Recently I received a complimentary bottle of VeeV Açaí Spirit, which meant I had to face one of my biggest fears: berries. For the uninitiated, I have something neurologically wrong wherein I detest the thing that millions — perhaps BILLIONS — of people worldwide love. I speak, of course, of the berry. I hate almost all berries. I’ve come around to cranberries, and I suppose a caper is technically a berry, and I’m okay with those, but all the rest: big problems for me. Huge. It’s not even that I dislike them but can tolerate them in food. I usually want to gag when I smell, or worse, taste berries.
However, I’m determined to have some breakthroughs this year because after all, I do aspire to call myself an unqualified foodie (I mean that in every sense of the term), and I’m not sure I can live up to that title if an entire realm of foods is verboten to me.
And so when the VeeV arrived, I was determined to take on the challenge head on. With the help of Paul Abercrombie’s Organic, Shaken, and Stirred, my friend Sly and I delved into the wide world of AÇAÍ!
Results after the jump…
Opening the first of two boxes from VeeV. Things to note in this picture: the abundance of beer cans is thanks to a power hour that my friends and I had. If you’re unfamiliar with a power hour, you’re probably my dad. Hi dad! Second: I’m wearing black socks because it was cold, and I was out of white socks. In many ways this is another ode to my father. Hi dad again!
Sly seemed to take great joy in watching me open these boxes.
Ta-da! A note telling me to enjoy the Veev!
VeeV was kind enough to send many wonderful recipes. These made us very excited.
Unfortunately we didn’t have any of the mixers for the VeeV-recommended drinks; so we stuck with our original plan to make something from Organic, Shaken, and Stirred. Sorry VeeV!
More hidden treasures: little bracelets from açaí seeds! They represent sustainability!
Last but not least, something sheathed in bubble wrap awaits.
On to box #2!
I had to assume the booze was in here.
Oooooooh. It sort of looked like a nuclear device. MUST DISABLE THE BOMB. BUT WHICH WIRE TO SNIP?
Ah, but it’s hardly a terrorist weapon of mass destruction. It’s a lovely bottle of VeeV!
We are very happy together.
Sly and I are very impressed with the shape and detailing of the bottle.
Sly happily dons a bracelet.
Welcome to my kitchen. Note Sly’s desire to capture my black socks in every shot.
Time to face my fear…
The cocktail of the day was an Açaí-lum Sangria: VeeV, Sauvignon Blanc, grapefruit juice, Angostura bitters, and brown simple syrup. Giddyup!
First, the Sauv Blanc, purchased at Fresh and Easy.
Next: two ounces of grapefruit juice. Yes, this entire bottle for just two ounces. That’s okay though. I caught Sly later on gulping out of the bottle like a camel emerging from the desert.
A spectacular moment captured by Sly.
Note that we’re using the pitcher (which comes with recipes sketched onto it, which we love).
Time to make a quick brown simple syrup. A peek into my cabinet reveals ordered chaos.
My sink has seen better days.
Sly is particularly enamored with the scattering of dishes hanging out.
Within minutes, the brown simple syrup comes together.
Tending to the concoction.
It’s ready, but oh so hot!
Much to the dismay and horror of Sly, I cool down the simple syrup by dunking the saucepan into the cold, nasty dishwater in the bowl. What? It doesn’t touch the syrup!
All that work for one ounce of syrup.
Our cocktail is coming together.
One quick stir…
This cocktail calls for one thing: Snoop Dogg glasses.
According to Paul Abercrombie, this recipe serves six. Note that we are splitting it ALL between the two of us.
Time to try. It smells very berry-ish. I’m afraid.
My first reaction: that’s a whole lot of açaí. But I’m going to push past my hangups… Meanwhile, Sly delights in another shot of my socks.
You know… not so bad! Kind of refreshing!
But tart. Very tart. Weird things going on with this cocktail.
The Verdict: I cleared a major hurdle and embraced the VeeV! The fact that it’s the only berry spirit I’ve ever been able to enjoy says a lot coming from me. The only downside was that the cocktail itself didn’t quite work. I thought it was okay, but Sly had problems with what she felt were the conflicting flavors of grapefruit, Sauvignon Blanc, and açaí. She tried to rejigger it, but in the end, she messed up her whole drink and had to throw it out.
Next time, we’ll use one of the included recipes to give the VeeV the treatment it deserves.