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A Taste of The Cayman Islands

A Taste of The Cayman Islands


A trip to the Caribbean may be out of reach for most right now due to pandemic, but you can dream of warm sun, white sand and deep blue sea while sipping a specialty cocktail and enjoying some spicy jerk barbeque. To help facilitate such virtual vacations, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism on Jan. 12 held a Zoom “Cook-and-Sip” event with a noted island chef and mixologist.

Food Network Chef Dylan Benoit walked the participants through a homemade Caribbean jerk paste recipe that can be paired with most any protein, from chicken and shrimp to tofu and pork shoulder. Benoit also demonstrated how to make an easy complementary side dish, Coconut Rice and Beans. He suggested a simple cabbage/carrot/radish coleslaw—lightly dressed with apple cider vinegar and oil—as an additional side.

What to wash it down with? Moises Sevilla, resident mixologist at Cayman Spirits Co., led a quick class in Mojito-making. Specifically, he mixed up a Toasted Coconut Mojito using Toasted Coconut Rum from Hilton Head Distillery, a collaboration partner with Cayman Spirits Co. Sevilla noted that for he would typically use Cayman Spirits’ Seven Fathoms Rum, which ages in American white oak bourbon barrels placed 42 feet—7 fathoms—underwater in a secret location off the Grand Cayman Island’s coast. But the craft amber rum is not widely available.

Toasted Coconut Mojito.

The Cayman Islands, comprised of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, are located 150 miles south of Cuba, between Mexico and Jamaica. The island group, an overseas territory of the U.K., is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, and home to a plethora of unique dining options and celebrated chefs. Here are the full recipes from the event.

Toasted Coconut Mojito:
1 ½ oz. Hilton Head Distillery toasted coconut rum
10 sprigs Fresh mint
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
4 oz. Club soda

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Tequila Salad


2 oz. Lunazul reposado tequila
1 ½ oz. Cucumber apple purée
1 oz. Jalapeño simple syrup
½ oz. Lime juice 

Combine ingredients and shake. Pour into glass with ice. Garnish with salt and pepper on top of a lime wheel.

The mixologists at Bistronomy in Charleston, SC, created this recipe.

The post Tequila Salad first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Founders Brewing Introduces All Day Vacay Wheat Beer


In the first line extension of the best-selling All Day IPA, Founders Brewing Co. has announced All Day Vacay — a wheat variant.

The new label for All Day Vacay IPA takes All Day’s trademark station wagon to the beach, with a waterfront and surfboard.

“All Day IPA was a real game changer for us at Founders,” says Founders President and Co-Founder, Dave Engbers. “We all love spending time outdoors, so we challenged ourselves to find a light, refreshing and delicious wheat extension to the All Day franchise. With all our brands, it’s about balance. Finding the right combination of malted barley and specialty grains balanced with the bitterness and aroma of hops is truly the artistry of creating a great beer.”

True to its heritage, All Day Vacay is a sessionable 4.6% ABV, the company says, with stone fruit and tropical hop aromas combined with citrus and slight bready notes, finishing with moderate sweetness.

“I was really thinking about flavors that capture the essence of summertime, the beach and vacations in general,” says Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “In the spirit of original All Day, Vacay would have to be perfectly well-balanced and completely refreshing.  A light, crisp body for easy drinking, low hop bitterness and a generous amount of wheat malt to keep it soft on the palate and hints of citrus to brighten up the whole experience.” 

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MGP Buys Luxco


In a major business deal announced today, MGP Ingredients has agreed to buy Luxco.

The total purchase price is reportedly $475 million.

This transaction immediately increases MGP’s scale and market position in the branded-spirits sector, the company says, and strengthens its platform for future growth of higher value-added products.

The deal seemingly follows MGP’s path in recent years torwards becoming more of a consumer-focused, brand-driven company. Already known as a leading supplier of sourced spirits, MGP has launched a growing stable of house brands. Also, MGP bought New Columbia Distillers in March of 2020.

The Luxco portfolio includes Ezra Brooks Bourbon Whiskey, Daviess County Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Yellowstone Bourbon Whiskey, El Mayor Tequila and Everclear. For the 12-month period ending October 31, 2020, Luxco generated approximate net revenues of $202 million and 9-liter case volume of 4.8 million, the company reports.

