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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ruby Tuesday’s Veev Acai Cocktails


On Sunday, M and I headed over to Albany to find out what all this drink fresh talk was all about. And we weren’t disappointed.

If you didn’t know, Ruby Tuesday has been undergoing quite a makeover. It’s not the same place that I remember back in high school, the place my friends and I would hit up for appetizers and the all-you-can-eat salad bar. They’ve modernized, I guess you can call it, changing up both the décor and the menu.

Upon arrival at the restaurant, we met up with Tom Mazza, the regional general manager. We talked about some of the changes that the company has taken to help them stand out from other restaurants, and to appeal to their customer base (you, me… everyone). Just focusing on the bar alone, you can see how much it’s changed- there’s more of a selection when it comes to beers; their grading system when it comes to wine; and coming up with new drinks made with alcoholic beverages they think will be the next big thing. At the moment, their NBT is VeeV, and acai spirit.

According to their website, VeeV Spirits was the first company to create an alcohol using the superfruit. Also on their website, they have listed their practices on sustainability (distilleries powered with renewable energy, ingredients in close proximity to distilleries, helping the community, etc). Not bad, I guess they’re the kind of qualities I would look for when deciding on which product to buy.

So after all that background info, we finally got started on the drinks (M’s thoughts are italicized).

Superfruit Cooler – VeeV mixed with Absolut Berri Acai vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh cucumber, lemon sour mix and agave nectar. The cucumber was lightly muddled, allowing for some of its flavor to mix with the drink. I definitely liked this one right off the bat. It wasn’t too sweet and had a hint of sour. Very refreshing… do the cucumbers play a significant role with that?

The Superfruit Cooler was my second favorite, perhaps because it was so different. It's made with muddled cucumber, which gives it a very unique, smooth, and very vegetable-y taste -- but in a good way! It's something I've never experienced but was very taken by. You should try it out.

Skinny Pink Lemonade – VeeV, pomegranate juice, Minute Maid light lemonade, and agave nectar. Not bad, but you can definitely tell when you’re having something light. You can’t escape it, diet drinks have that taste. But if you’re looking to cut calories, this is more than suitable.


Skinny Lavender Lemon Drop – This was recommended be one of the servers. I don’t remember if she really liked it, or her customers were ordering a lot of them. I do remember her mentioning it changed colors, so that’s something to look into. Oops, no VeeV in this one, but there was lemon juice, Minute Maid light, Absolut Citron, and a “yellow sugar substitute packet.” Shaken (shook?) and strained into a martini glass. A lavender citrus tea bag is placed in the drink for a finishing touch. The color of the drink changes as you allow it to steep, going from that light pink to a bright fuchsia. The lavender flavor was not as strong as I had hoped, and once again there was that light taste. Okay for a diet drink.

The Lemonade and Lemondrop were more what I was expecting in the drinks, though the lemon drop was enhanced by a very nifty lavender tea bag placed in the center. They were, of course, both delicious.


Acai Mojito – Up until this point, my favorite drink of the afternoon was the  Superfruit Cooler. But then Michael, our bartender, mixed up this drink and I was immediately won over. Mint, some lime and agave nectar (noticing a trend with this?) muddled together before adding the pomegranate and VeeV. Mixed up and poured into a pilsner glass, topped off with ice and club soda. Bubbly, not too sweet… couldn’t stop drinking this, nor talking about it. You can throw out as much hot and humid as you want, but as long as I have a drink like this, I should be able to handle it.

The Acai Mojito was probably our favorite drink of all. Fresh mint, along with the acai flavors made for a pretty impressive pairing.


Skinny Mojito – Our last drink to try, and another VeeV-less one (how did that happen?). Mint, lime, agave muddle, Bacardi Limon, ice and club soda. Very good. I’m thinking that the mojito will be my signature drink this season.

The mojitos were amazing. Although I'd rather not have artificial sweeteners (note: a look at the drink recipe shows no mention of any in the skinny mojito. I guess it’s just skinny as it is), the Skinny Mojito felt light, not too sweet, and you could tell the mint was fresh.

Our gracious host, Tom, showed us how the drinks were made. There is a very specific recipe that is followed at all locations that ensures you get the same, sweet, delicious drink throughout the entire nation. This is definitely a plus knowing that wherever you are a good mixed drink is never too far away.

So there you have it, the newest drinks at Ruby Tuesday’s. Thanks once again to Tom, Michael, and Zuri for this opportunity!

1 comment:

Daniel B. said...

You, me and Albany Jane agree that the Acai Mojito is the best of the bunch. I didn't get a chance to try a drink with the lavender tea bag, but I'm hoping to get back there and give it a shot.

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