Hayman Family Launch Charles Merser & Co. – London’s First Rum Blending House for Over 100 Years

merser

The Hayman family today announce the upcoming launch of Charles Merser & Co. – London’s first rum blending house for over one hundred years. Based from a four-story merchant’s house located just off the Strand and moments from the River Thames, the new brand will follow in the traditions of London’s late, great rum blending houses by sourcing, blending, marrying and bottling a range of aged Caribbean rums from the heart of the capital.

Explaining the motivation behind the new brand, James Hayman comments:
“For over one hundred years, the streets of London were home to a bustling network of merchant rum blending houses. The merchant’s skill lay not in distilling but rather in the sourcing, blending and secondary maturation of the rum. Our family was involved in the trade for some time – sourcing stock from West India Docks to create our own proprietary blends. We’re proud to play a role in bringing the lost craft of rum blending back to the city.”

The move marks a new phase for the Hayman family, who are best known for their eponymous range of gins.

Explaining the link between English Gin and London Rum, Brand Director Jonathan Gibson comments:
“Over recent years, people have come to understand the important role that gin has played in London’s social history but rum’s story remains untold. London was for a long time at the heart of the global trade in rum, with blending houses playing a vital role in creating the finished rums that were widely enjoyed in the 18th and 19th Centuries. With Merser’s we aim to explore that history, to bring back those lost traditions and to encourage a renaissance of interest in London rum.”

The project has been a major development – involving the creation of a London bonded warehouse for secondary cask maturation and the restoration of a 19th century merchant’s house from which the brand will prototype its blends, entertain trade and host consumer tours. The historically-informed Merser’s brand sets out to celebrate the layers of flavour that a traditional approach to rum blending can bring.

Explaining the method, James Hayman comments:
“We have taken great pains to make our London rums the same way they were made here over one hundred years ago. We source the best Caribbean rums we can find, we blend them to create balance, nuance and layers of flavour and then we marry them in cask – right here in London – for a period of months just as our predecessors did. We do not add sugar, flavours or colour. What you see is a natural product of distillation, careful blending and cask maturation – distilled in the Caribbean but very much made in London.”

The standout packaging has been carefully developed to tell a story about London’s historic connection to rum.

Explaining the design, Jonathan Gibson comments:
‘The pack is a celebration of London’s rum blending heritage. The dimpled texture of the bottle is a nod to the dappled surface of the River Thames, along which barges were once used to transport casks of rum to blending houses such as ours. The hound and post logo harks back to a time when the majority of Londoners were illiterate and would find their way to merchant houses by means of symbols. And the name itself is an old English occupational surname – literally meaning ‘merchant’ it is an allusion to the mercantile rum blending traditions that we are proud to bring back.”

Merser’s Double Barrel launches in the UK in October at an RRP of £38 with a listing in Waitrose and further blends to follow over the coming months. Merser’s blending house will be opened to trade and consumer guests from mid-October. The brand will be distributed in the UK by Symposium.

Advertisements

Glenfiddich Festival Experiment #3 Returns to Celebrate Bartenders Across the UK and Beyond

image002g

This weekend saw the return of the legendary Glenfiddich Festival Experiment for round three. Bigger and better than ever before, this year’s festival welcomed more than 1,200 members of the on-trade from around the world to celebrate the bartending industry.

The private two-day festival was first launched in 2017 as a thank you to the Scottish hospitality industry for its continued support of Glenfiddich, and to celebrate the brand’s experimental nature. Since then it has tripled in size to become the UK’s largest festival for the on-trade community, with tickets coveted by bartenders everywhere.

Guests were treated to immersive entertainment and brand experiences designed to help drive forward their own ability to experiment and push the boundaries in their careers, whilst still keeping the appreciation for the hospitality industry at the heart of the celebration.

This year the festival opened its doors even wider, welcoming guests from across the UK and even a few from further afield. More than 450 bartenders from London, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Cardiff and Dublin joined the party, along with an international contingent from around the world. Scottish Brand Ambassador Mark Thomson and National Brand Ambassador to England & Wales Alex Walker were joined by their global counterparts from South Africa and the US to help host this now iconic celebration.