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Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked Bourbon Returns


Woodford Reserve has announced its annual release of Double Double Oaked Bourbon.

This yearly expression is meant to celebrate Master Distiller Chris Morris’ innovation and craftsmanship. Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked Bourbon has also become a popular collector’s item among enthusiasms.

This product will be available at Woodford Reserve Distillery starting 10 a.m. ET on Jan. 27. Limit four 375-ml. bottles per customer. Covid-related safety measures apply to all visiting guests at the gift shop and visiting center.

Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked Bourbon will also roll out in limited quantities at select Kentucky retailers.

The whiskey is the result of finishing fully mature Woodford Reserve Double Oaked for an additional year in a second, heavily toasted, lightly charred, new oak barrel. Double Double Oaked is 90.4 proof with a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 375-ml. bottle. 

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MGP Names First Lead Master Distiller


Filling the newly created position of lead master distiller, MGP Ingredients has announced the promotion of Matt Greeno.

Greeno is now responsible for ensuring distillation quality and supporting new product development for contract distilling customers and MGP Brands. He will guide the company’s master distillers and process engineers, and oversee technical processes across MGP distillery operations in Atchison, Kansas, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and Washington, D.C.

On the product development side, Greeno will collaborate with MGP’s alcohol R&D and Innovations team to develop new product concepts and custom mash bills and distillates.Advertisement

“Matt’s new role supports our strategy of developing ‘bench strength’ with MGP team members who are highly skilled in distilling and blending,” says David Dykstra, VP of alcohol sales and marketing. “This allows us to serve customers of any size with quality spirits and, for those seeking to stand out in a crowded market, exceptional customized products.”

Greeno’s knowledge and expertise in distilling both gins and whiskeys is important as MGP Brands expands its portfolio, says Vice President of Brands Andy Mansinne.

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Cutwater Spirits Margarita RTDs, Frozen Tequila Pops


San Diego distillery Cutwater Spirits has expanded its presence in the tequila-based RTD space by adding several new fruit-forward margarita SKUs.

These new products begin with this month’s California release of Mango Margarita, which then rolls out nationwide in early February.

Soon after the release of Mango Margarita, Cutwater will introduce Strawberry and Peach Margarita cans — each made with real fruit puree — to the lineup in April.

Cutwater will also roll out Frozen Margarita ice pops in a mixed pack featuring lime, strawberry, mango and pineapple. That innovation reaches shelves across the country in March. 

“We are lucky to have a great team that creates amazing products,” says co-founder and head of sales, Earl Kight.  “Internally, these new tequila-based items were a hit, and hopefully consumers will agree.” 

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Ballast Point Unveils Brand Redesign

Ballast Point Unveils Brand Redesign


Leading San Diego brewery Ballast Point celebrates 25 years this year with a brand redesign in a program called “Complete Art.”

This new look rolls out across all Ballast Point cans, bottles and overall packaging. The Complete Art designs remain anchored in reference to the brewery’s flagship, the Sculpin.

The first in the new series, which hit shelves last fall, includes Ballast Point’s Longfin Lager. This January, refreshed designs of fan favorites including the Sculpin IPA family — along with brand-new year-round releases to be announced in February — will add to the Ballast Point portfolio.

Ballast Point has always highlighted art on its packaging as a differentiation, with hand-drawn illustrations. Resident artist Paul Elder has created the majority of Ballast Point labels for the past 25 years.

Through the decades, Ballast Point grew from a 20-barrel brewhouse in 1996 to now operating six brewpubs, a 300-barrel production brewery and a 5bbl R&D innovation brewery.

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Caveman Vodka


Caveman Spirits Company has launched Caveman Vodka.

This Paleo-inspired, gluten-free spirit was distilled from California grapes.

Founder Steve R Olsen “first discovered the benefits of the paleo diet after his brother developed prostate cancer,” the company says. “This shocking and unexpected news was a wakeup call to remind him and his family to make the most of their lives. Fortunately, his brother underwent treatment and is now cancer-free. To get back in shape and good health, Steve and his brother took it upon themselves to compete for a weight loss challenge. Using the Paleo method, Steve won the contest and the rest is history.”

