpha Grade spirit – the highest quality level a spirit can reach.
· A new, ‘craft’ label texture, refined medals and a beautiful, bold upgrade of the main STOLICHNAYA® logo.
“The Stolichnaya bottle has been iconic for several generations, and now it’s the time for Stoli – as it is affectionately known – to make a new bold statement in claiming its position as THE Vodka.” comments Rob Cullins, CEO Stoli Group.
‘THE Vodka,’ is a title celebrated by Stoli® as a brand that has pioneered the vodka category since its inception. Stolichnaya®was the original premium imported vodka in the United States, the first vodka brand in space, the first brand to launch flavoured vodkas in the 1960s and has been enjoyed by party-goers all over the world ever since.
“Stoli has a long and proud history of vodka distilling. It has always been about the liquid: maintaining the original bold character and perfecting the unsurpassed Alpha quality. Our vision with the new Stoli packaging is to reflect what’s inside the bottle and the brands substance and heritage. We deliberately seek to contrast today’s superficial vodka category.” says Lars Vestbirk, Marketing Director for Stolichnaya and adds “I will be proud to see this in the hands of bartenders around the world.”
While its bottle has changed, the vodka remains the same. Three times distilled Alpha grade spirit, blended with artesian well water and four times filtered – the award winning liquid serves as the benchmark for premium vodka.
The new bottle will be on shelves and available during end of 2015 and early 2016.
I often get asked where the best bars in Manchester are for a drink. Whether it’s a cocktail, a dram or two, glass of wine or just a good old-fashioned soft drink, there are always venues that spring to mind that can cater for all. Elixir, Tonics & Treats is such a venue that sees itself in my mind as one of the best. If you read my feature on the bar when it first opened, you’ll know that I was impressed with the effort that the team have put behind it, essentially bringing some of the London bar scene to the North, and not losing sight of alienating the Mancunian customers, or indeed the liquids being used.It’s with this in my mind that I went along last week to experience some of their winter inclusions to their cocktail menu.
A re-jig of the current menu sees the main eye-focus train to the Elements Experimental, a look at the earth, wind, fire, sky and water, plus a combination of all five. Speaking to Jamie Strickland, my bartender for the hour, he says that with the heavy nod that Elixir, Tonics & Treats has towards the healing elements of crystals and the powers that the various forms can give off, the look into the elements is the natural course to take, which over the last couple of months has come down to the likes of By The Fire, using a combination of rum and dark chocolate, and Hope Floats with its twist on the White Lady classic.
But it’s the Down To Earth (£9) which Jamie creates first. A choice of Jim Beam White Label, Rittenhouse or Johnnie Walker Black Label are available for the base, (essentially peaty, dry or sweet) with Jamie opting for the use of Johnnie Walker this particular time. The whisky is blended with Antica sweet vermouth, Cynar, Angostura Bitters and dark agave, topped with Samuel Adams and accompanied by a ‘muddy puddle’, essentially squashed home-made chocolate, a sweet worm and edible stones. Served on a tray laden with grass, the crystal cut tumbler gives off the expected Samuel Adams nose, creating a fresh scent combined with liquorice coming from the liquorice stick used to act like a, well, stick (hopefully you’ve noticed the woodland scene developing). Coming through the two is the Johnnie Walker Black Label, followed by the bitterness from the Cynar artichoke. The Cynar follows onto the palate too, with the dark agave giving a punchy kick alongside the blended whisky. When sipped after a bite of the muddy puddle, the experience is smoothed off and a more velvet texture arises, essentially toning down some of the bitterness. Not a bad start, and one I can see working for beer drinkers to develop into whisky cocktail lovers.
