DrinkedIn Trends

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Cointreau’s On-premise Industry Love Letter


If you were watching the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, you may have seen a commercial from Cointreau. The French liqueur brand’s national “Love Letter” television and digital campaign raises awareness on the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on restaurant and bar workers and encouraged Americans to support their local eateries and watering holes.

The “Love Letter”campaign, created in collaboration with the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) and produced by creative agency Intuitive Content , spotlights real restaurant and bar staff who have been impacted by the pandemic. The 30-second spot encouraged viewers to visit cointreau.com/saverestaurants to share a simple “Thank You” or a heartfelt “See You Soon” on social media, tagging their favorite bar or restaurant with hashtag #SaveRestaurants.

More than one in six restaurants and bars have shut their doors since the pandemic began nearly a year ago, and up to 85% risk closing permanently. Temporary and permanent closures have left more than 2.4 million people who work in restaurants and bars without a job—including over 370,000 who lost their jobs this past December.

Cointreau’s Big Game spot ran in 15 key regional markets nationwide, Connected TV and on digital across YouTube and organic and paid owned social channels. Cointreau chose markets hardest hit by Covid-19 pandemic including Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

The post Cointreau’s On-premise Industry Love Letter first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Seagram’s Hard Seltzer


Seagram’s joins the seltzer party with Seagram’s Hard Seltzer.

This new product is 5% ABV with 100 calories, with only one gram of cane sugar and two grams of carbs. 

Seagram’s Hard Seltzer comes in four flavors: Tropical Pineapple, Mango Peach, Mixed Berry and Watermelon Lime.

“We know that 61% of consumers believe great taste is lacking from hard seltzers. We’ve made it our mission to change that,” says Jennifer McCauley, Seagram’s Hard Seltzer brand director. “Our team embraced our expertise in flavor development across beer and flavored malt beverages to create a seltzer uniquely positioned to deliver on taste and flavor.”

Seagram’s Hard Seltzer malt base was specifically designed to preserve the brightness of the flavors, resulting in a softer, smoother, more flavorful experience that’s delicious but not too sweet,” she adds. 

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Harpoon Mike’s Pastry Cannoli Stout

Harpoon Mike’s Pastry Cannoli Stout


Harpoon Brewery and Mike’s Pastry have partnered again in 2021 to bring back the limited release beer, Harpoon Mike’s Pastry Cannoli Stout.

The 7.3% ABV beer is made with Mike’s Pastry’s hand-made cannoli shells, cocoa nibs, lactose and vanilla, recreating the flavor profile of the dessert from Hanover Street, the company says.

This milk stout has notes of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and mocha, the company reports, while the lactose and vanilla give the beer a creamy mouthfeel and ricotta-like sweetness.

In addition to their original cannoli-inspired stout, Harpoon will also releasing a 9.0% ABV version of the beer aged in rye whiskey barrels.

In addition to their original cannoli-inspired stout, Harpoon will also release a 9.0% ABV version of the beer aged in rye whiskey barrels to accentuate its creamy vanilla characteristics and provide notes of cinnamon, caramel and rye spice.

For every case of the beer sold, Harpoon will once again donate a portion of proceeds to Christmas in the City, a Boston-based local non-profit that provides financial support to families experiencing homelessness and poverty.

The post Harpoon Mike’s Pastry Cannoli Stout first appeared on Cheers.
Original author: Kyle Swartz
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West Cork Stout Cask Irish Whiskey Hits Shelves


West Cork Stout Cask Irish whiskey is the newest release from the distillery, reaching the U.S. in partnership with importer M.S. Walker.

This new expression is a 75:25 blend of grain and malt Irish whiskey, made using Irish malted barley and wheat. Triple distilled, it aged in first fill bourbon casks for four years. The malt and grain components are then married together, and aged for an additional six months in casks that previously held Ireland’s Blacks of Kinsale Stout.

