DrinkedIn Trends

Trending articles about cocktail recipes, bars, pubs, beer, wine, whisky, vodka, parties and much more...

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JT Meleck Louisiana Rice Vodka

JT Meleck is a new craft vodka out of Louisiana.

Founder Michael Frugé’s family has farmed the land where he is distilling vodka out of rice since 1896. Frugé’s great-great uncle, JT Meleck, first started farming on the property.

Today, the property includes a distillery surrounded by rotating crops, rice and crawfish fields.

In naming the vodka, Frugé thought it was appropriate to pay homage to his ancestor who originally settled the Louisiana marshland and led the way for four generations who have kept with tradition and brought in their own innovations, as well. In 1983, Frugé and his brother Mark Frugé began rotating the rice fields with crawfish, launching Frugé Aquafarms. The brothers are considered pioneers in crawfish farming, the company says.

“One day I was trying to think what we could do with the leftover rice we have some years and I began to wonder if we could make vodka from it,” says Frugé. “It turns out that not only can you make vodka, you can make great vodka from it.”  

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Legal Sea Foods Bought By PPX Hospitality Brands

Boston-based Legal Sea Foods has been acquired by PPX Hospitality Brands, parent company of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group and The Strega Group. In addition to more than 25 restaurants, the deal—effective immediately—includes Legal’s Quality Control Center (QCC), a state-of-the-art fish processing plant and food safety laboratory in Boston’s Seaport.  

PPX, also based in Boston, will own and operate all restaurant concepts under the Legal Sea Foods banner, including airport locations., Legal’s president/CEO Roger Berkowitz will retain ownership rights of the Legal Sea Foods name in channels outside of restaurant operations including e-commerce and retail. 

Legal Sea Foods was founded 70 years ago as a fish market opened by George Berkowitz in Cambridge, MA. The Berkowitz family opened its first seafood restaurant next to the fish market in 1968; Roger Berkowitz (George’s son) had been running the company since 1992. The restaurants, which serve over 40 varieties of fresh fish and shellfish, are known for high-quality seafood and classic New England fare.

The post Legal Sea Foods Bought By PPX Hospitality Brands first appeared on Cheers.

Original author: Melissa Dowling
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Reindeer Mule

1 ½ oz. Remy Martin Tercet Cognac
¼ oz. St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram
½ oz. Pineapple juice
½ oz. Lime juice
3 oz. Ginger beer
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Build all ingredients (ginger beer last) in a copper mug and garnish with a lime wheel.

Pete Stanton, head bartender at Ai Fiori in New York, created this recipe.

The post Reindeer Mule first appeared on Cheers.

(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Video: The Best Beer Brands of 2020

What were the top beer brands and trends from this past year? In this video, editors Kyle Swartz and Melissa Dowling, along with Beverage Information Group research director Marina Velez, present some of the 2020 Beer Growth Brands Awards Winners, acknowledging those brands that stood above and beyond the rest.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pP6L5j88SC0?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparentAdvertisementhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.432.0_en.html#goog_46989530901:01 / 01:56

The post Video: The Best Beer Brands of 2020 first appeared on Cheers.

(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Moët Hennessy Acquires Minority Stake in WhistlePig Rye Whiskey

The French company Moët Hennessy has purchased a minority stake in the U.S. rye whiskey producer WhistlePig.

The partnership and minority investment will not impact WhistlePig’s distribution partnerships in North America, the company says, and is focused on building WhistlePig and the brand outside of North America.

WhistlePig becomes Moët Hennessy’s first ever route-to-market partnership in the spirits sector.

After launching WhistlePig in the United Kingdom, the brand’s first international focus market, WhistlePig has actively explored options to enter other markets during the last twelve months, the company says. The partnership with Moët Hennessy is meant to help WhistlePig accelerate its efforts.

“The arrangement with Moët Hennessy marks a significant moment for WhistlePig,” says Jeff Kozak, CEO, of WhistlePig. “We could not be more pleased to align our brand with the leader in luxury wines and spirits and are excited about the future collaboration with Moët Hennessy’s team in the international market.”

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Ron Abuelo XII Años Two Oaks, Selección Especial

Ron Abuelo has announced that Ron Abuelo XII Años Two Oaks, Selección Especial — their newest aged rum from Panama — is now available in the U.S. market.

