Acai - the Wonder Fruit - in a Bottle
Just as pomegranate became the new coconut water, so acai becomes the new pomegranate. In reality, acai has been revered and enjoyed for generations in cultures around the Rain Forest. Most notably, in Brazil, which is where I first tried an acai "slushee" while taking in Carnavale, a few years ago. Deep purple-red, with a bit of tang, the "wonder fruit" is said to be packed with anti-oxidants and boosts energy. Taking a look around at the sexy, samba-ing population in Rio, I figured a million Brazilians can't be wrong...
Fast forward 5 years, and I'm sitting in a corner of Sunset Tower bar, in Hollywood, overlooking the sprawling, twinkling LA landscape with Carter Reum, Co-founder of VeeV Acai Liqueur. He's explaining that his brother and business partner, Courtney, has just returned from the Rain Forest in Brazil, where he shimmied up trees to pick acai berries, for himself. He was also getting a first-hand education on Rain Forest preservation and environmentally friendly acai farming, as their company donates $1 from each bottle toward these causes.
Apparently, the little acai berries are something like 95% pit, so considering the flesh and skin are needed to "juice" the little suckers, it takes barrels of them to get a glassful. (Ok, I'm exaggerating but you get my point.) Therefore, the Brothers Reum are setting standards in place with regard to their product, so as not to contribute to further pillaging of the area.
In only three months since their launch, Carter and Courtney have managed to secure some of LA's most prized, high-end venues as clients: Les Deux, Nic's, the Peninsula Hotel, Dolce, Ketchup, Bar Nineteen 12, Katana, Sushi Roku, X bar, Citizen Smith, Skybar, Charcoal, etc.
The Sunset Tower, for example, has even come up with a cocktail called The Demitri, the namesake of their well-known, local personality. Its a delicious, refreshing drink, and you'll be hearing about it from me again soon... Here's a hint - sign up for The Liquid Muse Cocktail Club's Cocktail of the Week, and you'll get the whole scoop!
VeeV Liqueur is a blend of all-natural acai, prickly pear and B-vitamins. While the suggestion that these ingredients leads to a night of hang-over free drinking seems somewhat dubious to an experienced drinker, like myself, Carter says he has a whole folder full of people who support the theory. My suggestion is to enjoy a yummy cocktail, or two, made with VeeV, and drive home safely. (This will ensure no hang-over, and guarentee that you won't rub orange-suited shoulders with the celebs who hang out at the places which serve it.)
After chatting with Carter, I was enthused enough about the product to whip up a little drinky, last night, when I got home. (see below) In the meantime, get thee to a LA hotspot, and try a VeeV cocktail for yourself, before the next "wonder fruit" comes along...!
The Liquid Muse Sunset Samba
1 ounce VeeV Acai Liqueur
1 ounce cachaca
2 1/2 ounces peach-mango juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
sparkling pomegranate juice
Shake Veev, cachaca, lime and peach-mango juices, with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with sparkling pomegranate juice. Samba the night away.