The resulting whiskey has aromas of chocolate, raisins and cracked nuts, the company reports, with flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

Only 9,400 bottles of West Cork Stout Cask are available across the U.S. The suggested retail price is $31.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

This new release joins West Cork’s recently introduced limited release IPA Cask Finished, and a core line of whiskeys, including Bourbon Cask, Black Cask, 8-Year Single Malt Irish Whiskeys and variety of limited-release offerings

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Buffalo Trace Announces Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbon


Buffalo Trace Distillery Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbon, a 20-year-old whiskey, is the latest release from the famed Kentucky distillery.

This is the third iteration in the series, which launched initially in 2019. 

Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbon aged for two decades on the lower floors of Buffalo Trace’s warehouses, which is twice as long as the standard 10-year-old Eagle Rare Bourbon.

Presented in the same handcrafted package as previous releases, the 2020 Double Eagle Very Rare has a notable update to its proof – to 101. That number is a nod to the original proof of Eagle Rare Bourbon when it first came out in 1975. 

Double Eagle Very Rare comes in a crystal decanter within a silver presentation box. The presentation box consists of two sliding doors, imprinted with a design similar to eagle feathers. The sliding doors open to a spotlight of the crystal decanter, which features two sculptured crystal glass eagles, one inside of the bottle and the other serving as the stopper.

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Castello del Poggio New Branding


Castello del Poggio, a 2020 Beverage Dynamics Established Growth Brand, announces a packaging update, as the Zonin-owned property in Piedmont prepares to hit the million-case mark in the U.S. in 2021.

U.S. consumers will see the newly packaged wines starting this month, with the rollout continuing through April.

“2020 depletions were up 30% over the previous year,” says Shawn Balzano, national sales director at 1821 Fine Wine & Spirits, the Zonin family’s U.S. import arm.

The Castello del Poggio lineup includes DOCG Moscato d’Asti, a new delle Venezie DOC Pinot Grigio, an Extra Dry Prosecco, a rosé and two red blends: Smooth Red and Templar’s Red. 

“The new packaging speaks clearly and directly to Castello del Poggio’s growing diversity of millennial and Gen Z consumers,” says Mike Wolff, 1821 Fine Wine & Spirits’ head of consumer and trade marketing. Tasting notes are in English and Spanish. Back labels confirm that contents are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly. An easy-to-read sweetness/dryness scale has also been added.

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10 American Whiskey Trends in 2021

10 American Whiskey Trends in 2021









While Covid-19 shut down most of the world in 2020, whiskey aged in rickhouses all the same. The market for American brown spirits hardly cooled off. The boom in consumer interest continued throughout the pandemic, fueled in part by so many people staying home and needing a drink. This affected American whiskey trends.

The category was already red hot before the health crisis. We remain in a new golden age for brown spirits, which has fueled massive expansion in craft distilling and innovation.

So what will consumers want next? As always, many emerging trends have already showed signs of growth in years past. With that in mind, here are 10 whiskey trends to watch in 2021.

Store Pick Single Barrels

These special whiskeys, selected by retailers or clubs as one-off bottlings, enjoyed a banner year in 2020. Which may seem odd, since sampling barrels was no easy task in the middle of a pandemic. But the industry evolved, and store pick single barrels trended as they connected more with the mainstream consumer.

We expect this to continue in 2021. One reason is because store pick single barrels are rare spirits that are easier to find than the “white whale” whiskeys that drive the secondary market. 

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Podcast: How Kentucky Spirits Became a Global Powerhouse


Kentucky spirits were not always this hot. Not that long ago, distilleries could not give away bourbon. Now, fanatical fans of brown spirits post in private Facebook groups to help each other hunt down any bottles made by Buffalo Trace, or other super-trendy producers.

How did we get here? How did Kentucky spirits become the center of the drinking universe? For a deeper dive into this remarkable rise by the state’s distilling industry, we turned to Louisville-based food and beverage writer Steve Coomes.

Coomes is known throughout Kentucky and the wider world of whiskey as one of the industry’s most knowledgable writers — including on country ham! Check out his work at SteveCoomes.com. And check out the interview that editors Melissa Dowling and Kyle Swartz recently conducted with Coomes. Listen below or click here.