Year three brought more education than ever for attendees, with coopering demonstrations and talks from Malt Master Brian Kinsman on the Main Stage, who lifted the lid on his role, the brand and the industry in a live Q&A. Guest speaker Fabiano Latham, UK Reyka Ambassador, discussed ‘Adventurivity’, in the Tipi Lounge, coaching guests on maintaining health and wellness in the hospitality industry. Guests had the chance to take part in whisky tastings led by the Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador team in a dedicated tasting tent and 450 lucky festival-goers had a chance to tour the Glenfiddich distillery in all its glory.

The Main Stage saw Glenfiddich Festival Experiment Veterans Twin Atlantic take to the stage for their third year, whilst Franz Ferdinand gave their debut headline performance with fan favourites including Take Me Out and No You Girls. Other acts to grace the big top over the two days were: Fatherson, The Snuts, Be Charlotte, and The Ninth Wave.

Twin Atlantic said: “It’s great to be part of something that’s so closely associated with excellence in Scotland, and it’s really exciting to see a new idea for a music festival start to really take off.”

The Tipi Lounge, with panoramic views overlooking the Glenfiddich distillery hosted live comedy from Christopher Macarthur-Boyd and Paul Pirie as well as musical performances from: Hyyts, VanIves, Walt Disco, Aaron Smith, Tom Hamilton, Bongo Steve, and Gordon James & The Power.

Both nights finished in style at the Forest Stage which saw late-night sets from Spencer Mac and Jeremy Healy as well as DJ battles between Glenfiddich Brand Ambassadors from the UK, US and South Africa.

Across the festival site, bartenders found themselves on the other side of the bar being served with a selection of Glenfiddich cocktails, with crowd favourite the Stag Colada providing tropical vibes with its lime, pineapple and Absinthe flavours blended with Glenfiddich Our Solera 15. A wider selection of amazing food was provided by The Pitt’s independent street food vendors including The Buffalo Truck, Ròst Eats and The Fire Pitt.

Turtle Higgins, bartender at Abandon Ship in Dundee, commented: “The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment is one of the highlights of the year for many people within the industry. I’ve been lucky enough to see it grow from its first inception and the amount of work that goes into organising behind the scenes is mind-boggling! The festival is a testament to Glenfiddich and how much they want to make this the best possible experience year on year. And the music? I’m still smiling two days later… every band was amazing!”

Mark Thomson, Glenfiddich’s Ambassador to Scotland, commented: “As a Glenfiddich Ambassador, I want as many people as possible to experience the brand and its maverick ethos of pushing the boundaries. The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment has grown from 350 bartenders in its first year to over 1,200, retaining the same purpose throughout; to have fun and educate. This year’s festival had both in abundance and I couldn’t be more proud of not only how all the guests interacted and enjoyed the event but of every member of the team that made it so special.”

Alex Walker, National Brand Ambassador, commented: “Attending my first Glenfiddich Festival Experiment was a huge honour. It’s fantastic to be able to say thank you to our wonderful industry friends from across the country and around the world. And to see how it has grown into the biggest festival of its kind is truly mind blowing.”

#GlenfiddichFestivalExperiment

Stranger and Sons Gin Launches in the UK

2

Stranger & Sons, one of the first gins to be made in India since the country gained independence in the 1940s, as well as one of only a handful to reach UK shores, has launched. Stranger & Sons is the debut gin from the team at Third Eye Distillery, based off the beaten track in Ponda, a district in South Goa with a rich history of spice farming.

Introducing Stranger & Sons

The creation of Mumbai-based Sakshi Saigal, alongside her husband Rahul Mehra and her cousin Vidur Gupta, Stranger & Sons celebrates the abundance and diversity of high quality botanicals and inherently Indian spices, which provide the gin with its unique flavor.

An ode to India’s agricultural and spice heritage, Stranger & Sons is distilled with a selection of seven botanicals found in the country’s household kitchens, in addition to juniper and angelica root. These include a bouquet of locally cultivated and handpicked spices such as coriander seeds, black pepper and cassia bark along with a blend of four Indian citrus peels.

The resulting gin is a light and refreshing, three-dimensional spirit with spiced overtones, followed by an earthy, sweet aftertaste.

Inspired by the wonderful strangeness found in India’s cultural diversity, colour and customs, the founders named their gin ‘Stranger’, whilst ‘& Sons’ refers to the common suffix of traditional Indian family-owned businesses that are passed down through generations within that family.