A Mermaid’s Teardrop (£8.50) came next, combining the base of Stolichnaya Red with Kwai Feh, coconut and ocean syrup (essentially lemon-grass and seaweed infused into neutral syrup). Accompanied by a teardrop ice bomb and chocolate sea-glass shell, once again the presentation was extravagant yet subtle. Housed in a stylish coupette, plenty of fresh lavender and lychee from the Kwai Feh are noticeable, acting rather enticing to sip quicker than you expect. An incredibly well-balanced drink awaits, Plenty of citrus notes are dancing around, but the sweetness from the Kwai Feh tones it all down, with the length from the Stolichnaya becoming more noticeable.
Into The Ether (£8), and one of two on the new portion of the menu that twists a classic cocktail. An Old Fashioned is a personal favourite of mine, especially using a spirit with a good, heavy base like rum or whisky. Although I’ve had many a tequila based Old Fashioned, especially in Elixir, Tonics & Treats itself, I saw it as a brave move to serve with a side-order of citric acid and an intensifying flavour vapour! Jamie opted for a spot of blue food colouring to really show off what I can only describe as a bubbling orb can do to your Sauza Blanco Old Fashioned. Truly the elements at work! As you can imagine, plenty of fresh citrus on the nose, with the tequila noticeable on the palate once you’ve calmed down the reaction. A cocktail aimed for the ladies of the group with the array of colours available, as well as the interaction you have when you have to finish off the cocktail yourself.
Lastly, Jamie created for me the Utopian Cascade (£8.50), seen as the mecca of all the elements combined. Jamie kept this one until last due to the heavy spirits used including Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, Calvados, Five Spice syrup, pressed apple and lemon juice. It also combines an Elixir signature so-to-speak with the drink served over Star Anise and clove cascaded dry ice, topped with a dried apple and cinnamon star. A great flavour concept, seen as pure and clean with plenty of fresh apple, cinnamon and underlining Calvados notes on the nose. Although a light start on the first sip, the buds develop with spiced apple and hints of lavender present. Despite the finish being short and dry, it’s mourish, meaning a night on the Utopian Cascade is not generally out of the question.
It seems that Elixir Tonics & Treats have kept up the form. Subtle extravagance through their showmanship and presentations keeps the newcomers flocking, and the twists on classics and new-age statements prove that they can offer something unique to the Manchester table. I still love the way that the venue is brave to use liquids such as Cynar and Calvados within their work. There’s simply not enough bartenders being creative with these lesser-known brands and categories, let alone see them featured on a menu in what still is one of Manchester best cocktail bars.
Get down, try them all, especially the Mermaid’s Teardop which came as a surprise hit for me. One of the best.
Stolichnaya Premium vodka, the world’s most original vodka, introduces the original serve of the sum-mer, The Stoli Lemonade. A splash of Stoli poured over ice with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a touch of sugar, topped with soda water and served in a Mason jar – simple, refreshing, original.
As easy as stirring all the ingredients with ice, The Stoli Lemonade can be enjoyed at home with friends and will be available in bars nationwide. To create the original Stoli Lemonade simply mix the following ingredients:
2 parts Stolichnaya Premium Vodka 1 part fresh lemon juice 1 part sugar syrup 2 parts water (still or sparkling)
Build in an ice-filled Mason jar and stir. Garnish with lemon wheels.
Stolichnaya Premium vodka will be on tour throughout summer, giving everyone the opportunity to try the cocktail for themselves in the most original of settings and, best of all, for free! A customised 1950s Cit-roen H Van will be popping up around London’s most iconic squares, serving free samples to lucky passers by:
Dates of the Stoli Lemonade Van Tour 2014. 12 – 7pm each day
Sat19/ Sun 20th July Boxpark, Shoreditch Sat 26th July Westfield London (Southern Terrace), Shepherd’s Bush Sat 2nd Aug The N1 Centre, Angel Thur 7th Aug Reuters Plaza, Canary Wharf Sat 9th Aug Old Spitalfield’s Market, Shoreditch Thur 14th Aug Exchange Square, Broadgate
For the ultimate refreshing experience the H Van will also be serving a bespoke and limited edition Stoli Lemonade sorbet. Stoli have teamed up with leading artisan gelateria, Gelupo, to create a zesty, sorbet using real lemon rinds to add a sharp and clean finish. Blended with Stoli® vodka and natural sugars, it is the ultimate decadent and refreshing scoop to cool down with this summer. Stoli® Lemonade sorbet will be available to purchase in-store at Gelupo for the duration of the summer.
