Viva Healthy Alcohol!
Dried açaí, Milk of Millennia and VeeV neat
If you haven’t heard about açaí, it’s likely you’ve been living under a rock. After all, Oprah named it her #1 superfood, Dr. Perricone proclaims its anti-aging properties and The Washington Post deemed it “the new pomegranate.” Back in my ultra-healthy days, you’d catch me making smoothies with açaí; these days I’m more likely to be drinking cocktails with it—I’m banking on the hope that the antioxidant punch is still potent in its liquored-up form.
The story behind VeeV is a good one, especially when you learn the details while sipping a VeeV cocktail. So, the other afternoon I went to Cantina to meet with Courtney—one of the two (20-something) brothers Reum who masterminded VeeV, a handcrafted wheat spirit infused with açaí, prickly pear (thought to be a natural hangover remedy) and acerola cherry (for vitamin C)—to get the scoop on this new açaí spirit.
What I love most about VeeV is that the company is as socially responsible as it is business savvy. For every bottle sold, VeeV donates $1 to Rainforest Action Network (açaí berries are harvested from palm trees growing in the Amazonian rainforest) and the Sustainable Açaí Project.
With açaí berries and prickly pear being primary ingredients, it’s no surprise that VeeV neat is sweet. At Cantina (the inaugural bar for VeeV), you can get the tangy Milk of Millennia—a Duggan McDonnell cocktail incorporating VeeV, cachaça, crushed mint and ginger, lemon, agave nectar and a ginseng drizzle. In addition to Cantina, you can find VeeV cocktails at Umami, Mamacita, Ambassador, Matrix-Fillmore and Americano. It’s coming soon to more bars around the city, it’s all over L.A. and San Diego, and it’s making its way to Miami next.
Gone are the days of plain old vodka sodas and gross Red Bull vodkas.
p.s. If you’re watching the Emmys tonight, look for Courtney on Fox TV during the pre-show, and peek backstage as Emmy winners sip VeeV cocktails moments after their win.