The post Podcast: How Kentucky Spirits Became a Global Powerhouse first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Touchdown Dance


1 oz. Bacardi Superior Rum
½ oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
¼ oz. Amaretto
2 oz. Pineapple juice
2 oz. Orange juice

Combine ingredients in shaker tin and shake. Pour into Collins glass and garnish with orange slice and cherries.

The mixologists at Margaritaville Resort Orlando created this recipe.

The post Touchdown Dance first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Elysian Brewing Full Contact Imperial Hazy IPA


Elysian Brewing Full Contact Imperial Hazy IPA, the brewery’s newest launch, is 8.8% ABV with 60 IBU.

Created with a hop combination including centennial, simcoe and strata, Full Contact has a fruit-forward flavor, the Seattle-based brewery reports, with notes of tangerine, cream soda and fresh honeydew, along with floral and slightly resinous aromas.  

Full Contact rolls out nationwide in 6-pack cans and on draft, joining Contact Haze as a member of Elysian’s Contact family.

Also joining the Contact family later this year is Altered Contact (6.8% ABV), a tart IPA that offers an alternative to the usually generous hop-forward flavors of the style. A Trilogy Pack featuring all three beers in the Contact Family will launch in March 2021. 

The post Elysian Brewing Full Contact Imperial Hazy IPA first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Kyle Swartz)
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Uber Acquires Drizly


As alcohol ecommerce and direct-to-consumer continue to evolve, Uber Technologies today announced an agreement to buy Drizly.

The price is approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

Drizly is the leading on-demand alcohol marketplace in the U.S., available and fully compliant with local regulations in more than 1,400 cities across the country. Drizly works with thousands of local merchants to provide consumers with a selection of beer, wine, and spirits.

After completion of the transaction, Drizly will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber. Drizly’s marketplace will eventually integrate into the Uber Eats app, while also maintaining a separate Drizly app.

Drizly now gains access to the world’s largest food delivery and ridesharing platform in Uber. Uber’s rewards and subscription programs will also extend onto Drizly.

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Landry’s/Golden Nugget Going Public Again


Fertitta Entertainment, the parent company of Golden Nugget/ Landry’s, and Fast Acquisition Corp. have agreed to merge and become a publicly listed company. Tilman Fertitta, sole owner of Fertitta, will continue to lead the Golden Nugget/Landry’s empire and serve as the chairman/president/CEO of Fertitta Entertainment. 

The Houston-based multinational, diversified gaming, restaurant, hospitality and entertainment company includes the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino and several restaurant chains. Brands include Landry’s Seafood House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Cafe, Morton’s The Steakhouse, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood, Chart House, Joe’s Crab Shack and Saltgrass Steak House.

Landry’s had been a public company from 1993 until Fertitta took it private in 2010. The company’s recent restaurant acquisitions include Del Frisco’s and Houlihan’s in 2019, and Cadillac Ranch and The Palm restaurants in 2020.

Fast Acquisition Corp., led by founder Doug Jacob and CEO Sandy Beall, is a hospitality-focused, special purpose acquisition company based in New York. Beall is one of the founders of Ruby Tuesday, the restaurant brand started in Knoxville, TN, in 1972. Ruby Tuesday filed for bankruptcy protection this past October.

The post Landry’s/Golden Nugget Going Public Again first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Francis Ford Coppola Winery Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


Francis Ford Coppola Winery Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is the latest addition to the brand’s Diamond Collection.

Sourced from the Creston District, San Juan Creek and Highland counties, this is the first wine from the collection to be sourced solely from Paso Robles.

“One of the great joys tasting wine is discovering how the expression of a grape can change from place to place: the color, the aroma, the texture, the flavor,” says Gary Sitton, VP of winemaking, “Paso Robles is a warm growing region, with relatively low annual rainfall and a diverse mixture of soil types. With its distinctive flavor profile, it is a perfect complement to the Coppola family of Cabernets: our Classic Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon and our best-selling Diamond Claret.”

Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of black fruits, coffee, almond and vanilla on the nose, the company reports. Concentrated ripe stone fruits meet a hint of toasted oak on the palate. Small amounts of Petit Verdot provide spice and color, while Petite Sirah contributes depth of flavor, color and concentration.

