Avión was born from a love of tequila and its rich robust agave flavor. Founder Ken Austin embarked on a journey to fulfill his dream and create a tequila that would celebrate the highlands’ agave flavor. This led Ken to Jesus Maria, where the world’s best agave is grown and where the Lopez family lovingly manages the land.
Together in collaboration Ken and the Lopez family spent years blending old-school tequila making techniques with a philosophy of never cutting corners and focusing on the art of creating tequila. Every step of the process works to preserve and enhance the natural, rich, roasted flavors of the Avión agave. This is Avión, which bartenders, consumers and experts describe as, quite simply, delicious.
In 2012, Avión was crowned “World’s Best Tasting Tequila” and “World’s Best White Spirit” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (the most prestigious competition for the spirits industry). Ranking #1 against all tequilas, vodkas, gins and white rums. Over 1400 spirit brands entered the competition.
Award winning music icon, Jon Bon Jovi and acclaimed French winemaker, Gérard Bertrand, have joined forces to launch a premium rosé wine label, Diving into Hampton Water, soon to be available in the US market.
The venture was inspired by Bon Jovi’s son, Jesse Bongiovi, former Notre Dame football player, who played a pivotal role in the brand’s creation. The idea to create a wine, emblematic of a bon vivant lifestyle, emerged during time spent in the Hamptons, between Bon Jovi and his son. Rosé, a popular drink for the Bongiovi’s, had initially been dubbed ‘pink juice’ by Bon Jovi, until Jesse and a friend inadvertently coined the name, Hampton Water, and an idea was born.
Bon Jovi and Jesse began exploring this idea as a real enterprise, designing bottles and building on concepts. They were eventually introduced to Gérard Bertrand by a mutual friend and the three quickly developed a shared vision, to create a unique rosé, uniting the essence of the relaxed lifestyles of the Hamptons and the South of France.
Tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky, lives the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, the birthplace of Woodford Reserve. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices. Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia Vodka, Korbel California Champagne, Old Forester, Chambord, Tequila Herradura and Sonoma-Cutrer.
Everyone’s favorite Italian amaro, Fernet-Branca has a rich history as the world’s most popular digestivo, made with 27 herbs and spices, that to this day are a closely guarded family secret. Though it was born back in 1845, over the years Fernet-Branca has successfully preserved the personality and uniqueness that have conquered Europe and America alike. Its secret formula, passed down from father to son in the Branca family, has guaranteed the protection of the quality that still makes it the digestive bitter liqueur par excellence. Indeed, the 27 herbs it contains come from four continents: aloe comes from South Africa, rhubarb from China, gentian from France, galingale from India or Sri Lanka, chamomile from Italy or Argentina, just to name a few. On top of that there are flowers, herbs, roots and plants used for alcoholic brews, extracts and teas that, blended in a special mixture, produce the beneficial properties of the product. Fernet-Branca ages for at least one year in oak barrels and has a light brown color with amber hues. Its aroma is intense and penetrating, balanced and rich.
Born in Austin, Deep Eddy Vodka is handcrafted in our Texas distillery by a team serious about creating a great spirit. Our vodkas are column-distilled 10 times using corn, the finest Texas water and natural flavors. Nothing but smooth, clean vodka reaches the bottle to deliver an award winning taste.
MALFY Gin Con Limone was the first Italian gin to be imported into the United States and its distinctive taste comes from the famous Amalfi coast lemons that are infused during the distillation process. MALFY Gin Originale builds on the strengths the Vergnano family have in distilling distinctive, premium spirits and looks to the terroir of the Piedmont region for inspiration. MALFY Gin Originale will be distributed nationally and is imported by Infinium Spirits.
The distillery is located on the grounds of Hacienda Corralejo, the birthplace of Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, about 70 miles outside of Guanajuato, Mexico. Tequila Corralejo is one of a handful of tequila companies granted the right to produce tequila outside of Jalisco. The sleek premium 1821 bottles, produced at a glass factory also owned by Moreno, a few miles away from the distillery, are sold in an artfully designed golden box.
