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BEVERAGE INDUSTRY NEWS
S E R V I N G C A L I F O R N I A’ S B E E R / W I N E / S P I R I T S I N D U S T R Y S I N C E 1 9 3 4
K’ORUS WINES Taking The Country By Storm!
A SPIRIT-UAL AWAKENING
COINTREAU Can a spirit be both timeless and trendy? CASTLE BRANDS’ Portfolio Reigns Supreme
TEQUILA • RUM • CACHAÇA • PISCO • NEW PRODUCTS • INDUSTRY NEWS • MARKETING INFO • AND MORE...
2 INDUSTRY INSIGHT
DRUNK-DRIVING LAWS IN CALIFORNIA By Alan Forester, CPA, Attorney
38 BRAND PROFILE K’ORUS WINES 40 COMPANY PROFILE CASTLE BRANDS 42 BRAND PROFILE COINTREAU LIQUEUR 44 CATEGORY FEATURE POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME!
The broad and versatile rum category stays fresh.
4 INDUSTRY NEWS
6 COVER STORY KAI VODKA A SPIRIT-UAL AWAKENING
Rare yellow blossom rice, six centuries of tradition, a highly specific marketing plan and enthusiastic team players bring one of the most compelling vodkas on the market to life.
14 NEW PRODUCTS & PROMOS 20 POUR OF THE MONTH Finest Call Mixers
J. King Neptune
52 CATEGORY FEATURE CUTTING TO THE CACHAÇA
Meet the vivacious cousin to rum.
22 CATEGORY FEATURE TEQUILA'S TOP DOG
The multi-faceted category continues to grow.
62 CATEGORY FEATURE IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW PISCO, THINK AGAIN
A clear and bright future for the Peruvian spirit.
BY ALAN FORESTER, CPA, ATTORNEY
Beverage Industry News
VOLUME 89, ISSUE NUMBER 24 FOUNDED IN 1934 binonline.net
DRUNK-DRIVING LAWS IN CALIFORNIA
If one is arrested for drunk driving, two types of cases are triggered against the driver. One is a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) case. For the DMV charge, the driver accused of drunk driving in California has only 10 days from the date of their arrest to request a hearing. If no request for a hearing is made within that time, the DMV will suspend the driver’s license automatically on the 30th day following the arrest. If a request for hearing is properly made, but the driver loses at the hearing, the California DMV will suspend the license for a minimum of 4 months for a first offense DUI arrest. Subsequently, for the second offense, a 1-year suspension, and for the third offense, a 2-year suspension is issued. If the driver refuses to submit to a breath or blood chemical test, the DMV punishment is increased to 1-year suspension (with no opportunity for restricted license) for the first offense, 2-year suspension for the second offense, and a 3-year suspension for the third offense. The second is a criminal case, based on two statutes: the California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and 23152(b). The first charge, under Section 23152(a), focuses on whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point where they are unable to drive with “the same caution characteristic of a sober person, of ordinary prudence, under the same or similar circumstances.” The second charge, under Section 23152(b), concentrates on whether the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08% or greater. This charge is “per se,” that is, regardless of how properly the motorist acted while driving or performing field sobriety tests. Penalties or punishment assigned by the court (arising out of the criminal charges) are entirely separate from the consequences stemming from the DMV charge. A driver may be charged with DUI felony charges. If a driver has three prior drunk driving convictions within the last 10 years, the driver will be charged with a felony after the fourth arrest. In addition, a driver who injures another person may face misdemeanor or felony charges. Also, any driver who has been charged with a felony DUI within the last 10 years will be charged with another felony for any subsequent drunk driving arrests within that time period, with increased penalties and punishment. The penalties assigned by the court for second and third DUI convictions is escalated, i.e. much harsher than for a first offense. For example, a multipleoffense DUI conviction can mean mandatory jail time, a required ignition interlock device, an 18-month alcohol education program, etc. There are several new California laws relating to drunk driving that take effect in 2008. First is a law that applies to drivers who are on probation for drunk driving. These drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle when they have a BAC of .01% or greater. Under California’s implied consent law, a driver on probation for DUI in California must submit to a preliminary alcohol-screening test, administered by police. A second law requires applicants for driver’s license or license renewal to submit written acknowledgement that a DUI that causes death can result in murder charges. If the driver is later accused of drunk driving causing death, this admission will be used as evidence. This law is effective beginning July 1, 2008. Alan Forester is an attorney, CPA and an expert witness in Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. For more information, please visit www.ABClawyer.com or call 877LIQUOR-8 (877-547-8678). ■ Disclaimer: This article is not to be construed as legal advice. Please check with an attorney before taking action.
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INDUSTRY SAYS GOODBYE TO BOB MONDAVI
'Just call me Bob or Robert,' Mr. Mondavi would often tell people, despite being one of the most distinguished winemakers in California's history. Needless to say, the impact Robert Mondavi has had on the California wine industry is enormous. He managed to lead Napa from a jug wine producing cottage industry to a global market of fine wine. He expanded its influence worldwide and established California as an equal to all other winemaking countries, most notably France. Mondavi championed and even introduced the idea to many Americans that fine wine and food was integral to the good life. It is a sad day, indeed, to say goodbye to Robert Mondavi, but as the patriarch of Napa, he leaves behind a vast legacy for the industry, friends and family. BACKGROUND. Mr. Mondavi was born in Minnesota on June 18, 1913. He moved to California with his family in 1923. He left the family business (Charles Krug Winery) in 1965 after he and his brother, Peter, were unable to compromise on business practices. Mondavi wanted to produce fine wines while Peter wanted to continue producing high volume brands. Lawsuits and court battles carried on for 13 years before finally ending in 1979, when the Mondavi family was ordered to pay Mondavi $5 million for his Krug shares. In 1965 he bought a famous vineyard in Oakville with the help of investors and built the now-famous Spanish-style winery. He also changed the pronunciation of his last name from mon-DAY-vi, which the family used, to mon-DAH-vi. When Mondavi opened his winery, California was still primarily known for cheap jug wines. However, Mondavi worked to change that by using wine production techniques he had learned when touring Europe, such as using cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. Not only did Mondavi's wines receive high ratings from critics and connoisseurs, but he also entered a j-v with Baron Philippe de Rothschild's Château MoutonRothschild, creating Opus One. Later one, the company purchased Woodbridge winery to use in a new line of lower-priced wines. After taking the company public in 1993, he eventually sold the Robert Mondavi Corp. to Constellation for $1.35 billion in 2004 after years of declining sales and family discord over how the business should be run. Afterwards, Mondavi vowed "to start over." Mondavi teamed up with his son Tim, daughter Marcia and his wife, Margrit, to launch the Continuum wine brand, which had its first release in the spring of 2008. In 2005, Robert reunited with his brother Peter to produce a wine using equal amounts of grapes from the Robert Mondavi and Peter Mondavi family vineyards. The barrel of wine sold for charity at the 2005 Napa Valley Auction and fetched more than $400,000. Mr. Mondavi would have turned 95 on June 18th. He left most of his monies from personal interests and the stake in his winery to charity. He is survived by his wife and children as well as his brother, Peter, and nine grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Copia, UC Davis, The Oxbow School and Stanford University. ■ Continued on page 58.
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A SPIRIT-UAL AWAKENING
RARE YELLOW BLOSSOM RICE, SIX CENTURIES OF TRADITION, A HIGHLY SPECIFIC MARKETING PLAN AND ENTHUSIASTIC TEAM PLAYERS BRING ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING VODKAS ON THE MARKET TO LIFE
Written by Elyse Glickman
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ne look and taste, even in a crowded field, and it is evident KAI Vodka is clearly a different kind of vodka experience. Certainly savvy distributors and
retailers do. And as for the consumer looking for something new, Vietnam is closer than they could have ever imagined.
“What will make this brand get rooted and grow into something of value for our customers is our clearly defining the KAI story and positioning it so people can understand how special this vodka is,” says KAI founder and managing director Marcus Bender. “There are so many European vodkas circulating with similar claims and all these messages about their wheat, traditions and techniques. However, we actually have something truly special that a variety of demographics can appreciate, something nobody else is doing right now.” Indeed, many things do set KAI Vodka and KAI Lychee Vodka apart. Both varieties can be positioned either as a sexy, exotic cocktail foundation or as “cocktails” in a bottle as they are smooth and sophisticated enough to enjoy on their own. There is a built in Asian mystique, as well as award-winning package design that is in tune with a cross-generational demand for lifestyledriven products. Bender and his team are also using high-tech methods such as an updated web site and viral marketing (via Facebook and other sites) to reach a wide cross section of audiences. Although it is still very new on the market, KAI’s industry accolades have bolstered the brand into the establishment. The flavor and packaging have garnered awards at the Beverage Tasting Institute and the San Francisco International Spirits Competition…no small feat as KAI was launched just a year ago.
FOUND IN TRANSLATION
As the first ultra premium to originate in Vietnam, KAI has translated beautifully to the American market, thanks to its bottle and exotic origins. It also helps that Asian-Fusion cuisine is here to stay,
especially in California. With the sophisticated American palate adapted to Asian spices and flavors, these adventurous consumers and the onand off-premise accounts that cater to them demand something that will challenge consumer taste buds and mixologist creativity. KAI achieves all of this through its distinctive, refined taste derived from the distillation of rare YellowBlossom Rice. It is, according to Bender, a perfect fit for this market whether enjoyed in its original form or Lychee, on its own or in a cocktail. Adding to KAI’s cache is the fact that this special and rare form of rice is grown in small villages near the Cam Giang district, along North Vietnam’s Red River Delta. Because of its delicate nature, it is handcrafted in small batches using techniques that have been handed down for more than six centuries. The process of fermentation and distillation used to create KAI Vodka renders a distinctive-tasting vodka that preserves the natural sweetness of the YellowBlossom Rice. Furthermore, it takes almost 14 pounds of the precious grain to make four liters of KAI Vodka. Although vodka enthusiasts prize what is inside a bottle, the sensual, visual and tactically appealing bottle adds to KAI’s appeal. As a whole, KAI translates into what may be the perfect vodka for a generation of adventurous consumers. “The word ‘kai’ has positive meaning throughout Asia,” notes Bender, from his Honolulu headquarters, “The word means ‘pleasure’ in Japan and ‘happy gathering’ in China. In fact the word has multiple meanings even as one moves through different cultures of Asia. It’s a word that unifies and brings people together, just as a good spirit would. The feedback
KAI founder and managing director Marcus Bender in rice fields near the Cam Giang district, along North Vietnam’s Red River Delta
“My hopes and expectations for the coming year is to expand our footprint into key markets such as Chicago, New York, Florida, Miami, Atlanta and other large vodka markets...”
