Italian Brand, ITALICUS®, To Launch In Mid-July With Cellar Trends

Italicus

Leading branded alcohol distributor, Cellar Trends, is building on its success of 2017 with the addition of ITALICUS® Rosolio di Bergamotto to its ever-expanding portfolio. From mid-July, Cellar Trends will be handling all sales, distribution and marketing for the brand in the UK.

Capitalising on the worldwide trend of aperitivo, Giuseppe Gallo launched his brand-new spirit, ITALICUS® in September 2016, in a bid to lead the global revival of Rosolio and in doing so, has honoured the historic origin and recipe of this forgotten category.

Produced at a family distillery, the spirit is made by infusing Bergamot and Cedro in cold water to release the essential oils, before blending with Italian grain spirit to produce a lightly citrus nose with hints of rose and lavender. In order to make the most of the delicate flavours of the botanicals, ITALICUS® is best enjoyed with Prosecco, served over ice and garnished with three olives to balance the floral overtones.

Director of Sales and Marketing at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker says: “It is always an exciting time for us when we bring a new product to the market and one such as ITALICUS® offers not only a great taste, but also the opportunity for Cellar Trends to work within a unique category. Since its launch to the UK market, ITALICUS® has already gained listings in a variety of premium bars throughout London, gaining some remarkable feedback from renowned mixologists and we are looking forward to building this brand’s reputation and reach.”

Founder of ITALICUS® Giuseppe Gallo comments: “As a young brand we are very honoured to be working with Cellar Trends, and feel that their expertise and experience will help build on the brand’s success as we continue to establish it amongst the on-trade.”

For more information visit: http://www.rosolioitalicus.com

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Cellar Trends Expands Portfolio

Family run distributor, Cellar Trends, is set to continue its successes in 2016 with the addition of two brands to its ever-expanding portfolio. From the 11th April, Cellar Trends will handle all sales, distribution and marketing for Underberg® and Grasovka Vodka, joining the wider Underberg portfolio of Asbach, XuXu and Pitu which CT have distributed since 2013.

UnderbergUnderberg

Made from aromatic herbs and spices from 43 different countries, Underberg is an all-natural, sugar-free digestif, best known for its unique 2cl bottles, wrapped in brown paper. Typically served following a meal, Underberg’s balance between herbal ingredients and alcohol gives the spirit its soothing properties. The unique recipe was developed in 1846 by Hubert Underberg under the motto ‘Semper Idem’, meaning ‘always the same’, which is testament to its long-lasting consistency.

GrasovkaGrasovka Vodka

Following the introduction of Beluga Vodka to its range, Cellar Trends will be broadening its vodka collection with the addition of Grasovka Vodka. Comprising of Polish grain vodka infused with bison grass, the spirit is strained through a bed of dried grass several times, resulting in a naturally flavoured vodka which requires no additional colour or additives. To recognise its unique flavour, every bottle of Grasovka contains a blade of the grass reflecting the spirit’s origins.

Sales and Marketing Director at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker say: “We’re delighted to announce the addition of these brands to our portfolio and we look forward to helping Underberg and Grasovka strengthen their footholds in the UK market. Both brands offer such a unique taste and with their exceptional heritages, we are sure they will add a new dynamic to our portfolio.”

Cellar Trends Strengthens Whisky Portfolio

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The New Year is off to an excellent start for family run distributor Cellar Trends, set to strengthen its whisky offering by adding three new brands to its extensive portfolio.

From mid-January, Cellar Trends will handle all sales, distribution and marketing for Rebel Yell Bourbon, Akashi Japanese Whisky and Togouchi Japanese Whisky. The three new additions sit alongside existing whisky brands within the Cellar Trends group including the Douglas Laing Scottish Remarkable Regional Malts, Jefferson’s Bourbon and Uisce Beatha Irish Whiskey. With American, Japanese and Malt Whisky all in areas of growth [i] Cellar Trends is committed to delivering extensive rise in volume and distribution for its whisky portfolio throughout 2016.

Rebel Yell Bourbon

Family-owned alcohol, wine and spirits supplier, Luxco, has been growing its drinks collection of whiskey, gin, tequila and rum for over 55 years. Within its collection is The Rebel Yell Bourbon range, comprising a Bourbon, Reserve and Rye and incorporates a recipe that has been perfected by outlaws for more than 150 years.