Third Eye Distillery

Utilising the best in contemporary technology, Stranger & Sons gin is distilled in small batches in a state of the art iStill which has been calibrated to highlight the individual flavours of each of the nine botanicals and spices that lend this three-dimensional spirit its characteristic complexity and aroma, and ensures a consistent batch every time.

Crucial to the Third Eye Distillery’s operation is the support of the local community. Women from a local self-help group are employed to peel the four local citrus fruits that perfume the gin, before the distillery returns the flesh of the fruit to them. The women then use this surplus fruit to create pickles and cordials for Stranger & Sons’ cocktails, thus providing them with additional income and minimising food waste.

Stranger serves

Stranger & Sons has created two signature serves that celebrate the relationship they have with the local community in Goa, and India’s history of pickling: the classic Gibson Martini, made using pickles, and the Gimlet, made with fruit cordial. Versions of these serves are currently available at the likes of Happiness Forgets, Sager + Wilde and TT Liquor.

Stranger & Sons is offering bartenders a cordial invitation to join its peculiar path of pickling, encouraging each to put their stamp on these signature cocktails and inspiring them on a journey of making pickles and cordials.

Stranger & Sons will be available later this month to the on-trade through Scotch+Limon, Third Eye Distillery’s exclusive UK distribution partner.

Speaking on the upcoming launch, Stranger & Sons co-founder Sakshi Saigal said:

“As avid gin drinkers, we always heard of India spoken about in gin circles, as the country has long been a vital supplier of botanicals for the international gin market; but surprisingly there weren’t many craft gins being created in India. So we decided to distil our own quality Indian spirits, starting with this small batch gin which uses common spices and botanicals found in every Indian household.

“We have carefully sourced the majority of our spices from the Indian spice belt, and fruits from across the country to create a gin which perfectly captures the spirit of India. We are so excited to be launching Stranger & Sons in the UK, and we can’t wait to see the creativity of UK bartenders and the serves they come up with.”

Batanga Tequila Launches In The UK From The Orendain Family

Orendain-8

The 100% agave tequila from the Orendain family, one of the original founders of the Tequila industry, Batanga is now available to UK wholesalers from Emporia Brands.

Established in 1926 by Don Eduardo Orendain, Batanga Tequila is traditionally distilled using 100% agave grown on one estate in the heart of Jalisco in Mexico. The Orendain family is considered as one of the four oldest tequila families and one of the actual founders (among Cuervo, Sauza and Herradura) of the Tequila industry. The company is run by the second generation of the family with the third generation now starting to have an active role. The CRT (Tequila Regulatory Council) recognise the Orendain legacy, naming Don Eduardo Orendain as a founder within their building.

Batanga Tequila is made using the Orendain families own agave fields to support local production and growth with only the best agaves being used to guarantee the excellent flavour and taste profiles with only traditional production methods being used (no diffusers are used at any point!).

The name Batanga comes from Don Javier Delgado Corona. In the western Mexico town of Tequila, there’s a small, nondescript cantina called La Capilla – home of the Batanga, a simple drink created in the 1950s by Don Javier Delgado Corona, the bar’s owner.
The Batanga is simple: nothing more than tequila, cola and fresh lime juice served in a tall glass with a salted rim. But as Don Javier will tell you, its flavour isn’t only in the ingredients – it’s the big knife which he uses to stir the cocktail, that’s the secret to the perfect Batanga.

Two expressions are now available to the UK market;

Batanga Tequila Blanco: 38% abv | 70cl

Classic and expressive on the nose with intense typical earthy agave notes of pepper, herbs and mint. Fresh and lively in the mouth with a clean and vivid profile and a long finish.

Batanga Tequila Reposado: 38% abv | 70cl

A fresh and vibrant nose of grass and pepper. Subtle oak plays a complementary role on a palate which shows great refinement and integration, with a crisp flavoursome finish. Aged 4 – 6 months in ex-Bourbon barrels (American White Oak).

#BenevolentColours Launched By The Drinks Industry Charity

#benevolentcolours 8

#benevolentcolours is a new campaign by the drinks trade charity, The Benevolent, to raise awareness of the ‘It could be me’ campaign aimed at getting as many members of the drinks industry to sign up to donate £5 a month.

