Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

•Cîroc vodka has renewed its partnership with hip-hop artist Rick Ross for a second year. Acting as ambassador for the brand, Ross will attend events and appear in promotional campaigns and social media outlets for Cîroc. Cîroc is also affiliated with entertainment mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. Since Combs and Diageo joined forces on Cîroc five years ago, the French vodka brand has soared, adding more than 1 million cases in annual sales—at a super-premium price point during tough economic times. The brand’s U.S. volume is about 1.3 million nine-liter cases on 73.5% growth last year, according to Impact Databank.

Panache Beverages has announced a national distribution deal with SCM Hospitality for all three brands in its portfolio. The deal includes well placement for Wódka vodka and cocktail placement for Alchemia infused vodka at SCM locations in New York, Miami, Toronto, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, as well as placement for Alibi American Whiskey at the bars in New York and Miami. Established in 2006 by celebrity chef Scott Conant, SCM Hospitality’s venues include Scarpetta (in New York, Miami, Toronto, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas) and D.O.C.G. Enoteca Las Vegas. Panache also just announced placement for Wódka and Alchemia with LDV Hospitality as well as a national rollout for Alibi through Domaine Select Wine Estates.

•Massachusetts-based M.S. Walker has introduced Grand Macnish 15 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky to the U.S. market. Distilled by MacDuff International, the new product features a blend of more than 30 Highland and Speyside malts and is aged in Sherry casks. It retails for $35.99 and is the third entry in the Grand Macnish line, joining the 150th Anniversary Edition and the 12-Year-Old Dual-Cask Aged.

•New Zealand-based Minus5º is bringing its Minus5º Ice Bar to the New York Hilton in Manhattan in the spring. The bar concept, which already has outposts in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, is made entirely of ice—including the furniture and the glassware—and each guest is provided a parka, hat and boots upon entry. Only drinks are served and vodka is the specialty, but other beverage alcohol options, including beer, are also available.

•Beverage consulting and hospitality team Bar Lab, comprised of mixologists Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta, have opened a permanent version of their Broken Shaker bar, which initially debuted as a pop-up concept inside the Indian Creek Hotel in Miami earlier this year. The hotel has been renovated and is now the Freehand Miami hostel and the Broken Shaker has expanded to include an outdoor area complete with ping-pong tables and bocce ball courts, as well as lounge areas by the hostel’s pool and patio. The bar’s cocktail menu will change seasonally and showcases Zvi and Orta’s house-made syrups and fresh herbs from their garden.

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