In The Meatpacking District there lies a residence with a peculiar name next to its buzzer. Once granted entrance into “House of Elyx,” an elevator opens into 5,000 square feet of New York real estate heaven. The space used to belong to Mickey Rourke, but now it’s Elyx Vodka’s entertainment clubhouse, ideal for intimate dinner parties, raucous cocktail soirees and the occasional impromptu after party.
But Elyx House doesn’t lay dormant when guests aren’t around; tucked behind a bookcase is the living quarters of the brand’s CEO, Jonas Tåhlin, and his wife Janina. “There is a little separation between my private and professional life,” Tåhlin says, when asked what it’s like to live in the house that vodka built. “Good news is I love Elyx and I do enjoy a good party.”
The residence features an expansive wooden dining table, copper disco ball and, of course, a bar stocked with Elyx. “I restock my Elyx every week… sometimes every day,” says Tåhlin. “It depends on the style of parties I throw that week. Dinners tend to be on the calmer side, after parties are less calm.” (Admittedly I’ve been to both and can attest that this is, in fact, the case). The vodka isn’t the only thing that needs replacing. “I get new flowers every Monday. I found this guy who goes out and buys them from the flower market and then sets them to perfection.”
Despite its decadence, it’s an inviting space, directly in keeping with the brand’s ethos of “warmth and hospitality.” Meanwhile Tåhlin serves as the ideal ambassador. A dear friend since we met at Stockholm’s Elyx House, the handsome Swede is among the warmest and most hospitable humans I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. And yes, he does enjoy a good party.
Tåhlin is joined by Johan Lindeberg, who acts as Elyx’s Creative Director. “Johan brings a fantastic aesthetic to Elyx; it’s visible in everything we do,” says Tåhlin. “He has a great sense for contemporary style and for championing cultural movements.” Lindeberg also shoots the brand’s arresting black and white campaigns, which have featured Charlotte Gainsbourg and Chloë Sevigny.
Together these Swedish pals have done the impossible: developed a luxury vodka brand that is classy and understated, hip and current and even socially conscious. “Our distillery is carbon neutral – the only one of its kind,” Tåhlin says. But whether discussing the merits of Elyx or his new home, it isn’t in Tåhlin’s nature to boast. “Being Swedish that’s nothing we shout about, of course.”