Haute Event: Absolut Launches Wild Tea in New York City

What becomes when French distillery Pernod Ricard and legendary Chinese Emperor Shennong engage in mild coquetry?

Absolut (Venti, Non-Fat, No Foam, No water, 6 Pump, Extra Hot, Chai) Wild Tea.

Just Kidding.

From Camellia Sinensis in Southeast Asia, to (insert 15 adjective long beverage of your choice) at Starbucks, “tea”, in layman’s terms, has come a long way in its almost 5,000 year existence.

With its myriad health benefits, pleasant taste and soothing properties, tea is one of the most popular beverages world-wide. An 8 billion dollar industry expected to grow to nearly 15 billion by 2012, those in the beverage game are starting to look at Lipton, Tetley and Twinings as more than just crumpet’s plus one.

One unlikely “drinker” befriending these little leaves is Pernod Ricard. Cue, Absolut Wild Tea. This past week Pernod’s luxury vodka brand, Absolut, held its NYC launch party at the Hiro Ballroom to celebrate their vodka-tea lovechild. Wild Tea, as it is aptly named, blends the savory notes of Oolong, the floral, syrupy tones of the Elderflower, hints of red apple and citrus and most importantly, soda water’s better-half.

How does it taste? Best believe it goes down easy. The Elderflower dominates at first while the spicy notes of Oolong and crisp apple follow for a smooth finish. Try it in a citrusy Wild Gimlet, an Elderflower-driven Wild Ginger or a Wild Tea Lemon-Lime Soda. The mind reels to the number of permutations that stand to proliferate as tea enthusiasts and mixologists alike play a little drinking chemistry.

If you’re still not convinced and I have failed to pique your interest, riddle me this. Blend vodka’s antiseptic, diuretic, antitoxin, sedative and atherosclerotic preventative properties with tea’s immune boosting, metabolic enhancing and free radical fighting capabilities, and we in fact have quite the super drink on our hands. Although I suspect it won’t be on the beverage lineup at your local coffee shop, I posit you will find it at your local watering hole.

So I say…
“The Chinese believe in green tea
A people I respect ardently.
But Pernod’s budding taste
Lends us Wild Tea without haste-
A cup of this sounds quite nice to me.”

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