Olsen tried the paleo diet (also known as the “Caveman” diet) at the recommendation of a coworker and lost five pounds in just one week, the company says. He soon dropped another 25 pounds, gained strength and energy, and found a new outlook on living a healthy balanced life.

Caveman Vodka is made with 100% clean pure Sierra Alpine water, the company says, providing minerality that translates to a smooth and full finish.

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J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc 2020


Shipping to markets this week is the 2020 vintage of the J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc.

Hailing from J. Lohr’s sustainably farmed estate vineyards in Monterey, the 2020 vintage will feature the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) seal on its back label.

Overseen by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), the third-party CCSW certification is widely recognized as an industry benchmark for sustainability. The right to bear the seal on the packaging means that at least 85% of the grapes in the wine came from certified sustainable vineyards, the wine was made in a certified sustainable winery and 100% of the grapes came from California vineyards. 

“Since the early days of our family-run winery, sustainability has been woven into the culture of our company,” says second-generation CEO Steve Lohr. “As pioneers on California’s Central Coast, we have always strived to lead by example, while fostering values that will ensure the long-term health and vitality of the appellations and communities that we call home. In addition to reflecting this commitment, by featuring the CCSW seal, we are helping consumers make more informed buying decisions about where the wines they are drinking come from, how they are made, and their impact on our environment.” 

J. Lohr will continue its efforts on building consumer awareness of the importance of certification through an in-store “Growing Sustainability” campaign that begins this month at retailers and fine wine shops throughout the U.S. Utilizing virtual events to engage with consumers on the topic, the winery will also host a series of four sustainability focused social media events that lead up to the celebration of Earth Day on Thursday, April 22. The first event is hosted by Steve Lohr and President/COO Jeff Meier on Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. PST on Instagram Live.  

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The Winter Rebel


2 oz. Chivas Regal 13 Year Old Scotch
¾ oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
½ oz. Blood orange juice 
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters

Build in glass over large ice rock and stir. Garnish with large orange peel, studded with 6 to 8 cloves.

The mixologists at Chivas Regal created this recipe.

The post The Winter Rebel first appeared on Cheers.
Original author: Melissa Dowling
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Disaronno and Jack Daniel’s Partner for Velvet Fire


The latest cocktail-based collaboration is Velvet Fire, which combines Disaronno and Jack Daniel’s.

A national partnership between the popular Italian liquor and top-selling American whiskey brand, Velvet Fire combines 2 parts Disaronno Velvet and 1 part Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire.

Velvet Fire blends creamy hints of toffee and apricot from Disaronno Velvet with the warming notes of cinnamon liqueur and whiskey character of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey for a “distinct and smooth cinnamon pour,” the companies say.

“Disaronno is honored to partner with Jack Daniel’s to create Velvet Fire,” says Ignacio Llaneza, VP of brand and trade marketing for Disaronno. “The timing was perfect, with the exciting growth of both the flavored whiskey and cream liqueur categories. The mixability of Disaronno Velvet combined with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire makes for a very unique tasting experience that will intrigue many palates of spirits and cocktail lovers.”

Launched in April 2020, Disaronno Velvet is the newest innovation to the liqueur category from the Disaronno brand. Bottled at 17% ABV, Disaronno Velvet has a floral character of almonds with hints of chocolate and vanilla, the company says, all while providing the usual Amaretto flavor profile of Disaronno.

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Meet The Mixologist: Keyatta Mincey Parker

Meet The Mixologist: Keyatta Mincey Parker


Atlanta-based bartender Keyatta Mincey Parker brings a diverse background of more than 20 years in the foodservice industry, from hotels to fine dining to dance clubs. Originally from Liberia, Mincey-Parker has partnered with some of the country’s most influential spirit brands, chefs, home bartenders, and farmers, to bring her message of creating picture-perfect cocktails.

In addition to creating craft cocktails, Mincey-Parker focuses on A Sip of Paradise, her 501c3 non profit bartender community garden based in Atlanta, and The Jim Project, her foundation that focuses on training young women in Liberia in hospitality and bar culture as an alternative to prostitution and other unhealthy ways to make a living. We caught up with her to discuss bartending, her passion projects, and what she’d mix up for the new Vice President Kamala Harris.

What was your first bartending or hospitality job?