Casamigos was created out of George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s desire to drink the best tequila. At the time, they were building homes in Mexico, and as one does when spending time in Mexico, they were drinking a lot of tequila. They would go to different restaurants and bars and bartenders would suggest different tequilas, some really expensive, some not so expensive, some good, some not so good. They all had one thing in common, they burned going down. With that, George turned to Rande and said “why don’t we just make our own, one that’s perfect for us?” So they did. “We wanted the best tasting, smoothest tequila, one that didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime. We wanted to be able to drink it all night long and not be hungover in the morning,” says Rande. “We spent many months researching master distillers and distilleries and found the best in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.
Two years and 700 bottles of samples later, we finally got it perfect. We made Casamigos just for us to drink and share with friends. We took the time and had the patience to get it just right. Named after our homes in Mexico, Casamigos loosely translates as ‘House of Friends.’ It wasn’t intended for the public, but after word got out, we couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone,” he continued.
Casamigos is currently available in Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. These small batch, ultra-premium tequilas are made from the finest hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay soil and cool climate of Mexico’s Jalisco Highlands. The agaves are hand chosen and harvested after maturing for a minimum of seven years. After harvest, the agave piñas are roasted in traditional brick ovens for seventy-two hours before undergoing an extra-slow fermentation process over an additional eighty hours, nearly double the industry standard.
Casamigos Blanco rests for 2 months and is crisp and clean with hints of citrus, vanilla and sweet agave, with a long smooth finish.
Casamigos Reposado, aged for 7 months, is soft, slightly oaky with hints of caramel and cocoa. It has a silky texture with a medium to long smooth finish.
Casamigos Añejo is aged for 14 months and has a beautifully pure and refined complex aroma, with soft caramel and vanilla notes. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness from the blue weber agaves, layered with subtle hints of spice and barrel oak, with a lingering smooth finish.
Founded in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) has firmly established itself as the spirits industry’s most influential competition, with an international reputation for integrity and impartiality. This year, more than 40 renowned and respected judges will taste several thousand entries from around the world, bestowing coveted SFWSC Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Double Gold medals on the best of them. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is now accepting entries for its 2018 judging, which will take place Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15.
Tito Beveridge of Tito’s Vodka says: “We got a call that we’d be in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. I was busy fixing a boiler on my third still and couldn’t go but sent a couple bottles. Things moved quicker after that.”
Marsha Milam of Ben Milam Whiskey says: “To say winning the Double Gold for our Ben Milam Single Barrel Bourbon at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition rocked our world is an understatement. The award, for a small new distillery such as ours, changed everything: increased press coverage, increased awareness, increased distribution AND increased sales – our phone rang off the hook from both whiskey enthusiasts and retail outlets. If you have a great product, submit. See what can happen to your brand? It was the single best thing we did. Period."
“Winning the competition gave us a validation in the industry that we needed…”
"For less anecdotal evidence, look no further than the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the most respected events in the world...'Bartenders and industry professionals, without knowing what they're tasting, award the products. That's got a lot of cachet.””
"If you want to be sipping the best bourbon, there's only one competition you need to pay attention to.”
Slow and Low resurrects one of the most popular drinks of a bygone era and reestablishes it as part of today’s modern cocktail culture. True to its 19th century roots, Slow and Low uses ingredients with integrity and features aged straight rye whiskey, honey, orange, bitters and rock candy. Slow and Low is based on America’s original bottled cocktail – “rock and rye” – and takes its inspiration from the Hochstadter label’s pre-prohibition era recipe. Union made by the local 500 in the Kensington Neighborhood of Philadelphia, Slow & Low is committed to sourcing the finest ingredients, combining aged straight rye whiskey, air-dried navel oranges from Florida, 100 percent raw honey from Western Pennsylvania, Angostura Bitters and a small dose of rock candy. The result is an extra dry 84 proof spirit with smooth drinkability, robust yet balanced flavor and low sugar (only 5 to 6 percent sugar) that elevates the authenticity of any bar.
Brancamenta is an herbal liqueur, born in 1960 made of 27 herbs from 4 continents. The golden-brown color of Brancamenta comes from the natural coloring of its various ingredients, as well as the slow and natural maturing of more than 12 months in oak casks. When the maturing is completed, only the finest natural peppermint oil and sugar are added to Brancamenta to give it the unique taste for which it is known.