— Marcus Bender, KAI founder and managing director
from consumers is that they love its smooth, unique taste and the fashionable bottle that captures the east-meets-west spirit.” In the wake of KAI’s launch last summer, the brand has beaten the odds by rapidly establishing a niche in a very crowded landscape of vodkas, where many “me too” vodkas tapping into familiar things like European roots and traditional ingredients jostle for position. While consumer interest in new premium unique products is strong, KAI has won discerning audiences over simply by being different, in its taste, award-winning packaging and the fact that it comes from Asia. However, Bender recognizes there are still challenges to come, even with effective guerilla marketing— expanding beyond California into major markets throughout the US and the World.
“My hopes and expectations for the coming year is to expand our footprint into key markets such as Chicago, New York, Florida, Miami, Atlanta and other large vodka mar8 BIN 2 0 0 8 • I S S U E 5
kets,” notes Bender. “That said, California is still high priority for us as we have earned our accounts and want to continue our work with those who have embraced us and will help us get traction because they understand the perspective of our brand. California is a country and universe onto itself, it is the ideal starting point for a buzz that will find its way into other states because there are so many distinctive markets here.” Early accounts that have helped the brand gain national attention include a mix of trendy Southern California hangouts (The Abbey, Koi, Katana, Crustacean and Nic’s Martini Bar), sophisticated Northern California spots with foodie audiences (Le Colonial, Three Seasons, I-Tapa) and popular, crowd-pleasing restaurant groups that cross a lot of different demographics (Roy’s, P.F. Chang’s). This, in part, has paved the way for KAI to advance into Las Vegas, via destination accounts such as Red Square, David Burke’s, China Grill and The Bellagio Hotel’s bars and restaurants. “Las Vegas is like Hawaii in many ways,”
Bender reflects. “Both places are small in size but big in terms of the impact our product can make on new and old audiences for KAI. While restaurants in Las Vegas are where culinary and mixology trends take shape for the entire country, we also have the potential to reach consumers from around America and the world who come to Vegas to experience the newest and latest things. Vegas is a place of discovery, and being there has already helped us in terms of validating us in other markets. After all, consumers are key to the kingdom, and with 30 million tourists coming through, there are so many opportunities for this kind of discovery.” BevMo’s California and Arizona stores, meanwhile, are also using their unique niche in spirits retail to bring in adventurous consumers. Thanks to KAI’s sales team, in tandem with a variety of marketing strategies (ranging from word of mouth to “viral” marketing that takes shape in the form of blogs, networking web sites and internet magazines), Bender is confident that this will help the marketing aspects at the consumer level for the brand to take on a life of its own. On-premise events in Hawaii, L.A. and elsewhere, are also taking advantage of celebrity-driven events and high-visibility promotions to drive the brand. At one recent even in Los Angeles, for example, Tobey McGuire (of the Spiderman movies) had the chance to sample KAI at a high profile gallery opening with 400 of his closest friends, while actress Jenny McCarthy’s autism fundraiser was cohosted by KAI and David Beckham was recently spotted in at the W Hotel in Honolulu discovering the vodka with the assistance of KAI spokesmodels.
David Beckham with KAI spokesmodels W Hotel, Honolulu
THE “RICE” WAY TO BE CREATIVE
David Nepove, a mixologist at Southern Wine & Spirits in NoCal, like the other team members, has been so inspired by the uniqueness of KAI Lychee Vodka that he has set forth to invent new cocktails that will add to KAI’s pre-existing appeal among consumers and trade. “With an industry flooded with same old same old, it is so great to be working with an original flavor that works so well with many cocktails,” Nepove muses. “Naturally, it is a perfect companion for Asian and Pacific Rim foods. As it is a flavor many sophisticated people cannot wait to get their hands on, I also must say that it is also a great fit for restaurants of all kinds, especially those with innovative bar menus. Why just do a vodka when you can create something with a unique flavor profile that people will be talking about and ordering again and again?”
“Why just do a vodka when you can create something with a unique flavor profile that people will be talking about and ordering again and again?”
— David Nepove Mixologist, Southern Wine & Spirits
HEAVENLY HARVEST BEGETS DIVINE DISCOVERY
The starting point for KAI Vodka and KAI Lychee vodka is fermentation with a traditional combination of 30 herbs, spices and yeast that imparts this distinctive vodka’s unusual character. However, rare and exotic rice is not KAI’s only sweet and seductive component. While other vodkas pride themselves on essentially being flavorless, the delicate flavors in the regular and lychee variety add a fresh dimension to the vodka drinking experience, whether it is being enjoyed straight or as part of an innovative cocktail. According to Bender, the overwhelmingly positive early responses to KAI Vodkas in Hawaii and California was a sure indication the brand would find success in other markets, including Nevada and Arizona. “Our real success in the early stages has been based on getting people to taste it in our off- and on-premise promotions and samplings. While we enabled consumers to ‘discover it’ in accounts like BevMo (and are still doing so right now), we’ve also gotten the buzz going with staff tastings at our bar and restaurant accounts. When the staff has expressed their enjoyment, it has prompted management to take that leap of faith in bringing KAI to their bar and being a part of our themed promotions. The bottom line, however, is that people can taste the difference, and we’ve gotten converts right away.” Additionally, Bender says emphatically that he is a big believer in staying small in some ways to gain bigger traction, especially as “specialness” for many audiences means something that steers away from becoming too big and corporate. Even with his drive to get KAI into bars across America, he is also intent on preventing KAI from becoming a “SKU in a portfolio.” While KAI brand ambassadors are trained
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to bring a personal touch to the marketing of the vodkas, they are spreading a very specific message about how this vodka can appeal to so many different people. While this vodka is an indulgence, it has its healthy side—the fact it is made from rice also makes it gluten free, which introduces yet another audience into the mix and another great reason to be on the market. As accounts like PF Chang’s offer glutenfree menus, KAI contributes to that healthconscious factor.
1.5 oz Kai Vodka 3.5 oz (energy drink) 1/4 oz Blue Cuacao
Shake ingredients in a Boston shaker and pour into a Highball Glass.
A study in KAI’s quick rise is also, very pointedly, a study in contrasts. While the creative message of the print ads and public relations efforts is that “pleasure is the ultimate goal,” the product’s positioning is that KAI in itself is a bottle of contradictions. For starters, the notion of “Asian vodka” is a paradox, as many people still associate the spirit with Europe. Vodka is an ordinary bar staple since it has almost no flavor or odor, but KAI vodka is extraordinary as it has a very specific taste, aroma and feel. Vodka popular for its simplicity, but KAI redefines the vodka spirit as both an exotic and sensory luxury. It is exotic because of its origin, yet very accessible, because KAI’s team is making sure that this message gets through in Hawaii, Arizona, California, Nevada and, later, throughout the States. In the end, the interesting comparisons not only help introduce KAI to a widening audience, but also change people’s notions of what vodka is about and how it can be enjoyed. “This is a fitting way to do business since in the market, you have two contrasting audiences—the people who want something new and the others who know what they like and are attached to it,” says Bender. “Once you understand that, you’ve got what it takes to tap into the diverse psy-
KAI LYCHEE MARTINI
3 oz. Kai Lychee Vodka Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with fresh Lychee Fruit.
3 oz. KAI Vodka Shake and Strain. Garnish with an olive.
KAI ASIAN DELICACY
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup* 3 Thai Basil Leaves 1 Lemon wedge (1/8 lemon) Muddle Simple Syrup, Basil, and Lemon Wedge 1 1/2 oz. KAI Lychee Vodka 1/2 oz. Green Tea Liqueur Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with fresh Basil leaf and a Lemon Twist.
MISS SAIGON MARTINI
1 1/2 oz. KAI Lychee Vodka 1/4 oz. Triple Sec 1 lime wedge squeezed 3/4 oz. Cranberry Juice Shake and Strain into a Martini Glass. Float with 1 oz. Champagne or Sparkling Sake. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.
ches of different ages and demos and being smarter of how we go after the business. If you don’t take that approach, all you are doing is marketing in a way that is similar to taking a shotgun and shooting at random targets. Our approach with the paradox is about bringing consumer interest to the next level by making people understand what separates us from the competition.”
FROM THE PLANTING FIELDS TO THE PLAYING FIELD
LYCHEE—NOT JUST THE FLAVOR OF THE MONTH
In a world where there are as many flavored vodkas as there are personalities, what makes the KAI personality unique is that the brand offers only one flavor— lychee. Although Bender had experimented with new flavor concepts, he ultimately decided to stick with one defining flavor so marketing efforts could run deep rather than become so broad that some products are cannibalized in favor of others. As KAI is the only distiller producing a Lychee flavor, that distinction adds extra weight to the marketing team’s efforts to emphasize the brand’s specialness over all. And yes, there is another engaging paradox to be found….KAI’s one flavor of vodka has a multifaceted nose and palate with notes of spice, rose, orange blossoms and honey. “KAI Lychee Vodka is very much about ‘discovery,’ while both formats are about revealing a secret to conoisseurs that has existed for over six centuries in Vietnam— Ruou--which is Vietnamese Rice Wine or Rice Vodka,” says Bender. “Rice is King & Queen in Asia. We want to let audiences know in a variety of demographics that what they will experience, especially with the Lychee, is that what’s simple can also be exceptional. Furthermore, because California is a melting pot of many ethnic restaurants, bars and clubs, we believe Californians will embrace the uniqueness of KAI Lychee Vodka in 2008.” By keeping the focus just on one flavor and the original, Bender believes there is less of a risk of distracting from the brand’s intended message or becoming too dependent on gimmicks. In other words, if a product is special enough that it doesn’t need a crayon box of flavors to prove itself, that kind of confidence says a lot.
