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SKYY® Vodka Names Chef Marcus Samuelsson As Brand's First Culinary Ambassador

"Top Chef Masters" Champion and James Beard Award Winner Creates "Captivating Cocktails" for Innovative In-Home Entertaining Program

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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SKYY® Vodka, the award-winning 94 point rated vodka, is pleased to announce the launch of an exclusive partnership with world-famous Chef Marcus Samuelsson, who will serve as the iconic brand's culinary ambassador.  As part of the strategic partnership, Marcus' main focus will be to demystify creating high-quality cocktails in the home environment using a roster of easy-to-make Captivating Cocktails he has developed, bringing his unique and innovative culinary style to any occasion.

"Marcus Samuelsson is a culinary visionary and a true innovator in his approach to both food and cocktails," said Jason Daniel, Brand Director, SKYY Vodka. "This alignment pairs an award-winning chef, who has a distinct voice and style, with an award-winning vodka to help alleviate consumers' fears about creating sophisticated cocktails at home." 

Samuelsson, who won Food Network's Chopped All-Stars in May, is the owner and Chef of Red Rooster Harlem, which was named one of the top-10 new restaurants in New York City by The New York Times.  A recipient of the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: New York City Award, Samuelsson released a memoir, Yes, Chef, a New York Times best seller, in June.

Continuing SKYY's commitment to quality, innovation and style, the partnership, which will run from September through December 2012, will focus on bringing the elegance of Samuelsson's culinary and mixology style to SKYY's consumers in a very approachable and easy-to-execute way. 

"People are used to savoring a fabulous cocktail before a meal at a restaurant, but are paralyzed when it comes to making these same cocktails at home," said Samuelsson.  "As SKYY Vodka's first Culinary Ambassador, I have developed a Captivating Cocktails program that is all about ending this fear and encouraging people to embrace the art of at home cocktailing.  We want to show people that they can easily pick up simple, fresh ingredients for artisan cocktails just as they do for dinner."

According to a recent survey on Americans' drinking habits, 92% of people polled enjoy sophisticated, high-quality cocktails at their local bar or restaurant.  Of that same group, 78% are too afraid to even attempt them at home.

To curb this issue, instead of relying on hard-to-find ingredients or complicated processes, Samuelsson has taken classic, beloved recipes and given them simple, sophisticated, culinary twists that are easy for anyone to make.  To complete the full entertaining experience, Samuelsson has also created a variety of inventive small plates such as the Chicken & Waffles with Spiked Syrup and Turkey Meatball Sliders on Biscuits with Cranberry Chutney, for enthralling food and cocktail pairings.

Selected Captivating Cocktails include:

Basil Gimlet
Makes 1 cocktail

Inspiration:  Peppery Basil gives this citrusy and sweet gimlet a surprising twist. Here we make a honey solution to help incorporate all the flavors together. You can serve it up in a martini glass or on the rocks, but make sure to garnish with a basil leaf for an added sensory experience.

2 ounces SKYY Vodka
1 ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce honey Solution (1:1 honey and hot water)
5 small basil leaves

Fill shaker with ice and all ingredients.  Shake vigorously.  Strain and serve in a martini glass garnished with basil.

The Savoy
Makes 1 cocktail

Inspiration: This cocktail is bright, light and refreshing, plus its super simple to make. Muddling is such a great, easy way to release flavors in your cocktail ingredients. There's no need to invest in a muddler. You can use the handle end of a wooden sauce spoon or whisk.

2 ounces SKYY Vodka
3 red grapes
3 white grapes
1 ounce lemon juice
½ ounce agave syrup

In a rocks glass, muddle two red grapes and two white grapes.  Shake vodka, lemon juice and agave together with ice and strain over muddled grapes.  Garnish with a skewer of 4-5 grapes.

White Sangria
Makes 1 cocktail

Inspiration: I love sangria because of its versatility. It has the reputation for being a summery drink but you can really enjoy it year-round by integrating more seasonal fruits. White wine lends a brightness and also allows you to showcase the color of the fruits a little more than with a red.

2 cups SKYY Vodka
2/3 bottle white wine
2 ounces lime juice
8 ounces orange juice
8 ounces apple juice
1 mango, cut into cubes
2 pears, cut into cubes

Soak fruit in juices and vodka for two hours to overnight (feel free to add more SKYY for a stronger drink).  Stir together in a pitcher and serve in wine glass.

For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/SKYYVodka or Twitter: @SKYYVodka.

About Campari America    
Campari America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI - Bloomberg CPR IM).  At the heart of Campari America are two legends in the American spirits industry.  The first, Skyy Spirits, was founded in San Francisco back in 1992 by the entrepreneur who invented iconic SKYY Vodka.  The second is the world-famous Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, where they have been making the world's finest whiskies since the 1800's.  Both companies were purchased by Davide Campari-Milano and together they form Campari America, which has built a portfolio unrivaled in its quality, innovation and style, making it a top choice among distributors, retailers and consumers.  Campari America manages Gruppo Campari's portfolio in the US with such leading brands as SKYY® Vodka, SKYY Infusions®, Campari®, Wild Turkey® Straight Kentucky Bourbon, American Honey®, Russell's Reserve®, Glen Grant® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Cabo Wabo® Tequila, Espolon® Tequila, Ouzo 12®, X-Rated® Fusion Liqueur®, Frangelico®, Cynar®, Carolans Irish Cream®, Irish Mist® Liqueur, Sagatiba® Cachaca and Jean-Marc XO Vodka®.  Campari America is also the exclusive US distributor of Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Auchentoshan® Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glen Garioch® Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, McClelland's® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Flor de Cana® Rum, Midori® Melon Liqueur, Hibiki® Whisky, Hakushu® Single Malt Whisky, and The Yamazaki® Single Malt Whisky.

Campari America is headquartered in San Francisco, California.  More information on the company can be found at www.campariamerica.com, www.facebook.com/campariamerica, Twitter: @CampariAmerica and www.camparigroup.com.  Please enjoy Campari America brands responsibly and in moderation.

About Gruppo Campari
Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A., together with its affiliates ("Gruppo Campari"), is a major player in the global beverage sector, trading in over 190 nations around the world with a leading position in the Italian and Brazilian markets and a strong presence in the USA and Continental Europe. The Group has an extensive portfolio that spans three business segments: spirits, wines and soft drinks. In the spirits segment its internationally renowned brands, such as Campari, Carolans, SKYY Vodka and Wild Turkey stand out. It also has leading regional brands including Aperol, Cabo Wabo, Camparisoda, Cynar, Frangelico, Glen Grant, Ouzo 12, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Zedda Piras and the local Brazilian brands Dreher, Old Eight and Drury's. Its wine segment boasts the global brand Cinzano, as well as important regional brands including Liebfraumilch, Mondoro, Odessa, Riccadonna, Sella&Mosca and Teruzzi&Puthod. The soft drinks segment comprises the non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino and Lemonsoda as well as its respective line extension dominating the Italian market. The Group employs over 2,200 people. The shares of the parent company, Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI - Bloomberg CPR IM), are listed on the Italian Stock Exchange. www.camparigroup.com

More information on the company can be found at
http://www.camparigroup.com/en/group/main.jsp
http://www.youtube.com/campariofficial

Media images are available at http://www.camparigroup.com/en/press_media/image_gallery/campari_download.jsp

SOURCE SKYY Vodka



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