Follow @StoliUK on Twitter and keep an eye out for #StoliLemonade for full details of in-store sampling, national competitions, recipes, live imagery from events and original insights into what’s happening in the UK this summer.
Whether you’re spending your summer at home, socialising in your favourite bar with friends or enjoying one of our unique pop-ups, The Stoli Lemonade is the perfect refreshing cocktail.
Guest writer Keeley Watts experienced once of my spirit evenings a few weeks back. Take a look at what she thought of the expressions I had on offer;
Most drink related events in the North West tend to take place in Manchester City Centre. This is great for me as I live there so can just wander out but I know friends who live in the suburbs really struggle to get to some of them. Quick to recognise this was The Drinks Enthusiast who joined forces with Hale Grill for a spirit tasting with a difference.
We started with a chat about what spirits we liked and disliked. Lucky for me I had tried all the spirits Dave brought to the tasting but it was lovely to listen to others in the group who had never been to an event like this.
Dave started with Grey Goose vodka and the fascinating story of Sidney Frank. Frank was responsible for the promotion and development of Jagermeister in the States which, was huge, and decided he wanted to hit the market currently enjoying Absolut vodka. He was originally beaten by Belvedere being recognised as a premium brand. Not deterred he upped his game and decided to search for a brand in France rather than the more traditional vodka producing countries of Russia and Poland. He found an excellent base in winter wheat which gives the vodka a smooth and light taste ideal for sipping. The product has ‘slow legs’ in the glass showing no sugar has been added. On the nose are notes of butter and almond with this buttery taste coming through on the palate. It is sweet and smooth; so unlike any other vodka I have tried.
Up next was a personal favourite of mine, Portobello Road gin. Now I like gin, this isn’t a secret. But then it comes to a sipping gin I prefer something smooth and slightly sweet with no spikiness. That is exactly what you get from Portobello Road which was brought to us by Jake Burger, Gerard Feltham and Paul Andrew Lane. Juniper is quite heavy on the nose as is lemon anise and liquorice. The liquorice is prominent on the palate too which is likely to be thanks to the cassia bark, coriander and nutmeg used in the distilling process.
A whiskey followed with Monkey Shoulder. I’m not a fan, the flavours just don’t work for me but if you are thinking of trying whiskey for the first time, this is definitely one to start with. It is a blend of whiskeys from Speyside and other none whiskey drinkers in the room described it as incredibly drinkable. Dave had a few converts on the night!
Last but most definitely not least was Old J spiced rum. Formulated by Tom Hurst in 2009 who tried 60 varieties to find the perfect blend, this rum is delicious. Butterscotch and slight honey aromas on the nose yet toffee, vanilla and lime are prevalent on the palate with a gentle spice kick.
Hale Grill has launched their new summer cocktail and invited us to try one of two cocktails featured. I chose the honeyed rum daiquiri which blends honey, lime and Old J spiced rum. A classic this is slightly sweet with the lovely toffee flavours coming through from the rum. I also got to try the apple, mint and raspberry cosmopolitan as other guests ordered this on the evening. Stoli raspberry, Cointreau, mint and apple juice gives a fresh twist to the classic cosmopolitan whilst the mint provides a lovely freshness.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening and a feast for the senses, it was really interesting to hear what beginners thought of the spirits neat. All are readily available at your favourite bar in the City but this just goes to show that you don’t need to venture too far to get your fix.
