On Wednesday night, AVIV 613 Vodka took over the Aria Event Center, transforming it for their official launch party into an international jet setter club for Minneapolis’s hip and swanky crowd. Jews mingled with industry people, 20-something hipsters sipped signature cocktails with mink and diamond-clad baby boomers, and all enjoyed the array of hors d’oeuvres from Crave Catering.
The night was a glittering celebration of the AVIV 613 vodka, the newest venture from local Jewish entrepreneur Marc Grossfield, no stranger to new product strategy. At his former company Johnson Grossfield, Inc., he was responsible for developing and implementing sales promotion plans for clients such as Northwest Airlines, Hormel Foods, Target Stores, Johnson & Johnson, Marvin Windows, and Subway Sandwich Shops. He’s now using that lifetime of marketplace experience to grow Tzfat Spirits of Israel and its signature product: AVIV 613 vodka.
The night started with an opening reception filled with swanky partygoers, a photo booth, and delicious food and drink. The food was plentiful: tabouli salad served in martini glasses, pesto shrimp on a crostini, a lettuce wrap, cheese puffs, a kosher only puff pastry, and my favorite — dark chocolate cake pops(!).
But the vodka was the star of the night. They set up a tasting station where guests could sample AVIV 613 alongside vodka heavyweights like Sky and Grey Goose. AVIV 613’s smooth and slightly sweet flavor stood out when paired against the familiar heavyweights. Guests also got to sample creative twists on classic cocktails, with the drink recipes included with each cocktail on little cards that guests could take home.
- “Celebration” — Sparkling wine and a splash of St. Germain
- “Orchard” — Half a lime, pomegranate juice and a splash of Cointreau
- “Galilee” — Cucumber slices, ½ a lime, ginger beer, and a dash of simple syrup.
After an hour-plus of socializing and sampling, partygoers were invited into the theatre, which had been transformed into a nightclub complete with bars, a DJ, and a giant ice sculpture of the AVIV 613 bottle. Marc welcomed the crowd by saying, “The bars are now open and you can have anything you want, as long as it is made with AVIV 613!”
There were toasts/speeches from all of the people who made the launch a success, followed by dancing, and of course more vodka!
We saw Rabbi Avi Olitzky at the event and he said it was so cool to see an event like this in the Twin Cities, “all in the name of bringing the power and flavor of Israel and the Divine to the masses.”
AVIV 613 is currently only available Minnesota and can be found at Lund’s and Byerly’s Wine and Spirits, Liquor Boy in St. Louis Park, and France & 44 liquor stores, plus Parasole restaurants, Crave, D’Amico restaurants, and Wakame.
There were smiling faces all around as everyone seemed to be enjoying the vodka, the food, and the festive atmosphere of the event. Said Rabbi Olitzky, “Granted, vodka may give you a buzz. But because of the crowd, from the energy and the vibe, I left the event with a high unparalleled.”
Meredith is a MN native who loves to travel and cook. This is her first ever published article.