Saturday, March 31, 2018

Jamaican Rum There Really is a Difference

     All rum starts with a derivative of the sugar cane, water and yeast. But that’s only the basics and the end of the similarities between Jamaican rum and other styles end. The one-of-a-kind terroir to its vibrant culture, something about Jamaica seeps into the rum, making it delicious in a unique way.  What exactly is the source of this one-of-a-kind flavor? We sent eight rum luminaries to the island to find out.

     Joy Spence, Appleton Estate’s master blender, led a guided immersion into the production process and sensory tasting to discover what makes Jamaican rum so unique. Spence is the mastermind behind some of the finest Jamaican rums available, so it’s hard to imagine a better authority on the subject.   Spence explained how the high ester content in the liquid delivers a more robust flavor, which helps give Jamaican rum its unrivaled versatility.   A bottle from Appleton Estate can be light and fruity, rich and flavorful or aged and oaky, all while remaining undeniably Jamaican.

     But high esters alone aren’t what give Jamaican rum its one-of-a-kind funk. To find out what else is at play, this group explored it all—from the limestone filtered water and sugar cane to the pot stills and strictly enforced aging minimums.  Some intangible aspect of the island, results in a rum that couldn’t come from anywhere else in the Caribbean.

     There are other distilleries on the island that also add to the funk of Jamaican Rums through their unique methods of fermentation.  The famous dunder pots and the use of so many different methods of getting the esters out of the fermentation as well as what the pot stills add to the one of a kind flavors found in Jamaican Rums.

     Discover the Jamaican difference and the island’s secrets for yourself by looking out for all of the fine Jamaican Rums on the shelves of your favorite liquor store.

Friday, March 30, 2018

What Cocktails Have Calories? New Rules Will Show How Many

     Public-health researchers hope the new requirement will not only raise awareness but also spur drinkers to cut back on their drinking as a part of being calorie conscious.   A new rule requiring restaurant chains to list calories for their alcoholic drinks poses a conundrum for makers of beer, wine and booze:   Will drinkers change their habits? 

     For the first time restaurants across the country will have to list the caloric content of alcoholic beverages, though some outlets in states like New York and California already do so. In an industry where calories have been a relative mystery, the federal rule-which applies to chains with 20 or more outlets-will provide a new level of transparency about the often-overlooked calories in alcohol.   Starting in May, the Food and Drug Administration will require chains like Applebee's and TGI Fridays to list calories next to all their menu items. That includes alcohol.   Menus at Chili's, for instance, will soon tell patrons a margarita packs a whopping 300 calories and a 12-ounce bottle of Budweiser contains 150. 

      "If you don't want to get the 400 calories from an alcoholic beverage, you can easily swap for free water," said Margo G. Wootan, vice president for nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based consumer-advocacy group that lobbied the FDA to include alcoholic drinks in the new rules. 
Studies have found calorie counts can influence food choices. Cochrane, a health-focused research network, last month published findings showing that when food calories are disclosed on menus, diners' orders have 7.8% fewer calories.   Research on how calorie counts affect drinking are scant, but there is some evidence that such information might curb consumption.   A study published last year in the academic journal Preventive Medicine estimated that imbibers in jurisdictions with menu-labeling requirements consumed on average 2% less alcohol than those in locales without mandates.

     What motivates people to order a celebratory cocktail or a glass of wine can overpower concern about their waistlines. "People who want to drink a margarita are going to drink a margarita because they like the drink and it tastes good," said Frank Coleman, head of public affairs at the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., the industry's main trade body. "People concerned about calories will choose to have something like tequila, club soda and lime."   Until now, most drinkers haven't had a lot to go on in terms of calorie information. Some brewers print the calories in their beer on bottles and cans, but the practice isn't widespread. Wineries and spirits makers rarely list calories on their products, though some make them available online.

