Inventory for July 30th, 2017
This week’s inventory is a good one, if we do say so ourselves: we’ve got a lengthy rant on the world’s first gin made with old Harley Davidson parts, Fentimans introduces the world to four new slim cans, Sarah Baird makes the case for a room temperature Martini (cue gasps) and Vinepair looks at the validity of Tales of the Cocktail. Cheers!
“The latest cocktail trend is teeny tiny, undeniably adorable and looks like it has been ripped from a Pinterest board.” Yes. Ever been to a fairy light twinkling, forest-set, DIY wedding where the bride and groom fancy themselves adorable woodland creatures? Then you are familiar with the clothespins that are currently taking over American cocktails. Liquor.com explores the reality of this new trend – it might not be quite as twee as we first expected it to be.
Ehinger Kraftrad makes World’s First Gin Flavored with Harley Davidson Engine Parts
“Everything I do is a hommage to the past,” so begins the image video for the world’s first gin that’s flavored with used Harley Davidson parts …. Just let that sink in for a moment. Excuse the rant, but this highly produced, very expensive piece of “spirit” is precisely the problem with the spirits world today. What an utterly, gimmicky piece of crap. The one thing that’s advertised, “dry gin flavored with the spirit of rare, original engine parts,” is simply not true (because, of course, to make the old bike bits food safe they are cleaned and then sealed in tin alloy because, repeat after us, metallic shaft nuts found in the Mexican desert are not safe for consumption).
And then all of this is wrapped up in what seems like incredibly expensive, fancy ass packaging that’s simply meant to hide the fact that their produce is a gimmick? Our blood is boiling. Built on pure machismo and the romance of “being on the road,” what on earth does this have to do with a well-crafted gin? What do motorcycles and gin have in common? Are we missing a link here? Are the Hell’s Angels sponsored by Bombay or something? No, this can’t be the world we live in.
Fentimans Rolls Out Four New Slim Can Flavors
The Spirits Business reports that “British tonic and mixer brand Fentimans has launched four of its most popular flavours in 250ml slim cans, at the same time as revealing plans to add a Sparkling Lime and Jasmine variant to its range.” The new flavour contains white jasmine flower from Asia (where in Asia? It’s a continent, not a country) and is said to offer “initial bitterness on the tongue, balanced by the sweetness of lime flower and juniper berries.”
The first flavors available in can format are the Rose Lemonade, Curiosity Cola, Wild English Elderflower, and Cherry Cola. The cans will be available in UK pubs, bars, and through online supermarket group Ocado. Fentimans marketing director Andrew Jackson says “Creating cans will make our drinks accessible in areas where glass is not permitted, which was the next logical step for the brand, we also enjoy giving our consumers more opportunities and occasions to taste our much-loved and exquisitely crafted drinks.”
Room Temperature Martinis
A hotly contested topic. Sarah Bird asks the question “Are Martinis better at Room Temperature?” over at Liquor.com this week. The co-owner of New Orleans’ Cure bar Neal Bodenheimer suggests that ice cold temperature isn’t the correct way to approach such a nuanced drink. “Martinis that aren’t super boozy, like one with fortified wine in it, shouldn’t be extra, extra cold if you really want to taste all the nuance in the glass.” Bodenheimer’s go-to Martini recipe is a 50/50 split of Fords gin and Yzaguirre dry vermouth with a splash of chilled water and a couple of dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6. But he’s graciously gifted Liquor.com with three more room temperature Martini recipes he enjoys. The reasoning certainly isn’t crazy but we still kind of doubt that this will be a trend that catches on.
Has Tales of the Cocktail grown Too Big to Matter?
How was your Tales? Did you have as much fun as our beloved Charles Schumann on the lead picture of this article? We certainly hope so. Vinepair asks the question if Tales of the Cocktail has grown too big for its own making and what we can assume that the future holds for the spirits fair. A worthy weekend read and great analysis by Brad Japhe who interviews several experts on the topic. Jack Summers, CEO and founder of his own spirits brand says “To a certain extent, Tales is challenged by its own success. How do you stay bigger, more relevant, a justifiable expense, when you’re clearly the biggest name in the game, but all of the smaller festivals are nipping at your heels?”
Bar owner Michael Neff still considers Tales the most important networking event, though he also admits that after joining the festivities for several years now, he’s seen a decline in quality. “The flagship events are entirely skippable for me at this point. It’s not that interesting to see yet another big venue with a theme slapped on top of it, with cocktails I don’t want to drink and lines I don’t want to wait in. The cocktails at Tales of the Cocktail often miss the mark, which is ironic considering why we’re all there. In my estimation, if you’ve gathered the absolute cream of the world’s crop to come celebrate the Art of the Cocktail, industrial-scale batching events aren’t the best way to show off the best of what we do.” Neff’s complaints are not unique in the industry.
Japhe ends on this note: the biggest challenge to Tales is the fact that large, global companies are buying up the small ones very quickly. “To them, pouring massive dollars into the country’s largest spirits consortium is a no-brainer. They will continue to do so, and in so doing render the event’s earliest conceptions unrecognizable. For the independent, craft producers and those that seek to support them, Tales is an increasingly inhospitable landscape. They’ll just have to grin and bear it, it seems. Because for now, there’s no other game in town.” Or is there?
Foto: Photo via Shutterstock.