Spirits: Modern Love

  • Celeste Moure

When Melkon Khosrovian introduced his fiancée, Litty Mathew, to his Armenian relatives, she balked at joining in one of the family’s long-standing traditions. Armenian dinner gatherings, like those of other Eastern European cultures, invariably include vodka—not wine—to complement the courses. “There were many dinners with family and friends, and, of course, there was a lot of vodka,” recalls Khosrovian. “Everyone wanted to toast the bride-to-be, but Litty just didn’t like the taste of vodka.”

From Mathew’s distaste for the Khosrovians’ drink of choice evolved Modern Spirits, the Los Angeles company that the now-husband-and-wife team founded in 2004. The couple initially distilled their vodkas at home, creating spirits that better suited Mathew’s palate by infusing them with organic fruits from the local farmers’ market and with spices used in India, her native country. The pair designed the delicately flavored spirits to accompany cuisine ranging from the multiethnic dishes they cooked at home to street food from Japan, India, and Thailand. “As the food gets more eclectic, it becomes harder to find a good wine that complements those flavors,” remarks Khosrovian. “The characteristic of a spirit is that it cleanses the palate. When you drink vodka and you go from one bite to another, it’s as if you are tasting each mouthful for the first time.”
 
Now a growing business with its own factory (the “fruit lab”) and eight varieties of vodka (from $23 for 375 ml bottles to $38 for 750 ml bottles), Modern Spirits continues to use farmers’ market ingredients to produce spirits that complement food. The company’s Candied Ginger vodka balances sweet and spicy flavors that match well with sushi and curries. The Black Truffle vodka, which features caramel overtones and aromatic hints of rich soil and roasted dry fruits, pairs with pastas with cream sauces or grilled meats and stews. Inadvertently concocted at a dinner party when Khosrovian knocked a piece of chocolate into his hostess’ drink, the Chocolate Orange vodka—a blend of Belgian chocolate and citrus with a hint of cinnamon—is a stunning substitute for a dessert wine.
 
In addition to its eight primary varieties, Modern Spirits also produces custom vodkas for select clients. Dubbed Haute, the private-label program (beginning at $15,000 for 10 cases) empowers Modern Spirits’ customers, much like Mathew before them, to create flavors that pair perfectly with their tastes.

Modern Spirits, 626.771.9469, www.modernspiritsvodka.com

Photo by James Lipman
Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
Porsche 918 Spyder
See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
Photo by Max Earey
The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
Photo by Yakima Products Inc
The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…