On May 21st 2019 the trade is invited to dress up in either red, white or rosé (or a mix of all three) at The London Wine Fair in Olympia to show support for the campaign. For those attending The London Wine Fair, The Benevolent will be on stand E60 alongside the WSTA and will have a sign-up station together with a photo booth nearby on stand G61 complete with red, white and rosé coloured accessories to capture the spirit of the day.

The campaign is being brought to life through a unique PR collaboration of Dillon Morrall, emma wellings pr, Limm Communications, Phipps Relations and R&R Teamwork. Michael Saunders, Chairman and Chris Porter, CEO of The Benevolent who brought the group together said, “We wanted to get the best creative minds round the table to help to raise awareness of all the great work that the Charity is involved with. Top of the agenda was creating awareness of the ‘It could be me’ campaign and encouraging individuals to sign up to donate a small amount every month. The Charity is under constant pressure as it delivers financial support to those in need and regular donations are vital to the success of our work.”

Companies are encouraged to join the colourful community vibe and get staff involved in dressing up and signing up to the campaign. For every picture posted on Instagram, Twitter of Facebook #benevolentcolours @drinkscharityuk, the PR collaboration will donate £1 to The Benevolent.

Copal Tree Organic Distillery Launch Copalli

1f81d040-ad0e-4ade-a786-94603e671130

Copalli, an organic, single estate rum sustainably produced at a new craft distillery in the Belizean rainforest has launched in the UK. Redefining the craft rum category and made from three simple and pure ingredients; rainforest canopy water, yeast, and non-GMO heirloom sugar cane, Copalli challenges drinkers to think sustainably and ask #WhatsInYourRum.

Arriving in perfect time for 2019’s UK ‘rumnaissance’, Copalli will be a key contributor to the rum industry’s projected growth this year, offering two liquids; Copalli White Rum, a smooth rum as good on the rocks as it is in a Daiquiri, and Copalli Barrel Rested Rum, a rich, sweet rum aged in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. With no artificial flavourings, added sugar or colouring, and using hand-cut sugar cane sourced from its neighbouring Copal Tree Farm, the terroir of Copalli’s Belizean birthplace has a delightful impact on the final flavour profile of the rum.

Already gaining momentum in some of London’s best bars the organic, single estate rum is available now in a variety of delicious serves in Quaglinos, The Gibson and Laki Kane, aligning perfectly with its focus on sustainability.

Georgi Radev, Creative Director of Laki Kane, said:
“Copalli Rum is a truly organic rum made in the middle of the Belizean rainforest using fresh sugar cane juice and this really shows in the aroma and taste. When you open the bottle, the fresh cane aroma coming from it is just mesmerising. It really feels like you are there at the sugar cane fields in the rainforest. The taste is very delicate for Agricole rum, you taste the fresh sugar cane, with floral, fresh and fruity notes. This is absolutely perfect for a Daiquiri and a Mojito. It’s amazing for fruity tropical drinks, but you can also use it in classy cocktails like a Negroni and Martini.”

Conservation, sustainability and philanthropy are not typically synonymous with rum, but Copalli offers them by the barrel-load. The single-estate rums are honourably sourced, distilled, barrelled, aged and bottled all at The Copal Tree Distillery situated in the heart of 20,000 acres of tropical rainforest in Belize, while the sugarcane used to produce the rum is grown on the Copal Tree Farm. The distillery is zero-impact and supports full-circle conversion of waste from production to agricultural inputs.

With a rising tide of craft distilleries fueling the growth in rum, Copalli has taken it a step further, infusing their philosophy of conservation and sustainability in the bottle. The Copal Tree Distillery has been donated in trust for the benefit of the people in the Toledo District, whilst collectively the Distillery, its neighbouring eco-venue, Copal Tree Lodge and The Copal Tree Farm are operating as the largest employer in Southern Belize, providing over 100 jobs to local residents in a clean and safe working environment.

Copalli’s two grades of product can be sipped on their own or as a base for classic and modern rum cocktails:

White Rum (42% ABV)
A double distillation of fresh sugar cane juice—crushed within two hours of being cut—the white rum is made with a blend of pot and column distillation with a long resting of the finished product on stainless steel.

