Friday, July 31, 2009

Hendrick's are being unusual, with is very usual for them. Their latest bonkers idea is to curate a collection of unusual curiosities, partly submitted by the public. The collection is being housed in a horseless carriage and is touring the UK; starting in Edinburgh before travelling south to London through Manchester.

Here's what David Piper, Agitator of the Absurd and Carriage Host has to say about it:

“It is indeed a most curious phenomenon – that every object, idea, or occurrence I chance my eyes or mind upon, seems indefatigably odd. There can be no other conclusion than the existence of a further sense – so to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, can be added ODDNESS. Those who are deprived of it shall not be called blind, but bland.”

To book your place in the carriage for dinner, simply fill in their registration form and upload an image of something odd. It's a great idea and promises to be very special.

It is thoroughly in line with their brand behavior and is bound to generate a lot of PR during the hot summer months when we all crave a nice refreshing G&T. The fact that it's a road trip will mean that they get exposure across the country. And guess what... the ingenius Bompas and Parr are involved. So expect some fun and games. Brave clients.

Monkey Shoulder is trying to recruit younger drinkers by creating a treehouse in Shoreditch. Check out the details from their press release below and having a look at their website.

Secret hideaway: Made from reclaimed whisky barrel timbers, the Monkey Shoulder Tree House is the perfect place to unwind, relax and enjoy an ice-cold Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Scotch Whisky cocktail, served direct to your table by the Monkey Shoulder chimpettes.

Carefully crafted: Just like the whisky itself, the Monkey Shoulder Tree House has been carefully crafted. Made by Cheeky Tiki, the conceptual designers behind London’s Mahiki bar, the Monkey Shoulder Tree House Bar is made from ¹pine, larch and cedar wood and also includes timber from reconditioned oak whisky barrels. The Monkey Shoulder Tree House is a friendly space for up to 40 guests in the bar area
and surrounding pods, which are accessed by a walkway, and offers plenty of outdoor seating. At night, the Tree House will be transformed by the warm glow of orange lanterns on the inside and outside of the wooden structure.

Monkey mixology + board games:
If you’re the sporting type you can indulge in a little healthy competition, Monkey Shoulder style, playing original board games, like backgammon and snakes and ladders, which are carved into reconditioned whisky barrel heads and used as table tops. Bond with your mates, or make new ones, over an ice-cold Monkey Shoulder Tree House cocktail, made by Monkey Shoulder’s smooth, Scottish, mixologist and Monkey Shoulder Whisky front man, Jamie Forbes. He’s a modern cocktail genius and even if you’re not a whisky drinker before you visit the
Monkey Shoulder Tree House, you will be by the time you leave.

Contemporary whisky cocktails include Show Me The Monkey, combining Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Drambuie, apple juice and fresh mint, and the Monkey Mule, a modern twist on a classic, mixing Monkey Shoulder with fresh lime, sugar, syrup and ginger beer.

Where and when?: Celebrate the start of the whisky season with the perfect autumn rendez-vous at The Monkey Shoulder Tree House Bar in Ely’s Yard, at the Truman Brewery, in East London.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

They have done it , they have solved the big one. Barcardi have produced a premixed Mojito. The world is a faster if lazier, less fresh and not so tasty. Brilliant, well done Bacardi.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From Tanqueray Press Release:

"This summer marks the return of the ever popular ‘Tanqueray® Tables’ – a series of evenings offering you the opportunity to drink delicious cocktails and nibble on sumptuous canapés in a unique al-fresco venue.

Due to popular demand, the makers of Tanqueray gin has reviewed its ‘for one night only’ policy and is hosting intimate cocktail evenings at No. 4 Hamilton Place from Monday 10 to Friday 14 August, to offer more people the chance to experience an evening to remember.

With its spectacular terrace overlooking Hyde Park and dating back to the 17th Century, the normally off-limits No. 4 Hamilton Place is full of Edwardian features and lists the Duke of Wellington as a previous tenant.

Hosted by the makers of Tanqueray gin, together with, guests will sample an intensity of flavours thanks to specially designed cocktails and canapés.

A team of chefs and top mixologists have devised a menu of canapés and cocktails inspired by the depth of flavour found in Tanqueray gin. Each canapé contains an element of gin and will be served with cocktails to compliment the flavours even further.

To find out more about the venue and to reserve your table, log on to Tables are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment."

