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News Briefs for November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

•Diageo North America has released a new flavor extension to its ultra-premium Cîroc vodka brand across the U.S.—Cîroc Peach. The variant will be priced similarly to Cîroc’s other flavor extensions at around $32 a 750-ml. Peach is the third flavor in the Cîroc portfolio, joining Red Berry and Coconut. Cîroc vodka has been one of the hottest brands in the spirits industry of late, recently earning Market Watch “Spirits Brand of the Year” after its 2010 volume more than doubled to 685,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. This year, the brand is projected to more than double its volume once again.

•French drinks group Marnier-Lapostolle has launched Pisco Kappa, a super-premium Pisco from Chile’s Elqui Valley, in the U.S. market. Produced by Marnier-Lapostolle subsidiary Perigee Spirits Co., Pisco Kappa is made with Muscat grapes and distilled using adapted Cognac distillation techniques. Priced at $34 a 750-ml., the new offering is currently available in San Francisco and will be rolling out into additional markets in 2012.

•Serrallés USA is set to roll out a new aged white rum label, Caliche, this March. A joint project between sixth-generation rum distiller Roberto Serrallés of Distilería Serrallés and American nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber, Caliche will be priced within the $21.99-$24.99 range. Designed primarily for cocktail occasions, the 80-proof offering will receive an on-premise-focused launch in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago before expanding into additional markets. In addition to Caliche, Serrallés’s existing U.S. portfolio includes Impact “Hot Prospect” winner DonQ rum and the recently launched Blackbeard spiced rum brand.

•Chef Emeril Lagasse is expanding his restaurant empire with plans for a new e2 Emeril’s Eatery in Charlotte, North Carolina, scheduled to open next year. e2 Emeril’s Eatery will feature an eclectic menu drawing on Lagasse’s takes on American classics as well as his signature New Orleans dishes and Southern fare. A large bar will house “moderately priced wines, craft beers, unique spirits and handcrafted cocktails.” e2 will join 12 other U.S. restaurants owned and operated by Lagasse.

•OpenTable has redesigned its mobile website, which users can access on their iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry. In addition to a revamped look, the new site has a geolocation feature that can track a user’s location to search for nearby restaurants. Since the mobile site’s launch in 2008, more than 15 million diners have booked tables through the feature. OpenTable estimates that those mobile bookings have generated more than $600 million in revenue for the company’s restaurant clients.

•Two New York City-based restaurants are opening outposts in Miami. Chef Andrew Carmellini is opening the second location of his restaurant, bar and oyster room The Dutch, on November 14, while Serendipity 3 is opening its first Miami outpost in early 2012. These restaurants join two other New York-based chains: Rosa Mexicano and Shake Shack, both of which expanded to Miami earlier this year.

•Chef José Andrés has decided to extend the run of his pop-up restaurant American Eats Tavern in Washington D.C. Originally intended to run for six months, the pop-up will now remain open for a full year, with a new close date of July 4, 2012. Andrés recently told The Washington Post that he’s extending the American Eats Tavern’s run so that he can have more time to convert the space into an expansion of his Minibar restaurant.

•The Michelin Guide has released the list of Chicago-area restaurants included in its “Bib Gourmand” selections for 2012. Fifty-six venues achieved Bib Gourmand status (restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for under $40). Of those, 17 are new to the list. The full list of all 2012 restaurants included in Michelin Guide Chicago 2012 will be announced on November 15. Copies of guide go on sale the next day.


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