     Laura Burke, a 22-year-old emergency medical technician in Hoboken, N.J., was shocked to discover the two margaritas she recently drank at a dinner out contained close to 1,000 calories in total.   "My jaw just dropped," Ms. Burke said after googling the calorie count. "I do think it would impact my decision making," she said, if menus carried calorie counts. 

     The method suggested by distillers and small brewers assigns a calorie count of 96 to a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey; it gives a 5-ounce glass of wine, red or white, 122 calories. A 12-ounce bottle of regular beer gets 153 calories, and light beer 103 calories.   By that measure spirits look like the healthiest choice, but then add mixers and that beer starts looking a lot better calorie-wise. The Beer Institute, the trade body for big brewers, lobbied for calorie counts to be disclosed for individual brands and full drinks, including mixers. The FDA ultimately decided along these lines.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Bourbon Barrel Aftermarket is a Booming Business These Days

Rum Pouring From a Once Used Bourbon Cask
     There's no shortage of bourbon barrel-aged wines and beers, but recent years have shown a trend of sharing between bourbons, wines and beers.  Today, tequila is also jumping on the band wagon aging many of their expressions in the once used bourbon casks. 

     You won't find bourbon notes in a bottle of Tabasco, but one of the pioneers for using bourbon barrels in the food industry, Tabasco's regular pepper sauce is aged for three years in oak, the Reserve sauce spends eight years in the barrel. Since bourbon is essentially the only industry still using oak that's deemed Kosher, Tabasco purchases all of its barrels from whiskey companies.   When the used barrels arrive in the hot Louisiana warehouse, the workers will fill them with water and sweat them.   Tabasco workers grind out the char, place their own metal hoops around the barrel, and create a valve on the barrelhead to allow the mash to ferment. They add salt to the barrelhead, too, to form a hard crust when fermentation is complete. After Tabasco adds vinegar in the manufacturing process, one barrel of pepper mash yields 10,000 2-ounce bottles. And much like the bourbon-making process, there's no speeding up the aging process.   "We've tried bulk aging, aging in fiber glass and different containers, but that wood barrel is what works best for us.   "The mash breathes in the wood."  Also like bourbon, the Tabasco barrels absorb much of the product's essence. Over the Tabasco barrel lifetime of 55 to 80 years, that's a lot of pepper mash.

       It never ceases to amaze me the places that the once used bourbon barrels end up.  The rum industry has used them for many years, but they are finding their way into so many other places.  The trading back and forth of the barrels between beer and rum companies or beer and wine companies also happens to these barrels. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Diplomatico Batch Kettle No.1 and Barbet No.2 Rum Expressions

     A variety of distillates, with their distinctive aromas and taste profiles, characterizes Diplomático rums and allows Tito Cordero, the Maestros Roneros to create one-of-a-kind blends. The Distillery Collection, on the other hand, offers rum aficionados the opportunity to discover these single distillates in their purest form, featuring each rum’s individual personality.
    “While the Diplomático brand name has become familiar to lovers of fine dark spirits, few are aware of the history of the company behind the brand, Destilerías Unidas S.A. (DUSA). DUSA’s distillery was originally created in 1959 by local rum producers and Seagram’s International Ltd., at that time the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world. We recognize that the rich distillation heritage left by Seagram’s is at the heart of Diplomático’s elaboration process today,” said José Rafael Ballesteros, Diplomático’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited that the Distillery Collection gives rum lovers the chance to explore the history and distillation know-how of Diplomático, and what goes in to making our rums so special.”at.
Batch Kettle Still at DUSA
    The Diplomatico Batch Kettle No. 1 is made in a Batch Kettle still that was brought to Diplomático’s distillery in 1959. This semi-artisanal batch distillation method was originally employed in Canada to produce American whisky. The distillate is made from sugar cane honeys, and is aged in American white oak barrels, resulting in a delicious medium-body and complex rum.
     Diplomatico, No. 1 and No. 2 are premium rums from Destilerías Unidas S.A. (DUSA) in Venezuela that are complex, sweet and well balanced.  It is one of those rums that makes it easy for a whiskey or bourbon drinker to switch to rum, often remarking afterwards “I had no Idea that rum could taste like this.”  
     The latest being the Distillery collection, a range of rums made with specific stills that produce decidedly different expressions.   The Diplomatico Barbet No. 2 expression is made in Barbet Column distillation system, originally created in France was also brought to the distillery in Venezuela also in 1959. The Barbet column is made of 100% copper, a type of metal that enables the elimination of undesirable sulphur compounds which form in the fermentation process. Aged in American white oak barrels and using high quality sugar cane molasses, the Barbet Column system produces a distillate with a strong fruity profile.
These new rums are much less sweet that the Exclusiva and other Diplomatico expressions, but very drinkable like all of the other Diplomatico rums.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Bulleit Frontier Bartender Lab in New York City

