Inventory for December 20th, 2015

Dear readers, today marks the last inventory for 2015. Another year, gone by so fast. We hope you’ve enjoyed our bar news over the past 12 months and look forward to next year’s gossip and product releases. Without further ado, this is what happened in the bar world over the last week: The Guardian talks North Korean drinking habits, Elephant Gin releases a sloe version, Jeff Koons has legal trouble over a gin, and Diageo rolls out its consumer trial of Johnnie Walker connected bottles.

For our last little tip of the year, we’d like to give you a little something non-drink related. Perhaps you haven’t bought all your Christmas presents yet or maybe you don’t even plan on buying them. A little DIY in your future? Look no further. Food52 has an easy recipe for homemade salve that heals cracked, chapped, and dry winter hands. Perfect for that special person in your life, who spends too much time soaking their hands in dishwasher water. Happy holidays!

1) North Korean Drinking Habits

In The Guardian’s ongoing effort to inform the world about the habits of everyday North Koreans, Je Son Lee wrote an article about the drinking habits of her countrymen. North Korea saw a shift occur between 2000 and 2010. After coming into contact with Chinese and South Korean, North Koreans began eating (and drinking) outside of the home more. “There are also some kiosks at North Korean markets where people drink, although they have to do this secretly as it is illegal to sell booze in open markets”. The country’s alcohol can be divided into two categories, “Number One (made exclusively for the ruling Kim) and “Number Two”, which is fit to serve the masses. Fun fact: “You cannot buy Number One booze from the market, although you can get hold of it if you’re well-connected”. Though brewing and distilling at home is not permitted, many people still continue the tradition. “The most widely used ingredients were potatoes and corn”. Son Lee’s mother also sold her own liquor. Can a country where “beer is considered a soft drink and both adults and children would drink it” really be that bad?

2) Elephant Gin’s Sloe Gin

Just in time for Christmas Elephant Gin has released a new variation of its London Dry. Limited to only 999 bottles per batch the Elephant Sloe Gin promises to unite the taste of the London Dry with typical sloe aromas. Compared to other sloe gin the Elephant version is relatively low in sugar and, at 35% ABV, high in alcohol. The warm, reddish tone promises a vibrant cocktail. Available from now on.

3) Jeff Koons Sued over Gordon’s Gin Ad

Back in the 1980s pop artist Jeff Koons created a series of paintings called “Luxury and Degradation”, in one of those he used an image from a Gordon’s gin ad. Now the photographer of the campaign, Mitchel Gray as “filed a lawsuit against Koons over his artwork ‘I could go for something Gordon’s’”, as reported by The Spirits Business. Though copyright claims are usually only valid for three years, an exception can be made if the plaintiff has not been aware of the alleged infringement. “Gray, who claims he was not aware of Koons’s work until recently, is also taking legal action against New York-based auction house Phillips Auctioneers, which sold the print for US$2.8m in 2008”.

4) Diageo Rolls Out Consumer Trial of Johnnie Walker Connected Bottles

Sex no longer sells (well, it does – just not as much as it used to) and instead, personalized messaging has taken over the throne when it comes to marketing gags. Diageo has jumped on the bandwagon with its Johnnie Walker Blue Label connected bottle prototype. F&B News reports that in November 500 bottles went on sale in Thailand, “to test out the technology’s ability to push personalised messages”. The bottles are “kitted out with Near Field Communications (NFC) to show targeted messages and exclusive content to people using their smartphones”.

To make this possible, Diageo has partnered with Selinko, which relies on a patent pending capSeal tag technology to detect if a bottle has been opened or not. Introduced at this year’s Mobile World Congress Johnnie Walker isn’t the only label exploring this marketing strategy. “ Rémy Martin unveiled its ‘tamper-proof’ Club Connect bottle in China this autumn, while Absolut is planning trials to turn its bottle into a media channel via the Internet of Things”.


Foto: Two men via Shutterstock

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