A couple of Sundays ago, I mozied on down to the New York Bar Show in The Big Apple. I was surprised to see that it wasn’t just strictly bar industry attendees, but some regular people off the street too, looking for something different to with their Sunday. So the lord’s day of rest, became the day of gay tipsyness. There was some definite intoxication going on… some very shiny, happy people. But what about the products you ask? I saw a wide gamut of stuff ranging from luxury hi end to Pabst Blue Ribbon low, and picked up a fair amount of swag along the way. Unbenownst to the exhibitors, they were all vying for the highly prestigious INTOXICATED ZODIAC awards!
BEST PACKAGING – Roberto Cavalli Vodka
Way too sexy for it’s bottle, I thought Donald was the only celeb with his own vodka. Wrong. This bottle was so frikin cool, I couldn’t take my smitten eyes of off it. The serpent’s tail wraps around the entire bottle, all the way up to the neck, where the snake’s open-mouthed head perches seductively on top. This is one bottle you won’t want to throw in the recycling. As Paris would say, it’s hot. Oh but what a tease… the snake head bottle top is only a promotional item as far as I know.
BEST ECO SPIRIT – from The Organic Spirits Company
Paul (Sagittarius) and Bobbi (Taurus) are the adorable couple behind this incredible line of organic spirits. As you might have figured out by now, I’m kind of an eco slut, so I might be slightly biased here. But I think even President Bush would agree that this stuff was a grade higher than top notch. The UK5 vodka was the smoothest I’ve ever tasted. Like water. Really. Paul explained to me that it was the only unfiltered vodka in the world. It’s naturally so pure that it doesn’t require filtering. The Juniper Green gin and scotch were incredibly smooth as well. The Papagayo spiced run was flavoured so subtly that it was hardly noticeable-in a good way. Certainly no Captain Morgans. Try them all if you get the chance and I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Prince Charles wasn’t. That’s why he awarded them the Prince of Walesâ€™ Royal Warrant. They are going to be set up at the Fancy Foods Show at the Jacob Javitz Center this July 8-10th at booth 3911. Stop by for a tasting out if you can!
ECO SPIRIT RUNNER UP – Russian White Gold Vodka
Russian White Gold proudly advertised that it was ORGANICALLY INFUSED. Whatever that means. The take-away literature at the Russian White Gold booth claims it uses “specially selected organic grain.”
MARKETING IDEA RUNNER UP: Mike’s Hard Lemonade Cocktails
Mike’s Hard Lemonade is jumping on the cocktail bandwagon not a moment too soon with an array of “soft” cocktails. A friend of mine found Mike’s Hard Lemonade Appletinis at his grocer a few months back and loved them, so I predict these will become pretty popular with the masses. Try not to drink one while driving the brand new SEGWAY you could win in the sweepstakes they are currently running.
BEST FREE SAMPLE – DH KRAHN Gin
In a sea of syrupy samples and straight up spirits, DH KRAHN offered a refreshing change with their fresh basil muddled martini. I could have drank the whole pitcher. It’s all in the fresh ingredients people! A sprig of basil, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, some simple syrup and gin made this the best freebie of the show! Check their website for some really creative cocktail recipes too.
BEST NEW FLAVOUR
RU Russian Vodka
RU boasted the most interesting new flavour: blackcurrant. I know, I know, it’s nothing new. We’ve had Cassis, after all, for like a century now, right? But little did you know that black currants were illegal to grow in the United States up until only a few years ago. That’s right, illegal. Like cannibis, illegal. Hopefully the government will come to it’s senses and legalize the latter soon too! The reason for the ban was that it supposedly carried a certain type of pest. As a child, I remember my mom sneaking baby blackcurrant plants through customs on our way back from Scotland. She always got away with it. Who’s going to stop a sweet little Scottish lass with four young ‘uns in tow?! And so I was lucky enough to enjoy black currants growing up. Now that the floodgates have been opened, expect to see more of this delicious and long overdue flavour in the US market. Check the refridgerated section of your grocer for several new to the market black currant juices. Sitting right next to the POM Wonderful and the Acai berry… and just as good for you.
NEW FLAVOUR RUNNER UP:
CHOYA Ume Liqueur
Made from Japanese plums, Choya has a pleasant fruity flavour. I’ve never tasted it before (yes, live under a rock), and really liked it.
BEST NEW GADGET: Fruit Injector
For when you’ve had about enough of getting your hands sticky with lime juice after wrestlling with the Corona bottle. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
NEW GIMIC RUNNER UP: SHOT DROP
Perfect for serving hundreds upon hundreds of the college favorite, Jager Bombs, to a house full of sorority sisters. This plastic measuring cup sits on the inside of your glass, allowing for a perfectly balanced bomb, every time.
BEST ADVERTISING: Nexcite
Sex sells and the red rabbit is banking on it. Touted as a libido boosting beverage, Nexcite is best used as a cocktail mixer (think Red Bull). Kudos for the creative campaign, which would make any flower blush.
Fight hangovers with this ALL natural, magic pill, made from wild guava leaf an specifically formulated to help the body process alcohol. Don’t believe the hype? Try it for yourself… log on for a free sample. Be sure to check out the FUN FACTS section – it’s tres interesment. Sorry I can’t review this product for you, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t partied hard enough to need it just yet. I’ll work on that…
This is just a great idea. Celebrate absentee friends in a whole new way. Can’t make it out for your best friend’s birthday cuz u live in Topeka, Kansas? Send her a guilt-free drink!
And for all you intoxicated bookworms out there, ABBEVILLE PRESS was offering 25% off all books purchased at the show. Look for Intoxicated Zodiac book reviews in the future…
INTOXICATED ZODIAC TIP OF THE DAY:
It’s time to get a little greener at the NEW YORK BAR SHOW… Why not provide a receptacle for used badges at future trade shows? Next time the event rolls around, just reuse the badges. Imagine the number of acetate badges that would saved from the landfill? And hello, not everyone realizes this, but acetate is made from OIL! When I was in college, I worked the door at the Annual Origami Convention in NYC, and collected everyone’s old badges to reuse at next year’s convention. It worked out just fine. And stop laughing, origami folders are people too.