Even with KAI being just a year old, Bender and his multi-faceted team of industry veterans and mixology innovators felt there was no better time to reposition the brand using a unique formula of interactive marketing technology and carefully selected people who understood the uniqueness and paradox messages of KAI so thoroughly they could bring it to a wide variety of audiences. Dan Lyons, a 20-year beverage industry veteran from Southern Wine & Spirits recently came over to assume the position of Vice President of the Western Region. Dana Black, meanwhile, is the dynamic force behind the sales and marketing efforts that have made such a huge impact, while James Stevens (a 35-year veteran who made a name for himself in beverages via bringing Perrier to the US in the 1970s, a long stint at Coca-Cola and his highly successful J. M. Stevens & Associates, Inc. consulting firm) is exhibiting leadership as the company Chairman who is keeping the sales, marketing and promotional arms of KAI on track. California sales reps Gina Johnston, Dean DeAngelis, Jessica DoVan and Las Vegas Brand Ambassador Matt Kurzrok, meanwhile, are setting a great example for the rest of the US market with their focused efforts to put KAI in the hands of trade clients and consumers. Richard Turner, who
had a successful career as the director of Allied-Domecq, another member of the Board of Directors, is based in the UK and has been an important in helping KAI define its place in the world market, especially in establishing relationships with distributors and other key clients. Southern Wine & Spirits, meanwhile, has provided exceptional support for KAI in the Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada and California markets. “Kai Vodka is the kind of product that excites me,” says Stevens enthusiastically. “It has a real point of difference and a reason for being in the crowded landscape of traditional vodkas. Kai has several firsts that allow you (as a retailer or restaurant) to stake out a new segment and call it your own. Kai Vodka is new news.” On the creative side of things, San Francisco’s Gershoni Creative Agency is working closely with Bender and his team to rebrand KAI completely and communicate the revised and refreshed vision through a rich, full-scale brand re-launch. This relaunch involves a more thorough and engaging marketing approach, which includes a more polished internet/web presence. The overall focus thoroughly covers the brand’s attributes, benefits and mystique in a fresh new way. “We felt now was a good time to rethink the way we are presenting KAI’s attributes, benefits and uniqueness,” says Bender. “We want to play up the fact that KAI is sensory and can take diverse audiences to a new place in terms of a flavor experience KAI mood, since all the customers we’re looking at have certain types of education, values and desire to engage in cosmopolitan activities. The web is just one of the many ways the KAI message will be reaching our diverse and adventurous consumer and trade audiences.” ■
Left to Right: Richard Turner - Director, Dana Black - VP Sales & Marketing Marcus Bender - Founder, Managing Director, James Stevens - Chairman
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NEW PRODUCTS & PROMOTIONS
NEW PRODUCTS & PROMOTIONS
1 CRILLON IMPORTERS Brings New Absinthe to the Table Grande Absente is made in Province from an authentic, 148-year-old French recipe that features a full measure of the legendary botanical wormwood and other regional botani cals. The new absinthe is 138 proof and will be available nationwide for approximately $70 for a 750 ml bottle packaged with a complimentary gold-plated absinthe spoon. 2 FOUR ROSES Celebrates 120 Years with Limited Edition Bourbon Four Roses Bourbon is celebrating 120 years by releasing a Barrel Strength Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon, uncut and non-chill filtered. The 12-year-old Bourbon has a robust spiciness with delicate fruity flavors, and a long, smooth finish carrying suggestions of caramel and chocolate. 3 FOREST GLEN'S Spiral Rack for Springtime Sales Forest Glen's innovative spiral bottle-rack is designed for maximum bottle visibility and is wheeled for easy maneuverability. Sixteen triangular trays hold three bottles apiece; slots hold double-sided cards whose clear text and graphics focus on the fresh new style of Forest Glen wines. Contact Forest Glen Winery, Sonoma, CA, at 707.265.4060.
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4 New Cream Liqueur THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY A unique 36-proof blend of America's aromas and flavors that include hints of bourbon, apples, cherries and more. With a higher alcohol content and a 1/3 less calories, the Spirit of Liberty is smoother and lighter than the nation's leading cream liqueur, without the typical pasty aftertaste of conventional creams. The Spirit of Liberty blends smoothly with coffee, foods and desserts, or it can be enjoyed straight up, on the rocks or in your favorite chocolate martini. Contact: CMSC Spirits Group, LLC 415.381.8647. 5 New Tropical Fruit Flavored ESPIRITU DEL ECUADOR Can be enjoyed straight like brandy, on the rocks or added to cocktails where its flavor blends with, and accentuates, fruit juices, mixers, and other spirits. Espiritu del Ecuador also complements dishes prepared in the kitchen, including appetizers, soups, entrees, and it's marvelous over ice cream and other frozen desserts. Contact CMSC Spirits Group, LLC 415.381. 8647. 6 Phillips Distilling Company INTRODUCES PRAIRIE ORGANIC VODKA Phillips Distilling Company Introduces Prairie Organic Vodka Phillips Distilling Company released Prairie Organic Vodka - a beautifully smooth vodka dis tilled from organic #2 yellow corn and certified both organic and kosher. Prairie Organic Vodka carries a suggested retail price of $24.99 750 ml. Visit www.prairievodka.com. Available nationwide.
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POUR OF THE MONTH
POUR OF THE MONTH J. King Neptune
From L-R: Nick Lee - Bartender, Jenny Mcall - Bartender, Juan Alvarez - So CA President, US Bartender's Guild
You could think of Sunset Beach’s landmark J. King Neptune as a purveyor of true local flavor. The family-owned restaurant has been serving up fresh seafood, succulent meat dishes, authentic New England clam chowder alongside refreshing beachfront ambiance that includes live music performances and awards nights for surfing competition. According to Juan Alvarez, who concentrates on the bar, Finest Call’s family of mixers have helped his family stay focused. Additionally, as he is president of the Southern California Chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild and competes in bartending competitions, he notes Finest Call puts recipes for inventive new cocktails within reach. “I have been using Finest Call for more than 10 years,” Alvarez states. “We carry Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, Grenadine, Pina Colada, Strawberry, Mango, Raspberry and the Bloody Mary. I must say the Bloody Mary Mix stands among my favorites as it makes this classic cocktail all the more special. So many people who order our Bloody Mary’s on Sundays are blown away.” A recent experience with one of the Finest Call reps at the Las Vegas Bar Show provided him an even greater reason to sing the product line’s praises. “He asked me a lot of questions about what our organization does in terms of events, seminars and services to bartenders. We had a great time discussing how our organization could work with Finest Call in the future.” Even though Alvarez now has a “friend in the business,” he notes his staff can always count on Finest Call to come through when customers come in, especially during high-traffic hours “The bartenders simply open up the top and go,” he says. “It frees us up to do what is most important—wowing our guests.” J. King Neptune is located at 17115 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, CA 90742. For more information, call 562-213-6954.
NICKS NECTOR 1/2 oz. St. Germain 1 oz. Barcardi Peach Red 1 oz. Cointreau 3 oz. of Finest Call Strawberry Mix Splash of Sweet N Sour Put all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth, put into pint glass, garnish orange wedge B I with strawberry and an • I S S U E N 2 0 0 8 RASPBERRY CHI CHI 1 oz. Absolut Raspberry Vodka 1/2 oz. Dekuyper Strawberry Passion Pucker 1/2 oz. Monin Blueberry Syrup 3oz. of Finest Call Raspberry Mix Put all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth, pour into pint glass, garnish with raspberry and an orange wedge
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distilled silver tequila, Don Eduardo Tequilas offer consumers a new interpretation to this category. Our unique packaging combined with international recognition sets Don Eduardo apart from other brands,” notes Valdez. Another añejo tequila standing out for original barrel aging is Familia Partida. Partida uses gently washed one-pass Jack Daniel’s barrels because, according to the group, they are superior oak barrels that impart just a touch of sweetness to the Partida Anejo. Elegante, also by Partida, is an extra añejo Tequila aged more than 36 months in American oak and is made from hand harvested blue agave. According to Garry Shansby, founder and CEO of Partida, 36 to 38 months is the perfect amount of aging time for an extra añejo: “After that point the oak takes over and you lose the agave character.” Shansby remarked that many people are amazed with the complexity the aging imparts to the Tequila. “Everyone finds something different, but many say that Elegante has a toffee quality with light oak and spice flavors while maintaining its agave qualities.” Tequila packaging has moved beyond the traditional and into the original.
Patrón’s signature bottle has become iconic and has even influenced the style of its sister brands. Trago Tequila has taken a more modern approach. Although the Tequila inside is traditional 100% blue agave, owner Chris Condon wasn’t interested in old world packaging. Condon wanted something that would speak to a younger generation and helped to develop their contemporary bottle. Tiki Tequila is known for its one-of-akind hand blown bottles, whose painstaking blowing process allows for each consumer to have their own original bottle–tiki included–which are hand etched, wax dipped, and signed. As the number of high-end Tequilas increases in the market, this may be the difference that helps some stand apart. Tequila may boast the number one cocktail with the margarita, but that’s not holding it back. This multi-faceted spirit has proved it is no third-world relic or niche product, but is actually among the most innovative and nimble categories of the moment. Tequila Canicas is another vivid example of how packaging is playing a greater role in a tequila’s overall message of quality and image. There is no doubt in the mind of a connoisseur consumer or a savvy industry pro that it is a top shelf, premium product, as
it is crafted painstakingly from 100% Blue Agave plants that are allowed to mature eight years before harvest and has earned a variety of accolades from organizations like The Journal of the Beverage Testing Institute. However, the artisan hand-blown glass bottle and marbles (Canicas means “marbles” in Spanish) brings the whole experiential package of this tequila together into a cohesive whole.
Tequila: The New Wine ~
The truth is out there. Tequila is far more of a complex distilled beverage than most people initially realized. With the proliferation of premium and ultra premium tequilas and Mexican spirits, as well as interesting niche products, it is now hard to believe many of us once associated Mexican products with wild college parties and margarita soaked vacations. While one of tequila’s strongest selling points has been its versatility as a cocktail foundation or a quick shot, today trade and consumer buyers alike have long since shifted the old, tired and retired paradigm. According to Vinexpo's December 2006 International Wine and Spirit Record, tequi-
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la consumption in the United States rose 38 percent between 2001 and 2005. In 2005, Americans consumed 9.1 million cases of tequila, according to the study. The same study reveals that Tequila consumption in the U.S. is expected to rise 45 percent from 2005 to 2010. The new buzz, in fact, is that tequila is the new wine. While the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency added it to its famed “80 Things To Watch in 2008,” consumers, bartenders and buyers long before that have become more particular and selective about the tequila they drink. Additionally, the 100% Agave designation is more important than ever before, and anything less just won’t do. In the wake of all of this, a generation of premium tequilas and Mexican spirits prove ‘South of the Border’ equals an upscale experience to a growing and diverse audience. average and also actually sold in Mexico, with a special emphasis on resort areas such as Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Los Cabos. The mix of marketing and a quality product continues to set standards in the industry, as well as win awards from the Beverage Tasting Institute, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and others. For more information, contact Carlos Monsalve at 52-333641430 or email@example.com. Available through Gallo Wine Company.