It's a good example of a consitent brand behavior. Previously Tanqueray's "Taste for Life" photography event at Liberty's in conjuntion with Magnum and Flickr showed that the brand is au fait with the playing in a refined, elegant world backed up by and facilitated by the internet. This colaboration with Top Table is part of the same coherent activation. It's also good to see a brand confident enough to repeat last year's platform. If it isn't broken. Don't fix it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bacardi 151 rum is not for the faint hearted. At almost 76% alcohol, this rum is flammable as well as potent. The bottle labels were updated in May and now include 8 warnings about the highly flammable spirit. The bottle also includes a flame arrester.

The first warning tells consumers not to use this product for flaming dishes or drinks, so what exactly should they use it for? This has caused alot of confusion amongst food and drinks bloggers as there is no sign of this product on Bacardi's US website.

Image from Bev Law

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Two of the the world's biggest music stars, both of whom have extensive business empires, have moved into producing spirits. Ludacris has produced a cognac called Conjure and Justin Timberlake has produced a tequila called 901 named, rap aficionados note the coincidence, after his home area code.

Timberlake has produced a premium tequila that has been well received by those worthy of comment, despite their own, admitted preconceptions.

Ludacris however has not got the traditonalists onside by stating that his favourite tipple be cognac and coke, but then was he ever going to have them on his team?

Via Luxist (

What's next, Busta Ryhmes singing about Courvoisier?

From Contagious...

Thanks to a new promotion beginning July 6th, Facebook users will be able to give friends actual pints of Starbucks' new ice cream.

Consumer products giant Unilever signed a licensing deal with Starbucks - the world's largest coffeehouse chain - in 2008, to manufacturer, market and distribute Starbucks branded ice cream. The first coffee-themed flavours launched in Spring 2009, but will be given a promotional boost thanks to this new Facebook-based campaign.

Capitalising on the craze for giving virtual gifts, the brand will offer virtual tubs of ice cream endowed with coupons redeemable for a real-world pint of the new product. From 6th to the 19th July, users will be able to log on and try to lay their hands on one of 800 pints available every hour on a first come first serve basis. In total, 280,000 pints will be given away over the duration of the campaign.

Another brand using social networking to target consumers. Lets hope there are some pints left.

Via Contagious

From Contagious...

Malibu offers consumers a walk on the beach. More than a walk in fact - a job - thanks to this new campaign which clearly draws influence from the recent mullti-Cannes Grand Prix-winning campaign from the Queensland Tourism Board.

For those of you who are not familiar with this particular campaign, be sure to check out the link below for a full run-down courtesy of The Guardian. Briefly, however, a major PR/promotional stunt was disguised as a vacancy for 'The Best Job in the World'. As well as generating an estimated A$148m worth of publicity for northern Queensland, the campaign also won Grand Prix at Cannes for Direct, Cyber, and PR.

Now, Pernod Ricard-owned rum brand, Malibu, has teamed up with Reef Check - an international non-profit organisation dedicated to conservation of two ecosystems: tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. As part of the new 'Geting Your Island on' campaign, they will offer beach internships to ten lucky applicants, working in either Thailand, The Maldives or The Philippines.

As part of their (we hesitate to use the word 'employment') they will conduct Reef Check surveys, as well as participate in training sessions and have the opportunity to become certified Reef Check EcoDivers - all on behalf of Malibu. Once inducted, the interns will be expected to blog about their experiences and spread the word about Reef conservation (and in doing so, the brand) via social networking sites.

Applicants must be over 21 years of age and are required to submit a 500-word composition answering a series of questions hosted on the campaign microsite. Here it also explains, 'Inclusion of photos, images and video are not required but highly encouraged'.

For those not lucky enough to win, they can still pledge their support by buying a limited-edition bottle of Malibu featuring a suitably topical, and indeed, tropical design. For every purchase made, the brand will contribute a small percentage to the Reef Check organisation.

According to Luxist:

"Cognac buyers are still buying the expensive bottles in China. Blloomberg reports that Chinese buyers have snapped up all the available bottles of Pernod Ricard SA's Martell L'Or cognac. As I mentioned back in April, this pricey potable sells for $3,600 per bottle. The cognac, which includes eaux-de-vie dating back to 1871, was introduced in China at the end of last year. L'Or was Martell's answer to ultra-premium products available from Hennessy and Remy Martin for similar prices. The immediate status factor of a rare and old liquor contained in a crystal bottle seems to be irresistible thus far for China's newly wealthy."

But on closer inspection the story is less clear. As JIMI comments:

"What a tall story. I heard from a liquor distributor in China that they were flown to Paris for the launch of L'Or and had to each place a few crates order if they want to retain their distributorship. Basically the stock of L'Or went onto the dealer's warehouse and is still sitting there as the market for high-end liquor in China has collapse because of the recession."

