Jul 29 2015
I’m a sucker for juicy celebrity gossip. I also happen to love booze. So when my favorite celebrities develop their own beverage alcohol brands, I get particularly excited. From Drew Barrymore’s wine estate to Pharell’s “Qream with a Q” cream liqueur, the world of celebrity booze endorsements run the gamut from the serious to the hilarious. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites through the years:
One of the most well-known celebrity-endorsed booze brands is Ciroc Vodka, which comes from a 50/50 partnership between rapper/entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs and beverage industry giant Diageo. Though most people have heard of it and many people have tasted it, Combs explains that his celebrity has not always helped to contribute to the growth of the brand: “With Ciroc, people may have thought that was for African-Americans. People wanted to put it in a box. So…I had to work harder to overcome those perceptions and create a wonderful product regardless of my color, regardless of my celebrity. The reality is I have to work harder than other brands to do that.” Favored for their fun flavors, Ciroc has recently released their fifth…
Jul 22 2015
These days you can get buzzed from alcohol without ever having a sip of booze. In a time-crunched world, who has time to drink cocktails?
Although alcohol vaping and powdered alcohol are still fairly new concepts in the liquor industry, soon the cloud won’t only be for backing up your photos. Across the pond, there’s a new walk-in cloud bar called Alcoholic Architecture, where visitors absorb booze into the bloodstream through their eyeballs and lungs.
Created by Bompas & Parr, an experimental food and beverage studio, Alcoholic Architecture opens July 31 in the Borough Market in London, where it will run for six months. This isn’t the first time this bar has treated Londoners with boozy vapor clouds. The company opened up the first pop-up bar back in 2009 with vaporized Hendricks gin and tonic.
The cloud bar is made using industrial humidifiers to change the spirits and mixers into a boozy mist. Inside, the bar’s humidity is set at 140 percent and visitors are required to wear a protective covering over their clothes. According to Bompas & Parr, the breathable cocktails are made with spirits like…
As marketers, we know that one size doesn’t fit all. When it comes to men, though, especially of the Millennial kind, it seems like nothing ever fits right. “Elusive creatures, they’re commonly thought of as cord cutters who can’t be – and don’t want to be – reached,” a recent Nielsen study stated. The Millennial male, said the study, has the unique combination of spending power and purchase influence, based on their power of persuasion over their Baby Boomer parents. No wonder marketers bend over backwards to reach this group.
Bending over is actually a smart way to reach Millennial men these days. I mean the yoga kind, where you shift from upward into downward dog. Breweries around the country have begun offering in-house yoga classes, and guys are flocking to the yoga mats. The Washington Post points out the “democratizing effect” of breweries that’s appealing to beer yogis, which is much less intimidating than real yoga studios with “chic, toned ladies” and “hushed, Zen-like spaces.” Beer and its house of worship, on the other hand, defy pretense and are “linked to laid-back leisure activities such as watching sports, grilling…
Jul 15 2015
It’s mid-July and sweltering, so no matter where you live, you are either reading this outside and trying not to sweat all over your screen, or at work, freezing in the excessive air conditioning (wishing you were outside, sweating on your digital device). This would explain a recent trend I’ve noticed everywhere – boozy frozen treats.
If you’re looking for a new way to cool off at your next BBQ, or you just want to be everyone’s favorite house guest, here’s a tip. Bring some booze-infused ice cream. Your friends will be psyched for several reasons: (1) it’s delicious, (2) who doesn’t love boozy ice cream? and (3) it’s all the rage.
At the recent Fancy Food Show, many took note of the trend towards booze-infused specialty foods. One of my favorites is local ice cream cocktail brand Tipsy Scoop. We recently offered this to a group of uber-hip, 20-somes at a client event, and they literally went bananas. Maybe it’s the excitement of combining a childhood favorite with an adult favorite, or maybe booze makes everything better. Either way, I’m just saying their Dark Chocolate Whiskey…
Jul 8 2015
One of our biggest drinking holidays, the 4th of July, has come and gone, but here at PadillaCRT we like to maintain our rotation of booze, whether it’s brews, bourbon, or fantastic bottles of wine.
These days, with summer in full swing and the humidity to show for it, I stick to refreshing, light beverages that pair perfectly with sunny days and warm nights. Besides the usual dry rosés or Sauvignon Blancs, I keep it interesting with a variety of beers from different breweries around the country. At a recent happy hour, I tried The Plunge from Coney Island Brewing Company and was instantly smitten with its hazy golden color and lively taste. Other beers in my recent rotation have been Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and the Alphabet City Easy Blonde Ale (promiscuous name notwithstanding).
My colleagues at PadillaCRT have a wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to alcohol, so I asked around to see what their boozy rosters looked like in part two of “What Are We Drinking?” (Still thirsty after reading this post? Check out part one.)