In an industry simultaneously driven by current lifestyle trends and family (business) values, East L.A. Distributors is still going strong after 75 years thanks to their focus on loyalty— within the company and among their increasingly international span of customers. A lot has changed since the company launched back in 1933 (including the name), but Rose Saparito (wife of one of the original founders) and children Leo Saparito and Betty Castronuovo still remain active in the business. George Alvarez, who has been with the company since 1986, is himself a vital member of the family and proudly mentions the average employee has been with the company for 12 years. “Our customers are loyal to us because our people have been so loyal to the company,” affirms Alvarez. That ensures service the customers get will be consistent across the board. We are also unique in that were are a one-stop shop meeting diverse beverage needs of many different kinds of businesses— restaurants, bars, liquor stores and local markets—owned by people of varying backgrounds, including Hispanic, East Indian, Chinese and Korean, many of them who also have learned Spanish and the language of the beverage industry to communicate with their consumers.” Alvarez points out that East L.A. Distributors handles everything from major corporate brands such as Miller and Coors to sophisticated niche brands such as Patron and Don Julio. In fact, tequila has grown into such a diversified segment that Alvarez has found himself on the same learning curve as his clients. “A few years ago when the tequila market was smaller, people approached me and taught me about different types of tequila and the different demographics that go with them. Some consumers want to enjoy rands from the regions of Mexico where they grew up, others are looking for price and value. Then there is the audience actively seeking new flavors and product experiences. Consequently, while Jose Cuervo is a staple, we are also seeing action with everything from Cazadores to Casa Noble and Corralejo. It could be hard to keep track, but we do because we know what our customers want.” East L.A. Distributors is located at 3666 Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles, 323-2625124. ■
~ Cabrito Tequila ~
Cabrito Tequila, aged in old American oak barrels, is produced in Arandas, Jalisco. Its slightly sweet flavor reveals hints of caramel and chamomile, extending into a mediumlength finish. Also of note, it is an authentically Mexican tequila experience, as it stands as one of the top brands in Mexico, as well as No. 1 in volume in the 100-percent Agave category for the country. “Cabrito Tequila is confident in its authenticity, heritage and quality, so we are striking out from the norm for tequila marketing and launching this irreverent and fun approach. With all things Latino and especially Mexican cuisine influencing the food and beverage industry throughout the U.S., Cabrito Tequila is ready to continue conquering discerning palates in the U.S.,” says Alex Sobol, President of GenerH, Carbrito’s agency of record. For more information, email Jake Lustig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Shelf Tour ~
Though the tequila category is growing increasingly competitive, nowhere is that more apparent than the premium and ultrapremium ends of the spectrum. While some brands are household names and others are just beginning to establish their niche, what they all share is the fact that they are on the beverage industry radar for the fresh ideas, presentation and quality they are bringing to the table.
~ Casco Viejo ~
Originally known as “the Arandina” and made by the privately-owned Tequila Supremo on the Camarena family estate, Casco Viejo was established in 1938. Though Casco Viejo is a blended tequila, it is distinguished from its competition with a smooth, light palate and clean agave notes followed by sweet vanilla tones, making it ideal for margaritas and cocktails. As the 4th largest tequila brand internationally and the 3rd largest tequila seller in Mexico, its distribution is impressive, as it can be found in the USA, Canada, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, UK, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Belgium. Today, the Camarena Family is among the top 4-agave owners in Mexico, owning
~ Tequila Amate ~
The 100% blue agave Tequila Amate Blanco and Reposado were developed specifically for the U.S. and with two distinct American palates in mind: the tequila novice and the most refined tequila drinker. This luxury product comes from 35 years of making tequila coupled with ten years of exporting tequila to the USA. The cobalt blue packaging and ultra smooth formula are extremely appealing to upscale and upwardly mobile markets. Unlike competing premium tequilas developed for markets outside Mexico, Amate is 3 to 4% less expensive in its retail price on
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more than 1000 hectares, with almost 3 million of agave plants in different growing stages. Currently the company's production capacity is an impressive 4,000 cases per day. For more information, contact Lou Sans at email@example.com.
~ Clase Azul ~ Ultra
According to Arturo Lomeli, Clase Azul’s founder, five elements make this tequila merit the hefty price tag ($1700): 1. Hand-selection of Weber Blue Agaves aged to perfection for 9 years; 2) Slow cooking of the pinas for 8 hours; 3) fermentation with a proprietary yeast strain; 4) A watchful eye over each step in the distillation process; 5) Using the highest quality sherry wood casks to produce exceptional taste, perfect balance and robust body. For more information, contact John Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Chaya ~
The production and introduction of the Chaya tequila range was a labor of love for the late Albert Berentsen, formerly the President of Kahlua, S.A. and the ex-owner of Kamora coffee liqueur. Though Berentsen was a familiar fixture in the Mexico Spirits industry, his legacy was sealed with this venture into the tequila business. According to Interco Brands, in creating Chaya Tequila, Mr. Berentsen’s primary focus was on two key objectives, namely, first and foremost, in securing the finest and best tasting 100% Blue Agave tequila he could find, and second, to create the most extraordinary and elegant bottle he could conceive. For more inforamtion, contact Sean Sweeney at email@example.com.
~ El Agave Aresanal ~
Tequila El Agave Artesanal Reposado, made in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, reflects a new concept in tequila: its flavor derives from the perfect mixture of the agave plant and its maturing. The brilliant color is suggestive of yellow straw, with golden reflections of medium intensity. The nose suggests cooked and crude agaves. The triple distillation process results in a tequila of extraordinary depth and character for unparalleled smoothness. For extra refinement, this tequila is aged in oak barrels for six months in small handmade batches for a mellowed taste and a pleasing bouquet. For more information, contact Gymel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Chinaco ~
This small artisan Tequilera, on the east coast of the Mexican State of Veracruz, was the first Ultra premium Tequila launched in the USA in the early 80’s. Since its original launch, Chinaco has become a favorite of selective consumers looking for complexity and style unlike any other. Only 6-8 year old Agave plants are used in the production as well as small batch distillation gives Chinaco its complex style. Chinaco is available in Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Añejo Extra. The Añejo Extra, sold as Chinaco Negro, is sold in small single lots and has already reached a cult status among collectors and enthusiasts of ultra premium aged Tequila. For more information contact Henry Preiss of Preiss Imports at 760789-6010 or email@example.com.
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~ Tequila Grillos ~
While Tequila Grillos is a relatively new discovery for American tequila connoisseurs and mixologists, it is also gaining an excellent reputation internationally as it is also available in Belgium, Japan, France and Holland—all countries that take premium level spirits seriously. What sets this reposado tequila apart from others is that the spirit rests for up to eight months in white oak barrels. What results is a lovely delicate golden amber color,
a superb bouquet of dried fruits and brown wood notes, and hints of hazelnut, almond, chestnut, clove, pepper, vanilla and cinnamon. The talent behind this is Antonio Suarez, a father and son operation focused on creating Tequila the old fashioned way. It is bottled in Tequila, Jalisco, at Casa Reyes Barajas S.A. de C.V. For more information, contact Raul at 619-253-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. and black pepper—an ideal base for a margarita. The pale gold Reposado shines with a multi-faceted tropical fruit nose and smoky finish. For more information, contact Tim Boyd at email@example.com.
~ p.i.n.k. Tequila ~
After causing a sensation with their groundbreaking vodka, p.i.n.k. has recently unveiled its p.i.n.k. tequila, the world’s first 80 proof, ultra-premium, imported tequila made from 100%, all estate grown, Blue Weber Agave, triple distilled, and infused with caffeine and guarana. p.i.n.k. tequila is produced and bottled in Guadalajara, Mexico by La Cofradia - - one of the most prestigious tequila manufacturers. The p.i.n.k. Spirits Company worked closely with La Cofradia for over eight months to produce the unique recipe for p.i.n.k. tequila, which resulted in the creation of a smooth, crystal clear tequila that tastes great on its own or as a foundation for a variety of provocative cocktails. For more information, contact John Perone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Hacienda Vieja ~
Hacienda Vieja tequilas, meanwhile, enjoy a special cache as they are produced by the Banuelos family, which has more than three decades of experience not only in tequila making, but also growing and harvesting agave. While the family has been one of the most respected families in the industry, after selling their original brand to a large company, they have re-emerged with the Hacienda Vieja brand, a mixto which has already found great success in its first year on the U.S. market, they are not finished yet. As of July 2007, they successfully launched their new 100% premium onto the market. For more information, contact Jimmy Todd at email@example.com.
~ La Pinta ~
While La Pinta produces a quality range of tequilas, the new product they’ve launched generating excitement is La Pinta Pomegranate Tequila, a delicious combination of aged tequila and pomegranate juice. The final product is left to marry and age for over 12 months in oak to produce an ultra smooth taste. For more information, contact John Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Oro Azul ~
The translucent amber color and a nose of the Anejo is suggestive of brandy, rum, bourbon and vanilla with hints of toffee and sassafras ensure Oro Azul is a sensory experience even before one tastes it. Once he does, he’ll discover a rich taste with the aromatics highlighted by this tequila’s medium body and soft, silky core that leads to a finish of firm wood notes. The Blanco’s nose is filled with scents of fresh baked agave, honeycomb, jasmine and wild flowers with an unexpectedly crisp palate of spices, tropical fruit, sea salt
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~ Tequila QV~
Tequila "Querido Viejo" or Tequila "QV" is made with 100% pure agave, with traditional brewing methods handed down from generations of tequila distillers. Each bottle is hand crafted and our limited production ensures that the quality remains consistently high. Indeed there is "no shelf high enough." The Anejo is particularly intriguing, as it is aged
for two years in Canadian Whiskey oak barrels, which imparts a distinct and sweet flavor and nose. The Reposado is aged in white oak barrels for an average of nine months, unleashing a smooth taste along with a hint of oak. All three varieties are medal winners in the San Francisco World Spirits competition. For more information, contact 415531-2007 or email@example.com. ery in La Quemada, Jalisco, has been encouraging 'organic nutrition’—taking the leftover mulch from the fermentation process and place it into a special, 90 day compost, at which time it becomes the aforementioned super-rich nutrient that helps make their plants pest-resistant. Additionally, they produce a raw, organic, diabetic-friendly agave nectar that is uniquely made without the typical "bleeding" and "slashing" associated with other processes. They are also active with various charities and earthfriendly causes like Leo Di Caprio's 11th Action Hour, Sustainable Africa, and Sea Turtles.Org. For more information, contact Enrico Cariso at 310-429-7888. Centenario and La Vencedora, the family’s two distilleries, each with its own production process. The mixture of the two exceptional juices, together with the time-honored process for crushing, cooking and fermenting, produces a very smooth, sweet taste inherent in the quality of the family’s estate-grown agave. Tequila Siete Leguas Distillery is located in Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco, México. Since its founding in 1952 by Don Ignacio González Vargas, Tequila Siete Leguas Distillery has sold its tequila in México under its own Siete Leguas trademark. This distillery is also credited with lending its original formula to the Patron brand for many years. For more information, contact David Grapshi at Gemini Spirits and Wine at 925-256-6994 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
~ 7 Leguas ~
For more than 50 years, Tequila 7 Leguas has distinguished itself through a proprietary formula combining agave “juices” from El
~ 3 Amigos ~
This high quality “circle of friends” includes Anejo, Reposado and Blanco varieties and is produced in Tepatitlan, in the region of Los Altos de Jalisco. The area’s red rich soil and inclined land produces superb Agave Azul Tequilana Weber. While the producers billboard the fact that the Tequila 3 Amigos is a small business that holds a high standard of making a quality Tequila (it is twice distilled for refined flavor and body), they also take pride in growing, maintaining and harvesting their own tequilian a weber agave from organic earth. For more info, call 623-536-3201.
