I would have thought I’ll be a certified baker, a Le Cordon Bleu chef or even an acclaimed food critic (disclaimer: ok, all these are ‘syiok-sendiri’ dreams) before I would be certified anywhere near as “an alcoholic”.
Instead, last week I got myself certified
a drunkard as a haughty vodka-sipping connoisseur, right after I swallowed 9 different types of vodka & sat through an educational but surprisingly entertaining 3 hours with Mr Matthew Pomeroy, Brand Ambassador of Absolut.
Mr Matthew Pomeroy; charismatic, cheeky & jovial.
Pristine liquid in a row. None labelled. Sip to find out!
We tasted a total of 9 different vodkas, determining the aroma, feel, taste, texture & finish of each. From there we were ‘required’ to describe the taste & ascertain the type of vodka.
The Importance of Taste & Smell.
“Your sense of smell is 10,000 more powerful than your sense of taste”.
But first we did a little test of how our smell sense affects our tastebuds. Covering our nose with a clip, we were told to taste a bit of these crystals in a little tube & then describe what we think it is.
With our nose covered, almost all of us said this was sugar. Once the nose clip was off, we found out that it was cinnamon! So that little exercise was to reinforce the relation of the effect of smell to our sense of taste.
That done, our masterclass commenced with some very interesting videos of Sweden, depicting the history of Absolut followed by the process of making of all their vodkas as well as the “unique” concept that’s the core of all Absolut products, from their advertising campaigns to the design of all their bottles.
Assessing Vodka: Aroma
Swirl & Settle.
Introduce vodka to your nose slowly to avoid intense alcohol release.
Fruity ; Neutral ; Spicy ; Floral ; Grainy ; Butterscotch ; Solvents
Assessing Vodka : Taste & Texture
Creamy ; Sweet ; Dry ; Spicy ; Aggressive ; Oily ; Rich ; Silky
Assessing Vodka : Finish
Peppery ; Burn ; Bitter ; Smooth ; Sweet ; Balanced
So here we go…
We started with the “B” row – a total of 4 glasses.
A sip, swirl it in the mouth, swallow. Identify the Vodka BRAND.
B1– sharp solvent smell. Reminds me of acetone/thinner. Ashy. Aggresive. Strong. Chemical . Taste- urghhh!
B2– Almost of the same, but dare I say less offensive?
B3– still sharp but less than B1. Buttery. Coats your throat after the swallow.
Result? Absolut Vodka Original.
B4 – Spicy. Peppery.
Result? Russian Standard (this is new to me! Haven’t heard of it). I thought this one has an interesting taste overall.
Next. Row A.
Exercise: A sip, swirl it in the mouth, swallow. Identify the Absolut type/flavour.
Citron means lemons and it is launched in 1988.
The mandarin fruit originates from China and doesn’t contain any added sugar. It was launched in 1999. I loved this! Bold, strong & lovely fragrance of mandarin oranges. Reminds me of Chinese New Year! Gong xi gong xi!
Introduced in 1992 , with a taste of fruity black currant character & hint of tartness.
My thoughts: This one smells really good as well, one certainly can’t go wrong with berries. Know what I’ll do?
Enhance it with some Ribena for a sweeter finish.
Weird? Nahh.. one enjoy your drink how you like it right?
Launched in 2004 , its rich and intense with the fresh and fruity character of ripped raspberries.
It was introduced in 2005, sophisticated and fruity character of peach.
My thoughts: Again, lovely smell. Much mellower in taste. Lovely finish but artificial.
The Story of Absolut.
One of the most well-known vodkas in the world, the main ingredients in ABSOLUT VODKA are water and winter wheat. ABSOLUT VODKA was first launched in New York in 1979 but even before that, ABSOLUT was already in production for a hundred years.
Meet the self-made man who started it, Lars Olsson Smith.
Some examples of Popular Drink & Cocktails Recipes.
40ml ABSOLUT VANILLA, 10ml Kahlua , 10ml Sugar syrup, 1 Espresso
*Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.Garnish with 3 coffee beans.
THIS WAS EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE THAT EVENING!
Matthew shaking up the masterclass with some cocktail lessons.
50ml ABSOLUT ORIGINAL , 6 Fresh Raspberries , 12.5ml Sugar Syrup, 10ml Lemon juice, 12 Fresh mint leaves.
*Muddle raspberries in boston glass with mint. Add Absolut , lemon and sugar syrup and shake. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
The mixer went round to the participants who got a short glamour moment in doing the “tarik” – pull.
Yen Nee does it nice & steady. Go gal!
The set up of the masterclass at Wei Ling Contemporary at the Gardens, Mid Valley.
Getting my cert after the event.
Thanks Donovan Chan for getting me certified
a drunkard Vodka Connoisseur! Never thought this day would happen! LOL ! 🙂
All pictures are: (except where the watermark are different)