May 13, 2010

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka Launch

With thoughts of summer hopefully coming soon, I often think of casual dinner parties and summery cocktails to make for friends and family.  So when I was invited to last night's launch of Belvedere vodka's Pink Grapefruit flavor, I was interested to get some entertaining ideas.

After braving the cold, rainy weather last night in NYC, I ended up enjoying the night of cocktails, food pairings, and learning about the making of Belvedere's naturally-flavored vodkas.

The event was held in a temporary pop-up space in the Meatpacking District, across the street from the Matthew Williamson store.  The fashion designer collaborated with Belvedere and created a couple of pieces inspired by the pink grapefruit vodka
The most interesting part of the event was learning about the product from master mixologist Claire Smith.  Ms. Smith, who had studied law in college, was knowledgeable (a given as she's successful in a male dominated profession) and informative.

According to Smith, 98% of the world's flavored vodkas are artificially flavored.  Belvedere flavored vodkas, on the other hand, are all fresh fruit macerated (meaning fresh fruit is soaked in vodka to draw out the freshest and most vibrant flavors). 
We were each given 3 vials, with each containing French Ginger Root (a lovely flavor), Pink Grapefruit (pithy), and Prima Fiori Lemon (tart).  Like mixing perfume, we all tried to recreate the Pink Grapefruit vodka using the three natural flavors.  We placed drops on our wrist to taste the flavors and then combined them into our test tube.  Suffice it to say, I couldn't come up with the right combination.
Next we enjoyed the food pairings, which included:
Tuna Nigiri sushi paired with pink grapefruit vodka mixed with balsamic vinegar
Roasted duck with watercress and soy sauce paired with pink grapefruit vodka mixed with red vermouth, plum sake, and chocolate bitters
White chocolate and coffee mousse (chilled with dry ice) paired with pink grapefruit vodka mixed with licorice
Cocktails included vodka tonics (clean and crisp), snow cones, and a fruity, almost too easy to drink cocktail made with passion fruit syrup, Campari, pink grapefruit vodka, and egg whites.
The Mini Snow Cone was made with crushed ice, pink grapefruit vodka, ginger sugar, zest oil and a candied grapefruit wedge.  It was a fun idea, though a little too strong for me.  I would sweeten it a bit with a little simple syrup.
As a parting gift, everyone received a gift bag containing a small bottle of Belvedere pink grapefruit vodka.  Anyone want to come over for some cocktails?


  1. What a fun fun evening. I love the concocting your own in a test tube. An amazing flavour experience. Have you tasted another "artificially" infused vodka and compared it to the same flavour in Belvedere? That would also be an interesting and fun taste experience. I will keep my eye out for it. I love anything (even fragrances) in grapefruit!

  2. Hi Valerie - I haven't done a side-by-side tasting of an artificially flavored vodka vs Belvedere but would be curious to see if I could taste any differences. I spoke with someone who wrote for a couple of beverage industry publications who mentioned that Finlandia Vodkas tasted pretty good and they have a grapefruit flavor as well.


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