Brand Pays Homage to Namesake in First Collaboration with Arts Community
Louisville, KY (November 13, 2018)—Van Gogh Vodka is thrilled to announce its first BARtist in Residence, Pablo Sanchez of La Cuisine in Ocala, FL, the culmination of the brand’s “The Art of The Cocktail” competition presented by Chilled Magazine in collaboration with acclaimed artist Stephen Elliott Webb and Charleston’s Principle Gallery on International Artist Day. On October 25, 2018 Pablo’s cocktail masterpiece, the Almond Blossom, was awarded top honors at a live event celebrating art in its many forms in Charleston, SC by a panel of judges from the mixology and arts communities.
The winning cocktail was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms painting from 1890. “Almond Blossoms is an amalgamation of all Van Gogh’s influences during this period,” explained Pablo. In March of 1888, Vincent Van Gogh traveled to the south of France and began the most productive period of his career. He arrived as the fruit trees were about to bloom and was so taken by their beauty that he completed fourteen paintings of blossoming trees within a month. To Van Gogh, these trees represented awakening, hope and rebirth. “I sought to capture that hopeful tone with my cocktail, I wanted to keep it bright, light and cheerful,” explained Pablo.
The winning cocktail did just that. Republic National Distributing Company Corporate mixologist and judge Sly Cosmopoulos noted its bright, citrus crispness complemented by almond and herbal notes, and a lingering floral flavor, “Pablo’s Almond Blossom cocktail was perfectly balanced and left your palate wanting more…No one flavor dominated the other.”
“This competition allowed us to honor our namesake, Vincent Van Gogh, while paying homage to both the art community as well as these ‘new age’ BARtists.” said Jason Schladenhauffen, President and CEO of 375 Park Avenue Spirits, the importer of Van Gogh Vodka. “In doing so we brought two different worlds together, art and cocktail creation, which quite frankly belong together just as paint does to canvas.”
In addition to the Almond Blossom, guests at the event enjoyed sippable works of art from the other competition finalists including A Stroll Through Vincent’s Garden from Carol Donovan of Burton’s Place in Chicago, IL and The Devil’s Garden from Julian Aduriz of OLA in Miami.
The stunning and delicious cocktails were enjoyed alongside a commissioned pieced by fifth generation Charleston artist Stephen Elliott Webb entitled Abstract Expressions. It is a dynamic, free-standing piece inspired by Van Gogh Vodka. Created with alcohol inks, acrylic inks, latex paint on Plexiglas, Webb explains, “The diversity of flavors, or as they call them, “expressions” offered by Van Gogh Vodka is very inspirational. With sixteen different approaches to the creation of flavor and sensations, I had no shortage of input through colors and tastes to bring out the best in me while creating this work of art. I thrive off of the strong visuals that Van Gogh Vodka has put forth. It is an endless supply of stimulation. I pushed to capture that in the creation of this work entitled “Abstract Expressions.”
To make all of the Van Gogh Vodka sippable works of art at home:
Created by Pablo Sanchez, Ocala, FL (Winner of the 2018 The Art of The Cocktail Competition)
2 oz. Van Gogh Vodka
1/2 oz. rich orgeat syrup
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. matcha tea
3 drops of orange blossom water
2 dashes of black walnut bitters
Mix all ingredient in a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain into stemmed glass over crushed ice. Garnish with an edible flower
A STROLL THROUGH VINCENT’S GARDEN
Created by: Carol Donovan, Burton Place, Chicago, IL
1 oz. Van Gogh Vodka
1/4 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. ginger beer
1/4 oz. Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry reduction* (as a float)
3 slices cucumber
Prepare Collins glass by twirling a long cucumber length along the inside. Muddle the 3 cucumber slices in a mixing glass. Add Van Gogh Vodka, Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate, and fresh lemon juice. Shake well. Double-strain into prepared Collins glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add ginger beer to within 1/2 inch of the top. Float the Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry reduction on top, and garnish with edible flowers.
*Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry reduction: cook 1 oz. of the vodka over heat until thickened
Created by: Julian Aduriz, OLA, Miami, FL
1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Vodka
1/2 Lime juice
2 tablespoon diced watermelon
1/2 oz. cucumber syrup
4 Fresno pepper slices
10 mint leaves
Prepare martini glass by rolling a long cucumber strip into a spiral and placing on the bottom, middle of the glass. In a mixing glass, muddle mint, peppers and watermelon. Add lime juice, cucumber syrup and Van Gogh Vodka, shake well with ice and double strain into the prepared martini glass. Add Fresno and yellow tomato slices to float as additional garnish.
In addition to a $2,500 grand prize, Pablo’s cocktail will be featured in the annual Van Gogh Vodka recipe book and $1,000 will be donated to Marion Cultural Alliance (Applaud the Arts) in Pablo’s name. As the brand’s BARtist in Residence, Pablo will have an opportunity to work with the brand at events and develop creative uses for Van Gogh Vodka in the future.