My first job was as a hostess at a restaurant called PoFolks—it’s now called Folks Southern Kitchen—in 1994, right after my 16th birthday. I quickly climbed the ladder to server and management, but my first bartending job was in October of 2002 after my daughter was born. 

What is your favorite spirit to work with at the moment?

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New Rémy Martin Bottle Celebrates Music Culture


Rémy Martin has unveiled a limited-edition VSOP bottle inspired by a design first commercialized in the 80’s and 90’s. The refreshed look with gold detailing pays tribute to music and mixtape culture.

“The Rémy Martin VSOP bottle has been an icon in music culture for generations, and we are thrilled to debut this refreshed limited-edition design,” said Tina Reejsinghani, VP at Rémy Martin Americas. “Musical artists of the past have shaped and inspired the sounds we hear in music today and that same timeless excellence is reflected in what we have celebrated with our Cognacs throughout our own history.”

This new release continues Rémy Martin’s tradition of celebrating “communities and excellence in the global music scene,” the company states. Most recently, the Cognac House launched “Ground’s Melody,” a two-part content series which explored the figurative and literal parallels between music and Rémy Martin Cognac. Last summer, Rémy Martin announced its first-ever “House Beats Challenge,” led by globally recognized music producers, where fans had the chance to submit a beat using sounds from their home for a chance to win a VIP event to foster mentorship.

This new limited-edition Rémy Martin VSOP is available for purchase in select states and online retailers for a suggested retail price of $50 per 750-ml. bottle. 

The post New Rémy Martin Bottle Celebrates Music Culture first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Kyle Swartz)
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Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year Rye Whiskey


The Cooper Spirits Company has unveiled Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year Rye Whiskey.

Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year is sourced from Alberta Distillers Ltd. barrels selected by the late Robert J. Cooper. It’s made from a mash bill of 100% rye grain in copper pot stills, aged in cold weather in newly charred — not toasted — American oak barrels. 

This series debuted in 2013 with the 13-Year expression, followed by the 16-Year and 18-Year.

“To say that Rob Cooper was a pioneer in the spirits industry is an understatement,” says Chad Solomon, Cooper Spirits’ director of trade advocacy and innovation. “Rye was only in the infancy stages of its revival when Rob began purchasing barrels, cultivating an incredible library built for long aging. His foresight has allowed us to continue producing premium spirits like the Lock, Stock & and Barrel line, and I’m proud to continue this legacy with the launch of the 20-Year.”

Because American whiskeys must age in new charred oak barrels to be labeled bourbon or rye, they run the risk of becoming over-oaked the longer they’re aged. Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year avoids this result due to the cold climate, 3.5 barrel-char and lack of toasting, the company says. The whiskey features notes of warm spiced date cake, toffee, baking spice, dried apricot, cantaloupe and peppery rye spice.  

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Vizzy Lemonade Hard Seltzer


Vizzy Lemonade Hard Seltzer comes in four new flavors, hitting shelves this spring, beginning April 1.

The initial flavors are Strawberry Lemonade, Watermelon Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade and Peach Lemonade. 

Similar to Vizzy Hard Seltzer, Vizzy Lemonade is made with antioxidant vitamin C. Each 12-oz. can is 5% ABV, 100 calories and certified gluten free. 

“Lemonade and antioxidant vitamin C go hand-and-hand, and drinkers have been clamoring for a lemonade version of Vizzy,” says Elizabeth Hitch, director of hard seltzers at Molson Coors. “Vizzy Lemonade is bright, bold and comes in four fun and unique dual-flavor mash-ups, and it will be available just in time to kick off spring.” 

Vizzy Hard Seltzer, owned by Molson Coors, also announced plans to launch a second variety pack featuring new flavors of its flagship hard seltzer. Those packs are slated to reach retail in March.

The post Vizzy Lemonade Hard Seltzer first appeared on Cheers.
(Originally posted by Kyle Swartz)
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What I’m Drinking Now: Nicole Quist and the Oaxacan Sunshine

What I’m Drinking Now: Nicole Quist and the Oaxacan Sunshine


Nicole Quist, is beverage director of Bartaco

There’s all this beautiful mint, believe it or not, still thriving right now outside in my gardens that we’d planted a few years ago, like this lovely winter surprise. It inspired me to shake up some Oaxacan Sunshines, a Suze/tequila inspired cocktail I had created last year for Bartaco’s Margarita March. 

