Inventory for May 24th, 2015

This week in bar news a new House of Bombay gin is released, a Breaking Bad inspired pop up bar is announced in London, Russia has a severe alcohol problem, spring break hotspot Panama City Beach announces new laws that crack down on drinking, and a British distillery uses ants in its gin. Cheers!

Next Thursday, May 28th, P&T Paper and Tea will release its new vodka tea infusion kit, created in collaboration with local Berlin distillery Our/Berlin vodka. P&T’s Mitte store will host an opening, complete with complimentary tea, vodka cocktails and a DJ (it’s not Berlin party without a DJ). Let’s hope for sun and enjoy our tea.

1) New Bombay: Star of Bombay

House of Bombay just released its newest edition – the Star of Bombay. Named after a 182 Karat Sapphire it’s a super premium Gin, which was produced through a very complex, and slow, distillation process.

The classic London Dry expands its recipe with the inclusion of bergamot zest and musk mallow seeds. At 47.5% this gin might just be fittingly incorporated into a G&T on “International World Gin Day” on June 13th.

2) Breaking Bad Inspired Pop Up Bar

Remember Annie the Owl? Yeah, we didn’t think so. The genius behind the owl bar, Seb Lyall, has turned his attention to the cult Netflix hit Breaking Bad. The Spirits Business reports that he plans on opening a pop up bar in London, located in a renovated RV, where visitors can book 2-hour slots (at £30 a pop, which includes two drinks) to ‘cook’ their own cocktails under the supervision of expert mixologists. Well that sounds … fun?

3) Russia’s Drinking Problem

Last week Quartz-writer Matt Phillips wrote a dire piece one the state of alcohol in Russia. He states that in 2012, 30% of all deaths were attributed to alcohol, those include alcohol poisoning, cirrhosis, accidents, and suicide. In fact, Russians live some of the shortest lives. Life expectancy for a Russian man is around 65 years, compared to that of 76 in the States and 74 in China. It’s reasoned that many people turned to alcohol more frequently during the economic collapse of the former Soviet republics and the following economic chaos. Additionally, vodka was very, very cheap in Russia during the 1990s.

“Daniel Treisman, the political economist … writes: In December 1990, the average Russian monthly income would buy 10 litres of ordinary quality vodka; 4 years later, in December 1994, it would buy almost 47 litres.” After 2006, where policy changes to alcohol licensing were instated, the country saw a decrease in vodka consumption.

However, one can never fully trust official Russian statistics, especially those that state positive news in the form of increased birth rates and a decline in alcohol-related deaths.

4) Spring Break  – Wohoo?

More like, ‘sad trombone sound’. The New York Times reports that Panama City Beach has decided to ban beach drinking during the month of March, when traditionally thousands of college-aged youngsters descend on the Florida town to gain their first taste of alcohol poisoning and to bare their genitals for the cameras. Apparently the city and county want to enforce additional measure to curtail spring break rowdiness, after seven partygoers were shot at a party last year.

Of course this all makes sense and no one wants to see underage (in the states that’s everyone under the age of 21) drinkers get hurt, but it does ignore the question of tourism. Surely Panama City Beach makes a lot of money during the month of March and one can only wonder how the city plans on making up for the loss in revenue once it begins to crack down on the drinking laws.

5) Excuse Me Waiter, There’s an Ant in my Cocktail

But it’s meant to be there and you don’t actually see it. Most of those interested in food and drink culture will have seen/heard/experienced the infamous ants at Noma. The insect trend is becoming more mainstream, not only do they have unrivalled nutritional value but both the environment and local economies are said to benefit from insect consumption and farming.

Munchies reports on The British Cambridge Distillery, which was approached by the Nordic Food Lab, a culinary research organisation based in Denmark, to team up and create a gin that achieves that signature citrus flavor with the use of lemon or lime. Instead, red wood ants give it that “subtle, almost citrus-like flavor. They work well with herby notes and the flavour of the required juniper”.

The ants protect their communities by producing formic acid which they spray in the direction of invaders. This acid is a reactive compound in alcohol and serves as “an agent for producing various aromatic esters,” creating an array of smells and flavours. Each bottle of Anty Gin costs £200 and contains the essence of 62 red wood ants, harvested in Kent forests. Once transported the ants are immersed in ethanol before being distilled into a concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with traditional gin ingredients, including juniper, nettle, and alexanders seed.


Foto: Two Ladies via Shutterstock

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