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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Go Wild This Weekend: Absolut Wild Tea Review

If you’re a a cocktail enthusiast, you either absolutely love or absolutely hate the explosion of flavored vodkas that have hit the market in the past decade. File me under the “love it” column and a lot of that is in thanks to companies like Absolut vodka who stop at nothing to bring innovative and daring flavors to the market. In 2007, Absolut launched the innovative “City Series” Vodka line, a collection of flavored vodkas that were created in the essence of the city they were named after. While being able to dedicate a “local” flavor to a city they also found an intelligent way to test out new flavors before producing them nation wide. One of their more popular Vodkas from that line being Absolut Boston, Absolut has now re-released the popular Elderflower & Black Tea infused Vodka under the name Wild Tea. Now that we got the the history out of the way, lets open a bottle:

Aroma: First crack of the bottle lets out a rich aroma of tea. Though this flavor was inspired by the great city of Boston and their ties to the Boston Tea Party, the aroma actually reminds me of southern style tea. Sprinkled in with smell of tea is a bit of floral which comes from the elderflower.

Taste: After taking your first sip you will notice a heavy dose of black tea and that lingering flavor on the back end that you might not be familiar with is in fact the elderflower. In fact, the elderflower sticks around a bit more in my mouth then I would prefer but when mixed it loses some of that effect. I do like the vodkas ability to create the inspired flavor without overly sweetening the vodka which often happens when creating flavored vodka. In fact If you are into drinking your vodka “neat” or straight “on the rocks”, this might be perfect for you. It brings out the exact flavor of black tea without adding too much else and would go perfect in a glass with 3 ice cubes. If that’s not your style, realize that flavored teas are popping up everywhere in restaurant chains across the country, so finding a combination you like could be as easy as shopping in the fruit section at the grocery store and picking up your favorite fruit. The tea infusion here is great for enhancing your favorite mock-tail.

Price: 17.99 (avg)

Grade: B

Final Word: While Absolut’s newest addition to their flavored vodka portfolio may not be your “cup of tea”, it certainly is an interesting flavor that works well with several mixers. Absolut’s manages to bring us an innovative flavor AND another alternative to the “Tea Flavored Spirits” category that has exploded in the past 3 years thanks to “FireFly Sweet Tea Vodka”. If your looking for an everyday mixer then you might want to leave this one on the shelf, but if you’re feeling creative and want to impress your friends then give this one a try (They make minis for a reason!). Class Dismissed

A few recipes to help get you started:

Wild Tea Gimlet (Courtesy of AbsolutDrinks.com)

2 oz Absolut Wild Tea

3/4 oz of Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 oz of Simple Syrup

Pour each ingredient in a highball glass and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel

Pomegranates Gone Wild ( Created by The Professional Drinker)

2 oz Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

1 oz Absolut Wild Tea

3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Juice of Half a Lemon

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into a Martini or Collins Glass. Garnish with a Lemon Wheel.

Wild Ginger Tea (Courtesy of AbsolutDrinks.com)

1 oz Wild Tea

2 oz Ginger Beer

3/4 oz Lime Juice (Or to taste)

Add ingredients in a highball glass and stir. Garnish with a Lime wedge.

Absolut Wild Tea sample was provided courtesy of representatives of Southern Wine & Spirits. Some recipes and photos were courtesy of AbsolutDrinks.com. If you would like to have your product(s) reviewed and advertised feel free to contact me at TheProfessionalDrinker@gmail.com.

Like any of my recipes? Was I helpful in finding your Saturday night bottle of choice? Don’t thank me, SPREAD THE WORD. Become a fan on Facebook and get my latest updates right away.

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Beam Global Acquires Skinny Girl Brands

March 21, 2011

Company Enhances Premium Portfolio with Innovative, Fast-Growing Brand in Rapidly-Expanding Low-Calorie Cocktail Segment

Deerfield, Illinois, March 21, 2011 – Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), today announced it has acquired the Skinnygirl® spirits brand, created by renowned natural foods chef, reality TV star and entrepreneur, Bethenny Frankel. The brand’s flagship product, Skinnygirl Margarita™, the spirits industry’s fastest growing ready-to-drink (RTD) product in the U.S., is the all-natural, low-calorie “margarita you can trust.”

