GSN Spirited News: May 26th 2020 Edition

Absolut has launched a new collection of ready-to-drink cocktails. The new releases are split into two lines, Absolut Vodka Sodas and Absolut Cocktails. The 5% abv vodka sodas come in three flavors—Lime & Cucumber, Grapefruit & Rosemary, and Raspberry & Lemongrass—all at 97 calories per serving. Absolut Cocktails include a Mango Mule and a Grapefruit Paloma at 7% abv, and a Berry Vodkarita at 10%. Absolut’s new RTDs are now in national distribution, retailing at around $13 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Teeling Irish whiskey is launching a special Father’s Day edition of its single malt expression. Selling exclusively on ReserveBar through June at $60 a bottle, the limited edition is finished in five different types of wine casks. $5 from every bottle sold will go to the Raise Your Spirits campaign supporting bars and restaurants.

Brown-Forman has teamed up with Whiskey Barrel Foods to create Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters, designed to complement Jack Daniel’s flavor profile when used in cocktails. The bitters are at 46.9% abv and bring flavors of vanilla, wood, berry, ginger, and maple. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters are now available on Whiskey Barrel Foods’ website for $15 a 3-ounce bottle.

Five midwestern distilleries have teamed to create Distiller’s Handshake, a new blended whiskey sold to benefit Iowa’s service workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The 50% abv blend is acollaboration among Iowa’s Templeton Rye, Cat’s Eye Distillery, Cedar Ridge Distillery, Mississippi River Distilling Company, and Illinois’ Blaum Bros Distilling Company. The whiskey retails at $50, with all proceeds going to the Iowa Restaurant Association and bartenders throughout the state.

Loveland, Colorado-based craft distiller The Family Jones has unveiled Ella Jones Straight Bourbon WhiskeyThe newcomer has a mashbill of 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malt—all sourced from Colorado—and is a blend of whiskies with an average age of 2.8 years. Bottled at 47% abv, Ella Jones is rolling out in Colorado at a retail price of $55 a 750ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Alert: Mugs by Day, Pint Glasses by Night

Morning runs to the coffee shop and happy hour cocktails at the bar have been halted for more than two months now. We wanted to know how this impacts in-home brewing and mixology. Influence Central surveyed 630 consumers in May as part of an effort to understand the consumer mindset during COVID-19.

CHEERS TO THE QUARANTINI 

Alcohol has always been a part of restaurant profitability and social culture in the U.S. With varied rules around alcohol sales and delivery state-to-state, alcohol brands have found themselves in an interesting spot. Some creative brands like Grey Goose, have hired out-of-work bartenders to become online mixologists for home-drinking cocktail makers.

  • Only 26% of consumers share that they’re consuming even more alcoholic beverages at home now than they were before. But drinks abound even if at typical consumption levels.
  • Among all consumers when it comes to drinking choices, wine tops the list of drink choices, with cocktails and beer rounding up the top three:
    • 43% turn to red wine
    • 38% prefer white wine
    • 37% are mixing up cocktails, while 18% prefer hard alcohol straight up or on the rocks.
    • 31% drink beer
    • 14% love hard seltzer
    • 13% like hard cider
  • 94% have not utilized any of the home delivery services for alcoholic beverages yet and are still going in-store for their alcohol purchases.
  • Of those who are utilizing home delivery services for alcoholic beverages, 65% have only just recently started turning to these services. 

Marketers of alcohol brands and services should be pouring themselves into these findings and capitalizing on a market that hasn’t quite taken off. The momentum of Online Grocery Pick-up can be an example to both national alcohol brands, as well as local businesses, including the rapidly growing craft beer industry.

