It seems the UK government is trying to ban plastic straws by next year, the Maestro Salvatore Calabrese brings his cocktail game to the newly revamped Donovan bar, a bunch of lobbyists are calling for plain packaging on spirits products, and Hayman’s is calling for tighter regulations on gin. Cheers!
This one is great! James Comey had his book launch party last week and the cocktails were lit. Twitter user Vanessa Santos captured the aptly titled Lordy, I Hope There’s Vodka, Southern District, Transcontinental, and Deep State. Attendees with White House credentials received two olives in their martinis (as is their god-given right at the moment). Cheers Comey, you bring the snark!
England to Ban Cotton Buds and Plastic Straws by Next Year
Single use plastic items, like straws, stirrers, and cotton buds, are the bane of Earth’s existence (quite literally) and it looks like the UK government is planning on doing something about it. The Guardian reports that Theresa May hopes to ban the sales of aforementioned items in England next year. “Cotton buds, often flushed down the lavatory, are one of the most serious sources of marine pollution. They are small enough to be eaten by birds and marine life.” A consultation is set to take place later in 2018 with the ban being enforced as early as next year. “Scotland has a head start on England: the Scottish government announced a consultation on plans to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in January. Campaigners said it would cut the country’s sewage-related marine plastic pollution by half.” It’s too early to guess what effect the ban will have on the bar industry, but a move to more environmentally responsible straws is a must.
Salvatore Brings his Vintage Cocktails to Revamped Donovan Bar
Cocktail maestro Salvatore Calabrese has been recruited by the newly designed and relaunched Donovan Bar. Calabrese has created a new cocktail menu which includes signature and vintage creations spanning his 40-year career. Imbibe reports: “once found in the Lanesborough Hotel, Fifty at St James club and Salvatore at Playboy, vintage spirit fans will be pleased to hear Calabrese has a new home and has brought with him his iconic Breakfast Martini, using Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice and orange marmalade, and his Godfrey, which mixes Hennessy VSOP Cognac, with Grand Marnier, crème de mur, lemon juice and blackberries.”
Calabrese is also sharing some of his rarer spirits from his personal collection, a Gordon’s Gin from 1950 for example or a Kina Lillet from 1949. “After the success of the Martini & Negroni menu we launched at Brown’s during the Italian Takeover at the end of last year, I am delighted to be rejoining the Donovan Bar to offer Mayfair’s most discerning guests a unique menu of cocktails inspired by Sir Terence Donovan’s work and in homage to the artistry behind his iconic shots which line its walls,” said Calabrese.
Plain Packaging on Spirits Could Stifle Innovation
“Three hundred billion dollars – that’s the potential brand devaluation for the global drinks industry should beverages succumb to the same plain-packaging fate as tobacco. The eye-watering estimated loss was reported by valuation consultancy Brand Finance, whose experts analysed the impact plain packaging could have on the drinks industry – including alcohol,” The Spirits Business reports. But lobbyists are calling for such a move. This, of course, would be a huge problem for the spirits industry. Many companies pride themselves on their storytelling nature, a fact that’s conveyed in the styling and design of their brand. The Scotch Whisky Association says “There is no evidence to suggest plain packaging would have any impact on reducing harmful drinking. Undermining these brands through a move to plain packaging would harm the UK economy, the balance of trade, as well as the Scotch whisky industry.” We’ll see how far this goes but if the lobbyists have their way, this could mean trouble for all of us.
Hayman’s Calls on Industry to Crack Down on ‘Fake Gin’
According to The Drinks Business, “London gin producer Hayman’s has called for increased regulations governing the distillation and labelling of gin, stating that some distillers that are marketing expressions ‘that have little to no juniper character’ are ‘misleading consumers.’” As gin has continued to boom over the last decade, there’s also been an increase in what’s being sold as gin. And that’s not always up to quality.
Fifth generation owner James Hayman explains. “Recently we have started to see some distillers marketing gins that have little to no juniper character. Such products undermine the work that the vast majority of distillers complete and run the risk of misleading consumers by blurring boundaries between gin and other spirit drinks. We are asking the industry to come together to ensure that the juniper character that makes gin unique is protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Hayman would like to encourage a stricter gin regulation, similar to those we see in Scotch whisky. “The issue rests on the wording of the EU and US spirits regulations, which stipulate that gin must have a ‘predominant flavour’ of juniper. It does not provide measurements or quantities for the amount of juniper that should be put into the spirit.” Hayman’s launched a manifesto on its website that they hope will support the cause.