Let me paint the picture for you: The drink, Stoli Vodka, the venue, Sol Lounge, Darlinghurst, the talented cocktail bartender Luke Ashton, Stoli Vodka’s official and original bartender @86d_ashton , the glorious chef – @ChefMattyBee.
It was a blogger event that all other blogger events should take note from, non pretentious, timed perfectly outside of some of our ‘day job’ nine to five working hours and most of all a personal approach throughout.
Now don’t get me wrong, I work in PR and I know that I do this on a day-to-day basis, but I feel that you can never get complacent in your approach as the media landscape is always changing, especially in this day and age, you’re always learning. It’s is very easy to lose track when there’s blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Four Squared, Linked In and then of course traditional media outlets – the ‘old-timers’ that will quite frankly never go out of fashion – Print, online radio and TV. (I love that I’m now referring to online as traditional, ha!)
If I receive one more ‘pitch’ in my inbox that consist of a press release in no context what-so-ever, I might have to reply just asking them why it is of relevance to me and my blog and how they can see it working for me and my readers… This is something that Polkadot PR (@PolkaDotPR) didn’t have to worry about. The pitch was clear, tailored and concise, ahhh.
In the first instance they approached me with regards to The Stoli Original Fund, it was made to be relevant for my blog, my readers and instantly grabbed me – kudos to them. The resulting post is here if you fancy checking it out 🙂
Back to the event at hand, I was invited to attend the Stoli Vodka Cocktail (#Stolievents) event along with a number of my blogger peers:
If I’ve missed anyone, don’t hate me, let me know and I’ll add straight away!
I arrived at Sol Lounge at 6:30pm, it had been a hectic few days, and I’d been stranded in Brisbane due to the ash cloud and only arrived back that morning. Also, I had heard from ‘The Boy’ and he’d asked to see me again… result! For a run…fail! We’ll come back to this later in the week, it’ll be worth it! 🙂
Back to the event, I arrived and was greeted by Fred Duarte, Stoli Brand Manager whilst Luke prepared me a twist of a classic Dirty Martini, and it consisted of Smoked olives steeped in Stoli Vodka then topped with straight Stoli, with a dehydrated smoked olive and liquorice ash rim. I could tell that a lot of hard work had gone into this and for those that like and appreciate dry martinis, I’m sure this would’ve been amazing.
Only I have more of a sweet tooth when it comes to my beverages. So I decided to sample the next one on the list, the award winning Tsarnia – how amazing does it sound: Stoli Razberi, Mandarin Napoleon, Luxardo, a dash of peach bitters, fresh lemon juice and fresh pink grapefruit juice. Garnished with a mandarin twist – I’m actually salivating at the mouth as I write this 🙂
Luke has an amazing story, one that I’d love to tell you about! You can find out more about him in my upcoming post along with more details about Chef Matty Bee! Both are members of the elite TOYS Collective group, a group of young, original chefs, sommeliers, bartenders and front of house staff who plan and manage one-off themed degustation dinners across the country, matching wine, cocktails and food. “I am lucky to be able to pursue my passion and constantly grow and improve on such a number of different platforms,” Luke says
Back to the event, I met with all my fellow bloggers and we chatted amongst ourselves whilst sampling the amazing drinks, then the canapés were brought out that were prepared freshly onsite by Chef Matty Bee – A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!
First of all we were served with Bloody Mary Oysters Shots with Asian Celery, they were unreal! I’ve only recently got onto the oyster bandwagon, but man was it worth the wait – it was like a taste sensation in my mouth. I thought that nothing could possibly top them, that was until the rare seared tuna with Stoli Vodka infused black bean, cucumber and ginger dressing was brought out…
You can see from what they looked like! Amaze! The taste – indescribable – I think it’s important to note that I don’t normally don’t like raw tuna, I had a bad experience whilst on a press trip in Moscow in my early twenties when I mistakenly took it for watermelon – less than ideal! I can now confirm after tasking this, I’m converted!
Other dishes that we were treated to include: Blue cheese balls in walnut dust with Stoli Vodka macerated cherry tomato, Szechuan salt and pepper chicken wings. For desert we indulged in torched marshmallow skewers with melted chilli Stoli Vodka chocolate – Yum!
The menu in full is here:
Created by Stoli Vodka’s Original Bartender 2011, Luke Ashton
- A twist on a classic Dirty Martini
Smoked olives steeped in Stoli Vodka then topped with straight Stoli, with a dehydrated smoked olive and liquorice ash rim
- The Tsarina
Stoli Razberi, Mandarin Napoleon, Luxardo, a dash of peach bitters, fresh lemon juice and fresh pink grapefruit juice. Garnished with a mandarin twist
- A play on the popular Vodka and Soda
Stoli Vodka combined with a bespoke spiced rhubarb soda
Stoli Vodka infused canapé menu
Prepared exclusively for Stoli Vodka by Chef Matty Bee
- Bloody Mary Oysters Shots with Asian Celery
- Rare seared tuna with Stoli Vodka infused black bean, cucumber and ginger dressing
- Blue cheese balls in walnut dust with Stoli Vodka macerated cherry tomato
- Szechuan salt and pepper chicken wings
- Torched marshmallow skewers with melted chilli Stoli Vodka chocolate
The event ended on a high note as @StylinYou walked away with the blogger prize of a night at any Vibe Hotel – lucky lady!
This year, Stoli is rewarding the genuine originality of Australians with the 2011 Stoli Original Fund. Whether it’s launching a unique recyclable fashion label, starting a vertical neighbourhood garden, or building a new musical instrument, as long as you have an original idea you’re in with a chance to win cash from the Stoli Original Fund to unleash your dream idea and turn it into a reality. For more information visit the Stoli Facebook page on http://facebook.com/stolivodkaaustralia.
For more information on Stoli, visit http://www.stoli.com/us-ca/