I was very fortunate to travel to Oaxaca a couple of years ago with William Grant & Sons to visit Montelobos mezcal. I came back completely inspired by the people and the culture and the markets, all the beautiful, fresh citrus and tropical fruit, and I’m just in love with Suze gentian liqueur. I started playing with these flavors and the sweetness from muddling small tangerines with mint and agave brought this drink together.

My Oaxacan Sunshine is designed to transport you to a tropical climate. She’s a little beachy, a little Tiki and super refreshing. Bittersweet notes from Suze complement Libélula joven tequila, plus fresh mint’s vegetal notes and the sweet tart Liber passionfruit syrup with a pop of smoke from the Montelobos mezcal mist.

Tangerines here add bright, fresh sweet citrus. The chia garnish is just playful—to make the cocktail look like a passion fruit and add some fun texture.

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Wine Region To Watch: China’s Yunnan Province


China’s wine production has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Notable regions include Yantai-Penglai, which produces up to 40% of China’s wine, and Ningxia, dubbed China’s Bordeaux.

While these regions may be leading the way, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for other up-and-coming provinces. Yunnan, situated close to Tibet and bordering Myanmar and Laos at an altitude of 2,000-3,000m, is proving itself to be a new jewel in the crown of Chinese viticulture.

The Yunnan region is crossed by a number of rivers, including the Mekong, and has a unique climate that holds great promise for wine production. The mountainous terrain now supports an increasing number of vineyards.

Since the first planting of vines by French missionaries in the 19th century, Tibetan communities have been developing artisanal wine production. The industry is now set to surge, and is even attracting international investors such as Moët Hennessy (LVMH), which is planting cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc in the north Yunnan.

A wine-friendly climate

While Yunnan doesn’t fall within traditional winemaking latitude, the region’s secret is in its altitude, which ensures cooler temperatures than those usually seen along the tropics. The province’s microclimate enable it to produce high-quality wine, with temperatures moderated by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, resulting in a long and fruitful growing season.

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Yuengling Distribution Expands into Texas


D.G. Yuengling & Son has taken the first step in its westward expansion with beer distribution into Texas later this year.

The expansion is part of a joint venture with the Molson Coors Beverage Company to increase Yuengling’s reach outside of its 22-state East Coast footprint, providing access to the brewery’s portfolio to beer fans in the Lone Star state.

Yuengling’s beers will be brewed locally at the Molson Coors Ft. Worth brewery. The Yuengling family and its team of brewers will work hand-in-hand with the team at Molson Coors.

“We are excited to take the first step in our long-brewing partnership, a step that will provide tremendous growth opportunity for Yuengling and Molson Coors,” says Gavin Hattersley, President and CEO of Molson Coors Beverage Company. “By brewing Yuengling’s iconic beer at our world-class Ft. Worth facility, we are going to make a lot of Texans happy.”

This expansion is the first since Yuengling and Molson Coors launched its new long-term brewing relationship — The Yuengling Company — back in September 2020.

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Country-music Star Thomas Rhett Launches Dos Primos Tequila


The trend of celebrities creating their own spirits brands continues with reigning ACM Awards “Entertainer of the Year” Thomas Rhett launching Dos Primos Tequila.

Dos Primos is Spanish for “Two Cousins.” Rhett built the brand with his cousin Jeff Worn, a pecan magnate. Dos Primos is a blanco tequila made from 100% blue agave sourced from estates in Los Altos and the valley area of Jalisco, Mexico.

The finished product is clear with earthy herbal notes on the front palate, the company reports, followed by smooth floral and citrus hints.

“Our decision to create a new tequila brand grew out of just loving being with family,” says Rhett. “Jeff and I wanted to create a tequila that was expertly crafted and could be enjoyed year-round — regardless of the season or activity — with the people we care about most. Dos Primos is all about who we are and what’s important to us.”

Dos Primos is distilled at Destiladora González Lux, located just outside the city of Arandas, Mexico, in the highlands of Jalisco. Third-generation Master Distiller Rodolfo González, who worked with Rhett and Worn to create the product’s taste profile, oversees the distillation process.  

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