The beautiful packaging immediately caught my attention as many of the party guests "oohed" and "aahed" when the bottle was removed from the gift bag. It was passed around the room to numerous comments about the "gorgeous" and "exotic" design. The vodka is contained in an imported French bottle with rich red side panels, a shiny red neck wrap and a gorgeous dragon etching. To be honest, when what resembles an oversized perfume bottle got to me, I was surprised to see that Yazi is a product of Hood River Distillers, in Hood River, OR - located about an hour from my home studio. (I've always gotten a chuckle out of the fact the distiller is located across the street from the city's sewage treatment plant.)
Everyone at the party then wanted to taste the product. Small liqueur glasses were brought out and the "oohs" and "aahs" started up again as we all began sipping the beverage. The stuff was really good. Along with orange, lemon, cayenne and red pepper extracts, the natural ginger flavoring gives Yazi a sensual and slightly spicy taste. I wasn't surprised at all to later learn that Yazi had received a "Very Good" (85-89 points) from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
It was interesting to read, at a variety of online resources, that Yazi was created with the female market in mind. From initial visual impressions it would appear that it was also produced for a target market of designers, and those who appreciate good design. Portland, Oregon-based Leopold Ketel & Partners created the elegant package. The design received a Gold Medal in the packaging category at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2006.
I'm looking forward to trying Yazi in some mixed cocktails. Hood River Distillers has several recipes for Yazi drinks on their website.
I do think Yazi would be a great last-minute holiday gift - or the perfect "hostess gift" as you celebrate the season in the next week or so.
© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives