Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Amaretto_Bottles_4 Today is National Amaretto Day.  I’ll bet you had no idea.  Well, break out that dusty bottle from where it’s languishing in your closet and fix yourself an Amaretto Sour while I tell you a little background behind this unusual liqueur.

Amaretto Sour
2 oz Amaretto liqueur
1 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
½  fresh organic Egg white
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Dry shake (without ice) all ingredients. Add ice, shake again and strain into ice-filled glass.

Amaretto literally means “a little bitter”.  The original recipe contained bitter almond, but today’s liqueurs tend to be quite sweet.  We’ve all tasted a brand at least once.  Usually our first experience was sneaking a swig from our parents liquor cabinet.  Memorable and probably not our finest drinking moment.  “It has essence of tree nut, with elements of cane sugar”.

Yet, Amaretto has a long and distinguished heritage.  And it’s not necessarily almonds that you’re tasting.

Interestingly, the world’s best-selling brand DiSaronno contains no almonds, but rather uses a blend of seventeen herbs, fruits and most importantly apricot pits.  In fact, this recipe has been around since 1525, so who’s to say whether the product is supposed to be almond or apricot pit flavored?

Lastly, Portland bartender extraordinaire Jeffery Morganthaler claims to have perfected the world’s best Amaretto Sour.  You can check out his version here.

Read Full Post »

indexSerrallés USA and Brooklyn-based Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur have formed a new U.S. sales and marketing partnership. The 22%-abv ginger liqueur will join Serrallés USA’s portfolio, which includes Don Q, Caliche Rum, Palo Viejo, Death’s Door Spirits, Wondermint and Kringle Cream Liqueur. Beginning in April and May, the rollout will focus on markets in the Northeast, with Southern Wine & Spirits distributing the product in New York, Fedway in New Jersey, Brescome Barton, Inc. in Connecticut and M.S. Walker in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Maryland will follow later this year and national distribution is expected in 2015. Barrow’s retails for about $31.99 a 750-ml. and $19.99 a 375-ml.

indexDiageo has partnered with global soccer icon David Beckham and entrepreneur Simon Fuller for the worldwide launch of Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky. Produced by House of Haig, one of Scotland’s oldest grain whisky makers, Haig Club is crafted by combining grain from three cask types for a smooth taste the company hopes will draw in new consumers of whisky as well as current whisky drinkers. Along with Haig Club, House of Haig also produces the Haig Blended Scotch and Dimple Scotch whiskies.

indexBeam Inc. is releasing the latest expression of Sauza Tequila’s ready-to-serve Sparkling Margarita range, Sauza Sparkling Margarita Watermelon. Following last year’s successful launch of the Sparkling line—which includes Original Lime, Wild Berry and Mango Peach—Watermelon will launch this month with a suggested retail price of $12.99 a 750-ml. The 9.95%-abv extensions use Sauza Silver Tequila for a base that is complemented by Triple Sec and made sparkling.

indexAgave Loco’s RumChata cream liqueur brand has launched its new RumChata Summer Iced Coffee Sampler Pack nationwide. The pack, which includes two 8-ounce cans of Casa del Sol coffee and a 750-ml. bottle of RumChata, provides the ingredients needed to make a RumChata iced coffee cocktail. The RumChata Summer Iced Coffee Sampler Pack is priced at around $19.95, in line with a regular 750-ml. of RumChata.

indexCognac Ferrand is debuting the Citadelle Gin Reserve Solera 2013 to the U.S. market this month. The French company’s latest release from its gin range is aged in three different casks for between two and five months and is then poured into a main solera vat before being bottled to achieve solera aging, the first gin to be produced in this method, according to the company. The casks used are ex-Cognac, ex-Pineau des Charente and American oak casks. The 44%-abv Citadelle Gin Solera Vintage 2013 is available nationwide in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $34.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

Read Full Post »

index Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut vodka is introducing a new vodka series in partnership with local     entrepreneurs around the globe. The Our/Vodka initiative, which began last year in Berlin, will now spread to 11 cities across the U.S., Europe and Australia. In each city, Absolut has linked with local partners to open micro-distilleries that will produce vodka with a focus on local ingredients, although each will have the same recipe and be packaged in a small bottle with a crown cap. Absolut’s partners will have responsibility for running the individual businesses and marketing the new offerings. An Our/Vodka distillery in Detroit is set to open in June, with projects in Seattle (opening in September), New York (November), Amsterdam, Los Angeles and London to follow later in the year. Our/Austin, Our/Miami, Our/Nashville, Our/New Orleans and Our/Melbourne vodkas are scheduled to begin production in 2015.

indexBuffalo Trace Distillery has launched a limited release single barrel Bourbon in honor of the distillery’s early master distiller. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon will be available in limited quantities for suggest retail price of $34.99. Elmer T. Lee, who passed away last year at the age of 93, worked at the distillery from 1949 to 1985 and is credited with creating the world’s first single barrel Bourbon in 1984, according to the company. The 46.5%-abv Bourbon will hit retail shelves in April.

imagesFour craft distilleries from the Midwest have collaborated on a limited release offering, Four Kings Bourbon Whiskey, to be sold exclusively at Binny’s Beverage Depot’s 30 stores across Illinois. Corsair Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee; Few Spirits in Evanston, Illinois; Journeyman Distilling in Three Oaks, Michigan and Mississippi River Distilling Company in Le Claire, Iowa each contributed 30 gallons of whiskey from their own distilleries for the project. About 600 bottles will be produced and will debut at the Whiskey Week Chicago 2014 event April 20-26. The whiskey is comprised of four grains from the distilleries’ different mash bills: corn, wheat, rye and barley. Plans are in the works for another blend in time for Whiskey Week 2015.

DryFly-Logo-BlackWashington state craft distiller Dry Fly is prepping the launch of a new five-year-old Irish-style whiskey under the O’Danaher brand. That limited-release offering will retail at around $65 a 750-ml. Dry Fly’s line also includes a vodka, gin, Washington wheat whiskey, Washington Bourbon and Triticale whiskey.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily.

Read Full Post »

imagesThe first peach brandy made at George Washington’s distillery at Mount Vernon in more than 200 years will be unveiled on April 1, the Distilled Spirits Council and Mount Vernon jointly announced. Some 400 bottles of the peach brandy will be offered at the Distillery & Gristmill at Mount Vernon, retailing at $150 a 375-ml. bottle. The brandy was recreated at the distillery in 2010 by a team of craft distillers who used 18th century techniques, double-distilling the product in copper pot stills heating it by wood fires, then aging it two years in toasted oak barrels. The distilling team was led by Ted Huber of Indiana-based Starlight Distillery, Brian McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling in New York, Lance Winters of St. George Spirits in California, Dave Pickerell of Vermont-based WhistlePig Whiskey and Hillrock Estate Distillery in New York, Joe Dangler of A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Virginia and Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., also in Virginia.

indexNetherlands-based distiller Lucas Bols is launching what it calls the world’s first-ever “alcoholic foam” in the U.S. market. The product is packaged in 200-ml. bottles and has three different flavors: Blue Curaçao, Crème de Cassis and Amaretto. A pump at the top of the bottle puts out up to two liters of the fizzy foam. “The foams can be as easily applied in-home as in-bar with cocktails, coffees, shots and desserts,” said Bols CEO Huub van Doorne. “On hot or cold drinks, the foam will hold for a minimum of 15 minutes.” The suggested retail price is $17.99 a bottle.

indexProst Beverage Company is introducing Tim Smith’s Original Climax Moonshine to the U.S. market following successful test launches in a handful of states. Climax can currently be found in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, Ohio, Maryland and Washington D.C. for around $29.99 to $34.99 a bottle. A new distillery is set to open next month, allowing the company to expand in June to Kentucky, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Mississippi and Alabama, with a pending agreement in Virginia. Tim Smith, star of the Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners,” and Prost Beverage plan to donate $1.00 for every nine-liter case of Climax sold to the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation. Flavors are planned for later this year and 2015.

imagesCIL U.S. Wine & Spirits, the American subsidiary of Cognac producer Camus, has been named the exclusive U.S. distributor for GDL Imports’ Trianon Tequila. Billed as a small-batch, handcrafted Tequila, the super-premium Trianon range includes Blanco ($39.99 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($45.99), Anejo ($49.99) and Trianon Triple Bottle ($79.99) expressions. Under the CIL U.S. agreement, Trianon—which launched in Tennessee in late 2012—will initially expand its presence into Florida, New York and Georgia.

indexTexas-based Garrison Brothers Distillery is set to enter the New York market. This distillery is releasing an initial 3,000 bottles of its Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey to bars and retail outlets in New York, which joins Texas and Arizona in its distribution footprint. Billed as the first straight Bourbon whiskey entirely produced outside Kentucky or Tennessee, the distillery has made available its spring 2014 vintage and will later release its fall vintage across New York state. The Bourbon retails in the $85-$95 range.

indexTwo years after launching the D’ussé Cognac brand with a VSOP offering, Bacardi is extending the upscale label with an XO expression. D’ussé XO, produced at the Chateau de Cognac by maître de chai Michel Casavecchia, is made from a blend of eaux-de-vie aged at least 10 years. Introducing the new offering to a small group of journalists and mixologists in New York last night, Bacardi said D’ussé XO, retailing at $230 a bottle, would hit 11 U.S. markets in May, targeted to select high-end accounts.


All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

Read Full Post »

$_12Good Spirits News continues it’s eBay auctions of rare and collectible cocktail guides with three fine offerings.

First off is the only known copy currently for sale of the Hoffman House Pure Rye cocktail guide from 1907.

Next is the wonderfully wry and period-style book “The Gun Club Drink Book” by Charles Browne.

Lastly, is a first edition of “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” by David Embury.

Good luck with your bids!

Read Full Post »

indexGruppo Campari is extending its Glen Grant single malt Scotch brand with a rare 50-year-old edition, with just 150 bottles released globally. Glen Grant 50-year-old is presented in a hand-blown, hand-numbered crystal decanter, designed to be an exact replica of Glen Grant’s tall, slender pot stills. The decanter is housed in a copper-lined Scottish oak box. The Glen Grant 50-year-old is rolling out this month to Asia’s travel retail market, with more travel retail and domestic markets to come online in June.

indexBeam Inc.’s Cruzan rum brand has added a new peach expression to its flavored lineup. A blend of Cruzan rum and ripe peach flavors, the new summer-inspired entry is currently available nationwide, priced at $14.99 a 750-ml. Cruzan Peach, which marks the brand’s 14th flavored rum, comes on the heels of several recent Cruzan innovations, including the launch of Cruzan Velvet Cinn—a premium rum horchata—and the upscale Cruzan Distiller’s Collection range, both released late last year.

imagesCraft moonshine distiller Stillhouse has partnered with Blackhealth Beverage Group, LLC, for marketing and distribution of its expanding portfolio across the U.S., effective immediately. Launched in 2010 to limited markets, Stillhouse Original Moonshine has gained momentum along with the moonshine category and is planning the release of four new flavored offerings—Stillhouse Red Hot (69 proof), Peach Tea, Apple Crisp and Coconut (all at 40 proof)—available at the end of April.

indexCharleston, South Carolina-based Island Club Brands is adding a new flavor, Cherry Bounce, to its Chicken Cock American whiskey label. The 70-proof entry is Chicken Cock’s fourth flavor, joining Cinnamon, Southern Spiced and Root Beer, and is targeted to the cold-shot occasion.



indexBlue Ice Vodka has extended its brand line with a new flavor expression, Crème Brûlée. The new offering, retailing at $20 a 750-ml., is produced in Idaho along with the rest of the Blue Ice range and is naturally flavored.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

Read Full Post »

f4New York, NY (March 20, 2014) The results are in for the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge®, the world’s premier spirits competition. Today, Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC) announces 37 Chairman Trophy winners, the highest award, along with 218 Finalists, 171 Tried & True AwardsSM and 89 Great Values. The Challenge, celebrating its fifth anniversary, was held in New York on March 10-14. For the second consecutive year, a perfect 100 point score was given by multiple panels to a whiskey. This year’s 100-point recipient is Redbreast 21 Years Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey.

“Interest in Ultimate Spirits Challenge has never been greater,” says Ultimate Spirits Challenge founder F. Paul Pacult. “Companies enter because they want brands to be evaluated against their peers by the world’s best judges. USC provides the most trusted, sought after testimonials that help distillers and importers build their brands.”

This year, USC introduces the Tried & True AwardSM to recognize brands that can be relied on to provide unfailing quality and superb taste to consumers year after year. To be eligible, brands that entered USC 2014 must have scored 85 points or higher in this year’s Challenge as well as in at least two previous Challenges.

All products entered are rated on the 100-point scale by the spirits industry’s most renowned judges that include award-winning authors, spirits buyers, journalists, educators, bar owners and consultants. This year’s judges were: USC Founder and Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, Judging Co-Chairman Sean Ludford, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, James Conley, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, Dan Nicolaescu, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW and David Wondrich.

Chairman’s Trophy winners (top award) are listed below and full results can be found HERE.

Read Full Post »

James-Beard-AwardsBack in February the James Beard Foundation released its “long list” of restaurant and chef semifinalists, and the livestream of the James Beard Foundation nominee announcement in Chicago begins today, March 18th, 2014 at 10:30 EST. Awards already announced this year include the Lifetime Achievement Award (Sirio Maccioni), the Humanitarian Award (Matt Haley), the America’s Classics Awards, and the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. The nominees listed today are the finalists in beverage categories.

Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages Books
· Ray Isle, Food & Wine, “The Battle for America’s Oldest Vines”
· Josh Ozersky, The Wall Street Journal, “Bourbon Mania!”
· Besha Rodell, Punch, “40 Ounces to Freedom”

Beverage Books
· The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes, Tony Conigliaro (Ten Speed Press)
· The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks, Amy Stewart (Algonquin Books)
· The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste, Jon Bonne (Ten Speed Press)

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM
Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY
Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY
David Wondrich, spirits educator, Brooklyn, NY

Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco
Bar Boulud, NYC
The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
FIG, Charleston, SC
The Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Outstanding Bar Program
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, NYC
Clyde Common, Portland, OR
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY
The Violet Hour, Chicago

Read Full Post »

indexAnchor Distilling is set to release the second edition in The Glenrothes single malt’s Extraordinary Cask Collection, Glenrothes Single Cask 1969 #11485. Bottled in a hand-blown lad crystal decanter and housed in a leather-bound carrying case, the new expression will hit the U.S. in May A 42.9% abv whisky, Glenrothes Single Cask 1969 #11485 will retail at around $7,000 a bottle, of which 133 were produced. The first offering in the Extraordinary Cask Collection, a 1970 Glenrothes of which 179 bottles were released, launched in September 2012 and sold out.

indexBrown-Forman has formally announced the test launch of a new cinnamon-flavored Jack Daniel’s offering beginning in April. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will be available in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee for a suggested retail price of $22 a 750-ml. The 70-proof offering is crafted with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 whiskey and infused with a proprietary cinnamon liqueur.



indexMoët Hennessy’s Belvedere vodka has extended its flavor lineup with the launch of Belvedere Mango Passion. Featuring mango and passion fruit flavors blended with a hint of mandarin, tangerine and lime, Belvedere Mango Passion is set to roll out nationwide next month, retailing at $34.99 a 750-ml. The new addition, which includes no added sugar, is targeted toward the cocktail occasion, intended to be served with tonic water or ginger ale, or in classic cocktails.


indexDiageo will introduce a new super-premium Smirnoff vodka variant in travel retail this summer, marking the company’s largest vodka launch in the duty free channel. Smirnoff White will be available in travel retail outlets around the world beginning July 2014 at a suggested retail price of £21 (about $33) for a 1-liter bottle. Diageo says the 41.3%-abv super-premium vodka furthers its strategy of premiumization in the sector and will be supported by several high-impact activations. Smirnoff White is freeze filtered and passed through charcoal filters for smoothness.

indexBeam Inc.’s Hornitos brand has released Hornitos Black Barrel, a new 100%-agave Añejo Tequila. Initially aged in American oak barrels for 12 months, Hornitos Black Barrel is put in charred American oak for an additional four months and subsequently finished in toasted American oak for an extra two months. The result is a golden amber-colored Tequila with the smoky, vanilla character similar to that of a whiskey. The 80-proof entry is priced at $29.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

Read Full Post »

$_57An essential addition to your cocktail library.  Jerry Thomas is the father of mixology.  Don’t miss this rare chance to own an original edition in excellent condition!

