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Beefeater Launches New Global Marketing Strategy

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Beefeater, the world’s most awarded gin brand, has unveiled a new global marketing strategy to appeal to a new generation of gin drinkers and capture the true essence of London today.

With a long-standing heritage spanning 150 years, Beefeater is from London and is of London, and is still made in the capital today. Under the brand’s new marketing strategy, it will continue to celebrate this legacy, but with a modern twist, capturing the energy and diversity of London city life in the 21st century.

The British gin category has experienced exponential global growth in recent years, with the latest figures showing that exports of British gin grew by 12% in 2016[1]. The strategy will enable Beefeater to continue to tap into this trend, whilst continuing to cement its London roots and distinguishing itself from the rest of the category.

The new direction will be reflected across the brand’s entire marketing programme, both above and below the line – from its advertising campaigns to bottle and merchandise design.

Eric Sampers, Beefeater’s Global Brand Director, comments: “With the global popularity of gin continuing to soar, we want to continue to stand out from the crowd and truly embody the lifestyles and values of our consumers.

“London is the heart and soul of Beefeater and our new marketing strategy takes this to the next level, offering a contemporary twist which we believe will really resonate with the latest generation of gin drinkers. London is one of the greatest cities on earth and we want to bring a little bit of the capital to consumers every time they enjoy our gin – whether that’s here in London, Lisbon or Lima. Our ultimate ambition is to be an icon of London today, and the undisputed number one in premium gin worldwide.”

Chivas Regal Announces The 15 National Winners Who Will Compete In Global Final

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Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has revealed the 15 national winners who will compete to be crowned the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion, at the Chivas Masters Global Final taking place next month in Tokyo.

Now in its fourth year, the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Final (1st – 5th July) will focus for the first time on the celebrated traditions of Tokyo’s bartending scene – whose unique cocktail customs continue to fascinate and inspire bartenders across the world. Throughout the week, the contestants will take part in a number of individual and team challenges, and will need to showcase both exemplary bartending skills and team spirit to impress the judges.

The 15 finalists, who have each excelled in their national competitions running across four continents, will be hosted in Tokyo by Masahiro Urushido, the first ever Chivas Masters Global Champion. They will be mentored by a distinguished panel of internationally-acclaimed judges, who will share their expertise through a series of inspirational masterclasses. The panel comprises:

– Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan Ltd;
– Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group (Aviary Chicago & NY) and renowned ‘ice chef’;
– Chris Lowder, spirits evangelist and ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender 2015’ (StarChefs);
– Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; worldwide Cocktail Mentor and spirit creator
– Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench, celebrating the modern interpretation of Japanese bartending

Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, comments: “Our 15 national winners have already hugely impressed us with both their skill and character, but there’s still much more to do if they want to be crowned our 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion. The values of community, collaboration and generosity lie at the very heart of this competition, and successful participants must not only impress a world-renowned panel of judges, but demonstrate that they embody these values every step of the way.”

The Chivas Masters cocktail competition is built on Chivas’ belief that great bartending is measured not only by the achievements of an individual, but by the ability to work in harmony with others. The ultimate winner will not only impress with their individual bartending skills, but – crucially – will also prove their ability to work collaboratively with an international bartending team, and inspire others to achieve shared success, through the Chivas Masters Collective team challenge.

Max Warner continues: “I cannot wait to put our contestants through their paces in Tokyo, and see who will walk away with the 2017 title – and beyond that, watch as they, together with their Chivas Masters Collective, take what they have learned to further develop and inspire their bartending communities back home.”

The 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion will be decided on the evening of Wednesday 5th July, and will win an all-access, all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team will walk away with the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.

Hudson Launches 70cl To The UK Market

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William Grant & Sons UK brand, Hudson whiskey, is launching a 70cl format across its Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye expressions in the UK.

After ten years at the forefront of craft distilling, Hudson, the first American whiskey distillery in New York since prohibition, is introducing the bigger bottle size in response to demand for a larger format from the UK on-trade.

“We are changing to a bigger bottle, but we haven’t changed our process. We still make whiskey grain-to-glass at the Tuthilltown Distillery in the Hudson Valley. Everything was, and still is, done by hand. It’s been quite a journey, from regular folks making whiskey to award winning distillers.” commented Ralph Erenzo, one of the two founders at Hudson whiskey.

Staying true to its craft and entrepreneurial nature, the brand will leverage the existing US 75cl bottle, under filled to 70cl to meet EU standards. The underfill method reflects how the brand previously bottled Hudson Baby Bourbon in a 35cl format using the US 37.5cl bottle when it first launched in the UK four years ago.

“We have certainly made remarkable progress in the recent past, hiring more people, laying down more whiskey and improving our efficiency, but we are still far from affording a bespoke 70cl bottle for the UK” Ralph Erenzo continued.

