Thomas Kuuttanen Archives - Please The Palate
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This article originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register (October 30, 2015) Is vodka your favorite drink? That was the question posed by Purity Vodka Master Blender Thomas Kuuttanen at a recent dinner. More than half of the hands went up. Whether it was true, shouldn’t one answer favorably in front of a vodka producer? Well, I did not raise my hand. I could not lie. Vodka is not my favorite spirit. I am a gin drinker. I find vodkas to be rough, flavorless and odorless and some are like rubbing alcohol. Sure, it is a neutral spirit and can be the base in many cocktails but I like the flavors that come from other spirits. We did not get the response you would think from a vodka producer. He responded that vodka is, in fact, not his favorite spirit either. Having worked in the spirits industry in Sweden for many years, he is more of a fan of whiskey. Thomas explained that he found vodka kind of sad; vodka is more about image and not about content. But, spirits are about soul and passion, and that is what Thomas set out to make, creating Purity Vodka, which is the winner of more than 100 gold medals in blind competitions. Master Blender Thomas Kuuttanen
Unfortunately, we were awoken by the sound of the jackhammer outside on the street this morning starting before 8am.  This was not a welcome sound when bed time was at 4am.  Pillows over our heads, we tried to ignore it until we had to get up.  Even tougher to get up this morning (our feet still hurt from all the walking yesterday), we managed to get out and head over to the Monteleone. 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM - "Brunch with an Italian Twist" The Spirit of Italy team was back for breakfast.  The Italian bartenders were dressed in the finest white suits making more cocktails with the Italian artisanal liquors, digestives and grappas produced by Luxardo, Amaro Lucano, Distillerie Moccia, Distillerie Nardini, Pallini, Toschi and Varnelli. Cocktails included a Bourbon Milk Punch enhanced with Amaro Lucano, a Strawberry Ramos Fizz with Fragolí by Toschi, a New Orleans Chicory Coffee Shakerato with Zabov egg yolk-chocolate liqueur, Varnelli Anice with Clamato juice and cucumber-dill foam, a fresh-squeezed citrus Mimosa spiked with Nardini Grappa, a Luxardo Maraschino Cobbler and a Pallini Limoncello Champagne Cocktail. 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM - Come Aboard for Cocktails and Lunch with Carnival Cruise Lines
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