Indulge your senses with the sumptuous taste of Stoli® Chocolat Razberi™
Brand new for the UK, Stoli® Chocolat Razberi™ premium vodka is the latest masterpiece from the flavoured collection of the world’s most original vodka. The delicate fusion of tangy raspberries and rich silken chocolate creates a unique and sumptuous experience. Created by Stolichnaya® Premium vodka, the pioneer in flavoured vodkas, Stoli Chocolat Razberi is the newest addition to the Stolichnaya portfolio.
A delight to the senses, the delicious flavour of Stoli Chocolat Razberi is perfect for chocolate and vodka lovers alike. Velvet chocolate notes are accented by warm vanilla-cocoa, followed by a delicate hint of fresh raspberry flavour.
Perfectly indulgent with a sensual, luscious texture, Stoli Chocolat Razberi has a clean finish and can be enjoyed on the rocks or as part of a delicious cocktail. Available exclusively in Harvey Nichols nationwide, priced £27.50 for 70cl.
Stoli Chocolat Razberi White Russian
25ml Stoli® Chocolat Razberi™ Premium vodka
25ml coffee liqueur
50ml light cream or milk
Raspberries to garnish
Place a few ice cubes in a tumbler, pour over Stoli® Chocolat Razberi™ and the coffee liqueur and top up with the cream or milk
Stir and serve garnished with a few raspberries
Stolichnaya Premium Vodka is an exceptionally smooth, superior vodka. Stolichnaya uses a 500-year-old premium quadruple-distillation method and intricate four stage filtration process to yield the highest quality vodkas with complex layers of aroma and flavour. Stoli Chocolat Razberi Premium vodka is one of six delicious flavoured-vodkas available in the UK: Stoli Gala Applik, Stoli Ohranj, Stoli Citros, Stoli Razberi and Stoli Vanil.
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass
Each day for the next 3 days their will be a different christmas cocktail added to the site, so sign yourself up to be the first to find out! Make sure you follow me on Twitter (and the hash tag #24daysofchristmascocktails) or Facebook for instant updates.
Another event I took part in at the recent London Cocktail Week was hosted by Maxxium Brands at the Soho based Zenna Bar. Patsy Christie was our host as she talked about the Russian vodka Stolichnaya and 4 of their flavoured offerings – vanilla, citrus, raspberry and the new apple flavour.
Before I come onto the tasting profiles of the 5 spirits, a little history of Stolichnaya first.
Stolichnaya begins with its origins in the Moscow Distillery Crystal (or Moscow State Wine Warehouse No. 1). The distillery opened in 1901 by the Russian authorities to ensure higher quality vodka production. The birth of Stolichnaya itself though is surrounded in confusion. 1948 is the earliest confirmed production date of the vodka, yet the label design clearly predates this to 1946. There are also rumours that it was created by V.G. Svirida who was the extra-class distiller at the time of 1944. There is also a trademark patent dated 1938 of Stolichnaya.
In 1953 however, Stolichnaya was introduced on the international trade show in Bern and received a gold medal, the first of many. In 1972, the PepsiCo company struck an agreement with the then government of the Soviet Union. The deal involved PepsiCo being granted exportation and Western marketing rights to Stolichnaya vodka in exchange for importation and Soviet marketing of Pepsi-Cola (This exchange led to Pepsi-Cola being the first foreign product sanctioned for sale in the U.S.S.R.).
After the downfall of the Soviet Union, Stolichnaya vodka continued to be produced for export in several of the ex-Soviet republics. Because of this, the bottles retained their Soviet-era labels.
One of the most famous and long-winded legal battles began in August 1991. The Soviet patent office revoked the Soviet agency’s right to use the Stolichnaya name in Russia. This led to numerous lawsuits, including what companies could market vodka under this name in the United States. On November 20, 1992, a federal judge ruled that PepsiCo would maintain the exclusive right to the name in the United States, as allowing others to market under the name would bring a “risk of irreparable harm” to the trademark. Since 2001, Stolichnaya trademark has been an object of a dispute between the SPI Group and the government of Russia. In 2002, a Moscow court ruled that Russia would get back the rights to the Stolichnaya brand name from Soyuzplodimport (SPI). In 2009, William Grant & Sons USA signed an agreement to distribute Stolichnaya in the USA, taking over the deal made by PepsiCo.