Due to the exclusivity of the liquid, Hudson is only available in a small selection of top whisky bars, hotels and restaurants, and premium whisky specialists in the UK. Hudson Four Grain will remain in a 35cl format for the foreseeable future.

Martell Launches Martell VS Single Distillery With Packaging Design By Nude Brand Creation

Martell pack

Iconic cognac house Martell unveiled Martell VS Single Distillery, a cognac from a single distillation source, with design by Nude Brand Creation.

The packaging design highlights elements of the product story to provide differentiation within the category and help consumers to better understand what makes it special.

Pioneering spirit

A pioneer amongst cognac houses, Martell has a unique history spanning more than 300 years. It has always been dedicated to craft and innovation, and now it is planning to disrupt the VS category by launching a single distillation expression.

Disruptive

The iconic shape of the traditional ‘montre’ cognac bottle is the inspiration for the new bottle shape. Revived for the Martell VS Single Distillery Spirit, it is simple but elegant, which provides a point of difference versus the traditional VS category bottle shape.

A restructured cap is sealed with a beige paper ribbon, revealing a cork, while a single label runs down the neck.

An offset VS disrupts the usual Martell label arrangement and two lines of copy explain the story behind the single distillation source, to draw consumer’s attention. Warmth injected into the label reflects the liquid colour and fruity notes of the cognac.

Mike Parsonson, Partner at Nude Brand Creation, says: “Within the cognac category, there were very few brands talking about their product story.

“Today’s consumers are interested in brands with a compelling back story so we knew dialling up this aspect of the story would resonate with them.

“We took some inspiration from the craft drinks sector, but gave it a modern twist by adding drama and vibrancy into the design. At the same time we communicated the single distillation process in an easy to understand way.”

Consistent but crafted

An embossed swift in the glass dramatises the brand’s strong iconography and reinforces the brand’s origins in the 18th century when Jean Martell first set off from Jersey on a journey to find the best brandy production methods in France.

Craft elements introduced to the bottle will disrupt the traditional sector, but the new design still maintains consistency with the Martell portfolio.

Martell VS Single Distillery will launch into the UK market this month.

Nude Brand Creation has worked with Martell on its portfolio since 2012.

The Bassano Bar and PizzaExpress To Partner Up in Manchester This Summer

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The nation’s favourite restaurant chain PizzaExpress and pop-up innovators Bassano Events have joined together to bring ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress’ to Manchester. Opening June 21st at PizzaExpress’s First Street restaurant, the modern Italian cocktail bar concept will be a first for the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Augmenting the much-loved and increasingly broad PizzaExpress menu, The Bassano Bar is keen to promote a range of traditional Italian drinks, including grappa, Italy’s much under-rated national spirit. Originating from Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region, Nardini is Italy’s most prestigious grappa brand, with the distiller’s home town providing the inspiration for the name of the bar.

Working alongside PizzaExpress, owners of Bassano Events Dave Marsland and Nick Hopewell-Smith have taken the opportunity to bring a flavour of Italian serves to the terrace of First Street, Pizza Express’ newest restaurant in the city, located in one of Manchester’s most dynamic leisure areas.

Dave is a well-known drinks expert and trainer, creating brand agency ‘Drinks Enthusiast’ in 2011, with his own spirits retail business in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.  A marketing professional with over 35 years experience, Nick is the initiator and creative driver behind The Bassano Bar in London and a specialist importer of Italian spirits and liqueurs from The Nardini Distillery.

With an al-fresco feel to the venue, making use of its natural light and, hopeful, Summer months, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress will be a welcome addition to the Manchester bar scene.

Opening Hours;

Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

Address;

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

Image by Georgie Glass / www.georgieglass.co.uk / @georgieglass_

Sons of Armagnac Launches Across The UK

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Sons of Armagnac is the new awareness campaign spearheaded by UK innovator Emporia Brands and its Armagnac partners Comte de Lauvia and Marquis de Montesquiou. Starting on June 12th and ending on 18th June (Fathers Day), many of the top bars and retailers across the country will be taking part in raising the profile of the Armagnac category with cocktail specials, menus, events, tastings and more.

Specially created Marquis de Montesquiou cocktails can be found across London, including Skylon, German Gymnasium, Looking Glass Cocktail Club and Hush, as well as Cottonopolis based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Manhattan in Liverpool, Nitehawks and Bonbar in Newcastle, Vice & Virtue in Leeds and Manhattan 34 in Leicester. Some of the UK’s premier dining arenas are also combining their expertise with Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac by offering specials within Harborne Kitchen in Birmingham and the aforementioned Vice & Virtue in Leeds.