Melissa Martinez, Account Executive
My usual favorite wine for summer is Long Island…
Jul 1 2015
Ahhhh, Independence Day. What better way to celebrate America’s Birthday than with fireworks, sparklers, a cookout and beer? If you’re a beer lover like me, you are always on the lookout for new flavors, unique ingredients and one-of-a kind tastes. And great food pairings, of course. (Don’t know where to start? Check out my last blog post and infographic on Craft Beer and Food Pairings … guaranteed to help you out!) So here’s a fun idea for your holiday cookout: serve red, white and blueberry ales paired with grilled deliciousness for a festive 4th of July gathering. Check out these pairing ideas to be the coolest host on the block.
Characteristics: Red ales (also amber ales) are known for their notes of caramel and toffee malt, slightly roasted grains and low hop presence. The roasted barley gives the beer a reddish hue. With a low level of bitterness, red ales are smooth with a dry roasted finish.
Grilling Suggestions: Meats, lamb, game birds, venison, sausage, pork, chicken, vegetables
Drink This: Head to your local craft beer seller to…
Jun 24 2015
To put it in perspective, when the inaugural F&W Classic in Aspen kicked off (before Food & Wine was even the head sponsor), I was three years old, Ronald Reagan gave his first address to the UN General Assembly and Drew Barrymore was a child star in the newly released “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”
Fast forward 33 years, I finally attended my first Aspen Classic on behalf of several clients, Reagan has been gone for over a decade and the now uber-celebrity Barrymore spread a wave of excitement around the festival making appearances for the launch of her newest venture, Barrymore Pinot Grigio from Monterey, CA. Spoiler alert, it was pretty tasty and Drew is adorable.
Five days and very little sleep later, I learned a few things. Here are my top three takeaways:
Long story short, Gail is awesome. Fun fact, she’s also Canadian and LOVES maple syrup intensely. This greatly benefitted one of my beloved clients, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, representing producers…
Jun 19 2015
I don’t know about other New Yorkers City dwellers but I often like to escape this urban jungle. An easy escape is New York’s Hudson Valley, where I was lucky enough to be raised for the better part of my childhood. The region consists of 10 counties and extends into an area of 150 miles. It begins just minutes after leaving the tip of Manhattan by car or train, over and alongside the river, named after Henry Hudson, who explored the famous Valley over 400 years ago. The area has a myriad of natural beauty, history and tradition, hence why it is designated as a National Heritage Area. Aside from quaint towns, breathtaking hiking trails and shopping malls, there’s also plenty for food lovers to cheer about, like renowned farm-to-table restaurants and bakeries, The Culinary Institute of America, bountiful farms, wineries and distilleries. Fact: Hudson Valley is actually the oldest wine producing region in the United States, and in addition to all this enticement and charm, it was also devotedly named as the nation’s “apple belt”. The Empire State is the second largest producer of apples in the USA, producing nearly 30 million bushels of this pomaceous fruit annually…
Jun 3 2015
Most people know me as their “wine friend.” They don’t necessarily know what I do, exactly, but they know I’m really into it and they can ask for wine advice. Even my Dad still calls me a sommelier (I am not) when bragging about me to friends, grocery clerks, or anyone else that stands still for long enough.
The truth is I only know what I know. I’ve worked around wine for nearly 15 years, and I still prefer the regions I have represented over the years. I get oddly obsessed with each region, and defend them like you’d defend your brother or your kid – I am fiercely loyal.
These days, I mostly drink and best understand Rioja (Reservas when I can get them) and Rhone (Villages are my jam) for amazing and delicious value reds; Burgundy for occasional splurge reds (Nuit St. Georges is out of this world) or rounder whites (Montrachet…yum!); Alsace for crisp whites; and Provence for roses. I drink a ton of dark spirits (especially bourbon) and am really digging my newest client, But wait, there’s more!
May 27 2015
I started my career in wine & spirits PR after leaving Europe to chase an American I fell for in my senior year of college. Luckily, both worked out fine – I love my job in the U.S., and I am happily married to the man I left Austria for.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t been back in three years, but as I am visiting home this week, I can’t help but notice an undeniable advantage that European wines have over wines from the U.S.: they are made in a cultural context of “easy living” that seeps into every bottle and lies at the core of European wine marketing campaigns worldwide. That’s the Achilles heel of U.S. wines and their respective marketing. The American way of life doesn’t have the same appeal as Europeans’ philosophy of living, and living well.
Photo credit: Werner Schandor
Take France, Austria and Spain for example. Each a major wine-producing region, the concept of “easy living” is deeply ingrained in their culture to the point where each language has a special term for it. The French call is “laissez-faire,” which can be translated as “let it be.” In Austria,…