The Rebel Yell recipe comes from the Stitzel-Weller family of Bourbon which also includes Pappy Van Winkle. With Rye in huge demand and renowned for stock shortages within the UK, Cellar Trends will be working with Rebel Yell Bourbon to launch the new packaging and range to appeal to new a new millennial target and create a more successful brand.

Akashi Japanese Whisky

Akashi is known as the official Whisky of the Japanese ‘White Oak’ distillery. The distillery is located within the small city of Akashi and built in Scottish style. Famed for producing malt whiskies on a very small scale, Cellar Trends is looking forward to working with Akashi 40% single malt and 40% blend.

Togouchi Japanese Whisky

Chugoku Jozo has been producing a range of liquors, sakes and schochus for a century, releasing its own blend of whisky in 1990. The master blender sources the distillates and personally takes care of the maturation and blending processes. Cellar Trends will be distributing three SKUs: 40% Togouchi Premium, 40% Togouchi 12 Years Old and 43.8% Togouchi 18 Years Old.

Joining the inspiring portfolio later this year will be the Yamazakura Japanese Whisky, created at the historic Sasanokawa Shuzo distillery and matured for 16 years in Bourbon barrels. This very limited release gets its name from two Japanese symbols. “Yama” is the Japanese terms for mountain, while “Sakura” refers to cherry-trees, symbolising ephemeral beauty.

Included in this presentation is the Ryoma Japanese Rum, made from freshly pressed cane and aged for 7 years in oak barrels.

Group Marketing Manager, Katie Warren, explains: “Over the last decade Cellar Trends has gained excellent experience within the Whisky category, working to establish and ignite the Japanese Whisky Category with Suntory Japanese Whiskies, and laying foundations for growth for Gruppo Campari’s Wild Turkey Bourbon. We are excited to use this experience to help step-change the performance of our new Japanese and Bourbon brands. Together with our existing whisky portfolio, where we delivered universal distribution and volume growth in 2015, it is perfect timing for Cellar Trends to broaden our current whisky offering. We are looking forward to a successful and exciting 2016.”

Beluga Reinforces Its Position In The UK With A New Distributor, Cellar Trends

Bolugar

With the super-premium vodka category in a current growth of 250%[1], family run distributor, Cellar Trends, and Beluga Vodka will be working together in a bid to build the brand within the UK. From 1st October, the company will take over all sales, distribution and marketing.

Vodka and caviar is a traditional Russian combination. Beluga fish itself is the symbol of luxury and prosperity. A species of the sturgeon family, beluga lives in deep crystal clear waters and represents purity of nature. Unlike any other vodka, Beluga Vodka undergoes an additional process of “resting” which helps to smoothen the vodka, improving the taste to give a soft, clean and well-balanced spirit. The portfolio is made up of four products including Beluga Vodka, Beluga Transatlantic Racing, Beluga Allure and Beluga Gold Line.

Part of the Synergy Group, Beluga Vodka was first distilled in 2002 and now takes its position as the flagship brand within the portfolio. Both the heritage of the brand and the unrivalled taste have seen Beluga Vodka establish itself as a symbol of luxury and success. Currently retailed through Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason’s and via a variety of on trade establishments, Cellar Trends will aim to capitalise upon this strong foundation. Beluga is delicious neat, with food or for bringing velvety softness to cocktails. Above all, it is best consumed with caviar.

Beluga Noble is the best-selling super-premium vodka in Russia, famed for its smooth and subtle taste.
Director of Sales and Marketing, Terry Barker, says, “Cellar Trends is proud to be appointed for this exciting and iconic range of super-premium vodkas, which is the brand leader of this category in Russia. As one of the leaders within this category, we believe that Beluga Vodka has a great future with us within the UK market.
2015 has been a busy year for us, with many new additions to our portfolio. This is a strategic move into the vodka category for Cellar Trends that will put us in good stead for our continued growth plans. We look forward to helping the brand achieve its potential in the UK.”

