Thursday, February 14, 2019

Which Alcohol is Consumed First Has No Effect on Hangovers

     Research published by two leading British and German universities has debunked the myth “beer before wine and you’ll feel fine; wine before beer and you’ll feel queer”.  A study has found that the order in which alcoholic drinks are consumed has no effect on hangovers.  The research, carried out by the University of Cambridge and Witten/Herdecke University in Germany, aimed to discover how the order in which alcoholic drinks are consumed can affect the next morning’s hangover.
     To test this, 90 volunteers aged between 19- and 40-years-old were recruited and split into three groups. The first group consumed two and a half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of wine. The second group consumed the same amount of alcohol, but in reverse order. Subjects in the third control group consumed either only beer or only wine.
     A week later, participants in the first and second study groups were switched to the opposite drinking order. Control group subjects who drank only beer the first time around received only wine on the second study day, and vice versa.  After each day of drinking, participants were asked about their hangover and gave a score for how they felt from 0-56, based on factors including thirst, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, increased heart rate and loss of appetite.

     Dr Kai Hensel, a senior clinical fellow at the University of Cambridge and senior author of the study, said: “Unpleasant as hangovers are, we should remember that they do have one important benefit, at least: they are a protective warning sign that will certainly have aided humans over the ages to change their future behavior. In other words, they can help us learn from our mistakes.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Diageo ‘Very Focused’ on Putting Some Life Back in the Captain Morgan Brand

     Diageo is “very focused on getting the energy back into Captain Morgan” after the rum brand’s half-year sales declined.   In the group’s results, net sales of Captain Morgan fell by 4% making it the only one of Diageo’s ‘global giants’ to decline during the final six months of 2018.   More broadly, rum was Diageo’s only spirits category to decline in the period, falling by 3%. This was largely attributed to Captain Morgan’s performance in the US, which decreased 9% and “lost share in a declining category”.
     Speaking at a Diageo roundtable last week, CEO Ivan Menezes said “rum has been tough for us”.  He said: “The spirits sector is so dynamic in the US.  “Even vodka brands that are on trend are doing really well. Rum is a more muted category. It’s been tougher. Captain Morgan, as a result, is not performing well.  “We’re very focused on getting the energy back into Captain Morgan so there’s a lot of work going on that.
     This is not a surprise to me, Rum is only growing in the areas of premium and ultra-premium expressions.  The consumers in the United States are looking for a better spirit, not something they can bury in a mixer and barely be able to tastes it.  Finding the sales of lower end spirits are slipping is not a surprise to me.  Many of the makes of the mass “mixing expressions” are working to bring premium ones to the market in order to produce sales gains. 
     Consumers of “brown spirits” are not the ones that generally mix it with colas or other sugared mixes that bury the flavor of the spirit.  Rum drinkers are following in the path of quality that they are willing to pay extra for that can stand alone with a little water or ice if anything at all.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

An Unusual Sight, A Mangrove Blossom

     During a recent visit to Grand Cayman, I visited the Queen Elizabeth Botanical Garden.  It was an absolutely wonderful experience that allowed me to see some very unusual plants, birds and reptiles.  The one thing that really stood out in my mind ws this mangrove blossom.  Living in Key West, I'm surrounded by mangroves, but this is the first time that I ever saw one in bloom.  They are not a spectacular blossom, but it was great to actually see one blooming.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Zaya Gran Reserva Rum Issues a New Formula and Age Statement

     Trinidad and Tobago-made rum Zaya Gran Reserva has been relaunched with a new age statement of “aged up to 16 years”.  The new expression is said to have notes of vanilla, caramel, cocoa, apple, banana and cherry, leading to a “heavy, velvety smooth finish”.  Zaya Gran Reserva Rum is bottled at 40% abv or 80 proof and has a new packaging design to indicates the new formula.  The bottle has a new slimmer, sleeker design including a longer neck to allow, that adds an ease of pouring along with a cork closure.
     The label incorporates the brand’s home, Trinidad and Tobago, which is also known as the ‘land of the hummingbird’.  The design features this phrase and a gold hummingbird on a medallion, which sits between the neck of the bottle and the label.  The teal accents on the bottle and label are an adornment that gives a hint to the tropical waters on which the island lies.
      Zaya Gran Reserva is available from select retailers across the US and online, including Shop Wine Direct, for an suggested retail price of $29.99 for the 750ml bottle. It is being imported by Infinium Spirits.
     I find it interesting that it was able to get the label for the United States, where regulations require the age statement on the bottle be that of the youngest alcoholic component in the blend.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I Thought That I Had See Everything in a Bar

