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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

29 October, 2018 - The Perfect Puree and The Annual Wizards of Elixers Cocktail Competition

Slow Living Radio comes to you live today from the Wizards of Elixers event at the Archer Hotel in downtown Napa.  Hosted by The Perfect Puree, we first welcome Co-President  and Chief Marketing Officer, Michele Lex, and the Archer Hotel F&B Director, Peter Triolo.

In our next segment, we are joined by Griffo Founder Mike Griffo, followed by last year’s first and second place winners, Kelley Dalls, from Solbar and Adam Welch from Geyserville Gun Club.

In the third and fourth segments, you’ll hear the stories of this years, mixologists:

Emma Kreis – Goose and Gander
Sam Levy – Fern Bar
Caitlyn Hallman – Bird & the Bottle

And to wrap up the show, we are delighted to be joined by Jenni Karakasevic, Director of Operations and owner of Charbay Winery & Distillery.

The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Charbay Distillery, Griffo Distillery and Burly Beverages, host The Annual Wizards of Elixirs Cocktail Competition to Support Fire Victims

The Wizards of Elixirs, a friendly cocktail competition fashioned in walk-around style at The Archer Hotel in Napa, The Wizards of Elixirs invites guests to sample cocktails by 16 of Wine Country’s top bartenders as they vie for the People’s Choice Award and apps prepared by The Archer Hotel.

Michele Lex
The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley

Michele Lex
Since 1988, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley has indulged the culinary passions of chefs, mixologists and food enthusiasts with products that provide ultimate fresh fruit flavor without the peeling, dicing and simmering required for making purées from scratch.

The company’s line-up of fruit purées, specialties and blends features 40 premium flavors, ranging from pantry staples raspberry, strawberry and banana to the exotic lychee, passion fruit and pink guava. The fruits are harvested at the peak of season, puréed and packed frozen to maintain optimal freshness, flavor and color no matter what the season. As the leading U.S. producer of premium fruit purées, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley is revered in restaurants, hotels, bars, bakeries and catering kitchens for the just-picked taste and unmatched consistency of its products.

All flavors can be frozen for up to 24 months from date of manufacture. When thawed, the purees, concentrates and specialties last 7-10 days in the refrigerator, and blends for 21 days.  


Jenni Karakasevic

The Karakasevic family is one of the early pioneers of the modern American artisan distillery movement; they began distilling in California in 1983 with Alambic Pot Still Brandy and haven't stopped since. The lineup includes whiskeys distilled from bottle-ready beer, brandies distilled from Napa Valley grapes, vodkas flavored with 100% real fruit or tea and rum distilled from sugar cane syrup.

Marko is Generation XIII to carry on the family's European heritage of fermenting & distilling. His 25-year apprenticeship covered every category of distilling. Jenni, his sister, is Director of Operations and Owner.


Griffo Distillery made its mark on the artisanal spirit market in 2016 when it’s London Dry-style Scott Street Gin won gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It’s since released a line of whiskies and now, Coffee Liqueur. Available through Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Griffo products can be found in top bars and retail locations in San Francisco and beyond, including The Treasury, The Beehive, Locanda, The Progress, Bi-Rite Market, Safeway, Costco, and BevMo.

Owners Michael and Jenny Griffo take a fresh approach to the age-old art of distilling. With a Physics Doctorate at their back, the husband and wife duo are dedicated to uniting the disciplines of craft and science to create precise, complex—and delicious—spirits that represent the beauty and bounty of Sonoma County.

Sacramento based Burly Beverages was first imagined by Gabriel Aiello in 2014 and began with a quest for a better ginger beer....something without corn syrup, food dyes, or added preservatives. As his searches fell short he decided to teach himself to make his own from scratch. While learning how to craft these beverages, he accidentally fell in love with the process and quickly realized that he was creating something special. In 2015, Burly Beverages was founded with the intention of providing a healthful alternative to the modern soft drink and cocktail mixer. Using locally sourced produce, creative flavor combinations and unrefined sugars, Burly Beverages strives to create high quality beverage concentrates for the discerning soda or cocktail enthusiast. 

Peter Triolo
Director of Food & Beverage

As Director of Food & Beverage for Archer Hotel Napa Peter Triolo brings a wealth of hospitality experience to Napa’s newest hotel. Triolo’s first food memory dates back to a childhood visit from his grandparents where he spent the day rolling out fettuccine dough, making raviolis, and smelling his grandma’s sauce simmering for hours. When a career in baseball didn’t materialize, Triolo found his way back into the kitchen working with a local California restaurant family that took him under their wing and instilled in him a great passion for the industry. That passion took him around the world with the Four Seasons organization, starting first in back of house as lead line cook for Four Seasons Hualalai. That paved the way to a seven-year career with Four Seasons as a front of house manager, both at Four Seasons San Francisco and later Four Seasons Miami. As a Northern California native, Peter found himself nostalgic for home and returned to the area in 2013 to take on the post of Director of Food & Beverage at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. His love for all things Napa Valley is palpable and when he’s not at work, you can find Peter taking a drive up the Silverado Trail or sampling a glass of Napa’s finest.

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