Inventory for March 25th, 2018

Welcome, friends! Today we have a huge deal: Diageo acquires Belzasar Vermouth. The United Kingdom (finally?) gets its very first cannabis oil-infused beer, a new magic flask promises to turn subpar hooch into premium spirits, and London’s Punch Room creates a historical cocktail menu. Ta! 
Backstreet’s back – with tequila! All of our childhood dreams are coming true, the Backstreet Boys have gotten into the booze business. Last week the BB announced that they’d be venturing into tequila, though they still need to find a partner “here in Mexico.” Sounds like the secret ingredient to a superb sleepover. Now all we need is a CD player and a lifesize cutout of Brian (he’s far superior to Nick and you know it).

Diageo Buys Belsazar Vermouth

“Diageo has acquired German vermouth Belsazar, which was one of the first brands to join the UK drinks group’s growth accelerator programme, Distill Ventures.” Big news for the German bartender favorite Belsazar. The Spirits Business reports “Belsazar becomes Diageo’s first apéritif brand and will sit within the Reserve portfolio. It will have access to the firm’s marketing and distribution expertise to ‘accelerate’ growth across Europe.” It’s not known how much Diageo paid for Belsazar. It is said that founders Maximilian Wagner and Sebastian Brack will remain “actively involved” in the company and work with Diageo to grow the brand.

The UK gets its First Cannabis Oil-Infused Beer

Though cannabis is still not legal in the UK, there are loopholes. One of those is CBD (cannabidiol). Metro reports that “It’s the compound found in cannabis and hemp plants that doesn’t contain any of the psychoactive part of cannabis – the THC – so it doesn’t get you high.” Some people have noticed an anti-inflammatory effect as well as a relief for insomnia. Buffalo Soldier, made by the Stockton Brewing Company in Teesside, is the UK’s first beer to be made with CBD oil. It is relatively mild at 3.8%. The beer will sell for £3.50 a bottle, and several bars have already put in orders, including Oscar’s Gin Bar in Stockton.

Magic Flask Promises to Make Even the Cheapest Liquor Taste Better

This new Indiegogo campaign promises to to turn even the cheapest, bitterest, most burning swill into a smooth and palatable spirit. The Magic Flask is made with steel and electromagnetic waves that then allow it “to make qualitative changes to the water molecules of the liquor contained within its walls. The result is a better spirit that won’t burn your throat off, so they say. The alcohol is poured into the flask where it sits for 30-60 minutes before consumption. Color us skeptical, but let us know if you try, please!

Punch Room Creates Historical Cocktail Menu

The Spirits Business reports “The Punch Room at The London Edition hotel has launched the second volume in its ‘The Five’ menu, said to ‘celebrate the illustrious history’ of Punch cocktails.” Created by bar manager Andy Shannon and head bartender Eric Van Oers, the second volume will highlight five key moments in the history of punch with five dedicated sections: Naval, Coffee House, Caribbean, North American, and Modern. Something for history buffs and cocktail nerds alike! Oh jolly day! “An additional section will give guests the opportunity to sample Punch classics. The menu comes in the form of a book, with each chapter featuring illustrations from six artists: Alan Berry Rhys, Bene Rohlmann, Jake Foreman, Max Löffler, Otto Von Beach and Verónica Grech.”

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