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Food & Drink > Eaters Digest

Cool treats and arty martinis

Hillary and Lou
Van Gogh Gin
Grey Goose Vodka L'Orange
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Published 6/21/2000

COOL TREATS

We’re suckers for a good sorbet at the MT, so when Waterford-based Chef Lou DeCillis popped by with his two new flavors (and four old ones) of Savino Sorbet, we were quick to get spoons a-ready. Heck, it was about 90 degrees outside, and any kind of frosty treat is always welcome here.

What was given highest recommendation by the MT staff? Savino’s new chocolate sorbet. It’s reminiscent of the richest, darkest Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen-Dazs flavors, but has the added bonus of no fat and only 106 calories per half-cup serving.

DeCillis calls Tropical Rainbow Smoothie, his other new variety, a "girly-girl" flavor. He hopes women, in particular, will choose it not just for the taste, but for its added calcium and vitamin C – eat a whole pint and you’ll get more than your RDA of each! Jennifer Bagwell, MT staff writer, commented, "This is just the festive taste I was looking for! It’s like being on an island with lots of fruit!"

Other MT tasters preferred the more sour lemon (also Bill Clinton’s favorite, according to DeCillis, who has supplied sorbet to the White House) and the fragrant Michigan cherry (incidentally, that’s Hillary’s favorite).

DeCillis, who has been in the frozen desserts business since 1978, has watched the nonfat trend grow to his advantage over the last decade. Now, it seems, more people are choosing low-fat sorbet over higher-fat ice creams.

He develops the flavors in his home kitchen, mixing up small batches at a time. When he’s satisfied with each new flavor (the Tropical Rainbow one took nearly two years to perfect, because he didn’t want it to taste like calcium), he puts it into production at Stroh’s ice cream plant in Detroit. Stroh’s also does the distribution, so look for Savino Sorbet in store freezers alongside their ice creams. It’s about $2.69-2.99 per pint. Visit www.sorbet.com for more info.

ARTY MARTINIS

It’s easier than ever to put the "art" in your martini. Vincent van Gogh, the most famous artist in the world – except when he was alive – now has two varieties of booze named after him. First there was Vincent Vodka, a premium spirit that features a likeness of one of van Gogh’s self-portraits on the bottle. Now, the same company (Luctor International) has given a nod to the Dutch artist’s national spirit, and introduced Van Gogh Gin. Flavored with 10 essential oils including almond, coriander, licorice and lemon as well as the traditional juniper, it’s distilled in small batches (900 gallons at a time) and comes in a spiffy frosted bottle.

Also a European import, Grey Goose Vodka L’Orange, the newest variety of the award-winning premium vodka, is poised to challenge Absolut Mandrin as the screwdriver fuel of choice. More subtle than absolute, L’Orange whispers through the Tropicana like a warm summer breeze. It would make a great martini, but maybe substitute a peach wedge or a twist of orange peel for the olive.

The art connection? French artist Paul Cézanne’s still life of oranges in a bowl graces the back of this elegant bottle.

And while we’re on the subject, check out the new Hamptons Vodka, which is an American entry into the premium spirits arena. It comes from its Minnesota distillery in an exquisite oval blue and white frosted glass bottle with a red wooden stopper – suitable for framing that perfect single gerbera daisy once you’ve finished the smooth elixir inside. Visit www.hamptonsvodka.com for more info.

Alisa Gordaneer is MT features editor. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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