Beluga. Made with Pride

Kolson Export Partners With Nordic Noir For UK Launch

Kolson

Premium lager brand Kolson Export has announced its partnership with Nordic Noir film for a series of nation-wide events to celebrate the Copenhagen based company’s recent launch in the UK.  Kolson Export is a 5% premium lager brewed to suit the contemporary appetite for clean, crisp tasting beer with a quality process overseen by renowned brewer Anders Kissmeyer. With Kolson’s origins stemming from an old Nordic recipe, the sponsorship deal seeks to align the two great Nordic exports in order to boost sales following the huge success of the Nordic Noir film genre on UK television screens.  With programmes such as The Killing, Borgen, Wallander and The Bridge drawing massive UK viewing figures, the partnership aims to raise awareness of both Nordic Noir and Kolson Export with audiences around the UK.

The trademark dark thrillers have become a genre in their own right, and Kolson hopes to use its distribution points (on-trade and off-trade) to help bring the genre to a wider audience. Kolson will be taking the films and series to various trade events across the UK on a National Film Tour and will introduce a Film Club promotion to the pubs and clubs of the UK, in order to promote the Kolson product range, which is available in bottles, cans, and kegs.

Stewart Rowley, Kolson’s Managing Director, comments: “It’s with great pride that our marketing campaign will be associated with Nordic Noir, bringing two great exports from the same region together. We are all massive fans of the genre, and we’re looking forward to bringing Kolson Export and Nordic Noir to a wider audience across the UK.”

Served in bottles and keg through the on-trade, Kolson Export is also available in cans. Launched in the UK in April 2015, it is also very quickly gaining distribution in Europe and the Far East.

Cellar Trends Secures Angostura Deal

Angostura

2015 has already marked a year of accomplishments for Cellar Trends, with the addition of multiple brands to its portfolio, but the company is set to build on the foundations with the announcement of a significant deal with Angostura, the renowned rum and iconic bitters brand.

From the 1st July, the agreement will see Cellar Trends undertake all sales, distribution and marketing in the UK, with an initial focus on the Global Cocktail Competition. Genevieve Jodhan, Executive Manager – International Sales & Marketing, at Angostura says “Cellar Trends has fantastic experience in building brands. This knowledge and understanding will help us achieve our vision for the Angostura brand in the UK.”

With the recipe dating back to 1824, Angostura® Bitters is recognized as the leader in the aromatic bitters market and is the staple product on any back bar. Not only do the bitters add a distinctive flavour to any classic and contemporary cocktails, but they also have the ability to marry flavours together in all food dishes.

An exquisite range of rum brands ensures that Angostura® is one of the Caribbean’s leading rum producers, including award winning Angostura® Reserva, 7 Year Old, 5 Year Old,1919, and 1824 rums. The brands have a rich history behind them having been produced in their rum distillery in Trinidad since 1890, and they continue to this day to bring the carnival spirit of Trinidad to every consumer.

Sales and Marketing Director at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker, says “We are extremely proud to be appointed by Angostura® Ltd for this exciting and iconic range of Bitters and Rums. Both brands have such great kudos behind them already, but we look forward to building on the growth of these unique products. We have a great support programme which we are currently implementing to take the brand to the next level, starting with the Global Cocktail Challenge.”

Future Proofing The Pub

Finest Call

Drinks Industry Experts Discuss Cocktails in the Pub

 

As part of the campaign to help the pub industry to embrace cocktails, Premium Cocktail Mix brand Finest Call brought together industry experts to discuss the future of the pub. The group consisted of Inapub Editor Matt Eley, Mixologist and Drinks Consultant Andy Pearson, Drinks Journalist Dave Marsland, Journalist and Gastronomist Douglas Blyde, Finest Call’s UK brand manager Peter Thornton and European brand manager Steve Dingley, Pub & Bar’s Deputy Editor Charlie Whitting and Marketing Consultant, Mark Davis. The forum discussed the trend for mocktails and pitcher serves, whilst also debating the strength of “classic” cocktails and unearthing what the barriers to entry are for publicans fearful of serving cocktails in their venue.

Where are we now?

The UK pub market has changed dramatically over the last decade. The introduction of the smoking ban, followed swiftly by the recession and rising utility costs have made it a challenging sector for publicans, leading to lots of pub closures. However, the tide seems to be changing with a recent influx of new entrepreneurs taking over pubs and doing things a little differently. Not to mention, consumers’ demands have become far more diverse, which has meant pubs have had to improve their offering.

Cocktails now make up 5% of total spirit sales and the category has grown by 10.8% in the last two years1. So could cocktails be a way of future proofing the pub?

