New Spirits - Azzurre Vodka and Gin Reviews and Recipes

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Wonderful spirits for sipping straight or mixed in cocktails.

Today I'm shifting gears and sharing my thoughts on a new small-batch vodka and gin by Azzurre Spirits. Azzurre Spirits was founded in 2014 . Unlike many vodkas and gins, Azzurre vodka and gin are distilled not from corn or grains, but from apples, grapes and sugar cane.

Both the Azzurre Gin and Vodka are gluten free and contain no added sugar. Azzurre Spirits has a partnership with Victoria Distillers, located in Sidney, B.C. Victoria Distillers is one of Canada's oldest craft, small-batch spirit companies. They use the highest quality pure Canadian water.

Owner Danny Pettit, named Azzurre in homage to the deep, rich colors of the Mediterranean Sea ('azzurro' translate to 'blue' in Italian). Their bold, standout iris logo indicates that Azzurre has a difference that you can "see/sea." Danny partnered with his daughter Angela, to launch the brand in Las Vegas in 2014. Both the Vodka and Gin have earned many accolades since.

Availability

Azzurre Spirits are distributed by Southern Wine and Spirits and are available at a number of locations around the state of Nevada. More information is available at www.azzurrespirts.com and via @AzzurreSpirits.
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Azzurre has crafted premium spirits which drink well alone, on the rocks and as the key component for cocktails. Mixologists everywhere should be seeking out Azzurre Vodka and Gin. After working with these spirits and creating my cocktails at home, I understand the attraction to modern mixology.

Typically, I try to keep my ingredient list short. I want to focus on the taste of the vodka or gin, not so much the ingredients. With some thought and a shopping list, I was able to successfully construct some tasty recipes for both the Azzure Vodka and Gin.

Following are my tasting notes followed by the cocktail recipes.

Enjoy! I sure did.


  • TASTING NOTES...

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1. Tasting Notes Azzurre Vodka 

Color: Clear.
Nose: Clean, gentle, focused, almost sweet.
Palate: Nice bite mid-palate, light spice, heat to the front, fairly clean, some sweetness into the finish, medium burn on the tongue. Like. With ice some salinity on the nose, smoothed out the palate, minimal burn, very clean. Big like.

Thoughts: Glass cork closure was easy to open and close. Like the shape of the bottle and the long neck. That eye logo jumps out at you and will surprise at first look. Wonderful drink on the rocks as a sipper. Loved using it in the recipes below. The Bloody Mary I made was my perfect, my best Bloody Mary ever!
Highly Recommended.

Closure: Glass Cork.
Blend: Distilled from 34% Grape, 33% Apple, 33% Sugar Cane
ABV: 40%
SRP: $28
Sample provided by the distillery

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2. Tasting Notes Azzurre Gin

Color: Clear.
Nose: Lovely aromatics, lavender perfume, rosemary, orange bitters, pine.
Palate: Smooth, soft, sandalwood, rosemary, rose water, orange bitters, pine. Big like. Ice muted the nose and emphasized the wood and heat, pine and orange bitters on the long lingering finish. Killer finish, quite feminine.

Thoughts: Glass cork was easy to open and close. This gin was lovely on its own as a sipper. Just keep in the freezer and pour a shot in a highball glass. I'm not a big gin drinker, though I do love a good G&T and the Double Gin Mule was super tasty and now a favorite.
Strongly Recommended.

Closure: Glass Cork.
Blend:  Distilled from 33% Apple, 33% Grape, 34% Sugar Cane.
ABV: 40%
SRP: $28
Sample provided by the distillery


  • COCKTAIL RECIPES


AZZURRE VODKA RECIPES

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Azzurre Civilized Lemonade.

1. Azzurre Civilized Lemonade

1 Cucumber slice
8 Mint leaves
1/2 part Lime juice
4 parts Lemonade
1 part Vodka
Splash sparkling/soda water
Garnish with cucumber and thyme sprig

Directions:
1. Muddle the cucumber slice, mint leaves and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
2. Add the vodka and lemonade to the shaker, fill with ice and then shake 10 seconds.
3. Pour into a martini glass.
4. Add a splash of club soda or mineral water.
5. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and sprig of thyme.

Thoughts: Refreshing. Not sweet, nice savory quality, mint and cucumber complimented the lemonade. A civilized drink even grandmother would enjoy. This drink did make me think of my grandmother.

