It was 11 a.m. on a Tuesday and there was vodka everywhere.
"The sensory lab is to understand the consumer, the consumer's perception," said Per Hermansson, the company's secret weapon. "Not only of our product but as you see also our competitors' products."
Watch the full story tonight on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET
It was 30 years ago that Absolut first took America by storm. With its bold name, iconic bottle and wildly successful ad campaign, the Swedish vodka quickly became the No. 1 imported vodka in the U.S. and the third-largest spirit brand in the world.
But even Absolut is not immune to a recession, and while people may drink more when times are tough, they're also less likely to fork out $30 for a bottle of vodka.
For the last two years sales in the United States -- the largest vodka market in the world -- have been sluggish. At the same time, hundreds of cheaper brands like Skyy and Svedka have flooded the market. But Absolut CEO Philippe Guettat insists he has no fear of losing the vodka war.
"Competition is always stimulating, and Absolut is by far today still the largest imported spirit in the United States," said Guettat. "We're holding our share."
We asked Guettat if the company had considered making a cheaper version of Absolut.
"We'll never compromise on quality," Guettat replied. "[Absolut has] very strong traditions, an obsession for quality and purity ... so [a] cheaper version is out of [the] question."
Still, Absolut is building up its arsenal with a new wave of ads starring celebrities rather than the bottle. The company reportedly shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. And a push is on to showcase the vodka's unique production process.
It's a little-known fact that every single drop of Absolut vodka in the world is made here, in the sleepy village of Ahus in southern Sweden.
This town of 10,000 doesn't even show up in a world atlas, but it is home to the pure well water, winter wheat and distinctive distillation process that makes Absolut Absolut.
"When you have an Absolut tonic in Beijing it should taste exactly the same as if your colleague has one in New York," said Krister Asplund, head of production at Absolut.
Every day as many as 600,000 bottles of vodka are produced here. Attention to detail is paramount. "We can trace every bottle back to what minute it was produced," said Asplund.
Before it is filled, every bottle is rinsed with Absolut vodka. Every label must be placed with an accuracy of half a millimeter. Imperfections are quickly spotted and culled.
The bottles are stored in a massive warehouse before being shipped off to 129 different countries.
As with any war, winning the hearts and minds of civilians is essential. It's a strategy that Absolut seems to have down cold.