Friday, December 5, 2008

Ketel One at Kultura

So, an interesting thing happened to me last week. I know this probably happens to famous writers and bloggers all the time, but little ol' me was contacted through this blog to attend a Ketel One vodka tasting at Kultura by Matchstick, a 'word-of-mouth' marketing company. We were told that we'd have a formal tasting of luxury vodkas followed by cocktails and gifts. I brought Marcelo, who knows way more about vodka than me.

Everyone there was a blogger of some sort from Toronto, so there were people who write about food, drink, fashion, music, pop culture, and many other things. That itself was pretty cool. I met Carlos Weisz, a music blogger for BlogTO. Carlos is from Mexico City and has been in Canada for 10 years. I'm not sure what the actual name of his day job is, but he's like a DJ but with video. So one of the things he does is splice video live for parties and events. Cool day job. I, of course, asked him if he liked any Mexican restaurants in Toronto and he said Milagro for Filete a la Tampiquena (grilled beef dish) and Taquitos Rosaritos (shrimp tacos), and Tacos el Asador, which is El Salvadorean.

I also met Jesse Ship who writes for Format Magazine, an urban arts and fashion blog. Jesse had crazy, Sideshow Bob hair and was definitely the most sociable blogger there. He has a brand new blog about art and music called fubitch.

As soon as we got there, a very hip and friendly photographer hired for Ketel One got us to pose in front of a Ketel One logo. It was the closest I've ever come to doing a photo shoot. He directed us on how to pose and what to do, "Hold up your scarf...make a gesture..." So funny. My friend Ayngelina who writes about food for BlogTO very aptly said that that we should have done the photos at the end after the tasting and free drinks.

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, waiters circulated with hors d'oeuvres and they were all amazing! We had Crispy Tofu with Garlic Chips and Miso Consomme (best ever - soft tofu with crisp exterior), Mediterranean Chicken Samosas, Caprese Salad Canapes, Miso Carpacci on Prosciutto Crisps, and Tandoori Beef with Tamarind Sauce and Coconut. If you want to throw a great party and have buckets of money, Kultura is a beautiful, large venue with fantastic food. The room we were in was small and intimate and seated 20 people comfortably, but there are larger rooms as well.

After the hors d'oeuvres and a Ketel One martini, we all sat down for the tasting. Nadia, Ketel One's "Ambassador", told us about the history of Ketel One and their distillation process. My notes from the night are pretty messy due to having the equivalent of 5 drinks, so the details are a little fuzzy. But I do remember that it's called Ketel One because they still use the original copper still from 1691. The company has been in the same family for the 10 generations and someone from the family must taste a sample from every 300-gallon batch before it is bottled for sale.

For the tasting, we had room temperature samples of Ketel One, Grey Goose, and Absolut. Nadia had us smell and taste the Ketel One first and said that it doesn't have a strong smell or overly boozy taste. Then we did the same with the Grey Goose and Absolut. They definitely were very different from each other and the Ketel One was the easiest to drink straight and warm. My husband tried the bottle I brought home that night and he was surprised by how unaromatic it was. Nadia said that this was because it is distilled and filtered longer and more times than other vodkas. I am by no means an expert on vodka or booze of any kind, but I did like it the best. And it's cheaper than Grey Goose, so it really is a good choice for a premium vodka. If you're mixing your vodka with Crystal Light though, you can probably go with the Absolut. :)

We closed the evening with one more Ketel one cocktail, a Cosmo for me, and they gave us all taxi chits to get home safely. On our way out we saw a huge sausage party on the first floor and realized that mayor David Miller was in the middle of the sea of grey.

Ayngelina, Marcelo, and I topped off the evening with an East Coast-style donair from College Falafel. It really is the closest thing to the real deal that I've had outside of Nova Scotia. And pairs well with Ketel One. :)

All photos courtesy of Ayngelina Brogan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you haven't taken him up on the recommendation yet, run, don't walk to Tacos El Asador. And have the guacamole. And the pupusas. And the empanadas...Oh, just GO.