Barrel Rested Rum (44% ABV)
The Barrel Rested Rum is made using double distillation of sugar cane juice, and exclusively full-bodied copper pot still distillation with French technique. It is aged in American Oak bourbon barrels.

Set to be a huge hit with rum lovers and drinks connoisseurs alike, Copalli is available through Masters Of Malt; Copalli White Rum, 70cl, £33.50 and Copalli Barrel Rested, 70cl, £41.30.

Oxley Gin Announces First UK On-Trade Competition In Search Of The Country’s Most Inventive Gimlet

DISHOOM17

OXLEY®, the unbelievably cold distilled gin, announces its inaugural cocktail competition open to the UK on-trade centred around one of the world’s most classic cocktails – the Gimlet. Accounts across Edinburgh, Manchester and London are being challenged to invent their unique twist on the Gimlet serve, a drink traditionally made with only two ingredients – lime cordial and gin. The use of sub-zero distillation in a quest to keep the botanicals in OXLEY gin faithful to nature, combined with using only fresh-frozen citrus, the Gimlet showcases this bright and flavourful gin – essential in controlling and balancing the essential cordial element. With the Gimlet’s current revival and dividing of opinions, almost as much as the martini, OXLEY gin will tour the three cities from February through May in search of the unexpected, inventive expression of this serve.

CORDIALLY INVITED
With many different takes on the Gimlet featuring across the UK’s top on-trade accounts – 12% of bars polled the serve in their top 10 cocktails* – from Mint Gun Club’s staple three versions, each prebatched and kept in the freezer and served in frozen liqueur glasses, to Scarfes Bar’s twist using a home-made cordial infused with zara lebu skin, lemongrass, shiso and kaffir lime leaves, OXLEY gin is inviting bartenders to experiment and create their own cordial that will complement the thirst for flavour and unmistakable taste of OXLEY gin. Each bartender will be gifted an OXLEY Cocktail Kit to support their own innovative interpretation of the Gimlet with the winner walking away with their own bespoke, co-branded fridge.

The winning recipe will be selected by Karine Tillard, Brand Ambassador for OXLEY gin, along with a special guest, who will visit the competing bars before crowning the most inventive bartender in each region.

Florent Demars, UK Brand Manager – OXLEY gin comments “Since the invention of OXLEY, we have continued to champion flavour and freezing nature in its tracks. We are excited to see how bartenders across the UK can create a truly adventurous take on the Gimlet, a cocktail that has been gaining popularity and momentum rising 26% in the last year alone as one of the world’s best-selling classic cocktails.”

Jose Cuervo Tradicional, 100% Agave Tequila, Launches the First User Generated Margarita Masterpiece for National Margarita Day

image001To celebrate National Margarita Day on Friday 22nd February, Jose Cuervo Tradicional is calling all Margarita fans to be part of a collaborative online project to create the world’s first social media Margarita masterpiece by sharing pictures of themselves enjoying their own Margarita traditions using the #LiveTradicional.

The masterpiece will be inspired by the iconic, vintage, 1960s Cuervo adverts that helped drive the Margarita phenomenon. It is the top selling cocktail in the US and the sixth favorite cocktail in the world. Award-winning visual artist Helen Marshall, who uses photography, storytelling and technology in her work, will give a modern twist to the Margarita masterpiece. The final artwork will be revealed on the brand’s social media channels on National Margarita Day.

Several bars in London will also be celebrating Margarita Day by creating their own twists on Cuervo Tradicional Margarita, including Café Pacifico who will be offering their Cuervo Tradicional Kombucha Margarita and Cuervo Tradicional Watermelon Margarita.

Tequila fans can join in the festivities at home, making Cuervo Tradicional Margaritas with the new limited-edition Jose Cuervo Tradicional bottle (RRP £15) available from nationwide Tesco stores and online. The limited-edition bottle features a stylish skull design inspired by the iconography in Mexican culture. Cuervo Tradicional is a modern tequila that is rooted in family tradition that started more than 200 years ago. The 100% blue agave is harvested from the family estate and produced using the same small-batch method originated by José Cuervo himself back in 1795. The result is a more refined and perfectly balanced tequila.