     Here is an idea that makes a lot of sense, a place that is fully stocked to learn to and create new cocktails.   This is a great idea that will be a mecca for bartenders to meet and share ideas as well a come and listen to master classes from icons of the industry.  WeWork lab is located in New York City at 33 Irving Place, with a wbsite that can fill you in on all that is happening there.

     The WeWork Bulleit Frontier Bartender Lab exists on the modern frontier to provide an opportunity for co-creation with our friends in the trade. Bartenders can use the space to innovate and experiment. Our Bartender Lab will provide materials and ingredients, simply sign up for time in our workshop and create.   Along the way, join us for creative cocktail workshops with leaders in the industry on upcoming topics such as: Sustainability Behind The Bar, Smoke and Flavor, Dangerous Ingredients, Eat Your Cocktails and More!

     Bulleit has partnered with WeWork to collaborate on the Bulleit Frontier Bartender Lab, celebrating their shared appreciation for innovation and community. The launch celebrated the reigning World Class Winner, Kaitlyn Stewart and included cocktails concocted by Kaitlyn, Harrison Ginsberg of The Dead Rabbit and BlackTail NYC, Anwar Warner of The Tea Factor and Damon Boelte of Grand Army Bar.   The Bulleit Frontier Bartender Lab will host reoccurring innovation focused workshops for bartenders and consumers. In addition to workshops, the new space will offer bartender’s “office hours” (Monday’s 10am-6pm) where they’ll reserve time to experiment, flex their creative muscles and develop new cutting-edge cocktails.
Read More at often for more workshops to be posted and to sign up

Monday, March 26, 2018

March for Our Lives – Key West

Rally at Mallory Square

    The Key West March for Our Lives gathered at 12 p.m.  Saturday with a route that extends down Duval Street from South Beach to Mallory Square.  In Washington, D.C. the kids and families of March for Our Lives will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.  The collective voices of the March for Our Lives movement will be heard in Key West and is also scheduled around the country on March 24th.
     “I got involved because I have had a personal experience with the issue at hand and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the government to protect all students and teachers.  Our primary and rightful focus should be education instead of fearing for our safety.” says Vivian Mcgill.  Zoe Jackson states, “I believe that the time to make a change in this country is now because just one innocent life lost is too many.” both are Key West High School Seniors and Chairs of the local event.  “We will stand together in solidarity because we cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or a text that never comes. We must prevent our children and teachers from dying, it is our priority.” which is stated in the mission statement of the national organizers web site.
Marching Up Duval Street to Mallory Square Rally
   Just over 200 women, men, and kids from the Florida Keys responded to the Facebook event call to action to coordinate a local march for those who couldn’t make it to the national march. The grassroots group has raised money to offset costs related to the march and to reach out to Keys residents to encourage participation. The group’s Facebook event page.   The marchers gathered at 12 p.m., at South Beach in the 1400 block of Duval. The march began at 1 p.m., along Duval Street to Mallory Square for an official rally.  Speakers to included local leaders, those directly affected by gun violence, teachers, and most importantly the students. There was musical performances as well.  The group provided voter registrations for anyone who is not registered to vote. Must be 16 to pre-register.
     The March for Our Lives in Key West is about sending a message to our elected officials that they need to act now, passing a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used In Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and most recently to kill 17 innocent people and injured more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
     Laws are needed that will eliminate the sale of high-capacity magazines like the ones used in and so many other recent mass shootings can ease the chance that so many can be injured or killed by just one.  Closing the loophole in our background check that allow people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms to slip through the cracks and obtain guns online or at gun shows.
March for Our Lives is committed to advocating for responsible gun ownership for the safety and security of our children because our children should not have to attend school fearing for their lives every day.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