~ 4 Copas Organic ~
While 4 Copas is heir to a history of tequila production, it is also a newer brand with its eye on the environment. Company president Chris Melendez points out their distill36 BIN 2 0 0 8 • I S S U E 5
In the 1990’s, maverick entrepreneur Kedar Massenburg founded “neo-soul,” a new genre of music. Today, he’s brought that same soul to K’orus, a new genre of wine.
innovative techniques. Massenburg knew that his partner’s prolific he Brooklyn, NY native was a District Manager for Pepsico background in spirits was the perfect pairing for his own savvy withCorp and handled sales work at SmithKline Beecham Clinical in the African-American market. Labs Pharmaceuticals in 1986 before going to law school. “Our wines, French-made but in a style appealing to the As an artist manager, Massenburg oversaw the careers of American palate, was specially created to introduce novices to the Stetsasonic, Vertical Hold (with Angie Stone) and D'Angelo. Soon diverse and expansive world of wine,” notes Massenburg. “To give after, he founded the recording and publishing side of Kedar our customers a sense of history, we decided to make K’orus in Entertainment and signed Erykah Badu and Chico DeBarge to deals. Bordeaux, France, because this is where it all began with (wine) proHe sold the company to Universal Music Group in 1998 and went duction dating back to Roman times. The K’orus experience is intendon to become the chief of Motown Records where he helped make ed to remove the intimidation factor and open the door to a life-long soul diva India.Arie a household name, established KEM as a force exploration of wine from different regions and vintners.” to be reckoned with and revived the careers of The Temptations and While Massenburg and Robicquet recognized that the industry Michael McDonald, to name a few. Recently, the enterprising mavoverlooked African-Americans, a powerful and trendsetting consumer erick became the proprietor of his very own wine company, K’orus. group, they viewed this gap as an opportunity to create a premium Though still developing new entertainment projects under his own product that would empower this consumer group to be more confiumbrella, Massenburg has also stayed busy since his departure from dent when choosing and drinking wine. Motown by venturing into a business focused on his other passion— “K’orus is for US,” quips Massenburg. “K’orus is the first line of wines fine wine—and bringing quality chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon to embrace African-Americans and their lifestyles and merlot to a wide and increasingly sophistithrough marketing and advertising. When we first cated audience. Four years ago, after working introduced our cabernet sauvignon, merlot and as a consultant with Jean-Sébastien Robicquet chardonnay three years ago, the goal was to (respected oenologist, master distiller and demystify wine and encourage African-Americans founder of EuroWineGate, Massenburg realto learn about it. As a consumer, I was also ized there was an untapped market—upwardly intrigued by the potential health benefits of drinking mobile African-Americans. As he became more wine in moderation, especially since Africanexperienced in wine production, he recognized Americans have among the highest rates of heart there was a creative way to marry together the disease and hypertension. Research has indicated appeal of a French-made wine with flavor and Kedar Massenburg that Resveratol, found naturally in the skin and body that speaks to American palates. seeds of grapes used to make wine, has heartThe ensuing Massenburg and Robicquet “...the K’orus experience is intendhealthy benefits. (We believe) the pleasures and partnership has produced K'orus. a visionary ed to educate newcomers to the benefits of wine should be available to all fusion of their individual expertise. Drawing wine world and remove the intimiAmericans, and an integral part of the K’orus upon his family’s long legacy in the industry datdation factor and open the door to vision is to be inclusive and encourage everyone ing back to the 17th century, Robicquet founda life-long exploration of wine from to learn about and enjoy wine.” ed EuroWineGate in Cognac, France in different regions and vintners.” K’orus Wines are distributed by Southern 2001, focused on developing ultra-premium Wine & Spirits. ■ – Kedar Massenburg products combining French craftsmanship with
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Castle Brands’ Portfolio Reigns Supreme
THE DEBONAIR THE DEBONAIR
1/2 oz Clontarf Irish Whiskey 1/2 oz Berentzen Apfel Korn 1/2 oz simple syrup 1/2 oz lemon juice Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass. Top with Brut champagne. Though Castle Brands boasts a king’s ransom of products from around the world, they are fittingly celebrating their milestone decade in the industry with the release of ten Knappogue Castle Whiskey “Castle Collection” cases. Mark Andrews,who founded Castle Brands in 1998 with one brand--Knappogue Castle Whiskey 1951 (inherited from his father) —is pouring time, money and commitment as the Chairman of Castle’s Board of Directors to keep the company’s success flowing. According to Kelley Spillane, Castle’s Marketing point person, when it comes to bringing high quality products into the market, the company has always been on the cutting edge. Their successful ten year formula has been fearless, yet calculated. With that in mind, Andrews and his team developed an award-winning, vintage-dated Knappogue Castle Irish Single Malt Whiskey at a time when single malts form Ireland were an anomaly and most of the better known top-shelf Irish whiskeys were blends. Andrews Sr., purchased casks of aged pure pot still whiskey in the 60’s, stored them, and bottled them at their peak. Knappogue Castle was a natural fit as he named it after the castle he owned in Ireland. The last of his whiskey, Knappogue 1951, aged for 36 years in sherry casks, is the oldest and rarest Irish whiskey in the world. Years later, the younger Andrews’ calculations paid off, with a memorable Irish Whiskey with sweeter notes (as opposed to smokier Scotch whiskeys) that helped broaden and redefine a familiar category. Today, it is one of the fastest growing whiskeys in the industry. Spillane continues to explain that with all product categories, as with the whiskey, Castle Brands looks carefully at trends and growing segments in the market and capitalizes on them, ultimately leading to a stunning portfolio of other premium and super-premium brands including Boru Vodka, Gosling's Rum and Pallini Limoncello. The traditional Italian spirit Limoncello, for example, is one of Castle Brand’s other significant success stories. Unlike Whiskey, which has a clearly defined and very specific audience, Andrews recognized that Limoncello had the potential to appeal to a variety of market segments, thanks to its sweetness, color and versatility, as well as his awareness of consumers and mixologists looking to shake up their cocktail experience with new spirits options. Castle Brands is also celebrating their success by moving on to new product launches in more categories, including the release of a 100 % organic Tequila, in the fall offering three types of Tequila, Anejo, Reposado and Blanco, all with environmentally friendly packaging and recycled glass bottles. Spillane (who previously served at Seagram and Diageo USA), meanwhile, has taken his big company work ethic and blended it with a a true blue entrepreneurial spirit to maintain the growth of the brands in Castle’s diverse portfolio. “As a start up we were able to offer distillers and retailers a unique opportunity that the big companies could not,” Spillane concludes. “If we tried to follow a mold, we would have been stepped on.” ■
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THE PALLINI PALMER
2 oz Pallini Limoncello 4 oz unsweetened iced tea A unique take on the classic Arnold Palmer (1/2 iced tea and 1/2 lemonade)
1 1/2 oz Clontarf Irish Whiskey Topped with green tea Dash of Green crème de Menthe Served in a highball over ice Garnish with a couple of mint sprigs NOTE: If fresh-brewed green tea is used, simple syrup may be added. Mass produced green tea (Snapple, Arizona, etc. already has sweetness added) Finn McCool is named after the Legendary “Giant” who created the Giant’s Causeway off of the Antrim Coast in Ireland
When “Sames” Tried Something Different
There are many legends surrounding the invention of the “Margarita.” However, it is no mystery that the cocktail—given that it’s made with the best ingredients, including a fine tequila and Cointreau—is one of the most enduring quenchers around. One popular theory is that Americanborn Margarita Sames introduced her own namesake drink in 1948 at her Acapulco bar as a special treat for her clientele of famous hotel and restaurant people. According to her account, she used one part Cointreau, two parts tequila and one part lime juice for her “Margarita.” Aware that most people drank tequila following a lick of salt, she opted to garnish her cocktail with a festive rim of coarse salt. Though Sames moved to El Paso, TX in 1958, she kept the party going for years. In 1982, she even appeared on NBC's Today show to demonstrate the correct way to make a Margarita.
Cointreau, the legendary orange liqueur, has it both ways—as a classic bar staple and as a modern luxury
1 oz Cointreau 2 oz Tequila .5 oz lime juice Shake and strain into a salt-rimmed margarita glass, and garnish with a lime wheel or slice. The innovation that Sames introduced is alive and well today, thanks to Cointreau’s vivid flavor and versatility. Can a spirit be both timeless and trendy? In the case of the legendary, 160 year-old Cointreau, “Mais oui!” Look no further than the new and glamorous global brand ambassador Dita Von Teese, who projects both a 1940s burlesque aesthetic and a modern air of confidence as Cointreau’s new face. Both she and the equally fashionable and elegant Cointreau bottle are captured by noted French fashion photographer Ali Mahdavi, who is spinning this iconic imagery as effectively as he has for such designers as Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano. The bottle of Cointreau becomes almost a perfume in the hands of Dita Von Teese, radiating an aura of sensuality about the woman and her spirit of choice…and in turn, the equally stylish consumer who seeks to embrace the feeling and the lifestyle. The evocative imagery highlights Cointreau’s new marketing approach, spinning its 160 year history and eternal versatility into an appealing theme the brand refers to as “Be Cointreauversial,” making just as much of an impact in the separate advertising campaign as well as the promotional web site (http://www.cointreau.com) and on-and off-premise materials. Cointreau (still produced in Saint42 BIN 2 0 0 8 • I S S U E 5
This unique cocktail, created by Dita Von Teese captures the essence of the woman and her favorite spirit. 1.5 oz Cointreau 3/4 oz Apple juice .5 oz Monin violet syrup .5 oz Fresh lemon juice Frost ginger around the rim of the glass.