Ron Abuelo XII Años Two Oaks, Selección Especial is made from a blend of aged rums, between 8 and 40+ years old, averaging just over 11-years old. The rum was matured in white oak bourbon barrels before finishing in first fill extra-charred American oak barrels.

The idea for Ron Abuelo Two Oaks arose when Luis J. Varela, Jr., third generation of the Varela family and current head of the company, wanted to produce a rounder, silkier version of what currently exists in the Abuelo portfolio, the company says. Varela and the Ron Abuelo team worked with a cooperage house in Napa Valley to devise barrel treatments and techniques.

Two Oaks spends its last nine months in virgin American oak 200-liter barrels that have been cut on the inside to ensure maximum surface extraction, the company says. Once cut, the interior of the barrel experiences a slow and low (180°C / 356°F) char for 60-minutes using a natural wood fire. Once this portion is completed, the barrel receives a final char at a much higher temperature (225°C / 437°F) for 20-25 seconds to finish the treatment. The result is a barrel specific to the creation of Two Oaks that features 8 millimeters of interior black char. The barrel is then filled with the just-over 11-year-old rum for its final nine-month aging and finishing phase.

The barrel treatment and techniques amplify the lignin (the source of vanillin) naturally producing notes of vanilla and spice, the company says. The intense heat, or charring, also breaks down the carbohydrates into simple wood sugars, turning them into notes of caramel, toffee and butterscotch in this final phase. Further, the 8 millimeters of char lessens the liquid’s contact with the wood’s tannins, ultimately producing a rum with a silky and round character, according to the company.

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Tequila Komos Añejo Cristalino Tequila

Tequila Komos an Añejo Cristalino made by Richard Betts — founder and creator of Sombra Mezcal and Astral Tequila, and the wine companies Betts & Scholl and Scarpetta — and part of Casa Komos Beverage Group.

Tequila Komos aged in French oak white wine barrels (instead of bourbon barrels) and is stored in amphorae after a purification process that creates a crystal clear tequila that is “extremely smooth,” the company says.

Each bottle is handmade using clay, with nods to the Mediterranean.

The suggested retail price is $119.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

This new expression will soon be followed by a Tequila Komos Reposado, slated to launch in 2021.

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8 Sparkling Cocktails To Ring In 2021

8 Sparkling Cocktails To Ring In 2021

Spiced Gin and Pear cocktail
Spiced Yule cocktail
Apple in a Barrel cocktail
St Agatha cocktail
Champagne Cosmo
Mezcalita Royal

Most of us won’t be too sad to see the end of 2020. Holiday celebrations may be smaller and more subdued this year but some festive sparkling cocktails can help raise spirits. Here are eight recipes that we like; cheers to 2021!

The Roarin’ 20s
(shown atop)
1 ½ parts Courvoisier VSOP Cognac
1 part Dolin Dry vermouth
¾ parts Campari
Top with Champagne

Build in glass (Collins or wine), add ice and top with Champagne. Garnish with an orange slice.

The mixologists at Courvoisier created this recipe.

Jingle Bell Fizz

The Jingle Bell Fizz
1 oz. Aberfeldy 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotch whisky
1 oz. Unfiltered apple juice
½ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Cinnamon syrup
Sparkling wine (to top)

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Let It Snow

1 oz. Vegas Baby vodka 
1 oz. Disaronno 
1 oz. Heavy cream 
½ oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey
Grated nutmeg, for garnish
Cinnamon stick, for garnish 

Combine ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into Martini glass and top with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

The mixologists at Vegas Baby created this recipe.

The post Let It Snow first appeared on Cheers.

(Originally posted by Melissa Dowling)
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Founders Brewing Announces 2021 Craft Beer Release Calendar

Founders Brewing, a leading craft producer, has unveiled their 2021 brand calendar, confirming changes and additions to the brewery’s lineup, including several new beers, a brand-new series and new package types.

Beginning in April 2021, Founders will launch the Bottle Shop Series. This is a tribute to craft’s earliest days, the company says, when beer enthusiasts sought innovation through big flavor, in-your-face complexity and quality. This series kicks off with the release of Nemesis, 11.2% ABV, a barleywine ale brewed with hops and roasted malts for a “bitter, booming flavor.” Nemesis hits shelves across the country in 4-packs of 12-oz. bottles in April. 