St. Georges, The Caribbean Island of Grenada

     The time is getting closer and closet to my little vacation off the rock here in Key West.  I think of so many of the islands that I have been privileged to visit.  Today I'm thinking of Grenada, one of the spice islands of the Caribbean,  It is an island that is one of the most beautiful anywhere from the mountains to the sea shore.  It is an island that if you have the chance to visit, you should see.  It takes a few days to see all that it has to offer, but you will really enjoy your time spent there.

                       Looking across the bay to the town of St. Georges from the hotel beach.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Iron Bartender Competition at the Tiki House in Key West

     The Iron Bartender Competition is happening at 7 pm in March 27th, but you might want to arrive around 6:30 pm to get a good seat.   This is going to be a fun event at the Tiki House around the corner on Greene Street from Duval Street.   The event is featuring local bartenders making cocktails using Afrohead Rum and a selected group of ingredients to create their masterpieces.  

     The event will be judged by myself, Tim Rabior of the Other Side and Cecil Witt of Breakthru Beverages.  This is going to be fun as there are so many good bartenders here in Key West and the basis for the cocktails is a great rum, Afrohead.

Here are the rules

1.  Bartenders will be told what Spirit they will be working with a week in advanced of the event.

2.  Bartenders will be required to choose from 5 mystery ingredients of which at least 3 must be used in their cocktail.

3.  Bartenders will also be able to bring one of their own choosing.  After opening their mystery box of ingredients, they will have 5 minutes to create their entry for the competition.

     I hope to see many of you at the Tiki House on Tuesday night and hope you can enjoy the fun of this competition.  There are always great tiki drinks and other fine cocktails being created by the bartenders that work there behind the bar daily.  Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Should Bars Use Explicit Sex to Sell Cocktails?

     We all know that sex sells but what happens when people cross a line? Are more stringent marketing restrictions needed in the spirits industry?   There’s no doubt that in recent history, spirits have pushed the boundaries when it comes to using sex in marketing.  Bulgarian brand Flirt Vodka has produced raunchy posters to attract attention, while sex has also driven publicity for Lust Vodka, Skyy Vodka, Evan Williams Bourbon, Bacardi rum and Cabana cachaça. Advertising authorities and broader public opinion have waged against such marketing tactics in the off­-trade, but what of the on-­trade? They may have happy hours and 2­ for­ 1 cocktail deals, but with competition cropping up on every street, bars, pubs and restaurants are seeking to differentiate themselves with outlandish, and sometimes shocking, marketing messages.
     But it’s not just promotions that can cause controversy. In 2016, a New Zealand bar was forced to withdraw two offensively named cocktails from its menu after being slammed by a former restaurant critic.   Wellington-­based bar Orpheus let customers use an iPad-­based ordering app, which allowed them to access 5,000 recipes from the internet, including cocktails with names such as Pillow Biter and Asian Fetish.  UK bar chain London Cocktail Club, known for its party-­hard reputation, is not one to shy away from lewd names. On the drinks menu, the venue has cocktails named Bump ‘N’ Grind, Kiss Me Quick, and a shot called Blowjob. “I think it’s about getting the balance right,” says James Coston, head of marketing at London Cocktail Club.   “It’s meant to be a little tongue­ in­ cheek, no one is expecting that with a Blowjob shot, you would get a blowjob. We’re trying to have a little bit of fun with the customers. People know these drinks, and know them well, so I don’t think people are too shocked by what cocktails are called.”
    Rules and regulations that could monitor sex­-inspired marketing in the on-­trade? There are no dedicated laws that govern how cocktails are advertised to the public in bars, yet there are rules that focus on how products are sold in the off-­trade.   The Portman Group’s code applies to the naming, packaging and promotional activity of bottled alcoholic drinks. However, the group doesn’t regulate cocktails in bars, pubs and clubs that have been created solely by an on­-trade venue.   The Portman Group’s 3.2 rule prevents brands or marketing from using sexualized images, or alluding to sexual activity, stating: “A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with sexual activity or sexual success.”
    “This would be a licensing matter, and individual premises or operators will have their own voluntary policies and house rules on this matter. In our experience, products that use explicit sexual imagery and/or language to differentiate themselves in the market actually end up alienating many of their consumers.”    “There is a code that’s understood, and people know when things are entirely appropriate, but there is room for it to be written down for people in the on-­trade who are less careful, so they can understand that there is an etiquette to follow.”