Barthélemy-d'Anjou, a suburb of Angers, France) has maintained its vibrance, vitality and stylish cache for generations, thanks to the emphasis on using only the finest natural ingredients, which includes sweet and sour oranges sourced from all over the world, including Spain, Brazil and Haïti, to achieve its uniquely rich, multi-dimensional flavor. The liqueur is initially crystal clear, with 40% alcohol content made from the distillation of the sweet and bitter orange peels, and then blended with natural alcohol, sugar and water selected for their absolute purity and neutrality of taste. Cointreau, of course, can be and is enjoyed as an aperitif. Thanks to the proprietary, balanced recipe, however, Cointreau continues to excite mixologists and bartenders, adding dimension to time-tested, enduring libations such as the Margarita and the Cosmopolitan and new recipes that continue to attract people to the brand. Unlike ordinary Triple-Secs, Cointreau has very distinctive qualities, including soft-edged body that turns opalescent on contact with ice, which then projects a delicate taste that literally explodes on the palate and reveals a well-tempered tone. It is a kind of magic that has been effectively bottled, of course, in the trademark amber-colored bottle. ■
POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME!
The broad and versatile rum category stays fresh, thanks to a mix of new products, classic bar staples and a few surprising twists to the successful centuries-old formula.
By Elyse Glickman
Like any other family, the Rum clan is diversified and complex, tracing its origins back through the centuries to different countries. They share a common ancestor, Sugar Cane, which was fruitful and multiplied into sugar cane juice, sugar cane syrup and molasses (a by product of cane sugar manufacturing) are the only things that rum may be made from. Though the original spirit’s origins are quite humble, as a by-product spirit imbibed by laborers and slaves, by 1651, it was in widespread production in the Americas and the Caribbean. Not surprisingly, in time, every sugar cane plantation became a rum distillery as a way to profit from the recycling of waste products. Soon more care was used during the process and fine rums were being made. The high temperatures, fast fermentation, barrel aging and other factors transformed the humble spirit into a connoisseur’s treasure, thanks to its rich body and sweet flavor. By the mid 1600s, there were rum distilleries in the American colonies. Though political uprisings and history placed rum production squarely in the Caribbean, the family continued to grow over decades and generations, with impressive offspring: white/light, amber/gold, aged, dark/black, overproof, sweet, dry and spiced, flavored. All rum is aged for a period of time in oak casks, and often in those used to age Bourbon. White/light rum is only aged for a short period of time and may be filtered to remove any coloring it developed during the cask aging process. Amber/gold rum, meanwhile, is aged for a few years to develop a mild color and flavor. Aged rum is barreled for up to 12 years to develop a strong and mellow flavor and darker color. Sometimes caramelized or burnt sugar or molasses is added to increase color. Dark/black
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rum is made to have a much stronger flavor and is usually colored with burnt sugar syrup. Overproof rum, as the name implies, is much stronger than average rum, usually over 60% abv. Spiced rums are actually that, rums that are flavored with spices, and then there are the flavored rums, which may be infused or flavored with one or more fruits. With so many different choices within the category, it is no wonder rum continues to make history!
Homere Clement, based in French Martinique, came up with a new way to upgrade rum production in the 1800s. At that time, sugar prices had dropped and it was being made and sold much cheaper in other areas than possible in Martinique. Clement tried fermenting fresh pressed sugar cane juice into a wine (called vesou) and distilling this, and what is now called Rhum Agricole (Agricultural Rum) was born, which in turn was developed into a prestige spirit. The efforts produced a rum that was more like a cognac— more complex, earthy and refined. This led to France recog-
CATEGORY FOCUS Rum may be spelled in different ways but it basically means much the same thing. Rhum in French, Ron in Spanish, or Rum in English. TRADER VIC’S: AN AMERICAN CLASSIC
Peter Seely, CEO of Trader Vic’s Gourmet, and their Holding Company, Nubeco and grandson of Victor J. Bergeron a.k.a “The Trader”, who founded Trader Vic’s and created the ageless Mai Tai, perceives rum’s appeal as multi-generational, and feels the history of rum in America has a special draw all its own, in a similar way to the original Martini in its category. While the mention of “Mai Tai” evokes memories of tropical vacations and poolside parties, go deeper into history and you’ll really find something to raise your glass to (and sell some rum or cocktails in the process). “My grandfather invented the Mai Tai in 1944,” states Seely. “Some of his friends who lived in Tahiti decided to ride out the war in Piedmont. Seeing how much they missed the flavors of home, he created a cocktail with Wrey & Nephew Gold Rum, a fine 17 year-old rum and other ingredients. His friends’ response was, ‘Mai tai roa ae,’ which means, ‘The very best.’ Not surprisingly, it caught on, and a regular recipe was developed initially using an ounce of the Wray & Nephew (now marketed under the Appleton name) and one ounce of the Rum St. James (of Martinique by way of France), along with Orgeat syrup (now made in-house), _ ounce of a fine Orange Curaçao, juice of a whole lime and a dash of rock candy syrup (a simple syrup) we make in house.” Mix the following in a cocktail shaker with ice: 1 ounce Trader Vic’s Dark Rum 1 ounce Trader Vic’s Gold Rum 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 1/4 ounce simple syrup 3/4 ounce orange Curacao 1/4 ounce orgeat Garnish with fruit and mint.
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nizing an Appellation d'Origine Controlle (AOC) system to distinguish grades of rum. As one of the elder statesmen in prestige rum, Rhum Clement, keeps its name and reputation fresh by reinventing itself brand-wise. Today, it is the leading producer of A.O.C. Martinique Rhum Agricole, begetting rums that have unique flavor profile as they are produced from aromatic free-run sugarcane juice. This results in a nose of wild flowers and fruit as well as dry, vegetal, beany flavors and a smooth wellbalanced finish. Première Canne V.S.O.P, one of its most prominent offerings at the moment, is a sophisticated white rum with clean, balanced and crisp aromas and flavors that makes it a superb base for classic and modern cocktails. It’s Créole Shrubb, meanwhile, is also a fantastic cocktail component as well as a recognized “secret ingredient” for dishes created by some of the world’s top chefs. Clément’s aged rums, meanwhile, enjoy a continued following, especially in California. “These three items represent the strength and versatility of A.O.C Martinique Rhum Agricole and of our portfolio,” says EVP Benjamin Mélin-Jones, who also happens to be a fourth generation Clément and teamed with Wine Warehouse for a major retail push. “They represent different styles of rum that have different usage for any high-end restaurant, bar or lounge as well as standing as staples of any retailer’s
rum section. Given their versatility for cocktails or straight, you can see these are rums that actually are very complimentary. Our style is unlike any other rum in the world and is changing people’s opinion of rum just as the first premium tequilas changed the market’s mind set for what tequila was ten years ago.”
SWEET, NEW (ER) IDEAS
Today, new varieties are coming into the world and stirring up excitement. p.i.n.k. rum, for example, stakes its claim as the world’s first 80 proof, ultra-premium white rum, imported from Holland, distilled from the finest black strap sugarcane molasses, and later infused with caffeine and guarana. The recipe for p.i.n.k. rum contains a blend of 3-to-5 year ultra-premium aged rums from the Caribbean before the magic ingredients find their way into the spirit. Its ultimate appeal? Enabling modern consumers to enjoy all of their favorite rum cocktails, while experiencing the energizing benefits of caffeine and guarana. RedRum, meanwhile, trumpets the start of its second decade in the spirits world with the 2008 launch of Jolly Roger Coconut & Key Lime Rum. This continues its tradition of carving a niche by bringing together trendy themes and handmade quality rums. With the new flavor, as with existing products, the packaging takes full advantage of rum’s historic ties with Pirate culture, the company keeps
Rum sales are sure to sizzle this summer with the revival of Tiki Cocktails. Modernday Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, Slings and tropical Punches also incorporate today's super premium and flavored rums to make for superior drinks.
rum young and fresh with the product range, including the festiveand festively packaged-RedRum, VooDoo Spiced Rum and Jolly Roger Caribbean Rum. “We encourage bartenders and customers to enjoy RedRum, VooDoo & Jolly Roger just as they would normally, combined with fruit juices, sodas, or blended in exotic foo-foo drinks-- they simply make your favorite rum cocktails taste better,” says company CEO and founder Dan DaDalt emphatically. “When we launched in 1997, there were only a few flavored rums on the market. In the past few years the trend has definitely gone towards flavors, so I guess you could say we were ahead of the game.” Hula Girl?” said Lisa Shawver, who founded the company with husband Billy. “We are banking that the popularity of tropical drinks and the universal love of Hawaii will help us make Hula Girl Beverages a worldwide hit.” Marsalle’s new rum arrival, Lt. Dan's Rum, noted to be one of the hottest new spiced rum varieties to be introduced into the American marketplace, is distilled from sugar cane and the unique combination of the type of yeasts employed for fermentation, distillation method, and aging conditions, give this product a very rich and characteristic flavor. Made with molasses, water, mash and yeast, Lt. Dan's Spiced Rum is distilled in a continuous still and aged in oak barrels for up to a year, adding a golden color and character to the rum before the flavors and spices are added. The brand’s taste is achieved through a proprietary recipe, which is blended into the rum mixture at the final stages of production, making use of spices indigenous to the Caribbean Islands. Though the Cruzan Rum Distillery has been producing fine rums in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands since 1760, and in recent times has been honored for its ultra premium segment of rums, it’s Cruzan’s family of tropical flavors that have bartenders, buyers and retailers buzzing. With creative artisan cocktails bringing more and more
THIS (OTHER) SIDE OF PARADISE
Other emerging brands, meanwhile, are taking risks by challenging consumers with new ideas—such as the fact that good rum-based spirits can be inspired by Pacific side of the tropics. Hula Girl Beverages, is not only making the traditionally Caribbean spirit go Hawaiian, but also putting all the 20-proof fun of mixology into a bottle in the form of Bikini Bling, Moonlight Mai Tai, Sunset Sensation and Wild Wahine. “The drinks were inspired by the beauty and flavors of the Hawaiian Islands, so what better place than Honolulu to launch
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, in 2007, rum consumption in the U.S. was up to 23.5 million 9-liter cases, generating over $2 billion in revenue for distillers. Super-Premium brands drove growth - increasing around 43% in volume from 2006 to 2007.
