Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chocolate: The new trend in the Spirits Industry

Every year the spirit's market is creating new trends. For example last year was the trend of putting Gold chips in Vodka, Smirnoff just did a bit late, but this year sounds to be the one of Chocolate. It is a bit strange that nobody thought of this before, but in the same time it was difficult to imagine both products matching with each other.

This last month of August has been pretty intense for the launch of this type of spirits, starting with the famous Baileys liquor which legitimately after the blend of Coffee try to experiment the specificity of Cacao.

Baileys Chocolate Luxe

This is a big innovation from Baileys, which will excite numbers of chocolate fan in the world. Why that? Because it is real chocolate married with traditional Irish Whiskey. By real chocolate it means, chocolate from Cocoa Beans and not "false" chocolate issue from vegetable fat as compound.
The Chocolate is describe as "A luxurious blend of Belgian chocolate, cream and Irish whiskey which took three years to develop, the new expression was designed to replicate the experience of drinking melted chocolate"

It requires multiple experiment to find the final results, in order to find the right cocoa beans which will offer you the appropriate color and  consistency which is the key about  fine chocolate.

Stoli(chnaya) Chocolat Kokonut

If you don't already know, Stolichnaya has been the first brand to launch aromatised Vodka. To unlarge its Stoli's Indulgent range which also includes the Chocolat Razberi, Stolichnaya just launch in the UK the Chocolat Kokonut. 

For the mixigolist reading us "Stoli Chocolat Kokonut combines the natural flavours of coconut and chocolate with a smooth vodka with hints of vanilla and roasted hazelnut." This will probably influence you to propose a cocktail of the day or creat a new classic on your menu.

Mozart Chocolate Cream "R.G"

This is real discovery personnaly, before this summer I have never heard of Mozart Spirits which is an Austria-based distillery from Salzbourg. Their collection is already compose of 2 cream, 1 Liqueur and 1 Spirits.

Thanks to the  participation of chocolatier Dietmar Fadinger, Mozart create a new process which "specially developed a unique and elaborate maceration process for the liqueur, refining the cocoa macerate in Bourbon casks for at least six months."

The chocolate used is issue from Forastero and Trinitario cocoa from Ghana, recipe contain also Madagascan vanilla, cream, cocoa butter and alcohol. We can underline that using Forastero and Trinitario may be a good sign of quality, but at the end what really give the quality of a good cocoa are the know-how of the farmers and the environment of the plantation.

The final result is what Mozart Distillerie calls “a full and complex chocolate taste beautifully balanced with notes of vanilla and caramel, and a very delicate after-taste with a subtle kick of alcohol”.

Sure those differents innovations will be looked carefuly by their competitors, and we might expect from them to launch their own chocolate flavor.

Sources: spiritbusiness, baileys, mozartspirits, stolichnaya

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spirits & Fair Trade: Fair Spirits Company launch its first Rum

I don't know if you have already heard about The Fair Trade Spirits Company. It has been created in 2009,  and as its name may sounds, it is the first spirit company offering only liquor with Fair Trade certification.

They started by creating their first Vodka, using Quinoa from Bolivia and distilled in Cognac in France, as Cîroc or Grey Goose. A Coffee and Soju liquor have been also launch in the same time but as they don't mentioned them anymore in their website, we can guess they stop the production.

2013 seems to be an important step in the future of this young company. In same time as a total change of the packaging of their Vodka bottle, the next big step is the launch of their first Rum. We can guess this project was in track since the creation of the company, but as you know you don't need to aged a Vodka compare to a Rum.

So we had to be patient 5 years as its age, to being able to taste this Rum from Belize. This very small country is located in Central America, which as the specificity to be the only one where Spanish is not the official language but English, due to colonial past.

The sugar cane is of course Fair Trade certified and "is grown using organic and sustainable farming methods on small farm plots. Each stalk is carefully hand harvested to maximize the yield and protect the land." As many of the traditional Rum it is aged in American Oak barrel.

What will be the next step and challenge for this young and promising company? White rum,
Cachaça, Natural aromatised Vodka... Fair Trade business is sure a challenging business to set up but this company can be seen as a good example of sustainable business.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Diageo acquiere cachaca Ypioca: A new step in a consolidated market

Diageo announced in late May, It has reached an agreement to acquire Ypioca Agroindustrial Limitada , the producer of cachaça Ypioca, for a total amount of 460 million dollars in cash.

"It allows Diageo to expand its presence in Brazil and have access to a growing number of consumers from the middle class, causing the growth of premium brands", says Diageo.

In volume terms, Ypioca is the third global brand of cachaça its annual sales totaled nearly 100 million dollars last year, behind Cachaca 51 which has 30% market share and Pitu Cachaca.

We can notice a consolidation of Cachaca brands in those recent months, Leblon cachaca recognized as the best because of the multiple medals acquired in different contest (Gold Medal Award Winner at the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 at San Francisco World Spirits Competition)  , have sign a deal with Bacardi Martini who take a majority part of the company, and Pernod Ricard is looking for a major acquisition.

This type of acquisition allows major groups of wine and spirits to penetrate an emerging and festive market like Brazil, but also to be part of the significant growth of cachaca through one of the most popular cocktails The caïpirinha.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who owns Cîroc Vodka? Surprise it's not Diddy

In 2002 Sean "Diddy" Combs asked Busta Rhymes to "pass the Courvoisier" But nowadays be advised that he might say that if you’re not drinking Cîroc vodka while you’re reading this article, you’re not reading it the right way.

Indeed when you heard or read about Cîroc Vodka, Diddy is related to this brand. Numbers of you may think the rapper from the Queens own this vodka, or at least a part of this; but this vodka is the total propriety of the world's largest producer of spirits, Diageo.