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Real McCoy 10 Year Old Limited Edition Has Been Released

     Real McCoy 10 Year Old is a Limited Edition rum that is aged in Virgin Oak casks. This new
expression is produced in Barbados by the Foursquare Distillery known for its exquisite complex rums.   Bailey Pryor’s iconic brand calls from the prohibition-era and the rum running hero’s like Bill McCoy who refused to compromise the quality of his products for volume.  There will only be 3,000 bottles of this small batch to be released.    A higher percentage of copper pot still distillate is added to get the  depth of the flavor profile. Two batches are aged separately. The first spends twelve years in used Bourbon barrels. The second, ages ten years in virgin American oak casks.  Blended to balance flavors of the two batches  and bottled at a hardy 92 proof for this example of an authentic expression of fine Barbados rum.

     Aromas of ripe fruits and nuts with heavy oak and vanilla are enhanced with some funkiness of other fruits.  In the mouth, there is a taste of butteriness along with that of  charred oak, vanilla, toasted nuts and a dried fruit with a suggestion of caramel. The finish offers long lasting notes of dark buttered toast and plenty of oak.

     The Real McCoy 10 Year Old Limited Edition Virgin Oak Aged Rum appeals to those with the most discriminating taste and is still while remaining accessible to the enthusiasts who appreciate small-batch quality and good value.   Bottled in the 750ml bottle and retails for about $60.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Key West Weather for 2018

     Winter was a bit milder than normal, with the coldest temperatures in mid February with the rainfall quite a bit above normal.  March has been a month of vacillation from low 80's to high 60's temperatures with times of really heavy rain fall.

     April and May will be a bit hotter and drier than normal. They are calling for Summer will be slightly hotter than normal, with the hottest periods in early June, early July, and early to mid-August.   Rainfall will be above normal.  Overall, September and October are predicted to be warmer and rainier than normal. 

     This is the part of the year to watch for tropical weather threats.  It is a normal part of the overall patterns, with hurricane season running  from June 1 through November 30.  “There is always considerable uncertainty as to how much activity an Atlantic hurricane season is going to generate.  “No one can completely understand the full complexity of the atmosphere-ocean system.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bahama Bob's Springtime Creation

     This is the time of year when you will finally be able to get out in the backyard and enjoy your first backyard bar-b-que and one  of those afternoon cocktails on the boat or the patio.  Here is an idea that will put a little life into that late spring outdoor happening.  I hope that you enjoy this one it is very refreshing and tasty.

Bahama Bob's Central American Buck
  • 2 1/2 Oz, Flor de Cana 4 Year Old Rum
  • Juice if 1/2 Lime
  • 3 Oz, Vernor's Ginger Ale

Fill Collins Glass with ice, add all ingredients and garnish with a lime wedge.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring Break 2018 in Key West

     Most of the month of March has been filled with Spring Break 2018 here in Key West.   There has been a lot of traffic on the island, but it has been relatively subdued from my point of view this year.  The Nights are as exciting as ever and the beaches are full by day.

