CHICAGO On February 20, Effen vodka hosted a launch party for its new cucumber-flavored beverage at Sunda. With only 50 invitees—mostly members of the media and local restaurant owners—the sit-down dinner let guests sample several preparations of the summery liquor.
The appetizer course of tuna tartare and sake-steamed mussels, for example, came with a cucumber Cosmopolitan; a mix of cucumber vodka, cilantro, and fresh lemon sour accompanied the truffled Waygu beef. The dessert course of coconut-black-sesame pudding was paired with a smoothie of the new vodka, Greek yogurt, honey, and cardamom.
Guests could also build their own cocktails at a glowing Lucite bar, dubbed “the Effen cucumber play station,” that was decked with images of the signature fruit. The station was stocked with 15 garnishes, which included grapefruit, honeydew, watermelon, cilantro, and bell peppers.