I don't know what to believe. But I suspect that JIMI might be onto something. But putting that to one side, well done Martell for building a brand in China that is capable of pulling this off.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Drinkspiration - Mixology on the go Ever draw a blank at the bar? The Drinkspiration iPhone app from Absolut Drinks will help you order or recommend a cocktail to match the moment's mood, weather, color, time, location, bar vibe and more. An interactive encyclopedia that lets you hook-in to up-to-the-minute global drink trends, and then share what you want via Twitter and Facebook.

Functions and Features

Just scroll through, select your categories, and Drinkspiration will zero-in on the perfect drink. The choice made, you can easily share it, create top lists and tip off your friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Personalised drink suggestions
Vibrant drink images
World trend list with real-time updates
Facebook and Twitter integration
Mood, vibe, time and weather sensitive
Encyclopedia of recipes from Absolut Drinks
Personal order history
GPS driven
Live reports on drink trends in Prague, Tokyo, Paris, Buenos Aires and everywhere else

The best of Absolut drinks for iphone and blog

Sign up at and get free downloadable widgets that provide seamless integration between your Absolut Drinks profile, your iPhone and your blog. Sign up and the sophisticated entertainment of Drinkspiration and Absolut Drinks is at your fingertips. The widgets let you synch with your Absolut Drinks profile and keep your blog up to the minute with drink history, current favorites, and your all-time top five.

Download the app at

This is such a good idea and could work really well for Sauza Gold & Blanco.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The launch of Tres Generaciones, Sauza's super premium tequila took place on Monday 22nd June at No5 Cavendish Square. The exquisite former Georgian townhouse with its opulent interior was the perfect setting for Maxxium to introduce the Tres Generaciones brand to the UK market.

The evening began with a Paloma VIP upon entry. A refreshing long drink perfect for the summer, the Paloma VIP showcased the wonderful fresh agave flavour and delicate floral notes in the triple distilled Tres Generaciones Plata.

As guests sipped their drinks Global Sauza Ambassador Jaime Rodriguez introduced the night and talked passionately about his deep connection with tequila and in particular Sauza. Jaime hopes to one day shift the image of tequila from the simple spirit it has been deemed and to teach audiences that it is a sophisticated blend with great versatility.

Jaime was followed by Tomas Estes, owner of Mexican restaurant and bar La Perla whose knowledge of tequila is extensive. All eyes were on Tomas as he educated journalists on the three generations of the Sauza family and the 136 year old distillery which bears their name and where Tres Generaciones is still made today.

The night now in full swing, guests were treated to an Ultimate Margarita cocktail. A classic serve, the Ultimate Margarita is a tangy citrus cocktail and the perfect way to enjoy the spicy yet smooth and slightly sweet flavours of Tres Generaciones Reposado.

The Tres Generaciones Plata, Anejo and Reposado variants were laid out on tables so that guests could sip each tequila and learn about their taste profiles from surrounding communications.

The final cocktail, The Honey Water went down very well. A delicious way to enjoy the most premium expression, Tres Generaciones Anejo, the Honey Water is a sublime, well balanced mix of flavours that complement the spirit's brown sugar sweetness and warm oaky finish.

Tres Generaciones will stand proud in high-end bars and restaurants and will be aimed at luxury retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Harrods.

As part of the launch, Maxxium has teamed up with Theme magazine to create a "mentoring initiative", a competition that seeks to find successful "mentoring partnerships" among UK bartenders. The best partnerships will be featured in Theme magazine over the coming months and the most inspirational will win an exclusive trip to the Sauza distillery in Mexico.

Thanks to Lime PR for organising this fantastic and successful event.

Visit Tres Generaciones online to find out more

From Lovely Package:

“At 80 proof, ROOT is unlike anything else on the market today and is the first true American liqueur since the Pre-Prohibition Era.

It is lively, and rose gold in color, this rustic spirit has a full, rich smoky flavor, inspired by an 18th century Pennsylvania folk recipe, which eventually evolved into Birch or Root Beer. The recipe stems from Root Tea, which goes back to the 1700s, when Native Americans taught the recipe to settlers. Over generations, Root Tea grew in potency, particularly in Pennsylvania, where the ingredients grew in abundance. During the Temperance Movement, a Philadelphia pharmacist removed the alcohol and ironically rechristened it Root Beer. This is our creation and interpretation of a genuine potent, Root Tea.

ROOT is a certified organic spirit made with North American herbs and pure cane sugar. All botanicals are painstakingly selected and tested for purity. Using all natural, organic ingredients, like anise, birch bark, cloves and cardamom, with hints of spearmint and citrus, the sugarcane based liquor is distilled in limited batches to ensure maximum quality.”

This is great fun. And beautifully designed. It seems like a genuinely innovative idea with a story. Nice.


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