There’s nothing like a little bit of Brazil to lift your spirits on a cold, rainy, March night.
On Monday, Absolut Vodka threw a mini carnival, celebrating the arrival of its latest flavor: Berri Açaí. To help inspire our senses, they gathered together some of the biggest names in New York’s Mixology scene, including Eben Freeman from Tailor, Don Lee from Momofuku/PDT, Martim from Madam Geneva/Double Crown, and TJ Lynch from The Breslin/Rusty Knot. These artists in their field turned out some of the most tantalizing and whimsical concoctions in recent memory. Served up in the style of pushcart street food, the mixologists showed off with strawberry batidas (South American-style smoothies), coconut water cocktails, and even snow cones and popsicles—all focusing on the Absolut debutant.
The Union Square Ballroom provided the space: an odd basement, that had the feel of an Elk’s Club rec room, but was transformed into a kitchy, yet surprisingly engaging Brazilian Festa. Fruit was scattered across the bar, though, who needs a bar when you’ve got alcoholic ice cream? Bright streamers, Tiki-style umbrellas and a Brazilian Samba band completed the effect.
Likewise, the party-goers made up one of the better crowds that I’ve had the pleasure of carousing with lately. Laid back, friendly and diverse, there was no uptight scramble for the open bar, or haughty scoffing at each other’s dates. It also helped that Absolut didn’t attempt to squeeze a ridiculous number of people into a small space.
Like the flavor of the cocktails, the balance of the event was exceptional. The Berri Açaí flowed freely, without having the slightest hint of ever running out, and the enthusiastic crowd savored the spirit—in every sense of the word.
– Ava Fedorov