A HIGHLY CAFFEINATED HOME-BREWED NATION

Home brewed coffee abounds during COVID-19. The number of movies, TV shows and memes that portray the morning hustle and hurry-up mentality of American culture is staggering. So, it’s not surprising that the line at your Starbucks’ or McDonald’s Drive-thru was long or that office coffee stations were as common as copy machines. But what happens when consumers’ to-do lists are still expansive, with increased reliance on caffeine increased to battle long unremitting, but you’re home most mornings? Well, it turns out that it’s coffee that happens:

  • 89% of consumers have at least one person in their household who now drinks coffee at home.
  • 56% brew more pots and cups of coffee at home than before social distancing, generally brewing 2 or more times each day.
  • When asked what they are using to brew coffee, 66% purchase ground coffee, 49% use K-Cups and 20% grind coffee beans.
  • Among the different types of coffee brands being purchased for home:
    • 50% opt for well-known chain coffee shop brands (such as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Caribou).
    • 46% preferring well-known grocery store brands (such as Folgers or Maxwell House).
    • 29% choose other specialty coffee brands.
    • 24% opt for generic supermarket house brand.
  • 42% had typically brewed coffee at the office prior to the shift to stay-at-home.
  • 71% purchase creamers or other additives specifically for coffee.

People clearly still want their daily pick-me-ups of caffeine during the pandemic, creating a swath of opportunities for coffee brands and coffee appliances alike. Plus, it’s opened the door to new coffee drinks, such as the hugely popular and trending “Dalgona” whipped coffee made with instant coffee whipped with sugar and water, then poured over milk. Clearly, home baristas have arrived!

Stacy DeBroff is a Social and digital media strategist, best-selling author, attorney, and founder and CEO of Influence Central, which delivers cutting-edge social media and digital campaigns focused on influencer marketing.

 

GSN Alert: May 16, 2020 – World Whiskey Day

WWD_Master_Logo

World Whisky Day invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life. Events are taking place all over the globe. If you can’t find an event happening near you why not host your own World Whisky day event? All you need is a bottle of whisky to share with your friends. World Whisky day celebrates all types of whisky/whiskey and encourages everyone to enjoy whisky responsibly.

World Whisky Day is all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. It’s not about being exclusive or prescriptive. You can drink it however you enjoy it (ice, water, mixer – whatever works for you). We want to be all inclusive and that means any kind of whisky/whiskey from anywhere in the world.

For more info go to: World Whisky Day

GSN Alert: May 15th – National Aperitif Day

indexA few years ago, the Lillet company declared a “National Aperitif Day” in honor of their latest product, Lillet Rose.  It’s not a bad time of year to do so.  Spring feels like a natural time for lighter and less inebriating beverages.

The word aperitif is French and literally means “to open.” The idea is that a short drink will prepare the imbiber for a lovely meal.  The original version was created in Turin, Italy by Antonio Carpano in 1786.  The next iteration came 60 years later when Joseph Dubonnet added quinine to a herbally infused wine and created, you guessed it, Dubonnet.

Lillet dates back to 1872, when it was known as Kina Lillet.  Notable fictional characters James Bond and Hannibal Lecter both enjoyed Kina.  Today, the original formula has been reformulated into Lillet Blanc.  As I mentioned there is also Lillet Rose and a third version Lillet Rouge which debuted in 1990.

Some classic cocktails calling for Lillet are the Vesper, the Corpse Reviver #2 (a personal favorite) and the 20th Century (a cocktail well deserving of a revival) in the 21st century.

GSN Spirited News: May 12th 2020 Edition

Waco, Texas-based Balcones Distilling has announced Texas Bock Whiskey, a new malt whiskey made in collaboration with Spoetzl Brewery. The 50% abv straight malt whiskey is made using Shiner Bock’s recipe and proprietary lager yeast before aging in new oak barrels for at least two years. Balcones Texas Bock is available for a limited time at the company’s distillery and in retailers throughout Texas and Oklahoma for around $40 a 750-ml.

Denver, Colorado’s Laws Whiskey House has released this year’s edition of its Bottled-in-Bond Four Grain Bourbon. This year’s whiskey is a 6-year-old spirit made from corn (60%), wheat (20%), rye (10%), and malted barley (10%), all sourced from Colorado farms. The whiskey is now available across the U.S. in limited quantities for a suggested retail price of $75 a 750-ml. About 500 9-liter cases have been produced.

