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Inventory for June 25th, 2017

Welcome to this week’s bar news, friends! Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods earlier this week, the UK Roots competition is headed to the Athens Bar Show in November, Distill Ventures is jumping onboard with the ever-growing non-alcoholic drinks trend, and a mummified toe used to make a cocktail in Canada was stolen. Cheers!

Being a bartender ain’t easy, I think we all know that. A couple of years ago, Lilly Dancyger wrote an article on what it’s really like to “spend your nights as a therapist/wingman/entertainer/best friend for an entire roomful of inebriated New Yorkers.” An honest account of a tough job and how to turn it around once you’re on the other side of the bar – well worth a read!

Amazon’s Whole Foods Acquisition

The Drinks Business writes: “Amazon’s acquisition of organic food store company Whole Foods for $13.7 billion (£10.7 billion) is likely to take it head-to-head with the major retailers in the US and UK, market analysts have warned.” The online giant is taking over in no uncertain terms. Amazon is set to take over 450 Whole Foods stores in North America and nine in the UK.

“Market analysts have called it a ‘wake-up’ call for the grocery industry, pointing out how serious the online giant is about cracking the food and wine market, while also pointing to the strength of bricks and mortar to make a more attractive omni-channel offer.” Apparently it is well known that Amazon has been scouting places in Central London in order to move into the grocery retail market in the UK. The sale is also an acknowledgement of the power of a physical shop, “retailing food and drink online as a pure online player was a difficult proposition.”

UK Roots Premium Spirits Competition and Liqueurs Innovation Award

It was held in Italy last year, but this time the Roots team is bringing their competition to the Athens Bar Show in November. “Roots philosophy brings us back to the four basic elements of nature, where everything is elemental, natural and true. This is also the logic of the Back to the Roots UK competition: ‘Truly great drinks are easy to make, you just need the elements, the unique ingredients and a story to tell.’” Bartenders, send your Roots serve idea (including your story) to backtotheroots@finestroots.com by July 15, 2017 for the chance to win a trip to Athens in November.

The Growing Trend of the ‘Non-Alcoholic’

Over the last few years, we’ve seen juice pairings, non-alcoholic cocktails, and a general interest in alcohol-free liquids increase. Picking up on this trend, Distill Ventures says: “Distill Ventures sees a huge opportunity in the exciting but nascent sector of Non-Alcoholic Drinks and we want to help entrepreneurs & creators launch & grow the non-alcoholic brands of the future.”

If you’re an entrepreneur developing a non-alcoholic drink of have a idea for one, apply for a £10k/$12k investment opportunity here. For Distill Ventures, it was an early investment in Seedlip which really sparked their imagination. “As we’ve watched it grow, we realised we had just scratched the surface of this growing category and, wanting to learn more, found we weren’t alone in that desire.” Head on over to their site to find out how Distill Ventures sees non alcoholic drinks playing an ever growing part in the way we socialize.

Mummified Toe Used in Cocktail Stolen from Canada Bar

Surely the grossest news we’ve read all week. The Telegraph newspaper reports that “a bar manager in Canada is hoping to nail the culprit who stole a mummified toe used in their signature cocktail.” The Downtown hotel in Dawson City offers a drink called the “Sourtoe” cocktail. The special/secret/disgusting (however you look at it) ingredient is a shrivelled human toe. “Those who touch the gnarled digit with their lips as they drink are awarded a certificate.” Apparently, this Saturday, a customer consumed their drink and then “made off” with the toe.

That’s right: they re-use that one toe drink after drink. That does not comply with any hygiene laws. Oh, but it gets weirder. The person who this toe belongs to – he’s a customer: “The stolen toe was a recent donation from a man who had to have it surgically removed. Having been cured in salt for six months, the bar had only just started using it in its cocktail.” The worst gimmicks of gimmicks.

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Foto: Photo via Shutterstock.

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