Based on the careful study of the creation process for vatted malts, these time-honored techniques and traditions have now been applied for the first time to blend and produce the best possible tasting straight rye whiskey. The five straight rye whiskeys used in the blend range from 4 to 15 years old and were sourced from distilleries across North America— Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Alberta, Canada. They are married together in vats, further aged until the flavors are optimally harmonized and then bottled in Philadelphia. The spirit is non-chill filtered to preserve its nuances and robustness. Well-rounded yet concentrated on the palate, Hochstadter’s Vatted Straight Rye Whiskey exudes notes of blackstrap molasses, nutmeg, mace, clove, German-style rye bread and sour cherries. At 50 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), it is well-suited for mixing in classic rye cocktails like Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old-Fashioneds and Juleps, but also for sipping straight or on ice.
Created to honor José Doroteo Arango’s efforts during the Mexican Revolution, Los Arango Tequila is made with 100% blue agave with a maturation of at least 8 years. It is cooked in adobe ovens for up to 36 hours, allowing for sugar caramelization and a smooth finish, and fermented using a specially formulated yeast that helps enhance its fruity and herbal notes. Los Arango is double column distilled, which allows for exceptional retention of aroma and flavor, and aged in American oak barrels. This artisanal, premium tequila is still handcrafted and bottled by hand. To this day, we celebrate Los Arango as a true symbol of Mexico – A Revolutionary Spirit.
Templeton Rye was born during Prohibition, around 1920. Local bootleggers, including famed Templeton resident Alphonse Kerhkoff, produced a high caliber, highly desired whiskey known locally as “The Good Stuff,” which became Templeton Rye. Mafia leader Al Capone reportedly served Templeton Rye to his closest friends and family.
Templeton Rye was introduced in 2006 using a recipe that best matched the recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, Keith Kerkhoff’s grandfather. In October 2006, 68 barrels of Templeton Rye completed their four-year aging process, and became legally available on shelves in Iowa again, carrying on a family and small town tradition. For the past decade, Templeton Rye has honored the history and the people of Templeton, building a new facility in town to create and bottle the rye locally.
Templeton Rye uses a mash made up of 95% rye from MGP (formerly Lawrenceburg Distillers of Indiana) as its foundation. The distilled rye whiskey is brought to Templeton, Iowa, where it is combined with our proprietary formula and local purified water. The whiskey is then bottled in the production facility in Templeton.
The Slow and Low 100ml can is the next step in the evolution. Cooper Spirits took a proper 88 proof bar cocktail using a historic recipe and is not only introducing it in a different vessel, the can, but is doing so in a portable, convenient and novel size. Perfect for your outdoor pursuits, from camping to BBQs to sporting events, tailgates and concerts, the 100ml can is versatile and makes for just the right sized packaging.
Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur is a blend of natural Irish cream, real chocolate and aged Irish whiskey. From your very first sip of Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur, you will notice just how rich and creamy the taste is. After this luxurious creaminess subsides, it is followed by a depth of indulgent flavors: aged Irish Whiskey and real chocolate. Most cream liqueurs tend to use chocolate flavorings, whereas we insist on the real stuff. These flavors and intense creaminess subtly combine to deliver an intense and indulgent finish. Kerrygold is the winner of the World’s Best Cream Liqueur Award in 2016.
Mezcales de Leyenda currently offers five different mezcals from five different regions. These premium mezcals are produced in Oaxaca, Durango, Guerrero, Puebla and San Luis Potosí. Each of the five expressions uses different types of agave plants, all of which are certified USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified. Not only special for their fine quality, each mezcal is made preserving traditional processes from harvest to distillation, thereby maintaining the craftsmanship and integrity of true mezcal. Each type of mezcal is a unique example of different agave plant varieties and also reflects the different production styles of each region. The strikingly styled one-of- a-kind bottle is a real eye-catcher for consumers. Using responsible manufacturing, recycled labels, and corks from certified trees, Mezcales de Leyenda sets itself apart from other mezcals on the market.
Mezcales de Leyenda has created a line that showcases the quality, uniqueness, and authenticity that goes into mezcal, and helps explain why the world is taking notice of this “young” spirit.
Made since 1860 using real espresso, it’s created from a blend of Arabica and robusta coffee and made in large coffee pots. A sweet and smooth taste, a captivating flavor, a rich and intense aroma that is not easy to forget, and a peasant aftertaste of coffee.
The story goes that on 19 April 1870 , a stockbroker, caught up in a discussion with colleagues whilst in the Carpano wine shop about the increase in share prices on that day – one and a half points – ordered his usual Carpano vermouth but asked for the barman to add half a measure of bitter, using the regional expression “Punt e Mes”. The drink immediately became popular as an aperitif before lunch, as recalled by the barman of the time Maurizio Boeris.