     I was at the “Hog’s Breath Saloon” on Duval Street on Sunday enjoying some great music when the people from IV’s in the Keys came in and set up 4 IV’s and hooked 4 clients up to them.  I’d thought that I’d seen everything that I could see in a bar, but this was a new one for me.  I had to ask what it was all about, and I was told that it was a method of hangover prevention and / or cure. 

    “No need to suffer the residual effects of excessive alcohol consumption.  Don’t let a night of overindulgence ruin the rest of your weekend or vacation!  We have the cure!   Before you get carried away with the party, here is an idea that could possibly help with your recovery the day after.  The IV Restores Hydration, Decreases Inflammation, Delivers An Energy Boost, Relieves Stomach Pain, Relieves Nausea & Vomiting and Boosts Immune System”, according to IV’s in the Keys website.

     Not being one to judge, I guess that this has the possibility of working.  I’ve seen many racers get hooked up to IV’s after a long race to assist with dehydration and exhaust inhalation, so why not for a hangover.  It is a wild and crazy world out there, and this may be just what we need in our local saloons, have a cold one and get hooked up to and IV and then carry on like a crazy person for the rest of the night.  Why Not?

Sunday, February 3, 2019

A Day at the Marquesas Keys

     Just to the west of Key West lie the Marquesas Keys, a beautiful low-lying mass of water and land that is filled with so many interesting sights.  You will find everything there from Cuban refugee chugs to pure white sand beaches and statuesque tree carcasses that stand at the edge of the beach like monuments to the natural almost untouched life that surrounds these keys. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Havana Club Launches Fashion Line with Daily Paper

      Pernod Ricard-owned rum brand Havana Club has partnered with Dutch urban fashion label Daily Paper to launch the Capsule Collection clothing line.  The Cuban rum brand partnered with Daily Paper for the eight-piece fashion line, which includes black and gold-themed t-shirts, hoodies and hip flasks. A limited edition bottle of Havana Club 7 AƱos featuring the Daily Paper logo will also be released.    Seminal rum brand Havana Club and streetwear force Daily Paper have collaborated to launch a limited edition streetwear collection and exclusive competition for young creatives. The distinct collection pays homage to the Cuban heritage of Havana Club, infused with the distinctive aesthetic of Daily Paper. The collection was launched on 26th January 2019 at an exclusive event in Belgium.

     According to Nick Blacknell, global marketing director for Havana Club International, “Daily Paper is a young and dynamic urban fashion brand and they have built their lines around their African heritage.     “Before we undertook the collaboration we had to ask ourselves if it was legitimate for Havana Club to undertake. Havana Club has always had a strong tie to music and street culture, this is a street movement and Havana Club has always been a street brand, it was born on the streets of Havana.”   The collaboration  launched last week at an event in Antwerp, Belgium, which also saw the two brands unveil the Cuban Links talent contest, which has been named in honor of the chunky gold chains that feature predominantly in the Capsule Collection.
     The contest will support, nurture and recognize emerging creative talent across the fields of design, photography and music. Three winners from the contest will travel to Cuba to be mentored by industry experts as they create new apparel pieces and a media campaign to promote the Havana Club x Daily Paper collection.
Alongside the Capsule Collection, Pernod Ricard has also introduced a “refreshed style” for Havana Club to reflect the “raw and authentic culture of the streets of Cuba”. The brand’s new style is centered around experimentation with the Havana Club logo, which includes new print designs, over-branding and logo dissection.  
     Blacknell added: “As part of this launch we have also gone to great lengths to refresh our drinks offering, with a shifting focus from the Mojito and onto the Daiquiri and new cocktails such as the Cancha, a cocktail created with Havana Club, honey, lime and soda.”
     The Havana Club x Daily Paper Capsule Collection is available to purchase from the Daily Paper website now.
See More at