Comte de Lauvia has been the chosen brand to be highlighted within unique serves from venues such as Merchant House and The Light Lounge in London, to The Edgbaston in Birmingham and Petit Parlour in Liverpool. 155 Bar & Kitchen in London, World Service in Nottingham and Wygston House in Leicester have put together at a food pairing menu for the week to highlight the versatility of the Armagnac category.

Retailers from across the UK are also getting involved, including in-store promotions of Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac within Riddles Emporium, South Manchester, 23 Wines & Whiskey in Leicester and Fenwick’s in Newcastle. Comte de Lauvia Armagnac will be highlighted across all Harvey Nichols stores, including in-store tastings, in the UK as well as Riddles Emporium.

Specialist online retailers are joining in, with 31 Dover offering £3 off a purchase of Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac Fine, £4 off the Reserve expression, and £5 off the XO. The Drink Shop are running a week-long offer of 20% off both the Marquis de Montesquiou and Comte de Lauvia expressions, and finally Drinkfinder have put together 20% off the full Marquis de Montesquiou range until Father’s Day.

For more information and for a full list of activity during the Sons of Armagnac week, please visit www.emporiabrands.com/sonsofarmagnac and www.emporiabrands.com/s/Art-Of-Armagnac.pdf

#SonsOfArmagnac

New Aluna Coconut Offers More Flavour And Less Sugar

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Aluna Coconut launches this week, making its debut in Harvey Nichols stores across the UK and online with 31Dover.com. A sublime blend of rums from Guatemala and the Caribbean, with natural toasted coconut flavours and a fraction of the sugar found in existing brands, it is completely on-trend and set to be the drink of the summer.

Aluna appeals to a new, empowered generation who look for better, lower sugar products and actively seek mind, body and spirit satisfaction, connecting with the world around them. Aluna translates as ‘to the moon’ and the label adopts a lunar phase mandala design, which is a spiritual symbol for the universe.

The Guatemalan rum in the blend is made with first press virgin sugar cane ‘honey’ (miel de caña) which is fermented using a strain of yeast extracted from the pineapple plant, then lightly aged in oak. This makes a lighter, smoother rum with floral, fruit aromas and subtle natural sweetness, removing the need for large quantities of sugar. Selected Caribbean rums add firmer, classic rum notes and a little heat, giving balance and structure to the blend, whilst lightly toasted natural coconut flavours give a delicious new taste dimension. After marrying, Aluna is cut with the perfect amount of coconut water for an amazingly smooth and clean finish.

Aluna Coconut’s Heather Graham comments: “We’re delighted to be launching Aluna Coconut at this time. Aluna’s world is built around a central theme of empowerment – particularly amongst women for whom this generation has conferred greater independence, liberty and self-determination.

We’re confident that our positioning, alongside the delicious flavour affinity of rum and coconut, coupled with a lower sugar content and clean, natural taste will appeal to our target market of women and men aged 21+”

Signature serves include Aluna Colada, Aluna Mojito, Aluna & Apple and Aluna Espresso Martini, as well as being delicious on its own, over coconut water ice cubes.

TINCUP Whiskey Launches ‘Hero the Barback’ Campaign

Created by distilling legend and true American mountain man Jess Graber, TINCUP® American Whiskey is made from a unique blend of Mid-Western rye, corn and malt. Its unusually high rye content at 32% provides a bolder, spicier flavour profile compared to ordinary bourbons.

Aged in new charred American white oak barrels, it is bottled at 84 proof in Colorado using pure Rocky Mountain water. On the nose, TINCUP evokes notes of citrus, black pepper and ginger snaps. On the palate, TINCUP suggests rye spice, cinnamon and caramel.

TINCUP is a celebration of the rugged spirit of the Colorado mountain lifestyle. It is named after Tincup, an old mining town set on the Western Slope of Colorado, which itself was named for the tin cups from which the miners drank their whiskey from following a day in the depths of the Rocky Mountains. TINCUP honours this heritage with its rugged hexagonal bottle that is deeply embossed with mountain references. It is also closed with an actual tin cup that can be used for sipping and sharing the whiskey.
TINCUP is best enjoyed with friends for the perfect ending to any adventure. Sip neat or with a few ice cubes, or use as a base for classic whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. TINCUP is also perfect as part of a Boilermaker serve – with a pint or bottle of quality IPA or lager. For something a bit different, try these refreshing TINCUP cocktails:

TINCUP Colorado Gold Digger

50ml TINCUP Whiskey
20ml Honey Syrup
20ml Lemon Juice
2 dashes of Orange Bitters
Shake all ingredients and strain over cubed ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a large lemon twist.