So with a brief, and sometimes colourful history, how is Stolichnaya produced? Created in a town named Tambov, located in the Black Earth Region of Russia, the fermentation of Stolichnaya starts with wheat and rye grains as well as artesial water from the Russian city of Samara located in the Kaliningrad region. The fermentation process takes around 60 hours to be completed. Once fermentation is complete the resulting liquid is distilled four times to a strength of 96.4% ABV. The spirit is then diluted to bottling strength with more artesial well water. It is then filtered through quartz, sand, activated charcoal, and finally through woven cloth.
So with all this in mind, below are my tasting notes on Stolichnaya itself, as well as 4 of their flavoured vodkas.
Stolichnaya Red – 40%
On the nose, a potent strong alcohol smell is instantly recognisable with a sharp citrus kick following. The aromas mellow out fairly quickly into scents of almond and aniseed. A smooth taste of aniseed on the palate, with a slight harshness on the tongue. Floral extracts are noticeable with a tingle after-taste to wet the appetite for more.
Stolichnaya Vanil – 37.5%
An intense vanilla flavour on the nose dominates the senses, yet smooths out once it hits the palate. A lengthy finish follows a delicate and soft offering of Madagascan and Indonesian vanilla beans.
Stolichnaya Gala Applik – 37.5%
The nose experiences fresh red apple flavours with a slight juicy, alcohol aroma mixed in. A slight rawness on the beginning with a slight hint of pear. It leads to a short end with a little dryness on the tongue.
Stolichnaya Citros – 37.5%
A softer hit of citrus flavours than Absolut, a sweetness comes through with hints of Limonchello aromas following. A mellow beginning on the tongue turns into a heavy dose of lemon, but not enough to ruin the palate.
Stolichnaya Razberi – 37.5%
A great raspberry aroma on the nose that gives off fresh extracts. Wild menthol flavours on the palate, with hints of cherry mixed in to give a slightly stronger taste to the rest of the range.
Moving on from the Stolichnaya tasting, Patsy created for us all 3 different cocktails involving the Stolichnaya products.
Moscow Mule using Stolichnaya Red
Secret Orchard using Stolichnaya Apple
Raspberri Caiproska using Stolichnaya Raspberry
My favourite out of the three made was the aptly named Secret Orchard. A blend of Stolichnaya Apple (50ml), Elderflower (15ml) and Creme de Fraise (15ml) shaken and strained into a Martini glass. Perfection!
A twist that Patsy also put on the Raspberri Caiproska was the use of Balsamic Vinegar drizzled on top of the finished product. Looked great, tasted even greater!
Finishing the night off with cocktails from a brand that, I have to admit, I’ve never really given much time for, was a fantastic end. A bottle of Stolichnaya Apple sits proudly on my shelf with Secret Orchards being sipped away on these long Winter nights!
With 37 available flavours on the market, it might take you a while to taste them all, but I can guarantee you, the apple and vanilla flavours are personal highlights. You will not be disappointed.
OTHER STOLICHNAYA EXPRESSIONS
Stolichnaya Chocolat Razberi – 37.5%
Stong chocolate aromas hit the nose first followed by a bold raspberri scent. Lively on the palate with dark chocolate dominating but mellows quickly. A long tingle is created with a smooth, warm ending.
Stolichnaya Ohranj – 37.5%
Subtle orange on the nose with a slight kick nearing the end. Smooth on the palate with a little boost of orange that develops over the long length. A little sweet with a orange spice warmth growing nicely.
At the bottom of this article, a have posted photos that I took of Patsy creating the 3 cocktails. Enjoy!