 

Cocktails…easier than you think?

Finest Call’s Steve Dingley is working with other brands to help make cocktails accessible for all. “A lot of pubs can be very sceptical about asking their bartenders to shake a drink. Cellar Trends introduced the ‘Stir it and Serve it’ campaign to encapsulate the simplicity of Finest Call and the phrase can be seen on most menus as well as bartenders’ cheat sheets. There’s no mess, no fuss, just quick, quality and consistent cocktails time and time again.” The 14-strong Finest Call portfolio, which includes a range of Bar Essentials, Speciality Cocktail Mixes and Purees, removes the need for extensive training sessions and expensive ingredients, making bartenders lives easier.

To demonstrate the quick, quality and consistent message, Finest Call and Cellar Trends are currently running a Speed League competition.

Mocktails: A growing trend or a splash in the pan?

With the evolution of the cocktail sector comes the trend for mocktails. Non-alcoholic cocktails are helping to attract a new wave of customers who want a more grown-up alternative to a soft drink.  “This point of the “mocktail” really needs to be addressed. We need a term that doesn’t remind the drinker that it’s actually non-alcoholic,” explains drinks writer Douglas Blyde.

Consumers tend to make their choice at point of purchase and the default position isn’t always to go to a pub to have a cocktail, let alone a non-alcoholic cocktail. Pub & Bar’s Deputy Editor Charlie Whitting agrees: “It needs to be portrayed as a higher value soft drink, rather than a lower value cocktail.” Following 2014’s Soft Drink Report, Pub & Bar magazine talked to both operators and patrons and found out that consumers felt that operators weren’t giving enough thought to their soft drink option. Most soft drinks weren’t perceived as being value for money.

Pitchers: Just for the younger consumer?

According to the recent CGA Report, pitchers are most popular with 18 – 24 year olds, with 88% reporting that they drink them2. If you consider the motivation behind purchasing a pitcher; it’s about bonding and having that shared experience. “Creativity and imagination around sharing vessels has come on leaps and bounds”, claims Peter Thornton, Finest Call brand manager at Cellar Trends. “Sharers are something that the brand is keen to develop further.”

Sharers and pitchers are seen in places like Wetherspoons and Yates’s, and look set to grow organically this year. Dave Marsland, Founder of the website Drinks Enthusiast explains: “You need to ensure that your customers know you actually sell pitchers and non-alcoholic cocktails. Utilise those blackboards, print out some fliers and advertise in the local paper to help spread the word.”

 

Barriers to Entry

Consumers are looking for brands and experiences and cocktails can be at the heart of this. So what’s preventing publicans from offering them? Mixologist and Drink Consultant Andy Pearson suggests there is a real necessity to “get the business owner to understand the profitability around making simple serve cocktails”.  Publicans need to be reassured that cocktails can offer business support, highlighting the brand’s profitability and providing product training.

Marketing Consultant Mark Davis agrees: “One of the challenges is cost control and delivering a healthy margin. Getting the mix of the right ingredients, ensuring it’s cost effective for the business but also providing customers with great quality cocktails is the key to unlocking success into the mainstream.”

Putting Cocktails on the Menu

This summer Finest Call, together with their Brand Advocacy Team, is crusading for change. Armed with a menu of enticing and profitable summer cocktails, the brand is offering one-to-one consultations and training nationwide. Tweet @CellarTrends with #FCCrusaders to put your views forward to the brand.

Celebrate National Margarita Day With Finest Call

Finest CallThe margarita cocktail is one of the most popular mixed drinks around, originating in the 1940s. Any bartender worth their salt has created their own unique spin of this classic drink, but no one knows who created the original, although it is widely believed it originated in Mexico.  22nd February gives cause to celebrate with National Margarita Day this year.

Every great cocktail bar needs a truly sensational margarita gracing its menu – according to the most recent CGA report (issued in 2014) it is one of the top 5 most popular cocktails in the UK. Finest Call has spent years developing their signature margarita mix, enhancing the taste and quality of the cocktail to ensure it leads the way for pre-mixed cocktails.

Created with the perfect blend of Mexican lime juice, a touch of natural lemon juice, aromatic orange essential oils and agave nectar for a flavour that’s balanced between tart and sweet, Finest Call Margarita mix offers a smooth and refreshing taste to be combined with a customers favourite tequila.

