Members! Your copies of The Center Won’t Hold are making their way via the Pony Express to your homes right now. We sat down with Alex Goode from Absolut Elyx to learn more about Elyx and this month’s featured cocktail, so you can get prepared before your record comes and crack an adult beverage while you crack the plastic on the outside of your record.
VMP: It's been great working together over the past few months and developing this partnership, we’re excited to share the world of Elyx with our members. There are a lot of parallels between Elyx's and VMP’s core values-- attention to detail and commitment to quality. Manifesting this type of intentionality every step along the way results in high quality physical products for fans. Stoked to sit down with you today and learn more about the story behind Elyx, what's on the horizon, and the connections between mixology and music.
Alex: Absolutely! We’ll start with the story of Elyx. Elyx is really about championing the artisanship of vodka making. With Elyx we went back to our roots and we took a look at the core values of Absolut Vodka as a brand. The sustainability, the dedication to using the highest quality raw materials and the purest water we can get our hands on. So using those ideals we created a vodka that is the true essence and the luxury expression of Absolut Vodka. Elyx is an entirely handcrafted spirit. Everything is done in small batches and by hand using our vintage copper column still from 1921. We have a partnership with a non-profit charity called Water for People, which is an international organization based in Colorado that provides clean drinking water to families all around the world. For every single bottle of Absolut Elyx that we sell, we donate a week's worth of water to a family in need via Water for People. A week's worth of water translates to thirty seven gallons of water. So what's really great about that, is that when we talk to bartenders we tell them you're “pouring with a purpose” because every single Elyx cocktail that is sold translates to about eight liters of clean drinking water that will be donated to a family in need.
VMP: What’s your process when you’re approaching like creating a new cocktail for Elyx?
Alex: It definitely depends on the application of the cocktail first and foremost- the type of events, the type of music, the season, who's attending, etc ... all that goes into play when you're looking to create new cocktails.
VMP: Something we love about the application of The Center Won’t Hold Fizz cocktail recipe specifically, is how simple it is to make yet it's packed with elegance and flavor— really making it accessible for our members at home. We’re passionate about providing our members with a wholistic listening experience, cocktails being a piece of the puzzle that can help enhance the ritual listening experience. It seems like Elyx is really big on making those accessible types of recipes.
Alex: Yes! The Center Won’t Hold Fizz is a very simple yet effective drink. It's effervescent, it's very high energy just like the album. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive brand and we want to be a very inclusive spirit, but offer an “air of exclusivity” shall we say … and the way that we achieve that is by offering something that you've never had before. So it's not necessarily exclusive by definition, but it feels that way because it’s something that you’ve never experienced before, like “I've never had a drink that tasted or felt this way on my palate.” This specific cocktail has a lot of flavors going on, but the Absolut Elyx acts as the binding agent that mixes all those flavors, so they sing out in harmony.
VMP: Ha, we love that! We like to think that the recipe is a “binding agent” of the VMP experience. We celebrate having a physical album, owning your music and listening to albums from start to finish; you're not skipping songs- you're really settling in for an experience and I know that's why we keep these cocktail recipes as part of our monthly member packages. We want to help encourage people to just sit down, put distractions aside and have that type of intentional experience.
Alex: That mentality is really refreshing. “Intentionality” is an appropriate word to use in the sense that it's a deliberate action to sit down and the physicality of using your hands to put the record onto the turntable, dropping the needle to the vinyl and then sitting down to settle into your experience. To actually pair those intentional acts of creating this fantastic cocktail that you’re sitting down with and listening to a full length album on vinyl helps create a 360 degree experience.
VMP: Similar to the process of creating Elyx, every step of producing vinyl requires immense attention to detail and commitment to an analog, handcrafted production process. It starts with curating the music, then we design the VMP album packaging, and then begins the physical process of pressing the vinyl ... all before the package even hits our member's doorstep! So each part along the way there is some part of human touch involved which is something that we're seeing less and less of in today's day and age and I think there's a little bit of reversal going on where we're going back to analog and back to the intentionality of having things that are handmade and created with care and craft and I know that is a core value that Elyx holds true too.
Alex: Absolutely, intentionality is very important. I do think that as we progress in our modern times everything goes more toward automation and we are losing some of that craftsmanship. With Absolut Elyx, we looked at how Absolut vodka was born and how it was created. Picture Absolut vodka being this giant vodka company that today sells approximately 250 bottles a minute globally. Absolut Elyx is a much smaller batch product because it is hand crafted. Everything is done by hand, we are handmade for real.
VMP: What's on the horizon for Elyx?
Alex: At Elyx we pride ourselves … we like to be pioneers in the industry. We have fun creative resources at our fingertips so we always try to incorporate an element of handcrafted into everything that we do. Obviously there's a crossover with music too. Just as music is an art form that has been around forever, distilling as an art form has also been around forever. As a musician, you’re always looking to better yourself, to add to your art and add to your craft and thinking about what can you bring to the table when it comes to the music industry. Likewise for Elyx, we took a look at what Absolut vodka had been doing right for over a century of distilling and asked how can we make this even better, how can we amp up the artisanship or the handcrafted-ness. So we’re focusing in on “Raising The Bar” in conjunction with our new bottle design launch. “Raise The Bar” is essentially the idea of elevating everyday experiences or succeeding in an unconventional way. We want to celebrate the idea of looking at things from a different perspective and exceeding expectations. For example, maybe taking a more mundane cocktail that you've had a million times before but using Elyx this time and some sort of fresh herbs that you grew out of your garden or that you've got at the local farmer's market and just experimenting a little bit and then bang … you've got a new cocktail you never knew existed because you're using something in an unconventional way.