“We’re thrilled to add Skinnygirl to our Beam Global Spirits portfolio,” said Bill Newlands, Beam Global’s President North America. “Skinnygirl is an innovative premium brand that’s growing fast in a rapidly expanding segment. In just the past year, Skinnygirl has built strong consumer equity and momentum, particularly among women seeking convenient, low-calorie premium cocktails. We believe our strong sales and distribution organization will build on this success by bringing Skinnygirl to more consumers and growing this high-quality brand from coast to coast. We’re also excited that Skinnygirl offers an excellent platform for further innovation.”

Distribution for Skinnygirl, launched in 2009 by Bethenny Frankel and spirits veteran David Kanbar, is currently concentrated in the New York, Florida and New Jersey markets. Annual shipments already exceed 100,000 9-liter cases.

“Beam Global is the right organization to partner with at the right time to take Skinnygirl to the next level in the U.S. and internationally,” said Bethenny Frankel, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Skinnygirl who will continue to serve as the committed brand collaborator, developer and marketer.  “As an entrepreneur focused on practical solutions for everyday, I know Beam Global and Skinnygirl share that same vision.  I look forward to an exciting future working with the leading American spirits company.”

“Skinnygirl offers an excellent high-return opportunity to enhance our portfolio and leverage our scale and agility to accelerate the brand’s future growth,” Newlands said. “Bethenny is a driven, focused and talented entrepreneur, and we look forward to partnering with her to fully capitalize on Skinnygirl’s growth potential.”

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Demeter Group, the San Francisco-based investment bank for growth consumer and retail companies, acted as exclusive financial advisor to Skinny Girl Cocktails.

About Beam Global Spirits & Wine:

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. is one of the world’s largest premium spirits companies, encompassing a portfolio of nearly 100 brands (including 10 of the world’s top-100 premium spirits brands), more than a dozen global operating and commercial facilities and 3,500 employees worldwide. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos ™ Tequila, Skinnygirl® Margarita, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials and Knob Creek® Bourbon. Growth through innovation is a key strategy at Beam Global, with Red Stag by Jim Beam®, Cruzan® 9 Rum, Maker’s 46 and Courvoisier® 12 Cognac and Courvoisier® 21 Cognac all being launched as new products over the past two years. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.

About Skinnygirl Cocktails

From the mind of entrepreneur, TV personality and cocktail “fixologist” Bethenny Frankel, Skinnygirl Cocktails are low calorie, pre-mixed cocktails that never sacrifice taste. The first in the line, the 100-calorie (for a 4 ounce serving) Skinnygirl Margarita has become known as “the margarita you can trust” with no preservatives or artificial flavors.  The ingredients include clear tequila, agave nectar and lime juice.   For more information on cocktails you can trust, visit www.skinnygirlcocktails.com.

© 2011 Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., Deerfield, Ill.

 
 

Skyy Vodka Presents: St Patty’s Day Inspired Cocktails

Still haven’t decided where you’re going or what you’re drinking this St. Patty’s Day? Well unfortunately I can’t tell you where to go but with the help of our friends at Skyy Vodka I can suggest a few St Patricks Day inspired cocktails. Try one of these delicious cocktails and see if it doesn’t help your decision making skills.

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Melon Jolly Rancher
1 oz. Skyy Infusions Raspberry
1 oz. Midori Splash Sweet and Sour Sink
½ oz. Watermelon Puckers (if available)

Ginger Goddess
1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Ginger
0.5 Fresh Kiwi
3 Large Slices of Anjou Pear Champagne (or Sparkling Wine)

Muddle kiwi and pear in a cocktail shaker. Add SKYY Infusions Ginger with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne flute and top with Champagne or Sparkling Wine. Garnish with a slice of kiwi.

Midori Berry Bliss
1.5 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
1 oz Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz Skyy Infusions Raspberry
Splash of Pineapple juice Splash of soda water
Garnish: Strawberry slices.