Aged for 10 months over French oak barrels, this wine is 13.5% ABV and a match for winter pairings like holiday roasts, mashed potatoes and cheese plates with sharp and aged cheeses.

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DISCUS Report: RTDs and Premiumization Boomed in 2020


The annual economic briefing by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), conducted virtually on Jan. 28, confirmed the grim state of on-premise in 2020, while highlighting areas of industry growth.

One of the winners from last year was pre-mixed cocktails. Driven by spirits ready-to-drink (RTD) products, this category was up 39.1% or $137 million to $489 million last year. Continued growth seems likely for 2021.

Premiumization was another major trend.

“The increase in spirits sales revenue reflects consumers’ willingness to spend a little extra on super-premium spirits during the past year since they were not traveling, going on vacations or dining out as often,” says DISCUS Chief Economist David Ozgo, noting that sales of super-premium spirits represented 40 percent of revenue growth. “It also reflected consumers’ desire to bring that special restaurant and bar experience they were missing into their homes. We saw a renewed interest in home bartending as people stocked their bars with a range of spirits categories to experiment with new drink recipes and create craft cocktails at home.”

American whiskey sales jumped 8.2% or $327 million to $4.3 billion. Rye remained an important part of the overall American whiskey category growth, with sales up 16.9% or $40 million, reaching $275 million.

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‘Merican Mule Fire Mule


As the RTD boom continues, Connecticut-based canned cocktail brand ‘Merican Mule has announced a new seasonal release, Fire Mule.

This RTD is made with bourbon whiskey, proprietary ginger beer and all-natural cinnamon, the company says.

‘Merican Mule Fire Mule has notes of sweet cinnamon and a hint of spicy heat. It’s available this winter season, best enjoyed cold and straight from the copper can or a copper mug for the full Mule experience. Fire Mule is malt-free and contains zero artificial flavorings.

“At ‘Merican Mule, we’re all about reinventing the classics,” says ‘Merican Mule CEO, Dean Mahoney. “We launched out of the pursuit of our very own ‘Merican Dream and truly believe the sky’s the limit when it comes to our top-notch, bartender-quality Mules.”

Fire Mule joins a lineup of five canned cocktails including the flagship Moscow Mule (vodka), Mexican Mule (tequila), Tropical Mule (rum), Southern Mule (bourbon) and seasonal Pumpkin Spice Mule (vodka), available in select markets.

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Molson Coors to Distrbute Superbird RTD Cocktail

Molson Coors to Distrbute Superbird RTD Cocktail


As RTD cocktails continue to trend massively, Molson Coors Beverage Company has announced a partnership with CKBG to distribute Superbird.

Superbird is a 100% blue agave tequila-based canned cocktail.

“We have clearly executed on our promise to evolve our portfolio beyond beer and moving into fast-growing RTD cocktail space with an incredible brand like Superbird only strengthens our position as a true beverage company,” says Pete Marino, president of emerging growth at Molson Coors. “CKBG created a delicious, authentic, super-premium brand, and it equips our company, and our distributors with another high-quality option.”

Superbird is a carbonated, 5.9%-ABV take on a Paloma. Besides real tequila grown and processed in Tequila, Mexico, the product also contains natural grapefruit juice, agave nectar and sparkling water. The RTD has no sugars or artificial ingredients.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Molson Coors and have a distribution network that aligns with our higher purpose,” said Joe Marchese, co-founder of CKBG. “We’re honored to be working hand in hand with one of the best beverage companies in the world, and one that understands the high-quality standards to which we hold ourselves and our product.”

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Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years Hits Shelves


The latest release from Crown Royal is their Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years.

This limited-edition expression is the fifth and newest addition in the brand’s Noble Collection. Released on an annual basis, the Noble Collection highlights techniques and styles from the brand’s master blenders.

Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years has a spicy rye aroma upfront softened by creamy vanilla, sweet caramel and hints of stone fruit, the company reports. This rye continues upfront on the palate, paired with an initial heat which relaxes into a residual warming mouthfeel while hints of cherries, cinnamon, anise and clove reveal themselves.