Try Finest Call’s Margarita mix yourself and discover how to make this delicious iconic cocktail consistenly and quickly to the delight of cocktail-lovers. Visit www.Finestcall.com  for product information and more serving suggstions.

Finest Call Margarita

Ingredients:

35ml Tequila
85ml Finest Call Margarita Mix

Instructions:

Strain over ice into salt-rimmed margarita glass
Garnish with a lime wedge and orange slice


Crimson Sunset
Crimson Sunset

Crimson Sunset

Ingredients:

25ml White Rum
25ml Archers
100ml Finest Call Margarita Mix
50ml Raspberry Puree

Instruction:

Take a tall glass and fill with ice. Shake and strain
Garnish with a lime wedge

Cellar Trends Strengthens Portfolio

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A leading independent wine and spirits distributor, Cellar Trends, is kicking off 2015 with the addition of two premium spirit brands and a leading wine brand to their already quality portfolio. From the 1st February, Cellar Trends will take over all sales, distribution and marketing for Soberano and Lepanto Spanish brandies, and Mar De Frades Albarino Wine from the 1st March.

All three of the products have such a rich Spanish history behind them, dating back to the 16th Century. Soberano and Lepanto Spanish brandies were launched over 100 years ago by well-known bodega, Gonzalez Byass and Mar De Frades is the leading Albarino wine brand in Spain, priding itself on its deeply-rooted traditions.

Sales and Marketing Director at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker, says “2015 is set to be an exciting year for us. As a company we are embarking on an exciting new chapter and the addition of these brands is a brilliant opportunity for us. We’re proud to be the UK’s leading independent wine and spirits distributor, and are relishing the chance to build these brands in the UK. Their provenance and quality fit perfectly with our ethos and track record of building and developing premium brands.”

2015 is expected to be a successful year for Cellar Trends, so keep your eyes peeled for more announcements.

Midori Tasting Notes

Midori

Midori is Japanese for “green”. Yes, that green bottle that adorns many a back-bar and turns a cocktail into a vibrant colour. But it is also one of those liqueurs that you will probably never had on its own. Any particular reason? Not really. Midori is a melon liqueur and many consumers have nothing against the fruit, but I suppose when was the last time you asked for something fruity, straight, over ice?

I think with this common theme, Midori has adapted itself to become rather versatile when it is introduced with other ingredients. But before we come onto some fantastic examples, lets see how this Japanese spirit first came about.

Midori, developed by Suntory, was launched in the United States in 1978 and with a party at the famous nightclub Studio 54, attended by the stars of Saturday Night Fever. Within the year of its release, Midori was named as the base to the cocktail ‘The Universe’, the winner of the US Bartender Guild Annual Competition. Following success in the USA, Midori launched in Australia and then Britain a year later, with international recognition in 1984 as the cocktail ‘Green Eyes’ became the official drink of the LA Olympics.

The reason for its success? Melons.

The use of premium melon mainly from Yubari, Japan. Yubari melons account for just one percent of melon production in Japan and can only be found in this region. But first created is the raw liqueur using the best method for this specific type of melon. They then combine the raw liqueur with other fragrant ingredients using Suntory’s exclusive blending techniques. 

So with its international recognition, and exclusivity, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Midori – 20%

Strong melon aroma on the nose with sweet notes coming through and lingering onto the palate. Fresh hit of melon on the tongue, although rather light. Sweet, lingering, and rather short.

Now as mentioned, its versatility seems to be the way bartenders have exposed this liqueur to the world, so try one of these –

Japanese Slipper
Japanese Slipper

Japanese Slipper

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients – 

30 ml Midori
30 ml Cointreau
30 ml Lemon Juice

Method – 

Shake ingredients together and pour into a glass. Garnish with a red cherry.

 or

The Universe 

Glass – 

Champagne flute

Ingredients – 

15 ml Midori
15 ml Vodka
15 ml Pistachio liqueur
45 ml Pineapple juice
15 ml Lime juice

Method –

Shake ingredients together, and pour into the Champagne flute.

There’s never anything wrong in ordering a liqueur on its own, especially to truly appreciate what you are drinking, and to realise how adaptable it is, but sometimes a cocktail can show its true colours, and that’s why Midori, and why bartenders choose to keep using it, has done so well in competitions these past 25 years.

Check out more photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.