Fill a punch bowl half way with ice. Add Midori, Vanilla Vodka, Skyy Infusions Raspberry, Pineapple juice and a splash of soda water. Garnish with Strawberry slices.

Ginger Refresher
1.5 oz SKYY Infusions Ginger Vodka
1.0 oz Flor de Cana 7yr
1.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
6 to 8 Mint Leaves

In a highball glass muddle the Mint and lime juice. Add the rest of the ingredients with ice and stir. Add more ice and top with soda.

 

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Popular St. Patty’s Day Recipes: Irish Car Bomb

Spring is slowly creeping in and St Patty’s day is less than a week away. That being said I wanted to feature several of the Holidays most popular drinks leading up to Thursday’s extravaganza. First up is the Irish Car Bomb. The Irish Car Bomb is very popular worldwide, mostly because it’s easy to make, uses widely available ingredients, and appeals to the masses of beer lovers. Try one next time you’re out.

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Irish Car-Bomb
3/4th’s of pint of Guinness
1/2 shot Jameson Irish Whiskey
1/2 shot Baileys Irish Cream

Add the Bailey’s and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey’s on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug. If you don’t drink it fast enough it will curdle and increasingly taste worse.

 

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Not Just Any Tuesday: Fat Tuesday

For those of you that can’t get enough of Mardi Gras or more importantly who could not attend, here are a few more great recipes to indulge in at home or your local tavern in your city away from “The Big Easy” this year. All recipes are courtesy of Absolut Vodka, or Skyy Vodka unless otherwise noted.

Creolinha

Half of 1 lime
2 ounces fresh mango, cubed
1/2 ounce simple syrup (see recipe)
2 ounces Absolut New Orleans
Lime wedge for garnish

Muddle lime, fresh mango and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedge. Simple syrup: Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.

Mardi Grape

2 oz. SKYY Infusions Grape
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
2 oz. Grape Juice
0.5 oz. Club Soda

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Garnish with green and red grapes on a toothpick.

Southern Belle

2 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple
0.5 oz. Light Rum
0.5 oz. Dark Rum
1 oz. Coconut Rum
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Raspberry Liqueur
1 oz. Triple Sec
3 oz. Orange Juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a hurricane glass with ice. Garnish with cocktail umbrella and straw.

French Margarita (
Adapted by the Professional Drinker)

2  oz. Herradura Silver
½ oz. Chambord®
¼ oz. Patron Citronage
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1½ oz. Agave Nectar*

Carnival 76 ( Courtesy Chris Hannah)

½ oz Absolut Citron
½ oz Pamma Pomegranate Liqueur
¼ oz Chambord
Fresh Muddled Raspberries and Strawberries
Topped with Mumms Cordon Rouge champagne

Muddle the fresh raspberries and strawberries with ¼ oz Chambord in a mixing glass. Add the Absolut Citron, Pamma Pomegranate Liqueur and ice. Shake and strain into a Champagne Flute. Top with Mumms Cordon Rouge Champagne.

 

Class Dismissed

 

 
 

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Show Us Your Beads: Mardi Gras Cocktails

Happy Mardi Gras ! Thats right, today is Fat Tuesday… and for those of you not familiar with it, it is a day that few who have partaken in will ever forget. Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday” is a celebration dating back to the middle ages in France where you were to un-regret-tingly indulge in lifes pleasures before a embarking on a 40 day period of prayer. Today that translates to binge drinking, endless eating, and nudity for the sake of beads along the streets of New Orleans, particularly Bourbon street. If you weren”t able to make it to the N.O. this year don’t worry, most major cities have events trying to recreate the magic and if you’re still out of luck I have some wonderful cocktails for you courtesy of Skyy Vodka.

The Beaded Lady

1 oz. SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
Dash of Bitters
Soda water

Combine all the ingredients (except the bitters and soda) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into iced tall pilsner glass. Top with soda & bitters. Garnish with pineapple star.

Absolut Big Breezy

2 oz parts Absolut New Orleans vodka
4 chunks fresh watermelon
1 oz part simple syrup
squeeze of fresh lemon
pinch of black pepper
melon ball for garnish
lemon slice for garnish

Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a melon ball and lemon slice.

