Happy Easter weekend, folks! We have some good longreads today to keep you entertained during the four day weekend. BCB Brooklyn announces exhibitors, Bacardi bets on rum going upscale, Dave Broom launches a Kickstarter for a ‘Scotch-umentary,’ and the New York Times asks if blended Scotch still has a place in the modern bar.
The New Yorker has always had an eye for humor and this week is no different. They got illustrator Chaz Hutton to create the “Millennial’s Guide to Cocktails” including the recipes for various drinks. For example, the Martini is 50% “I think I’m quite classy” and 50% “ohmygod, these get you really drunk” (been there). Delightful!
BCB Brooklyn Announces Exhibitors
BCB is making its way to American shores and, just last week, the program directors announced some of the exhibitors. Visitors will see German classics like Belsazar and Thomas Henry, as well as several Mezcal producers, industry giants such as Pernod Ricard, Diageo, and Bacardi, and many more. We’re sure you’re as excited as we are and we can’t wait to keep up with further developments. BCB Brooklyn will take place on June 12th and 13th at the Brooklyn Expo Center in New York.
Bacardi Bets That Rum Will Be the Next Liquor to Go Upscale
Bloomberg’s Jennifer Kaplan says Bacardi’s betting on upscale rum becoming the next big thing. “Bacardi is introducing two new premium rum products and relaunching an existing brand to push the category in a fancier direction. Across the market, pricier varieties make up only 15 percent of rum sales, according to the company. Driving that number up to 25 percent is worth $550 million to the industry.” Bacardi is hoping rum will follow the path of tequila, which has been on a steady upward rise for the past 10 years. Will the bet pay off? That remains to be seen.
Dave Broom Launches Crowdfunding for Whisky Film
The Spirits Business reports “Whisky writer Dave Broom is seeking to raise £40,000 (US$56k) through a crowdfunding campaign to film a new documentary on whisky and Scottish culture.” The movie is set to be a road-trip documentary called The Amber Light. “The documentary, starring Broom, will highlight the lesser-known parts of Scottish culture and history ‘through the lens of whisky’, with personalities from the art, music, literature and food worlds. Broom will travel across Scotland to speak to innovators and thinkers in the whisky industry, including farmers, distillers, bar owners and historians. Among the film’s contributors will be Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, who will talk about the “darkness in the Scottish soul.”
The film will explore the unsung role of women in distilling and blending over the centuries, the influence of alchemists, medicine men and botanists, and the evolution of spirits from medicine to social lubricants. The documentary will also look at the temperance movement, smugglers, Dante’s inferno, and the use of unexpected ingredients in whisky’s development, such as saffron.” This actually sounds delightful and we’re very much rooting for the crowdfunding to cover the filmmaker’s costs! Click here to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign.
Does Blended Scotch Still Have a Place in the Modern Bar?
New York Times writer Eric Asimov explores the reality of blended Scotch in today’s modern bar. “As I started to work and came to understand that bars were an essential companion to the newspaper business, I saw how people adopted specific brands of Scotch as their own, drinking solely J & B or Ballantine’s, just as one smoked Marlboros or Salems. Personally, I preferred beer…When we think of Scotch whisky today, it’s to compare, say, the smoky, complex malts of Islay with the fruity, spicy malts of the Highlands. The blended Scotches of yore seem like such an afterthought that it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that they still vastly outsell single malts, though their proportion of the Scotch market has dwindled since 1990.”
Throughout his article Asimov tested his way through 20 bottles of Scotch, joined by Florence Fabricant, David Wondrich, and Robert Simonson. Their number one bottle was “Buchanan’s Master, which seemed to epitomize the category: smoky but not too smoky, rich and creamy but not too much so, more complete package than singular distinctiveness.” To see which ones made it to ranks two, three, and four click here.
New Orleans’s Neighborhood Restaurants Contend With Airbnb
What’s a neighborhood restaurant without a neighborhood? This is the question that New Orleans restaurateur Neal Bodenheimer is asking himself. After closing his essential New Orleans cocktail bar Cure and French Quarter restaurant Cane & Table he tried not to put the blame on anyone else, but thought that it might be the direct result of the “neighborhood going in the wrong direction.” Something that might happen if you are no longer a vibrant neighborhood, but instead a space where many people pass through for two to three days at a time. A fascinating read that spans gentrification, social issues, hospitality, and activism.