Click here for more information.

Read Full Post »

indexU.K. import Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer has added a new flavored offering to its portfolio, Spiced Orange, which will be sold in the 42 states within the brand’s distribution footprint. The 4.8%-abv beverage will be available in four-packs of 11-ounce bottles or in a 16.9-ounce bottle. The new addition will have a lighter ginger profile with an added orange flavor and is ideally served chilled with a slice of orange, by itself or in ginger beer cocktails.

indexIrish whiskey upstart Teeling launches its first product in the U.S. April 1. Teeling’s debut release, an eponymous blended Irish whiskey finished in Flor de Caña rum casks, is positioned at $40 a bottle. Initially launching in 17 states through importer Infinium Spirits, the 46%-abv, non-chill-filtered expression is expected to be in national distribution by next year.



indexBrown-Forman has unveiled the 2014 limited edition Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle. Rolling out this month, this year’s commemorative offering features artwork by Louisville-based artist David O. Schuster, which depicts horses, jockeys and the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby race. The 2014 Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle will be available nationwide, priced at around $43.99 a 1-liter. Woodford Reserve has served as the official Bourbon sponsor of the Kentucky Derby for 16 years.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily.

Read Full Post »

350x350_berkshireSheffield, Massachusetts-based Berkshire Mountain Distillers has partnered with 10 U.S. craft brewers to create a new range of Bourbons finished in beer barrels for a minimum of three months. Several offerings in the limited edition range began rolling out in January, including collaborations with Georgia’s Terrapin Brewing, Pennsylvania’s Tröegs Brewing and Massachusetts’ Samuel Adams. In the coming months, Berkshire will unveil new entries created in partnership with Michigan’s Founders Brewing, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing, Montana’s Big Sky Brewing, Washington’s Hale’s Ales, Oregon’s Full Sail Brewing, New York’s Brewery Ommegang and New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing. The Bourbons, which range in price from $42.99-$60 a bottle, feature the name of the participating brewery and are available only in each brewer’s region.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

Read Full Post »

kahlua_brand_union_delicioso1930: The Alvarez brothers harvest Arabica coffee beans from the fields of Coatepe, Veracruz, Mexico. They work with Señor Blanco, a local entrepreneur, to use their beans in a spirits recipe he was financially backing.

1936: Chemist Montalvo Lara uses the Alvarez brother’s coffee beans in a spirits base made from sugar cane to produce both syrup and rum. The final product is named Kahlúa, meaning “House of the Acolhua people” in the Veracruz Nahuatl language.

2014: Kahlúa is made in Mexico City at a Pernod Ricard owned factory. The beans are medium roasted and then cold brewed.  When bottled, natural vanilla flavoring and only a touch of caramel coloring is added to insure the same rich dark brown liquid goes into every bottle.

Today: Celebrate with a cocktail made with Kahlúa crafted by British bartender extraordinaire, Dick Bradsell.

Espresso Martini
2 oz Vodka
1½ oz Espresso coffee (hot)
½ oz Sugar syrup (1 water : 2 sugar)
¼ oz Kahlúa

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass. Garnish by floating three coffee beans.

Read Full Post »

60-Day-Recruitment-BannerI’m a proud member of the USBG, the country’s oldest professional association for bartenders. We’re working hard to restore bartending to a respected, viable career choice in the 21st century.

For a limited time, the USBG is offering a very special opportunity: The chance to experience our learning, resources and access to industry leaders will be FREE for 60 days. Hurry, this offer expires March 15th!

This comes at no obligation to you—all you need is an email address. Just click the button below and use registration code “joinusbg” to get started.

Membership includes access to USBGPulse, which serves our community online. On USBGPulse, the USBG’s local leaders, events, learning experiences, and national competitions such as World Class are provided to boost your knowledge, expertise and marketability in bartending.

Elevating the Craft & improving bartenders’ careers is what we’re all about! If this sounds like something you can get on board with, I hope you’ll sign up and join us.

Blair Frodelius – Good Spirits News

Click Here for 60 Day Trial Membership

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: