Yahara Bay Distillers, an award-winning Madison, Wisconsin-based artisan distillery, officially released in November 2012, its new spirit: Seraphine Chai Tea Vodka, featuring a custom-created art label by contemporary Brazilian painter Jonatas Chimen. The product unites the two art forms: artisanal (small batch) distilling and contemporary art.
Jonatas Chimen, a Brazilian-born artist and now an art specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, incorporates a mix of contemporary and classical styles into his work, which has subtle influences of political science, philosophy, psychology and history. He is an alumni of the Art Institute of Weston and a former student of Conchita Firgau, a graduate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, whose fellow alumni include Salvador Dali and Picasso.
“For the chai tea vodka, I wanted to paint something that represented the luscious flavor of chai tea in abstract form, but that would also influence the mood and give the sense of interior calmness,” said Chimen. “When we created this partnership, I was excited to expand the horizons of what a painting can usually achieve, and to show that fine art – even with a classic technique – can exist outside the art gallery.”
Yahara Bay’s partnership with renowned Brazilian artist Chimen speaks to the company’s deep support of the local community and local arts. Yahara Bay’s on-site gallery showcases the works of some of the Midwest’s emerging artists. The distiller hosts a weekly Public House/Art Gallery event every Thursday evening for tastings and tours.
“The blending of art forms is a growing concept,” said Nick Quint, owner and founder of Yahara Bay Distillers. “When we met Jonatas, and saw his artwork in our gallery, his unique style and personality was a perfect match for what our family-run distillery wanted to accomplish for this product. This union is a natural fit, as we both embrace the creativity and spirit of our craft.” Read More from this Article
Since its inception in 2007, Yahara Bay has crafted its premium spirits in small batches to ensure quality, using its 90-gallon copper still, and incorporating fresh, local ingredients, such as grains, fruits and herbs. The company often experiments with flavors and combinations, which is how it arrived at the concept for its chai tea vodka during a fundraiser at a local community event.
Yahara Bay’s Seraphine Chai Tea Vodka is available for purchase through authorized distributors and will offer bottles signed by the artist at various launch parties throughout the U.S. Yahara Bay plans to commission two additional paintings from Chimen for future product releases, including red pepper-infused vodka, set to launch in early 2013.