Grain and Barrel Spirits has launched Chicken Cock Ryeteous Blend, a new whiskey made in collaboration with Goodwood Brewing. The 45% abv whiskey is distilled from a mash of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Following its initial maturation, Ryeteous Blend is finished in ex-Chicken Cock Bourbon barrels that were used to mature Goodwood’s Blonde Ale. The new bottling is now available in limited quantities in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia for $90 a 750-ml.

Seagram’s vodka, part of the Infinium Spirits portfolio, has revamped its Sweet Tea flavor, transitioning to a liquid that’s lighter in color, made using all-natural ingredients, and with 20% less sugar. The new recipe is rolling out this month and will replace existing Seagram’s Sweet Tea inventory as it’s depleted.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: May 12th 2020 Edition

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based craft player Founders Brewing Co. has announced Marvelroast, the company’s latest taproom brew turned limited national release. The 10% abv Imperial Golden ale is brewed with coffee, vanilla, cocoa, and milk sugar. The ale was particularly popular at the company’s Detroit taproom before going into wider production. Marvelroast will be available nationally beginning in July in 4-packs of 12-ounce bottles for around $10.

Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing has debuted its latest IPA in the Voodoo Ranger series, 1985 Hazy IPA. The 6.7% ale is brewed with Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade hops with mango added to amp up the fruit flavors. The beer is latest in Voodoo Ranger’s rotating series of ales, which, according to the company, have grown into its fifth-largest label overall. Voodoo Ranger 1985 Hazy IPA is rolling out now across the U.S. in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and on draft. New Belgium is the fourth-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Kansas City, Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing Company has entered the hard seltzer category with Quirk Spiked and Sparkling. The 4.2% abv seltzers come in at 90 calories and will be available in three flavors: Strawberry, Lemon, & Basil; Blackberry Sage; and Pear Yuzu. The line will be available in select markets throughout the Midwest beginning in June. Boulevard is part of Duvel Moortgat, the fifth-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is introducing Social Club Seltzer, a new brand of hard seltzers in classic cocktail flavors. Social Club is being distributed nationally in variety 12-packs and single-flavor 6-packs, with variants including an Old Fashioned, Sidecar, and Gimlet, all at 7% abv and with 150 calories a 12-ounce can. According to the company, “The alcohol comes from a cold-fermentation of sugar combined with purified water and cold-pressed fruits.” AB-InBev also markets hard seltzers under the Bon & Viv, Bud Light, and Natural Light brands.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Alert: May 13th – World Cocktail Day

cocktailsThe word ‘cocktail’ is thrown around with as much abandon as a flamboyantly flaring mixologist with a Boston shaker – but what does it mean; and, indeed, what are its origins? According to the The London Telegraph, the first instance of its use was in a satirical newspaper article about a party; although whether ‘cocktail’ referred to an alcoholic drink is contested. Vermont publication The Farmer’s Cabinet stakes another claim for the debut use of ‘cocktail’, suggesting in its pages on 28th April 1803 that ‘to drink a cocktail is excellent for the head.’
The Online Etymology Dictionary attributes the origin of ‘cocktail’ to a mispronunciation of the French word for egg cup, ‘coquetier’ (pronounced in English as ‘cocktay’); backed, perhaps, but the fact that Antoine Amédée Peychaud (he of the eponymous bitters brand) served brandy mixed with bitters in eggcups at his late eighteenth-century New Orleans apothecary.
A second theory holds that the name is derived from the term ‘cock tailings’; referring to the debatably delicious practice of tavern owners combining the dregs (‘tailings’) of barrels together into a single elixir to be sold at knock-down prices, drawn from the spigot of a barrel – its ‘cock’.

On 13th May 1806, newspaper Balance and Columbian Repository defined a cocktail as, ‘a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind – sugar, water, and bitters.’ This date is now recognised as World Cocktail Day, an occasion on which drinkers commemorate the first recognised publication of the word’s definition.

All information courtesy of Good Things Magazine