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Best Bloody Mary.

2. Best Bloody Mary

V8 Spicy tomato juice, low sodium- 6 oz
Tapatio hot sauce- 3 shakes
Lemon Juice- 1/2 tsp
Black pepper- a dash
Wasabi Horseradish- 1/2 tsp
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce- 3 shakes
Celery salt,-2 shakes
Garlic diced- 1/4 tsp

Directions:
1. Mary Mix: In a pitcher mix the V8 with the other ingredients, gently stir.
2. Fill a tall glass with ice, add 1 oz Azzure vodka, add the Mary mix, gently stir,
3. Garnish with a slice of cooked bacon, small onion, small pickle (not sweet), pimento, olive, and oregano stalk.
4. Enjoy a drink and a snack in the same glass.

Thoughts: Savory drink, not too hot, not too salty, balanced flavors. It was tasty and quite enjoyable. A drinkable meal. Man that was good. Definitely the best Bloody Mary I have made. A keeper.

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Pink Azzure Rocks.

3. Pink Azzurre Rocks

1 part lemon juice
2 parts vodka
2 parts cranberry juice
3 parts ginger beer

Directions:
1. Use a highball glass, fill with ice, add individual ingredients, gently stir.
2. Garnish with a Bourbon cherry and lavender sprig.

Thoughts: Tasty cocktail served on the rocks. Tart, sweet, refreshing, pretty pink color set it off. Fantastic on a hot day. Reminds me of a pink lemonade. But so much better. Another keeper.

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Classic Vodka Martini.

4. Classic Vodka Martini

1.5 oz vodka
.5 oz dry vermouth
Ice

Directions:
1. Add liquids to cocktail shaker, fill with ice, shake vigorously.
2. Pour into a martini glass.
3. Garnish with olive/pickle.
4. Enjoy!

Thoughts: A true classic cocktail. I like this drink with vodka instead of gin. Another option is to split with 50% vodka and 50% gin. Your call.

AZZURRE GIN RECIPES

Note: Some of these recipes call for simple syrup. The simple syrup recipe is at bottom.


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Azzurre Double Gin Mule.

1. Azzurre Double Gin Mule

10 mint leaves
1/2 ounce lavender simple syrup (see recipe)
1/2 ounce lime juice
1.5 ounces gin
 2 ounces chilled ginger beer

Garnish: lime wedge or mint sprig

Directions:
1. In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle mint leaves with simple syrup and lime juice.
2. Add gin and fill with ice; shake gently until chilled (you don't want to smash the mint too much), about 10 seconds.
3. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, add ginger beer and gently stir.
4. Garnish with lime wedge or mint sprig, or both.

Ooh...a very tasty and refreshing drink. The ginger beer and gin (Double Gin) were the ticket. This is a keeper. Making this again and again.

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Azzurre Cucumber Gimlet.

2. Azzure Cucumber Gimlet

1 thin slice cucumber
8 fresh Oregano leaves
2 ounces Azzure gin
1/2 freshly squeezed lime
1/2 ounce lavender simple syrup (see recipe)

Directions:
1.  Gently muddle cucumber and oregano in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
2. Fill shaker with ice, add gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake well.
3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with a thin cucumber slice and lavender flowers

Thoughts: The Oregano was woody, but balanced by the simple syrup and gin. Different.

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Classic Gin and Tonic.

3. Classic Gin and Tonic

1. Add one part Azzure Gin to a Collins glass full of ice.
2. Squeeze a Lime into the glass.
3. Top off with QTonic water.
4. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Thoughts: Another classic drink. A favorite to enjoy and then repeat!

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Simple Syrup infused with lavender.

Simple Syrup infused with lavenderI made simple syrup with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, gently stir the water and sugar in a small pot until the sugar is dissolved, I added some lavender flowers for flavor (3 stems of lavender, flowers stripped from stems). Bring to a gentle boil, turn off heat and let cool to room temperature. Use a strainer to remove the lavender from the simple syrup. Keep what you don't use in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Many thanks to Azzurre Spirits. You have two wonderful products perfect for entertaining at bars and at home. They make wonderful gifts too. It was a fun change of pace to taste, review and create cocktails at home. Super fun on a hot sunny day.

Cheers!

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