By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief
In a world where mass produced, celebrity-endorsed brands overshadow artisanal and often-times better quality products, it is with great surprise that a global name like Absolut, is staying close to their roots, and in true forward-thinking, Swedish style, launching a luxury product with sustainability, excellence and integrity in mind.
The Absolut brand first launched onto the New York scene in 1979, with Absolut Vodka, revolutionizing the industry with its refined taste, iconic glass bottle, and upscale price tag. Infusing creativity into the global bar culture in the eighties and nineties, along with bringing the first ever flavored vodkas to market, Absolut secured its place as the ultimate cocktail brand, and by the end of the decade was the number one premium imported vodka in the U.S.A. Andy Warhol, who in 1986 was the first artist to create original artwork for the brand said, “I love the bottle, I want to do something…” Since then, the Swedish vodka has collaborated with thousands of cutting edge artists and creatives, including Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Spike Jonze, Swedish House Mafia and Lady Gaga. Yet still to this day, every drop of Absolut Vodka is imported from one source, the region of Skåne in Southern Sweden. Now this heritage brand brings its creativity and passion to their latest product, Absolut Elyx.
Arriving in Åhus, the picturesque home of Absolut, for the Elyx Experience, our group of hip journalists, editors, and social media mavens, immediately began a whirlwind 48-hour introduction to the brand.
For two days we were fully immersed in a fascinating behind the scenes tour, and in witnessing the attention to detail in planning and executing our excursion, it was evident that much consideration and strategic organization goes into any project the Elyx team undertake. From breakfasts at the Hunting Lodge in the breathtakingly beautiful grounds of the Råbelöf Estate where their wheat is grown, to private tours of Elyx’s production facilities; helicopter rides over the stunning coastline, to aperitifs in a fabulous camp in the depth of a forest, a Martini class with one of Elyx’s world-class mixologists, dinner at a chateau, and seeing a stunning sunset near to midnight; this is the Elyx Experience.
Hand crafted using single estate winter wheat from the Råbelöf Estate, and 50% pure well water, Elyx is made under the trained eye of Master Distiller, Krister Asplund, and his team. The result of century-old expertise, using a vintage copper sill from 1921, each handle, knob and lever for every drop of Elyx produced is adjusted manually, making it one hundred percent handmade, unlike any other vodka in the world. The unique application of copper throughout the handcrafted distillation process is essential to the creation of Absolut Elyx, resulting in a silky-textured and luxury vodka experience. Such is its purity of taste and smooth, subtle flavor, it serves beautifully in the perfect Martini, an exotic cocktail, or on its own, on the rocks.
At the heart of Elyx’s business model is a commitment to sustainability, and while the vodka is not produced using organic wheat, the brand has a pragmatic approach to the environment. Elyx is 100% carbon neutral in its production, and over 50% of its local transportation of raw materials is by biodiesel trucks. From seed to bottle, everything is done within a 15-mile radius of the distillery, ensuring quality control and perfection in every detail, and by 2020, the brand goal is to be 80% carbon neutral.
Krister Asplund explains, “In addition to our carbon neutral production ethos, we will continue our relentless pursuit of a sustainable farming solution for our wheat, as organic farming will never solve the food crisis and feed the world.”
Taking their brand responsibility to the next level, Absolut Elyx recently announced a five-year partnership with non-profit, Water For People, and their joint goal to bring safe water to 100,000 people globally. Adopting the popular buy-one-give-one model, Elyx has committed to providing access to one week of safe water (140 liters) to someone in need, with every bottle of vodka sold.
As Tom Roberts, Director of Communications and Social Impact says, “At Elyx we make a vodka out of fifty percent pure well water. It felt only natural to take responsibility. So we do it to help raise awareness, funds and find sustainable solutions for the future.
Absolut Elyx is genuinely a class act, from its commitment to creating a quality, artisanal product in a league of its own, to its brand responsibility toward people and planet. Factor in contemporary campaigns and collaborations, celeb endorsements, and unique events in one of their private residences open to invitation-only guests in Miami, NYC, and LA, and you have something special in your glass. But beyond the hype and Elyx’s heritage, its core brand message is simple; the redefinition of luxury.
“Luxury’s not one dimensional anymore; it is multi-dimensional now. It’s about caring for people and the environment as much as it is making a premium vodka from a single estate,” says Miranda Dickson, Trade Marketing Director.
To that we say, “Cheers,” or as they would say in Sweden, “Skål!”
2oz Absolut Elyx
½ oz Calvados
¼ oz Apricot Brandy
Measure Absolut Elyx, Calvados and Apricot Brandy into a mixing glass.
Fill three quarters with good quality cubed ice and stir until ice cold.
Strain into a chilled stemmed cocktail glass.
Garnish with an orange twist.
Photo Credit: Absolut