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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Editor’s Choice: ALTAR

Last Friday was Valentine’s Day and I thought it would be a good time to sample an herbal martini from ALTAR. According to the company, ALTAR is “the world’s first premium Herbal & Botanical Mood Mixer curated to be enjoyed alone as an ‘Herbal Martini’ or paired with fine spirits as a craft cocktail mixer.” I was curious about that and found it very appealing to have a nonalcoholic cocktail choice available that additionally featured all natural and wholesome ingredients.

So my husband and I sampled Restore, which included a base of heirloom tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, tomatillos, jalapeno pepper, Spanish lemon thyme, cucumbers, smoked sea salt and linden flower layered with white Worcestershire sauce. Additionally there is white peony tea blended with an herbal tonic of wild cherry bark, English plaintain leaves and goji berries.

The thing that immediately struck us was how fresh and flavorful it was, and how it had subtle undertones of a traditional Bloody Mary, one of my favorite beverages with alcohol. Although you can pair this with premium tequila or vodka, I say, why would you want to? This is so good on its own with the vibrant flash of flavor notes and little unexpected hints of surprising ingredients. It’s nice to have this choice for the nondrinker and I think a lot of people will appreciate that. I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors with guests when I have company; I know they will find them interesting and appealing.

The ALTAR collection consists of five flavors or moods: APHRODISIAC, BLISS, CHI, CHILL, and RESTORE. Each is curated with 13 to14 totally unique ingredients ranging from single estate teas, organic fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs and botanicals. Each ALTAR ingredient is thoughtfully sought, grown, harvested and procured in order to create the finest and purest beverage.