Diageo decided to launch its ultra-premium vodka in 2003 in order to compete with the new emerging vodka in this sector such as Belvedere or Grey Goose. In order to acquire credibility in this specific market and secure the quality of its new product; Diageo decides to produces  Cîroc Vodka in France.

The name is derived from the combination of two French words, “Cime” meaning peak or summit-top and "roche" meaning rock.

The Process

The grapes used for Cîroc vodka are "snap frost" grapes; Mauzac Blanc from the Gaillac region of France, and Ugni Blanc from the Cognac region. The juice extracted from these grapes is cold fermented.
In order to be pure this juice extracted has been distilled five times, to obtain 96% purification. The final distillation is performed in a traditional Armagnac style copper pot still.

Diddy’s role

In 2007, Diageo announced that Diddy would be taking on all brand management decisions for the company’s  Cîroc vodka. In exchange Diddy receive 50% of the profits from  Cîroc. Profits means after the production/marketing and any other cost associated with producing Cîroc.  

Combs said he wanted to work with Diageo because the company understood that "I'm not just a celebrity endorser, I'm a brand builder. I'm a luxury brand builder."

This is actually seen as an excellent decision, the sales increase by 500% in only five years, and the notoriety of  Cîroc is now International, even in place where it is not marketed.

Thanks to this success, the brand introduced three other flavored varieties Red Berry and Coconut in 2010 and Peach in 2011.

Source: Billboard, Cîroc and Diageo

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bacardi launch two new rum flavors: Wolf Berry and Black Razz

Rum-king Bacardi has introduced two advancements in flavor revolution, Bacardi Wolf Berry and Bacardi Black Raz

It is the first time for a rum producer to add this kind of flavors in a bottle of rum. The two new rums represent groundbreaking developments in ingredients never before infused with rum—Bacardi Wolf Berry with blueberry and wolfberry, and Bacardi Black Razz with raspberry and black sapote.

This is a huge step in the history of Bacardi product, by the past the brand born 150 years ago in Cuba, only created rum for only distinction its age: Superior (between 1-2 years), Gold (2-3 years), Reserva (5 years), Bacardi 8 años and the new spicy one Oakheart (3 years)

Before you taste it, here is a description of both innovations:

Bacardi Wolf Berry infuses blueberry and the exotic, sweet and tangy taste of wolfberry, also known as goji berry. The distinct combination creates a vibrant spirit, with a robust aroma and compelling taste. Bacardi Black Razz is raspberry flavored rum with the addition of black sapote, a type of persimmon, boasting a rich, chocolate-like taste that is both refreshing and sweet with a deep and bold flavor profile.

These flavors can be chilled and served as shot drinks or mixed with lemon lime soda.

In addition to this innovation, it’s also the launch of a new type of packaging, Bacardi has created unique packaging with an unexpected twist—breakthrough temperature and light activated bottles. When chilled, Wolf Berry reveals a red claw mark across the label and Black Razz unveils an enlarged brilliant red berry logo.

This is a big and interesting challenge for Bacardi; we can wish them the same success as the vodka actually known.

source: Bacardi INC U.S.A

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pernod Ricard has Havanista instead of Havana Club in the U.S.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, which prevents Pernod Ricard to use the Havana Club brand in its territory, the French group chose to release the new brand Havanista.

Produced and bottled in Cuba, Havanista is a premium rum dedicated only to the U.S. market and will be sold the day the embargo against Cuba will ends, if it will one day. Let us remember the fact that the importation of Cuban products is prohibited in the United States since 1960, one year after Filder Castro took over the country.

If the embargo is lifted, Havanista would be the first authentic Cuban rum sold in this market by Havana Club International.

Jerome Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Havana Club International, said "With Havanista, if the embargo is lifted, we are pleased to introduce to American consumers a genuine Cuban rum.

Let’s remember that Havana Club International is known around the world for its famous Havana Club rum, now distributed in over 120 countries. Havana Club sales have also been multiplied by 10 over the last 18 years and this year should reach the 4 million 9-liter cases. Its main markets are Germany, Cuba, Spain and Italy.

For some culture, the main distillery in Cuba of Havana International was the former Bacardi one, before to offshore the production to Puerto Rico, in order to protect its know-how before the communist wanted to take over it.

Bacardi Rum Building in Havana


Monday, May 28, 2012

Bourbon and Cachaça now protected in Brazil and the U.S.

The United States announced Monday, April 12 an agreement with Brazil for the two countries protect appellations "Bourbon", "Tennessee whiskey" and "cachaça", distilled spirits characteristics of the two countries.

U.S. Foreign Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he had made ​​that commitment with the Brazilian Foreign Trade Minister, Fernando Pimentel.

Starting this date, the bottles sold under the label "sugar cane liquor" or "Brazilian rum" in the United States will now be marketed under their real name, cachaça, while Brazil will officially recognize Bourbon and Whiskey Tennessee  alcohols as specifically American.

The United States protects the names on a bilateral basis only. That’s why; the conflict with France under the "California Champagne" is still permissible.

For the occasion, find some ideas for cocktails, made ​​with base Bourbon or Cachaça:

Bourbon Jack Daniel's

Made from Cachaca:
The “Caïpirinha” is Brazil's official cocktail: mix of lime, sugar cane and cachaça
 The “Pearl Button”: combination of lime and Lillet
The “Amazonia ": consist of lime, apple juice, sparkling wine and mint leaves

Based on Bourbon:
“Mint Julep”: fresh mint, sugar and crushed ice
The “Boulevardier”: Campari and sweet vermouth

Cocktail Caïpirinha