Antica Formula stands out from all the other vermouths thanks to its unique bouquet and its unmistakable vanilla notes. First invented in 1786, in Turin, by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, it has survived in its original inimitable recipe thanks to the love and the skill of Fratelli Branca Distillerie S.r.l. of Milan which, with its motto “Novare Serbando”, has preserved the product’s original qualities and characteristics.
Hochstadter’s Family Reserve is made from 100 percent farm-grown rye grain and aged 16 years in newly charred American Oak Barrels. Sourced from Alberta Distillers Limited, this rare and bold offering is bottled at barrel proof in Philadelphia, PA. The end result is unfiltered, undiluted and full-flavored, delivering an intense explosion of robust rye flavor. This powerful expression comes showcased in a classic whiskey bottle silhouette, elegantly appointed with a gold foil detailed label and a custom cork branded with the Hochstadter’s insignia.
From the late 19th century throughout the golden age of cocktails, Crème Yvette was used extensively. Enjoyed as an after-dinner digestif and cocktail ingredient, Crème Yvette’s quality, integrity and balanced flavor make it a critical component in a variety of classic cocktails, including the Blue Moon, the Stratoshere and the Pousse Café, the original layered cocktail.
Credited with introducing the barrel-aged Cachaca category, Novo Fogo is a line of USDA organic cachacas distilled from the essence of fresh sugarcane and the national spirit of Brazil. Novo Fogo’s identity as a spirit and a brand is rooted in a very special place: Brazil’s South Atlantic rainforest, where the mountains meet the sea. Because of the pristine nature that surrounds its zero-waste distillery (the jungle is just 10 feet from the cane fields), Novo Fogo prioritizes environmental and human sustainability in its production. Their cachaças also reflect this rainforest terroir with flavors of banana, lime blossom, coffee and sea salt. Extending this ethos of sustainability, Novo Fogo has been a trailblazer for sponsoring health and wellness initiatives for spirits industry members and insists that a balanced cachaça cocktail is a delightful accompaniment to an equally balanced lifestyle.
Established in downtown Los Angeles in 1917, San Antonio Winery, founding winery of Riboli Family Wine Estates, continues a proud heritage of winemaking in Los Angeles and Paso Robles that spans four generations of the Riboli family. The family’s commitment to producing award-winning wines has included investing in vineyards in California’s most prestigious regions, including the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco AVAs of Monterey County and the El Pomar and Creston Districts of Paso Robles. Most recently the Riboli Family has been committed to growing its presence in the award winning Paso Robles wine region, opening a state-of- the-art winery in 2016. Follow San Antonio Winery and Riboli Family Wine Estates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit www.sanantoniowinery.com. The award winning wines in the Riboli Family Wine Estates portfolio can be enjoyed at their three tasting rooms located at: 2610 Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles, CA; 737 Lamar Street in Los Angeles, CA; 2802 S. Milliken Avenue in Ontario, CA.
Highest quality peaches and cream corn is distilled four times into a neutral grain spirit and blended with pristine water from Newfoundland, Canada. The liquid is then filtered seven times, of which three are through layers of semi precious crystals known as Herkimer diamonds.
Dan Aykroyd and John Alexander wanted to craft a vessel worthy of one of the world’s purest vodkas. A symbol of life, reflecting power and enlightenment, to hold their award-winning white spirit of super natural purity.
Crystal Head contains no additives. No glycerol, citrus oils or sugars. Nothing is added to enhance or mask the taste.
Scrappy’s Bitters was founded by Seattle bartender Miles Thomas. In his search for a better bitters, he dove headfirst into research and development, immersing himself in the world herbs and methods of extraction. He learned to pair flavors in order to intensify the taste he was seeking, and he came to understand that there were not only many ways to extract flavor from the same source, but that each yielded a different flavor. His journey proved fruitful: After years of experiments Scrappy’s officially launched in 2008, and a small, but dedicated team has been making handcrafted bitters in Seattle, WA ever since.