The Cuervo #LiveTradicional campaign will also include the UK wide Cuervo Tradicional Margarita Rumbles in May. Bartenders in London, Manchester and Bristol will battle it out to win the ultimate title of best Margarita judged by hundreds of consumers.

Rhum Fest Paris 2019 – The Sugar Cane Journey

rfp2019-min-1-1024x865-1

The 6th edition of the Rhum Fest Paris will be held in the Grande Halle at the Parc Floral in Vincennes in a 2,800 m2 exhibition space on 13-15th April. With more than 180 brands and nearly 60 countries represented, it has established itself as a vibrant market place with the aim of becoming the leading European rum show.

Rhum Fest Paris: THE major European rum market place

The show doubles its size into a bright and airy environment, for visitors to taste and communicate with rum experts.

This space creates more scope for fresh activities and new formats for stands and offers brands the opportunity to present immersive, personalized spaces. Finding your way around the show is made easy with a hall that is entirely geared to welcoming visitors, exhibitors and journalists, including:

– 6 entrance zones for the public
– 1 entrance zone exclusively for exhibitors
– 1 entrance zone for media guests

Bigger than ever before, and also taking things to another level, Rhum Fest Paris aims to be at the heart of the rum culture and its market in Europe. Thanks to the market place set up on the site, Rhum Fest Paris helps producers, distributors and importers to establish contact and initiate business.

Finally, to avoid queues, this new venue has 5 different food outlets with:
– An indoor restaurant
– 3 world food trucks (Martinique, Venezuela, Afro-Caribbean)
– 1 snack bar for fast service

Not to mention the classic features of Rhum Fest Paris:
– The masterclass marquee
– The entertainment tents with, among other things, an intriguing escape-room game with a rum theme
– Dedicated enclosures so brands can flex all their immersive creativity:
– The novelty bar – All things new and adventurous
– Calypso cocktail bar
– The pop-up Christian de Montaguère boutique – A fantasy of rum and Caribbean delights

In short, Rhum Fest Paris is still a serious rum festival but with even more to appeal to professional visitors and consumer rum fans.

Dates and times

Public days
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April 2019
From 12 noon to 6:30pm

Trade day for professionals in the drinks business
Monday 15 April 2019
From 10am to 5pm

Place
Grande Halle du Parc Floral – Vincennes

Ticketing and accreditation
http://www.rhumfestparis.com

Muyu Pop-Up Boutique; Combining Sustainability, Ethics & Flavour

addiechinn.com-Paris-Amout19699 2

This February, the Muyu Pop-Up Boutique will introduce drinks lovers to Muyu, a brand new range of luxury liqueurs created by three of the world’s most renowned and awarded bartenders – Alex Kratena, Monica Berg & Simone Caporale. At the pop-up guests will be able to experience a tasting with Alex, Monica or Simone, as well as having a unique opportunity to purchase the liqueurs before they officially become available this spring.

Combining a boutique perfume attitude with the trio’s unique cocktail philosophy, Muyu is created in an entirely unique way offering a clean, fresh flavour profile. Inspired by a trip to the Amazon, Muyu will actively promote biodiversity through responsible sourcing, with a share of profits from each bottle also going towards NGOs doing meaningful work in the Amazon.

3-bottles-black-bacground-closer-together_web

Muyu has been designed to enjoyed in highball style cocktails, as well as on the rocks, and will be available in three flavours, each designed by one of the bartenders:

Muyu Jasmine Verte – Monica Berg
Floral, blooming, fresh, sensual and luminous
Jasmine with accents of neroli, patchouli, yuzu and iris

Muyu Chinotto Nero – Simone Caporale
Citrusy, opulent, zesty, lush and mystical
Chinotto with accents of cinchona, oak moss, curacao orange and cacao

Muyu Vetiver – Alex Kratena
Earthy, woody, mystical, intriguing, endless
Vetiver with accents of timur, patchouli, petit grains and cedarwood

Created in a similar way to perfume, the main ingredient is extracted before the second layer of accent ingredients are added. The result is completely developed and complex liquids.

Alex and Simone met whilst working at the Artesian, London, where they led the team to unrivalled success winning World’s Best Bar four years in a row until their departure in 2015. Monica is one of the leading bartenders coming out of Scandinavia. The brand is not only the first from the three bartenders, but also a first for the world of liqueurs which looks set to redefine the category.