The whisky is 45% ABV.

The suggested retail price for Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years is $69.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

The post Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years Hits Shelves first appeared on Cheers.
Original author: Melissa Dowling
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Dewar’s Portugese Smooth


Dewar’s has announced the launch of Dewar’s Portuguese Smooth Scotch whisky.

Marking the brand’s 175th anniversary this year, this new, third iteration in the Dewar’s Cask Series features Dewar’s 8 year-old double-aged blended Scotch whisky finished in ruby port casks.

This follows the launches last year of Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth Rum Cask Finish and Ilegal Smooth Mezcal Cask Finish.

Deward’s Portuguese Smooth has flavors of freshly sliced ripe apricots, honeydew melon, red cherries and black currants with heather honey, the company says, all enveloped in creamy notes of vanilla. 

“We created the Dewar’s cask-finished series to break the mold and evolve those traditions by bringing two product elaboration cultures together — in this case from Scotland and Portugal — to create something richer,” says Brian Cox, VP, Dewar’s Scotch Whisky, North America.

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Sweet Wine Cocktails From The South of France

Sweet Wine Cocktails From The South of France


The Other Tastes of Wine cocktail

Wine cocktails use a variety of wine styles, from the old-school spritzer to the prosecco-based Bellini to the New York Sour’s dry red wine float. The fortified sweet wines or Vins Doux Naturels (VDNs) from Roussillon in the South of France provide a unique base for creative cocktails, thanks to their residual sugars and aromatic quality.

You could use any fortified sweet wines in cocktails, but Roussillon VDNs represent the region’s long history of innovative winemaking. Roussillon producers have been adding fortifying spirits to wine during the alcoholic fermentation since the 13th century, as a way to preserve some of the fruit’s natural sweetness. That’s how VDN was born.

There are two styles of VDNs: Young non-oxidized VDNs (white, rosé, grenat, rimage) shine in punchy and upfront cocktails with fresh, spicy, fruity and floral notes. Older oxidized VDNs (ambré, tuilé, hors d’age, rancio), best suited for leisurely sipping, can replace spirits and offer subtle and rich aromatic complexity.

Roussillon is part of the greater Languedoc-Roussillon coastal Mediterranean region, which produces about a third of France’s wine. Here are three cocktails that incorporate Roussillon VDNs.

The Ambrecito
(shown atop)
1 ½ oz. Older oxidized VDN (such as Rivesaltes ambré, Rivesaltes tuilé, Maury Hors d’Age or Banyuls Hors d’Age)
2 tsp. Coconut syrup
2 tsp. Mangalore liqueur
2 tsp. Aged rum
2 tsp. Pineapple juice

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Bowmore 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has unveiled an annual release, Bowmore 30 Year Old.

Distilled in 1989, this single malt whisky aged three decades in Bowmore’s sherry hogsheads and bourbon barrels. It matured in the Bowmore No. 1 Vaults, one of the world’s oldest maturation warehouses.

Bottled at a cask strength of 45.3% ABV, this expression is a celebration of Bowmore’s rich fruity and subtly smoky style, the company says. With a burnished gold natural color, this whisky offers up aromas of heather, bananas, peaches, pineapple, vanilla and butterscotch. While on the palate, tropical fruits and honey sweetness combine with subtle peat smoke and hints of eucalyptus.

“By adding an ongoing 30 Year Old Bowmore to the portfolio, we are able to showcase how vital the length of time spent in casks shapes and influences our spirit, making it even more exceptional and full of character,” says David Turner, Bowmore Distillery manager. “Each annual release will tell the rich story of Bowmore, but importantly each will have their own unique style and character. As for this release, this is another perfect example of classic Bowmore but with boundless depth and intrigue reflecting the long standing interaction of spirit and wood.” 

Only 2,580 bottles are available globally. Bowmore 30 Year Old is available from January 2021 for a suggested retail price of $2,500 per 750-ml. bottle.

The post Bowmore 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Kyle Swartz)
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