The 2021 Barrel-Aged Series begins with Panther Cub, a robust porter, in March 2021. At 9.2% ABV, Panther Cub aged in bourbon barrels, with the addition of maple syrup and vanilla extract. The beer has aromas of maple and vanilla, the company reports.

The 2021 Barrel-Aged Series will also see two brands return in May 2021: Más Agave Clásica Lime (10% ABV) and Más Agave Clásica Grapefruit (9.7% ABV). A yet-to-be-announced Más Agave Clásica variant will also release in May 2021.

All three Más Agave Clásica brands will be available nationwide in 4-packs of 12-oz. bottles, and on draft. 

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Cupcake Vineyards, Chloe Prosecco Rosés

In January, both Cupcake Vineyards and Chloe Wine will release their first-ever prosecco rosé wines.

This follows the approval earlier this year by Italy of an official Prosecco DOC Rosé.

Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco Rosé, 11.5% ABV, was made in northern Italy in the traditional Charmat method, sourced from the hills between Asolo, Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. This wine shows fine bubbles with flavors of citrus and notes of light berry and peach, the company reports. Suggested pairings: black bean tacos or chipotle chicken.

Chloe Prosecco Rosé, 11% ABV, was made from 90% glera grapes from roughly 60 acres of vineyards divided among a handful of small growers primarily in the Asolo area of the Prosecco D.O.C. The other 10% were pinot noir grapes, the only red grape allowed in Prosecco D.O.C. A dry, bright brut, Chloe Prosecco Rosé displays fine bubbles and notes of ripe red berries and rose petals, the company reports.

The suggested retail price for both wines is $15.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

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Spirits Brands Reflect On 2020 And Their Plans For 2021

When I headed up the beverage department for a restaurant group, December was always a wonderful time of year. Our restaurants were full of guests eating, drinking and celebrating, and I was always busy with research, planning and development for the coming year.

As a part of this planning process, I would spend time during the month meeting or speaking with all of the suppliers we had worked with or were considering working with in the future. I would use these conversations to glean as much information as I could about their thoughts on the state of the industry, what they thought was working and what was not and the trends they were expecting to see in the coming year.

I would ask suppliers what innovation they had in the pipeline, what marketing initiatives were planned for the coming year, and what products they were focused on. I found that any time I could align our programming with that of a supplier, it was a win/win.

As we got into the fourth quarter of this year, I started to think about these meetings and how different the answers might be this year vs. years past, and what I would do in the coming year. For one, I would keep it simple, from products to execution, and manage ordering and cash flow closely.

I would also make sure to have the tequila and whiskey categories well covered as they continue to grow. And reach out to supplier partners for help when needed—especially for training purposes.

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Q&A: The State of Beer in 2020-21, with NBWA Chairman Brian Gelner

Q&A: The State of Beer in 2020-21, with NBWA Chairman Brian Gelner

Brian Gelner chose an interesting year to become chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Gelner, executive vice president and CFO of Heart of America Beverage Co., took helm of the organization in a time that saw the beer distribution industry, like so many others, roiled by the sudden advance of Covid-19.

How he reacted set the tone for the months that followed, with their sets of challenges unlike anything in the modern era. Initially, beer faced a potentially uphill battle, as a consumer product not so simply delivered to people’s homes. How the NBWA fought for the beer industry would help shape the category’s performance in one of the trickiest business years of all time. Operating amidst a pandemic is no small feat.

For a deeper dive into how the NBWA stood up and affected change for the industry during this crisis, and what Gelner sees over the horizon in this still-changing environment, we recently sat down with the chairman.

What was your biggest accomplishment as NBWA chairman?

Brian Gelner, chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Brian Gelner: Our whole world shifted very quickly this spring. I’m proud of the insight and guidance NBWA provided to members as the COVID-19 environment continues to change weekly — even daily. NBWA has provided best practices about many topics, from workforce safety to expired beer disposal. Learning from each other, we can better manage the uncertainty and remain successful. As I hear from distributors, it is clear that the value for NBWA insights is high and member engagement has increased across the country.

How did you help grow the beer category?