     This is a time honored week for college kids
since the 50's and 60's that is still going strong.  The students are given a week to let their hair down and haves some fun before going back for the last quarter of the year in the classroom.

     The ones that come from the frozen north are getting a chance to enjoy the 70 and 80 degree days at the beach and catch up on their suntans and have some good beach day fun.  There is nothing better than a day int the sun on the beach to relieve the frozen north cabin fever days that proceeded the break.

      Night life on Duval Street, staying out late at night and not getting up before noon and heading back to the beach, scooters, sun and fun, that is what it is all about.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cayman Islands Sunrise Beauty

     Only a month or so away until we get to escape the rock for a week and visit our friends on Grand Cayman.  It has been a rugged time since Irma and I'm ready for a break and head out for some fun.  I'm not complaining, but I love to travel and this is the first opportunity in over a year.  The beauty of the waters around the Cayman Islands is legendary and I love my photos of it.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

ATF and TTB Is Another Divorce on The Horizon?

     This is a great article that is explaining what is happening in alcohol enforcement and how these changes are coming about.  If you are in the industry in the United States, you need to be aware of these changes.

Forward by John Hinman:

Robert M. Tobiassen
  We asked 
Robert M. Tobiassen, Compliance Consultant and former Chief Counsel, TTB, why TTB was structured the way it was, what we can expect to happen as the 2019 budget is implemented and what kind of TTB enforcement policies will be in place going forward.  He responded with the history and status of the agency, and his prognosis for the future, based on his long experience in Washington DC. This article is must reading for every professional in the alcoholic beverage industry who interfaces with the TTB.


     Disruption is the descriptive word du jour used by every industry experiencing change and challenges in its global supply chain, manufacturing models, distribution channels, and attracting and retaining consumers.   The Trump Administration is similarly disrupting Executive Branch agencies through its political appointees, program change mandates, and budget reallocations.   TTB is not exempt from this disruption and the fiscal year 2019 proposed budget foreshadows a possible second divorce for ATF and TTB that could alter the culture of TTB.  Industry members and other stakeholders learned lessons from the first agency divorce in 2003, specifically about how criminal law enforcement agencies function. It behooves everyone today to pay heed to these lessons of history as the proposed budget moves forward. 

The 2019 Budget Proposal - Move All Alcohol Enforcement to the TTB, Which Would Have More Money and More People

     The release of the President's Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 confirmed what reputable news media reported earlier of a plan under consideration by the Trump Administration to strip the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice, of its authority to investigate tobacco and alcohol smuggling.  The New York Times[1] in an article picked up by The Hill, a local political themed newspaper in Washington, DC, cites a senior administration official as the source of its information.[2]  According to this official, ATF's core mission is preventing violent crimes and has treated tobacco smuggling as a "backwater" mandate.

The Department Of Justice Budget Summary Explains:

     ATF would transfer the entirety of its alcohol and tobacco regulatory and enforcement responsibilities to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the Department of the Treasury.  This transfer would enable the ATF to hone its focus on activities that protect U.S. communities from violent criminals and criminal organizations, while consolidating duplicative alcohol and tobacco enforcement mechanisms within the TTB.[3]

Correspondingly, The Department of The Treasury Budget Summary Explains:

In addition, the Budget proposes to transfer all alcohol and tobacco responsibilities from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  This transfer would leverage TTB's resources and expertise relating to the alcohol and tobacco industries and allow ATF to continue to focus on its firearms and explosives mandates, enabling both agencies to more efficiently and effectively carry out their core mission of protecting the public.

This is not the first proposal to move the tobacco and alcohol jurisdiction of ATF to another agency.  For the past two sessions of Congress, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has introduced the ATF Elimination Act that would transfer the tobacco and alcohol role of ATF to the Drug Enforcement Administration.   