Fat Tuesday Ice Tea

2 oz. SKYY Infusions Citrus
1 oz. Lemonade
3 oz. Sweet Iced Tea

Combine all ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Bourbon Street Lemonade

3 ounces Absolut New Orleans
1 ounce Perfect Mango Puree of Napa Valley
4 ounces fresh lemonade
Fresh mango, diced, for garnish

Combine Absolut New Orleans, mango puree and fresh lemonade in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with diced fresh mango.

Soco Lime Hurricane

3 ounces Southern Comfort
1-½ ounce sweet and sour mix
½ ounce blue curacao
½ ounce sweetened lime juice

Fill a sugar-rimmed hurricane glass with ice. Add all ingredients and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge and cherry.

Hope you enjoy. Don’t forget, you DO still have work/school tomorrow regardless of how this night ends. Class dismissed.

 
 

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A Taste of Carnival: Salto Cachaça

Its March already, meaning Carnival & Mardi Gras are here, St. Patty’s day is just around the corner and before you know it, Summer will arrive. With that being said I thought it fitting to start turning my attention towards a popular summer spirit that is probably one of my favorite discoveries since joining the beverage industry; Cachaça. Pronounced Kah-Shah-Sah, this sugarcane based liquor comes to us from Brazil, and much like Cognac, it’s a region based spirit so if it isn’t from Brazil, you’re not drinking Cachaça. Recently I started hearing a buzz about a newer brand that was being launched in the UK (Sorry U.S. Drinkers) called Salto, and as fate would have it, I was recently contacted by a member of  Truffle PR, their public relations firm with some wonderful recipes to share just in time for the kickoff to Rio Carnival on the 5th.

Salto, named after a town in the heart of Brazil’s foremost cachaça-producing region, is made from premium cachaça distilled in Brazil. The rum-like spirit is then imported into England where it is then infused with flavors of bitter orange grapefruit, and lime to create it’s unique and refreshing taste. Salto offers a friendly ABV of just 24%, lower than your typical cachaça brand (38%), which combined with its citrus and bitter flavors gives it a bit more “drink-ability”. With cachaça being the fastest growing spirit in the UK, Salto is the perfect way for UK consumers to experience everything that Brazilian culture is known for.

In homage to the festival of color that makes Brazilian carnival famous throughout the world, Salto has created a range of “Carnival Colored Cocktails. These new cocktails will be officially launched at the Rio Carnival fund-raising evening in aid of the charity “Bringing Research To Life” that will be held in London on the 19th of March 2011 to coincide with Brazilian Carnival. Salto is proud to sponsor this charity. The Carnival Colored Cocktails will be available from February 28th at the following bars and restaurants:

Rocket Restaurant & Bar Mayfair, 4 Lancashire Court, London, W1S 1EY
Rocket Restaurant & Bar Old Broad Street, 6 Adams Court, Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1DX
Rocket Restaurant & Bar Canary Wharf, 2 Churchill Place, London, E14 5RB

Here’s a preview of some of the cocktails that will be available at these venues:

Samba de la Salto, Rocket Mayfair

50ml Salto
10ml Blue Curacao
10ml Lime Juice
25ml Passion fruit Puree
10ml Passion Syrup

Favela Shake, Rocket The City

40ml Salto
4 Pieces fresh chili (muddled)
4 lime wedges
20ml fresh lime juice
20ml Krupnik
10ml Gomme
50ml Mango Puree

Rio 40 Degrees, Rocket Canary Wharf

30ml Salto
20ml Napoleon Mandarin
10ml Passoa
10ml Lime juice

 

 

 

For more information, or for a few great recipe suggestions visit Salto’s colorful website at SaltoBrazil.com. Photos and recipes were courtesy of TrufflePR.com. Looking to get your hands on a bottle? Salto is available in most off-trace outlets, as well as many bars and venues throughout the UK. U.S. residents will have to wait patiently or find a UK retailer with some friendly shipping rates. Don’t forget to become a Fan on Facebook and show your support. Class dismissed !

 
 

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