BG: Growing the beer category continues to be a priority for the organization proven by our focus on the Beer Growth Initiative. This summer, we took successful NBWA-sponsored, beer-specific sell sheets to new channels such as independent liquor stores. We also partnered with AC Nielsen to provide more regional customization to the data. The tools help distributor sales teams tell the beer-first story and encourage retailers to allocate more shelf space and attention to beer.

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Barton 1792 Unveils Thomas S. Moore Cask Finished Bourbons

Barton 1792 Distillery has launched a new brand, Thomas S. Moore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys.

This line features whiskeys finished in a variety of select casks from around the world.

The first three expressions will be available in limited release this December: a port finish, chardonnay finish and cabernet sauvignon finish.  Advertisement01:22 / 01:22

In 1889, Thomas S. Moore built the facility known today as Barton 1792 Distillery. Leading up to Prohibition, Moore grew his distilling company, filling hundreds of barrels of whiskey a day. Business boomed until The 18th Amendment forced the distillery to cease production in 1920. Today, this namesake line of bourbons intends to honor Thomas S. Moore as a bourbon pioneer.            

Barton 1792 Distillery also intends to define a new category of “extended cask finished” bourbon whiskeys with this collection. After the distillery’s signature high-rye bourbon recipe aged in new charred oak barrels, the bourbon then finished in secondary casks for an additional one to three years.

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Barrell Bourbon Batch 027

For its final bottling of 2020, Barrell Craft Spirits has released Barrell Bourbon Batch 027.

This expression a blend of straight bourbon whiskies distilled and aged in TN, KY and IN.

The new bottling features a selection of barrels aged 5, 6, 8, 9, 13 and 15 years, taken through several blending steps, which delivers a “cherry bomb” among many other flavors, the company says.

Further company-provided tasting notes are as follows:

Nose Supporting notes that span sweet desserts, woodsy herbs, and rich oils, but their presence is an afterthought to the singular and intense focus of this whisky’s nose, and that focus is squarely on old, comforting cherry. Deeper bass notes of sweet potato pie, walnut shells, and freshly ground coffee flesh out the aromatic register. The influence of rye is subtle here, potpourri, earl grey tea, and bouquet garni whisper at the periphery.Palate: The candied texture that falls short of syrupy and a just gentle tannin suggest minimal oak extraction but significant concentration over long years spent slowly evaporating in a rickhouse. Like the nose, a bright, juicy acidity puts the focus squarely on a note of cherry. A bit more floral than the nose, candied violet and lavender are just able to peek through, along with a steely minerality.Finish: A gentle, yet complex finish that makes one imagine a flavor wheel in thin air. This mysterious yet fruity bourbon leaves the palate with blood orange, rosehip, hibiscus, and sumac.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 027 was bottled in Kentucky at cask strength: 115.7 proof.

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Gordon Ramsay Launches Hard Seltzer Line

In the next evolution in celebrity-backed alcohol brands, celebrity chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay has launched Hell’s Seltzer, a line of hard seltzers hitting shelves early 2021.

The four initial flavors are:

Berry Inferno – ​Peach, blueberry, raspberryKnicker Twist – ​Passionfruit, pineapple, orangeMean Green – ​Kiwi, lime, mint, pineappleThat’s Forked – ​Key Lime, vanilla, graham

Brew Pipeline was tapped to bring this beverage to life, in partnership with Global Brews of London.

“Gordon’s team and Brew Pipeline put flavor first when developing Hell’s Seltzer,” says Steve Kwapil, CEO and co-founder of Brew Pipeline. “That’s always been Gordon’s goal, and we think he nailed it. We’re looking forward to sharing these bold seltzers with fans across the nation.”

Each recipe of Hell’s Seltzer took inspiration from menu items in Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurants. The recipes were tested and approved by the chef, and “reflects his knack for delivering recipes that put flavor first,” the company says.

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Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Añejos

Tequila Ocho has announced the release of three limited-edition blends of añejo created by Tequila Ocho founders Carlos Camarena and Tomas Estes, in partnership with Maison Ferrand Master Blender Alexandre Gabriel. 

These aged tequilas showcase casks used by Maison Ferrand to age cognacs and rums. The lineup includes three new expressions: Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Tropical, Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Continental and Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Transatlantic.

Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Tropical aged in rum casks from Fiji, Trinidad and Panama. On the nose are fresh cherries, peach, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, marzipan, honey, demerara, chocolate, hazelnuts, passionfruit with licorice and lavender, the company reports. The palate brings bitter chocolate, prunes, coffee, plum, cherry and vanilla, before a finish of aniseed, white pepper and sweet spice. 91.6 proof.

Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Continental aged in cognac casks from France. Aromas include aniseed, chocolate, custard marzipan, marshmallow, jasmine, apricot and cooked agave, the company says. The palate is dark chocolate, toffee, nutmeg and mace on the initial taste. The midpalate develops into mango, vanilla and cinnamon sweetness, light white pepper and clove notes, evocative of mango custard. 86.2 proof.

Tequila Ocho Barrel Select Transatlantic aged in rum casks from Fiji and Panama, as well as Cognac casks from France. The nose is frangipane, banana foster, pandan leaf, honey, molasses, mango and green pepper, according to the producer. The palate includes sweet tropical fruits — mango, banana, pineapple — with spicy, vegetal notes reminiscent of jalapeño. Also the palate has notes of thyme and spearmint, and is mineral and slightly savory. 88.4 proof.

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The Whistler Irish Whiskey Single Malt Series

The Whistler Irish Whiskey, from family-owned Boann Distillery in the Boyne Valley of Ireland, has brought its Single Malt Series into the U.S.

The series launches with the P.X. I love you Single Malt, and Bodega Cask Single Malt whiskeys.

Both Irish whiskeys are bottled at 46 percent ABV, non-chill filtered and natural color. 

“At Boann, we pride ourselves in being one of the most innovative whiskey distilleries in Ireland,” says Pat Cooney, founder of Boann Distillery. “We only use locally grown barley in our whiskeys and have access to the best casks to mature our spirit, ensuring that we produce unique whiskeys in which every bottle tells a story — the story of our land, our people and our family.”

The Whistler P.X. I love you Single Malt was distilled using 100% malted Irish barley, and initially matured in ex-bourbon casks before finishing in ex-PX Sherry Casks for at least nine months. On the nose is sherry influence with dried berries, raisins, cherries and golden raisins, the company reports, plus candied orange and sticky brown sugar. The palate has a wood-forward opening, before dried fruits and brown sugar, plus walnut, zesty citrus and a hint of leather. The finish is walnut, dried fruits and subtle wood, with a hint of dark chocolate.

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Josh Cellars Prosecco Rosé

Josh Cellars Prosecco Rosé will begin a staged launch this December in NY, MA, MD and CT, followed by a national launch in March.

“Josh Cellars Prosecco Rosé builds on the popularity of rosé sparkling wine,” says Tom Steffanci, president of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, which has owned and marketed Josh Cellars since 2011. “The prosecco segment is up 33% versus a year ago, and rosé sparkling is up 34% in dollar sales.”

Josh Cellars will support the launch of Prosecco Rosé with paid media on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and in-store tactics such as Ibotta, racks and in-store sales materials.

Prosecco Rosé is 11.5% ABV. The suggested retail price is $16.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Total Josh Cellars Trademark volume (which includes Josh Cellars and Josh Cellars Reserve) was 4.3 million cases over the past 12 months through October, the company reports, up from 300,000 cases in 2014, and 2.5 million in 2018. Overall depletions were up 33% in the past 12 months through October.

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Piero Procida and the Espresso Old Fashioned

Piero Procida and the Espresso Old Fashioned

Piero Procida is the food and beverage director at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills hotel.

The Espresso Old Fashioned is my go-to cocktail because it’s the best of both of my two favorite things: espresso and a classic Rye Old Fashioned. It is very easy to make, and I am all about keeping drinks less complicated. My focus has always been to allow the main ingredients to speak for themselves working together and not drown each other out with too many flavors—especially artificial ones.

We developed this cocktail, appropriately named “Ryed on the Roof,” over the winter holidays, and it quickly became a favorite for both our guests and myself. This just goes to show that simple works.

Dickel Rye uses a process called chilled charcoal mellowing, which makes the whiskey smoother in taste. The sugar maple charcoal is what gives this drink that wonderful character that matches the earthy qualities of the espresso so well.

The key to stirring the ice is getting just a tad bit of water to pull all the flavors together while still chilling the drink, but then stopping the process in time by removing the ice so not to dilute it too much. Adding a large block of ice to a cold drink prevents further dilution and simply keeps the drink cold.

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