Friday, March 16, 2018

Havana Club Teams Up with Cuban Artists for New Bottle for their Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum

     Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club Rum has launched limited edition bottles designed by three Cuban artists.   Havana Club 3 Years Old ‘By Hand’ has been designed by Giselle Monzón, Nelson Ponce Sánchez and Edel Rodriquez.   Havana Club 3 Years Old ‘By Hand’ features vibrant colours inspired by the streets of Havana. It has been hand-painted by award-winning designer Giselle Monzón; visual arts teacher Nelson Ponce Sánchez; and graphic designer and illustrator Edel Rodriquez.  The bottle – which also feature local symbolism, such as the Cuban Star – aims to inspire consumers to make cocktails at home.

     Nick Blacknell, global marketing director for Havana Club, said: “The limited edition Havana Club 3 Years Old ‘By Hand’ bottle reinforces our long-term commitment to supporting local Cuban artists, who otherwise would not have a chance to showcase their artwork on a global scale.”   Havana Club 3 Years Old ‘By Hand’ will be available in Germany from March and will later launch in markets including France, Austria, Netherlands, Portugal and China.
     Earlier this month, Havana Club extended its Havana Club Tributo Collection with the launch of a rum finished in smoky whiskey casks.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

USA Today's Report of Americas Drunkest States

     USA Today has released its annual report on what states are the real drinkers and which ones
aren't.   This is a good report with a lot of information to glean through, so I have abbreviated it a bit so you can get the gist of what it has to say.

     Excessive drinking can lead to a variety of health problems and significantly shorten a person’s life. The habit claims nearly 90,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those who die as the result of alcohol abuse do so 30 years prematurely, on average.   Excessive alcohol consumption, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking and heavy drinking. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more for men, and heavy drinking is defined as at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.   Nationwide, 18.0% of American adults drink an excessive amount of alcohol. However, the excessive drinking rate ranges considerably across states. In some states, just over 1 in 10 adults drink too much on a regular basis, while in others, the share is closer to 1 in 4.
50. Tennessee

