Wednesday, November 17th marked the launch of Absolut’s holiday bottle of 2010: Absolut Glimmer.
Absolut changed the bottle to mimic crystals that glimmer when light shines through the prisms. And just like all things special, like their Absolut Brooklyn red apple and ginger flavor featuring Spike Lee, Absolut Glimmer is only out for a limited time.
Through Absolut‘s long history as one of the world’s top vodka makers, they have changed colors to match the different flavors such as Absolut Berri Acai, Absolut Ruby Red, and one of my favorites, Absolut Mango. However, they have never actually changed the bottle itself. Why mess with perfection, right? But for this holiday season, they’ve made a welcomed exception and invited us to celebrate with them this momentous occasion.
Held at Glass Houses in the Chelsea Art Tower, the event started at 7:00 PM on the dot with guests mingling, chatting, and tasting hor d’oeuvres. And of course, drinks! Behind the bar was an ornate laser-cut chandelier display that matched the real chandeliers hanging above our dinner tables. The cobalt glasses brought a lovely pop of color to the table, next to the pristine glasses and white flatware. The centerpieces, showing off the Absolut Glimmer bottles, lit up the tables and were surrounded by a wreath of beautiful white flowers.
One of the many brains behind the event was Nicky Balestrieri, Director of Events and Promotions for PAPER Magazine. He was kind enough to chat for a few minutes and we found our common ground being NYU alums. Unfortunately for me, he rolled with the much cooler crowd.
There were three Absolut bartenders mixing drinks for the first hour. We had a choice between Fire & Ice and The Ice Queen. We started with the Fire & Ice, which we were told was like a bloody mary. Curse me if you will, I actually supremely dislike bloody marys. And this drink was the exception, in that I disliked it slightly less than I do real bloody marys. Made with tomato water, it just had a tiny hint of the tomato flavor and garnished with basil and other spices. Kinda like a cold, alcoholic soup. Needless to say, my drink of choice for the night was The Ice Queen which was Absolut with a whole mess of other stuff, including sherry, topped with champagne, and garnished with an edible flower.
The space was relatively small but just perfect for the small, intimate party of about 125 guests that it was meant for. The view from the 21st floor was absolut(e)ly stunning with views of both Midtown, Downtown, and spanning the entire Jersey border.
After an hour for cocktails, we were seated for dinner with placecards to find our seat. Fellow SS writer, Leslie Woodruff, and I were made friends with our neighbors, photographer Jill B. of Jillian Bisinger Photography and Heather P. from People Magazine, so nice and lovely to talk to. Once dinner was served, conversations all but came to a halt for everyone to savor the food.
We have various options to select from: For our first course – pumpkin and black truffle risotto or butternut squash carpaccio; Main entrees – seared lamb, pan seared Arctic char, or Porcini ravioli. And dessert – deconstructed cranberry apple crumble or a toasted coconut chocolate terrine, paired with coffee.
After dinner, we had a few minutes to digest before being ushered down to the 14th floor for a “surprise” musical guest performance. It was none other than Cee Lo Green! His smooth blend of hip hop, neo-soul, funk, and R&B was a fun performance to enjoy, and he ended the set with his new hit, “Fuck You.” As a matter of fact, the song was covered by the cast of Glee on the most recent episode. Cee Lo has collaborated with the likes of Timbaland and Gnarls Barkley, and based on his current success we expect to hear more from him in the near future.
We closed the night chatting up the bartenders. But not just any bartenders, they are specialized bartenders employed by Absolut who travel to different bars in different states and countries to teach how to better mix Absolut cocktails. Certainly not your run-of-the-mill bartenders!
If you missed out on the event (which I know you did, because I got a whole bunch of obnoxious emails asking to go), head to your local liquor store and pick up a bottle of Absolut Glimmer for yourself. Or they make great gifts for the holiday season! Just keep in mind that when the clock strikes 2011, it’ll be gone for good.