Black Magic Beverages, a liquor manufacturing company specializing in canned and bottled cocktails, is excited to announce its own in-house line of Half-Seas Sparkling Cocktails. The company that created the bartender favorite, Scrappy’s Bitters, now has three “true” ready-to-drink canned cocktails to offer. The Bramble, Daiquiri and Paloma are made with real spirits, rather than malt or other fermented alcohols, premium ingredients, and a touch of effervescence for craft cocktail quality to enjoy anytime and anywhere.
The name “Half-Seas” is inspired by a 1700’s sailor term, “half–seas over,” which is said to originate from the notion of a heavy-laden ship, so low in the water that small waves, or half-seas, wash over the deck. This term is known to represent the leisure and pleasure of imbibing, and Half-Seas sparkling cocktails provide just the same.
The canned variations are balanced, refreshing, and simple, while delivering a unique beverage experience through a champagne-like level of carbonation; a unique trait for the canned format that cannot be recreated at a bar. As three commonly recognizable drinks, the newly announced sparkling canned varieties are quality craft cocktails, both elevated and convenient. Half-Seas Sparkling Cocktails are made from the finest ingredients including premium spirits, bitters, mixers, modifiers and pure cane syrup.
The Bramble is a cocktail created in 1980s London and the original brings together dry London gin, berries, and citrus. The Half-Seas Bramble pays tribute to that original recipe with the added touch of effervescence and is sure to be an instant classic.
As one of the most popular cocktails in the world, the Daiquiri’s ingredients of rum, lime and sugar is replicated in the Half-Seas sparkling variety. Half-Seas elevates this classic, said to be derived from the British sailor’s “grog” of the 1700’s, with an added twist of bubbles sure to be a favorite for cocktail connoisseurs and newcomers alike.
The Paloma, the most well-known tequila-based drink of Mexico, is even more globally recognized than the margarita. Half-Seas takes this traditional cocktail a step further with Half-Seas own all-natural grapefruit soda for a personalized touch and delicious twist.
Koskenkorva Vodka is a Finnish vodka brand produced in the western village of Koskenkorva, Finland. This award-winning vodka was first introduced in 1953, when enough barley became available after World War II, and is now available globally with the recent US launch. Koskenkorva is made with nature’s best Nordic ingredients, including good barley and pure water and combines them with hard work of local farmers to create a simple, smooth and honest spirit. Koskenkorva’s global recognition includes a Gold in International Spirits Challenge in 2016 and Gold in both Premium and Scandinavian vodka categories in the 2015 Vodka Masters. For more information, please visit, www.koskenkorva.com
Crafted for the most discerning spirits connoisseurs and collectors, Lock Stock & Barrel 18-year is double distilled from a rare mash bill of 100 percent rye grain. A “robust cut” is selected by master distillers, then the unfiltered spirit is aged in new charred American Oak barrels in cold weather for 18 years and bottled at 109 proof. The result is a deeply intense, yet harmonious straight rye, with rich and unified notes that suggest hot, buttered gingerbread, dried peach, toasted pecan, ripe honeydew and tobacco leaf.
Lock Stock & Barrel’s striking matte black glass bottle, embossed label and wood cork closure exude luxury and richness while paying homage to the bygone era of illicit saloons and bootleggers of frontier America. In addition to the rare spirit within, these features make it a memorable gifting item for special occasions and holidays. Lock Stock & Barrel 18 is meant to be savored neat, over a large ice cube or with a splash of spring water and is available in limited quantities across the nation.
Russell Davis, Bartender of the Year award winner and former Bar Rescue co-star opened Academia in December in the heart of Austin’s resurgent warehouse district. The brainchild of acclaimed bar consulting firm Unlimited Liabilities, comprised of Davis and partner Danny Ronen, along with industry vet and partner, Chris Daus, was designed as a figurative faculty lounge for an Ivy League university of drinking where the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson could be found.
The scene at Academia will exalt those most positive effects of inebriation – creativity and eloquence. Patrons of Academia will nightly raise expertly crafted cocktails to toast some of history’s most prolific and profound tipplers. Academia incorporates the latest innovations in applied social and cognitive behavioral sciences to enhance the guest experience.
The bar space features high ceilings, fitting of an academic hall or institution of higher learning. Brick, wood and iron are the dominant building materials inside. Custom-designed banners, seals and crests are hung throughout and chalk scribbled nods to literary heroes will adorn the walls. Lounge areas provide for a more intimate setting, while some long high-top tables featuring electrical outlets and USB ports will be more conducive to intellectual pursuits.