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News Briefs for December 27, 2017

December 27, 2017

•Rum has been overshadowed by the brown spirits boom, but an onslaught of high-end, boutique labels is enlivening the category’s space in a big way. As with whiskies, aged expressions are spearheading the upscale climb, with some matured for up to 25 years. Shanken News Daily sister publication Market Watch has a look at a selection of new upscale aged rums that will hit shelves in the new year.

•New Orleans-based events and hospitality veterans Gary Solomon, Jr., the Solomon family and Neal Bodenheimer have signed a letter of intent to take over the city’s Tales of the Cocktail festival from founder Ann Tuennerman and her husband, Paul. In its new incarnation, Tales of the Cocktail will operate solely as a non-profit organization with a diverse grant and advisory committee of industry notables, with proceeds to benefit the drinks industry and the city of New Orleans. The festival ran into trouble last March when the Tuennermans appeared in blackface at the Zulu Mardi Gras parade, drawing accusations of racial insensitivity. Under the proposed deal, the event will remain in the Big Easy, where it has been a boon for the city, generating an economic impact of $18 million during July, New Orleans’ slowest month of the year. The new owners intend to put the focus on experiential and educational events and broaden Tales’ appeal for spirits industry members. Solomon Jr. is president and cofounder of The Solomon Group, and has overseen the creation of exhibits and interactive environments for George Washington’s Mount Vernon, The National WWII Museum and the upcoming Sazerac House, among other initiatives. Bodenheimer is the mixologist and restaurateur behind New Orleans cocktail bar Cure, and the Cane & Table restaurant.

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