consumers to the rum category, variety indeed is the spice of life. The rainbow of Cruzan’s Tropical Rums is made up of Raspberry, Coconut, Mango, Vanilla, Pineapple, Vanilla, Banana, Orange, Citrus and the new Black Cherry flavor—a delicious selection of flavor “experiences” that blend harmoniously with juices, mixers and even with one another. There is a significant category-wide shift taking place in terms consumer preferences, according to Tom Valdes, President of Todhunter Imports, Ltd., worldwide marketer of Cruzan Rums. "Rum consumers are choosing flavored rums in place of light rums as their new choice of spirit," Valdes said in a recent interview with Beverage Business. "Consumers have discovered that flavored rums are very pleasant to drink straight up, over ice or mixed. The popular flavored rum brands tend to be less than 30% alcohol by volume, and when mixed with other mixers offer even less alcohol by volume in a tall drink. Bartenders tell us that Cruzan flavored rums are a delight to develop new rum cocktails. They are natural tasting and blend very well with other natural juices." by their toasted apricot taste and amber color, and gentle effect on the palate) have done just that, as the sugar-based offspring of The Patron Spirits Company. “We take great pride in our portfolio of Pyrat rums, the result of over 10 years of negotiating the purchase of delicious aged rums from the Caribbean’s premier rum producers – we have the very best rum in the world,” says Ed Brown, president and CEO of The Patrón Spirits Company. “Some of the rums carefully selected to bring Pyrat to life are over 40 years old, which when further aged in some of the finest imported oak barrels, produce flavor complexities not found in most other rums. Pyrat rums are aged in a combination of French Limousine oak barrels and specially toasted American sweet oak barrels. As a final result, Pyrat rums are distinguished by their toasted apricot taste and amber color, and are gentle on the palate, never heavy or harsh.” Before 2007, meanwhile, Tommy Bahama was a lifestyle brand of clothing beautifully packaged in boutiques that captured consumers’ imagination about the “good life.” Then Sidney Frank stepped up to the plate to carry the lifestyle further, from the closet and (later) themed restaurant to local bars and retail stores. For Memorial Day and Summer 2008, Tommy Bahama Ultra Premium Rums offered cocktail recipes to on-premise mixologists and consumers that further drive home the Tommy Bahama overall lifestyle message of fine living. ■
HOT TIKI COCKTAILS
REDRUM ON THE BEACH
2 oz. RedRum 1 oz. 7-Up 1.5 oz. orange juice .5 oz. Grand Marnier Mix with ice and serve in a glass or strain into shot glasses.
COLADA NUEVA DOSE
.75 oz Tommy Bahama White Sand .75 oz Malibu Coconut .5 oz lime juice 1 scoop of coconut sorbet 1 oz pineapple juice 1 cup ice Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend. Pour into a wine glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
1.5 oz. Clément Première Canne 1.5 oz. fresh pineapple juice .75 oz. fresh lime juice A dash of grenadine. Lime peel garnish.
RUMS THAT MAKE A STATEMENT
Tommy Bahama and Pyrat rums, meanwhile, could be a sub-category onto themselves-rums conceived in the Caribbean but delivered for upwardly mobile rum drinkers looking to make a statement about themselves by what they drink. Certainly the Pyrat rums (characterized
3 oz Coconut Milk 1/3 Ripe Banana 1/2 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream 1 1/2 oz Pyrat XO Reserve 1 Scoop of Ice Blend all ingredients together for 15-20 seconds. Garnish with whipped cream and roasted coconut.
1 oz. Admiral Nelson's Premium Spiced or Coconut Rum .5 oz. Arrow Blackberry Brandy .5 oz. Arrow Creme de Banana Add a splash of pineapple and orange juice, grenadine and dark rum. Shake well and serve over ice.
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CUTTING TO THE CACHAÇA
Meet the vivacious cousin to rum that’s taking bars and retailers around the US by storm.
With interest in exotic flavors and experiences going strong in the States, it is no surprise that Cachaça and its very own signature cocktail, The Caipirinha, have set fire to the mixology world and bar scenes around America. As Cachaça was originally known as “fire water” in its early days, however, this should come across as no surprise. The only thing that can be a surprise is that it took so long for this festive cousin to rum to catch on, even as the Caipirinha is now being touted as this year’s “Cosmo.” In some circles, it is even being marketed as “the cocktail of the 2008 Recession,” thanks to the fact it can satisfy a collective desire for sophistication and flavor in its simplicity. Cachaça, like its cousin Rum, has a storied history. According to records, it was discovered by local workers at the sugar mills in the early to mid 1500’s near the region of Sao Vicente, when the sugarcane juice (garapa) at their mills cooked and left standing, would "sour" (ferment) and turn into a mild alcoholic beverage. Like rum and other spirits at that time, it was cheap and consumed by slaves, peasants and members of the lower class. However, thanks to improvements in production methods, distinctive aging techniques and effective marketing, Cachaça stands as most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil, with 1.3 billion liters produced each year. Currently, there are more than 4,000 different brands of cachaça available in Brazil, with the most popular among those finding their way onto our shores. Artesanal cachaças, which constitute the majority exported to the U.S., are produced by thousands of small mills in copper pot stills around Brazil. The resulting product comes out in three batches: head, core and the tail. Most makers take only the "core" and bottle or store it in wood barrels for aging. Its aged in barrels made from a great variety of native or exotic trees such as balsam, almond, cherry, oak and several others which influence the flavor. Typically, artesanal cachaças are drunk straight or in cocktails by high end consumers. White cachaça is usually bottled immediately after distil52 BIN 2 0 0 8 • I S S U E 5
lation and tends to be cheaper. Dark cachaça, seen as a "premium" variety, is aged in wood barrels and meant to be drunk pure with flavors influenced by the type of wood the barrel is made of. Cachaça, like its Caribbean cousins, has a heart of sugar cane. However, what gives the spirit its lightly nuanced flavor is that it is distilled from pressed sugarcane rather than molasses or sugarcane juice. Its increasing popularity is a sweet trend, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US. Its database reports that 80,117 cases of Cachaça were sold in 2007, and thanks to an annual 50% growth rate and rise of The Caipirinha, sales could reach 18.4 million in 2008. The following brands, meanwhile, are among those
credited for prompting consumers and retailers to chase Cachaça. quality has led it to be embraced by mixologists and sophisticated consumers in the most exclusive locations – places cachaça would never have worked in before.” sponsorship role in this summer’s upcoming Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
Established in 2006 by Matti Anttila, a New York investment banker turned spirits entrepreneur in his 20s, Cabana brings Cachaça to life as a smooth, versatile elixir with a distinctive and rich flavor. Cabana, the first imported Cachaça to be hand crafted in small batches, double distilled in copper stills versus single distilled in columns and mellowed for six months in Brazilian Jequitiba barrels, is also noted for its innovative production process, which strips out the impurities to isolate the desirable characteristics. “We set out to introduce something American consumers had never experienced – a truly super-premium cachaça, worthy of sitting alongside Grey Goose, Patron and other super-premium and luxury category leaders,” says Anttila. “Thanks to an innovative production process developed by our master distiller, Cabana’s versatility and
Marcos de Morae was vacationing in the Mediterranean when he noticed that Cachaça was gaining popularity worldwide. He also noticed, as a proud Brazilian, philanthropist and environmentalist, that the representations of the spirit he sampled outside of Brazil were clearly not the best. This drove him to launch Sagatiba, which he describes as the first global premium Cachaça, in 2004. Sagatiba (which translates to, “The Infinite Saga”) is multidistilled to retain distinct flavor characteristics with a soft aroma that’s fresh, lively, and delicate. It complies with rigorous multi-distillation quality standards while maintaining its smooth taste and fresh, stimulating bouquet. This highly versatile spirit is a perfect match for classic cocktails, as it is carefully crafted to inspire creative mixology and behind the bar inspirations.
Boca Loca, a full-bodied cachaça with subtle floral notes mingled with melon, honey and a pure sugar cane finish, comes to 24 states in the U.S. market in a clear, lean and clean bottle with a striking logo. Inside the bottle, it has all the qualities expected in a premium spirit from the hand harvesting of the sugar cane at its peak of sweetness through to single batch fermentation and hand bottling. While Boca Loca is preparing for launches in the UK and Germany, it also has several flavored Cachaças in the works. While the introduction date of the flavored variation has yet to be set, other improvements are underway, such as a new sleeker bottle with their screw top enclosure. To further boost its profile among mixologists and members of the trade, it is assuming a
DRINK RESPONSIBLY! ©2007 Meyer Marino Import Company. BOCA LOCA is a Registered Trademark. 40% ALC/VOL (80 PROOF). Produced and Bottled in Brazil. Imported by Meyer Marino Import Company, Denver CO.
Authentic Handcrafted Brazilian Cachaça
BOCA LOCA® (Portuguese for “Crazy Lips”) is a Premium handcrafted Brazilian Cachaça, made from pure, pressed sugar cane. BOCA LOCA is single-batch fermented and distilled, making it smooth, full-bodied and fragrant. BOCA LOCA tastes great straight up or in mixed drinks and captures the excitement and craziness of Carnaval!
Ask for it by name, ask for BOCA LOCA!
These cocktails are steeped in history and are as easy to make as they are to enjoy. They provide the perfect talking points to add to any cocktail list.