·   Adults drinking excessively: 11.2%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 28.0% (11th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 19.9% (9th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin
49. West Virginia
·   Adults drinking excessively: 11.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.0% (25th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 23.7% (the highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Morgantown, WV
48. Utah
·   Adults drinking excessively: 12.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 19.7% (the lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 12.9% (6th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Salt Lake City, UT
47. Alabama
·   Adults drinking excessively: 13.0%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 29.4% (17th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 21.2% (4th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Auburn-Opelika, AL
46. Mississippi
·   Adults drinking excessively: 13.3%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 23.3% (3rd lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 22.2% (3rd highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS
45. New Mexico
·   Adults drinking excessively: 13.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.1% (25th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 20.2% (8th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Santa Fe, NM
44. Oklahoma
·   Adults drinking excessively: 13.9%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 29.9% (19th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 20.9% (6th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Lawton, OK
43. North Carolina
·   Adults drinking excessively: 14.9%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.3% (24th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 18.5% (12th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Jacksonville, NC
42. Arkansas
·   Adults drinking excessively: 15.3%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 28.4% (13th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 22.7% (2nd highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
41. Idaho
·   Adults drinking excessively: 15.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.4% (23rd highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.1% (14th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Coeur d’Alene, ID
40. Maryland
·   Adults drinking excessively: 15.5%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.8% (20th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 13.3% (8th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: California-Lexington Park, MD
39. Nevada
·   Adults drinking excessively: 15.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.8% (21st highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 17.2% (17th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Reno, NV
38. Arizona
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.0%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 27.6% (9th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 18.5% (11th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Flagstaff, AZ
37. Kentucky
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.3%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 28.5% (14th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 20.9% (7th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
36. South Carolina
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.6%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 37.8% (7th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 17.0% (19th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC
35. Delaware
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.6%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 37.9% (6th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 16.7% (21st highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Dover, DE
34. Indiana
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 23.6% (5th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 18.0% (14th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Bloomington, IN
33. Georgia
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 23.4% (4th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 17.5% (16th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Athens-Clarke County, GA
32. Kansas
·   Adults drinking excessively: 16.9%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 27.3% (8th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 15.1% (22nd lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Lawrence, KS
31. Texas
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.3%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 29.9% (18th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 19.3% (10th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Austin-Round Rock, TX
30. Virginia
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 30.5% (20th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.6% (20th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
29. Florida
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 28.2% (12th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 17.1% (18th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL
28. Wyoming
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.5%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 35.3% (10th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.4% (19th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Casper, WY
27. New Jersey
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.6%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 24.3% (6th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 15.2% (23rd lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Ocean City, NJ
26. Missouri
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.7%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 31.7% (23rd lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 16.6% (22nd highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Columbia, MO
25. South Dakota
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.7%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 35.2% (11th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 12.8% (5th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Sioux Falls, SD
24. Washington
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 35.0% (12th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.3% (18th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
23. Rhode Island
·   Adults drinking excessively: 17.9%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 40.4% (3rd highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 15.8% (24th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
22. California
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.0%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 29.0% (15th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 17.8% (15th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Chico, CA
21. Pennsylvania
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.1%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.0% (24th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 15.3% (25th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: State College, PA
20. New York
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.2%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 23.0% (2nd lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 16.2% (23rd highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Watertown-Fort Drum, NY
19. New Hampshire
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 31.2% (22nd lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 11.5% (2nd lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Manchester-Nashua, NH
18. Connecticut
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.6%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 33.4% (18th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.3% (17th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
17. Louisiana
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.6% (22nd highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 21.0% (5th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Houma-Thibodaux, LA
16. Oregon
·   Adults drinking excessively: 18.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 32.8% (19th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 18.3% (13th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
15. Colorado
·   Adults drinking excessively: 19.1%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 34.7% (13th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 13.7% (11th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Fort Collins, CO
14. Ohio
·   Adults drinking excessively: 19.2%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 34.3% (14th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 15.3% (24th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Columbus, OH
13. Massachusetts
·   Adults drinking excessively: 19.5%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 27.8% (10th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.2% (15th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Barnstable Town, MA
12. Vermont
·   Adults drinking excessively: 19.6%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 33.4% (17th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 11.4% (the lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Burlington-South Burlington, VT
11. Maine
·   Adults drinking excessively: 19.6%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 39.8% (4th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.9% (21st lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Portland-South Portland, ME
10. Michigan
·   Adults drinking excessively: 20.0%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 29.4% (16th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 16.8% (20th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Lansing-East Lansing, MI
9. Nebraska
·   Adults drinking excessively: 20.4%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 35.6% (9th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 13.4% (10th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Lincoln, NE
8. Hawaii
·   Adults drinking excessively: 20.5%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 38.0% (5th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 13.1% (7th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI
7. Iowa
·   Adults drinking excessively: 21.0%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 25.4% (7th lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 12.3% (4th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Iowa City, IA
6. Minnesota
·   Adults drinking excessively: 21.1%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 30.9% (21st lowest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 11.9% (3rd lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Mankato-North Mankato, MN
5. Illinois
·   Adults drinking excessively: 21.2%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 34.2% (15th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 15.6% (25th highest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Bloomington, IL
4. Montana
·   Adults drinking excessively: 21.8%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 46.3% (2nd highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.2% (16th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Missoula, MT
3. Alaska
·   Adults drinking excessively: 22.1%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 33.8% (16th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 13.7% (12th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Fairbanks, AK
2. Wisconsin
·   Adults drinking excessively: 24.5%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 36.9% (8th highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 14.0% (13th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Green Bay, WI
1. North Dakota
·   Adults drinking excessively: 24.7%
·   Alcohol-related driving deaths: 46.7% (the highest)
·   Adults in fair or poor health: 13.4% (9th lowest)
·   Drunkest metro area: Fargo, ND-MN