TINCUP Rocky Rose

50ml of TINCUP Whiskey
Top up with Fentimans Rose Lemonade

TINCUP salutes its heritage by championing hard-working and industrious people and in this spirit,TINCUP will be conducting a nationwide search in 2017 to find a barback hero. The unsung hard-workers of the bar industry, without whom a drink wouldn’t even cross the bar. Follow the story here: #herothebarback #barbackhero

TINCUP is available to purchase in selected nationwide Marks and Spencer stores, priced from £32 (70cl, 42% ABV). From May 2017 a limited edition lantern pack is available to purchase from 31 Dover, whilst stocks last.

 

Chelsie Bailey Takes The UK Crown In Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship

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Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship’s (UBC) UK winner has been crowned, with Chelsie Bailey from Red Light bar in Bristol taking this year’s title. Bartenders up and down the country had their skills put to the test – with the 2017 competition seeing entrants quizzed on everything from pouring and nosing, to stock take and tray service.

Chelsie fought off tough competition from over 100 entrants who battled their way through heats in six cities – with the last heat taking place in London on Sunday 14th May. Despite the outstanding efforts of entrants from all areas of the country over three months, it was Chelsie that proved she indeed has the “skills to pay the bills”.

The Ultimate Bartender Championship will now bring together all the global winners at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail – the world’s premiere cocktail festival. Chelsie, along with other winners from around the world will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, where they will have the opportunity to network with the industry’s most influential personalities and other UBC winners from across the world.

“There is no doubt that it was a hard-fought battle – but it is amazing to see Chelsie win for the UK and head off to Tales of the Cocktail this Summer – it’s going to be epic! UBC is intended to challenge the best bartenders across the UK, and the stiff competition this year proves that it is doing just that” commented Grant Neave, Monkey Shoulder brand amBADASSador.

The UK leader board can be viewed here: http://ultimatebartenderchampionship.com/local-leaderboard

Full details of each round can also be found at: http://ultimatebartenderchampionship.com/challenges.

Grey Goose Vodka Limited Edition Summer Bottle Launch at Harvey Nichols

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GREY GOOSE, The World’s BestTasting Vodka, has unveiled a limited edition version of its iconic bottle in time for summer, exclusively in partnership with Harvey Nichols this month.

The GREY GOOSE Limited Edition Rivieria bottle celebrates the brand’s French heritage and has been designed to transport your senses to the sparkling blue waters and sunny climes of the French Côte d’Azur.

The new deisgn features classic marinière stripes, inspired by the bathing beauties of the Nouvelle Vague, and visible brush strokes reminiscent of France’s Impressionist Movement.

The new limited edition bottle perfectly complements the GREY GOOSE signature summer cocktail, Le Grand Fizz. A twist on the classic spritz, Le Grand Fizz is an elegant blend of GREY GOOSE Vodka, St-Germain® Elderflower Liqueur, soda water and lime, served in a wine glass to accentuate its vibrant nose. Made with only the finest French ingredients, the effortless recipe champions the light and bright flavours of the cocktail’s refreshing ingredients, making it the perfect drink of the summer.

This year GREY GOOSE is encouraging people to live their best summer and has partnered with a number of festivals and bars across the country – alongside a wider calendar of events – including House Festival, Barclaycard British Summer Time, The Mondrian, Restaurant Ours and Harvey Nichols, to offer the classic Le Grand Fizz serve

Between 1 June – 31 August, guests visiting the Second Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols in Manchester can choose from six variations of the Le Grand Fizz cocktail – the original Le Grand Fizz, La Poire Grand Fizz, L’Orange Grand Fizz, Le Citron Grand Fizz, Black Raspberry Grand Fizz and an exclusively designed Hibiscus Grand Fizz. For every GREY GOOSE Limited Edition Riviera bottle purchased instore, guests can enjoy a complimentary Le Grand Fizz cocktail at the Second Floor Bar, redeemable with proof of purchase until the end of May.

The new GREY GOOSE Limited Edition Riviera bottle has launched in partnership with Harvey Nichols and will be available exclusively for one month at all Harvey Nichols stores nationwide, retailing at £48.00.

GREY GOOSE LE GRAND FIZZ RECIPE

Craft your own original Le Grand Fizz signature serve, or substitute Grey Goose Vodka with Grey Goose La Poire, Le Citron or L’Orange flavoured vodka for a twist.

35ml GREY GOOSE Vodka
15ml St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Freshly squeezed lime (2 wedges)
3 wedges of fresh lime
60ml chilled soda water

Method:
Build in an oversized cabernet wine glass with lots of ice. Add Grey Goose vodka and St-Germain. Then squeeze fresh lime wedges and discard. Top with chilled soda water. Stir and garnish with fresh lime wedges and a Grey Goose stirrer