A cold cocktail made of cachaça, limes, and sugar. It is the most famous Brazilian cocktail, the most popular in Brazil. The unique combination of sour (lime) and sweet (sugar) with the strong taste of cachaça makes its character. The Classic Caipirinha 2 oz Cachaça 1 teaspoon sugar 1 lime, quartered Club Soda In the bottom of a glass, muddle together the lime wedges and sugar. Add Cachaça, a splash of club soda and plenty of ice. Mix well. Pour into an old-fashioned glass. The Brazilian Wax 2 oz Cabana Cachaça Pineapple juice Club Soda 1/2 teaspoon of Triple Sec Add ice to a highball or rocks glass. Pour equal parts Cabana Cachaça and pineapple juice. Add a splash of club soda and triple sec. Stir and garnish with a lime slice. Cabana Libre 2 oz Cabana Cachaça Cola Wedge of Lime Pour Cabana Cachaça and Cola into a chilled highball glass filled with ice. Stir and garnish with a lime. Cucumber Caipirinha 4 sliced and peeled pieces of cucumber, 1/8-inch thick 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar 2 oz Boca Loca Cachaça
Juice of 1 lemon, hand-squeezed 1 oz Essensia Orange Muscat Dessert Wine In the bottom of a glass, muddle together cumcumber and sugar, shake all ingredients with ice, pour contents into a tall glass and garnish with a ginger wedge inside the cocktail. Maçã Martini (By Jamie Terrell) 2 oz Sagatiba Pura 1/2 oz elderflower cordial 1/2 oz fresh pressed lime juice (juice of half of a lime) 2 1/2 oz apple cider Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an apple disc and mint sprig. Sagatiba Pomegranate Mojito 1 1/2 oz Sagatiba Pura 1/2 fresh lime cut in 4 wedges 4 – 6 mint leaves 2-3 teaspoons superfine sugar 2 oz pomegranate juice Muddle lime, mint and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add Sagatiba, pomegranate juice, and ice. Shake well and serve in a long glass with mint garnish. Sangre de Fresa: (developed with Jeff Hollinger) 2 Strawberries, tops removed, and quartered 4 to 5 leaves basil 1/2 oz balsamic syrup 1 1/2 oz Boca Loca Caçhaca 1/4 oz Cointreau 1/4 oz fresh lime juice Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a tall glass with ice, add soda water. Garnish with strawberry and basil leaf.
Brewing Co. continues to brew new and innovative beers. Awards mean a lot, but Quality is everything. You can find more information at www.leftcoastbrewing.com or www.oggis.com.
Chaplins making presentation
SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER BESTOWS SPECIAL HONOR TO MEL & BOBBI DICK
The Simon Wiesenthal Center bestowed Mel Dick, senior vice-president of Southern Wine & Spirits, and wife Bobbi with the 2008 Simon Wiesenthal Legacy Award for their passion, support, and commitment to the Center's mission to generate change and confront global antiSemitism and intolerance. Dinner chairmen for the evening were Harvey Chaplin and Wayne Chaplin, both of Southern Wine & Spirits, who presented the award to Mel and Bobbi.
HAVE A "CELEBRASIAN" WITH TSINGTAO BEER'S SUMMER RETAIL PROMOTION
Tsingtao Beer's Summer "CelebrAsian" promotion will make this a summer to celebrate all things Asian. The off-premise promotion supporting Tsingtao Lager and Tsingtao Pure Draft will run in June and July. Tsingtao will team with popular celebrity Chinese chef Martin Yan to offer consumers a chance to win a trip for two to China (where legal). The trip includes 10 days of sightseeing excursions to Shenzhen, Macau and Hong Kong, plus one day of cooking classes at Chef Yan's Culinary Arts Center. This unique sweepstakes will be promoted via take-one tear pads distributed at Tsingtao Beer displays. For California and Tennessee residents, consumers may purchase a Tsingtao bamboo steamer kit, which includes a bamboo rice steamer, dim sum bowls, chopsticks and place mats, which will be promoted via take-one tear pads distributed at Tsingtao Beer displays. Tsingtao is also partnering with the leader in authentic Chinese sauces, Lee Kum Kee, to offer a $1.00 IRC on any Lee Kum Kee product in chain grocery stores across select markets. To support this multi-faceted promotion, an array of point-of-sale materials featuring appetizing food imagery will also be available, including a five-case stacker bin, easel cards and tuck-in cards. Continued on next page.
OGGI'S WINS GOLD AT WORLD BEER CUP
Left Coast Brewing Co. who brews all of the Award Winning Oggi's Beers has won again. Oggi's/Left Coast won a Gold Medal for their McGarvey's Scottish Ale at the 2008 World Beer Cup in San Diego. Oggi's/Left Coast has now won two Gold Medals at the World Beer Cup. The previous Gold was for their Sunset Amber Ale in 2004 that went along with their Silver for the Caber Tossed Wee Heavy and a Bronze for their Black Magic Stout (Available in 22oz Bottles). This Contributed to winning Best Small Micro-Brewery in the World. Left Coast
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GIVE DAD A PERFECT EXCUSE FOR AVOIDING HIS WORST WEEKEND CHORE
Sobieski Vodka, Poland's #1 premium vodka, introduces the Broken Lawn Mower cocktail to salute Dads this Father's Day, June 15. A variation on the classic Bull Shot, the Broken Lawn Mower is made with Sobieski Vodka. www.vodkasobieski.com.
The Tea on Tap model eliminates the “bottomless glass” phenomenon by using a chic carafe, pre-portioning the serving size. Tea on Tap consists of a Mighty Leafdesigned 16 oz. glass carafe with a shot glass stopper for syrup, fruit concentrate, or garnishes. Venues can offer multiple syrups, which gives guests the opportunity to craft their own iced tea beverage that is freshly brewed and much more palatable than tea in a bottle. Tea on Tap is also environmentally friendly since the carafe is reusable, eliminating the disposal of individual bottles! Tea on Tap marries front-of-house chic with the practicality of back-of-house service. With Mighty Leaf Tea’s strong presence in hospitality and fine dining, their creation of Tea on Tap gives venues the ability to easily customize their iced tea menus.
PURPLE MARKETING TEAM ADDS BEVERAGE & SPORTS PRO
Purple Beverage Co., Inc., announced that for-mer New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer Managing Director, Marc de Grandpre, has agreed to join the rapidly-growing beverage company as v.p. of Marketing. Marc de Grandpre During his tenure with the team's parent company, Red Bull North America, he developed and executed all marketing plans and strategies for its East Business Unit. He also established and upgraded the brand's consumer communication platforms, including: sampling, collegiate marketing, event marketing, athlete sponsorship and media.
FUTURE BRANDS NEW VP OF SALES FOR WEST REGION
Future Brands LLC announces the appointment of Pryce Greenow to vice Pryce Greenow president, sales-west region. Greenow reports directly to Bill Newlands, senior vice president of U.S. commercial development for Beam Global. Prior to Beam Wine Estates, Greenow worked at Allied Domecq Wines USA, where he led trade marketing and creative services. Greenow earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Bristol, where he majored in engineering. He earned "with distinction" his Masters of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.
GIN THE RIGHT WAY
Right Gin was created by Lyons Brown, an entrepreneur with an extensive background in spirits, who hated the taste of gin. This led to his creating the perfect gin. He dialed down the spice and dialed up the citrus. "We studied everything to ensure a highly accessible taste profile. Our water is the softest we could find. It's Swedish. Our grain base is corn – a unique approach that delivers a little sweetness. Our eight botanicals represent that finest available in six countries on three continents and three islands. We distill each item individually to retain greater control over the precise flavor profile – it's an expensive exercise, but the results are exceptional," adds Brown. "The result is a martini that is simply gorgeous in the nude and a gin that is highly mixable. It is a modern classic for modern tastes, and it will bring new consumers to gin.
BOSSA NOVA ADDS TWO NEW EXECS
Bossa Nova, has added Larry Wu and Joseph Sain to its executive team as chief operating officer and senior vice president of sales, respectively. They will report to Alton Larry Wu Johnson, Bossa Nova founder and CEO. Wu's success in consumer strategy spans many industries, mostrecently as VP, Consumer Strategist for Iconoculture. Sain joins the company from Joseph Sain Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages where he was v.p., National Sales.
MIGHTY LEAF TEA’S TEA ON TAP
Just in time for iced tea season, the company that pioneered the silken whole leaf Tea Pouch™ is bringing the same innovative energy and spirit of invention to the iced tea sector with their new Tea on Tap™ program. As 80% of the tea consumed in the United States is iced, Mighty Leaf Tea founders Gary Shinner and Jill Portman decided the time was right to creatively address customers’ tastes and customize an iced tea delivery system with maximum profit potential for venues in the upscale food and beverage sector. That system is Tea on Tap.
If You Think You Know Pisco, Think Again
This misunderstood spirit combines the past and the present creating a clear and bright future for the Peruvian spirit.
By Karen Loftus
Pisco alambic copper pots
isco has a longer history than most spirit categories, yet has remained relatively unknown and wildly misunderstood. It was in it’s day, poised to take the same prime position in the spirit world that tequila took thirty to forty years ago with the global success of the Margarita. Yet, due to political issues in Peru, it’s mass production and exportation was temporarily halted, preventing its world domination, until now.
Chilean Pisco, like the popular brand Capel, is made in a column still through continuous distillation much like vodka and other neutral spirits. It is then aged in oak barrels. Peruvian Pisco, such as Montesierpe, is made in copper pot stills, or occasionally more traditional “flaca” in a batch process like Cognac. It is rested a minimum of three months, but is not permitted to be aged in oak. In addition, Peruvian Pisco must be made from recently fermented musts from one or more of the approved grape varieties. And, it holds the unique distinction among distilled spirits of being distilled to proof, meaning the distiller has to skillfully create a spirit of 38% to 46% alcohol to which no water can be added. Virtually every other spirit has water added to reach a nice, roundnumbered proof of 70, 80, or maybe 86. With the ever-increasing sophistication on both sides of the bar with mixologists and patrons alike, Pisco is an excellent spirit that can be used to diversify your cocktail portfolio. In fact, the Kings of Cocktails, Star Mixologists Dale DeGroff & Tony Abou Gamin have already, gotten behind this sexy spirit in a big way, setting yet another trend in the market and at the bar. Pisco is definitely ready for its close up. ■
Using 3 oz of Pisco, 1 to 5 oz Fresh lime juice, 2 oz Simple Syrup, a bit of egg white (all shaken vigorously) and then a dash of bitters for garnish. The Key is a dry shake where all ingredients are shaken without ice. The once the cocktail has a nice froth, add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill. Serve without ice in a rocks or martini glass.
Many who think they know the category see it as a low quality spirit, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s taken many years for Peruvian artisan distillers and the government to now create this high standard for production. According to Herbie Loebl of Pisco Montesierpe, there has been a major boom in the last 10 years with over 150 brands currently available. There’s also been a huge influx of interest and investment in this expanding spirit category, naturally increasing the quality and the competition. Loebl says, “Many new distilleries are competing and this only brings about innovation and a perfection of the craft. We feel Pisco is poised for a huge increase in consumption in the US and the across the world over the next 5 to 10 years.” Look out!
Que Es Pisco?
If you are still wondering, what is Pisco? Pisco means two very different things to two somewhat rival neighbors: the South American nations of Chile and Peru. Both nations produce Pisco, and both are, in the broadest sense, unaged brandies made by fermenting and distilling grapes. But, the results could not be more different.
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