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Thursday, July 21 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Vodka Is Dead...Long Live Vodka!

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It's been adored and then scorned, one time ubiquitous and then scarce. It's started wars and revolutions, trends and backlashes. It's grabbed more times during a shift though rarely the recommended spirit. It may very well be responsible for the current-day popularity of cocktails, yet the punching bag of that same cocktail community. And somehow, like a cut Rocky in the final round, she always bounces back. 

Why is it that vodka, the category that's cool to hate, remains one of the world's top selling spirits? Is it time vodka is finally granted her amnesty? 

We gather together a panel of some of the world's leading voices in the category to explore a variety of ways vodka deserves to be re-visited. Together, they will present a tasting of vodkas from varying bases to discuss if the notion of vodka being 'tasteless and odorless' is truly accurate. They will explore a variety of current day production techniques that top vodka producers employ and taste never-before shared products that illustrate the unique steps to becoming a vodka. They will look at some of the iconic cocktails that helped launch the spirit to fame, and explore where the category is heading to pose the ultimate questions: Is it time to finally, truly bury the vodka hatchet? 

avatar for Joe McCanta

Joe McCanta

Global Ambassador, Grey Goose Vodka
Joe McCanta is an expert on taste. And now, as Global Ambassador for GREY GOOSE vodka, he brings together a passion for great cocktails made from freshest ingredients and the creative skill of a master mixologist. A gifted jazz musician, Joe was raised in southern California before... Read More →

avatar for Paul Archie

Paul Archie

Founder/Partner, Black Cow
Trained at Chelsea school of art in sculpture Archie has worked an artist, production designer and commercial director. Archie ran his own production company for a number of years. He production designed for David Baily, Ridley Scott Associates and Propaganda before becoming a director... Read More →
avatar for Jared Brown

Jared Brown

Master Distiller, Sipsmith Limited
Sipsmith Master Distiller Jared Brown made his first spirits at age ten after reading that early American colonists froze cider and lifted out the ice to concentrate the alcohol. As an adult (after a degree in hospitality from NYU, five years in operations at the Essex House Hotel... Read More →
avatar for Audrey Saunders

Audrey Saunders

Co-Owner & Beverage Director, Pegu Club
Audrey Saunders is one of the pioneering leaders of modern mixology and the craft cocktail industry. Her New York cocktail lounge, Pegu Club, is also renowned as the bar that jumpstarted the craft-cocktail movement as well as the artisanal spirit industry. Through her mentorship... Read More →
avatar for Claire Smith-Warner

Claire Smith-Warner

Head of Spirit Creation & Mixology, Belvedere Vodka
Claire Smith-Warner is Head of Spirit Creation at Belvedere Vodka and has been working with alcohol in its various forms for over 15 years. Committed to discovering new ways to drink ‘better’, Claire has developed a range of sugar free and 100% fresh fruit flavoured vodkas for... Read More →


Thursday July 21, 2016 12:30pm - 2:00pm CDT
Iberville Room at the Hotel Monteleone