Musical Director: Peter Cenedella
Art and alcohol go way back together, like old drinking buddies – from Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh sipping absinthe to Frida Kahlo doing tequila shots with hubby and muralist Diego Rivera. Now Swedish vodka brand Absolut is releasing its Absolut Art Collection – previewed in this trailer. The impressive roster includes Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Damien Hirst and others. Instead of finding inspiration by swigging the stuff (although we certainly aren’t ruling that out), these artists were inspired by Absolut as an entity. The collection of more than 800 pieces has been gathered together in Sweden for the first time and will go on display as a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Wine and Spirits when it moves into new digs in Stockholm next year. The Absolut collection will be on display starting late 2011 or early 2012.
No word on whether drinks will be served at the exhibit, but we would love to see a bar featuring cocktails based on art based on a vodka brand.
Kahlua Looks to Serve Itself Up With an Intriguing Twist
In the biggest new exposure for Kahlua since Jeff Bridges inhaled White Russians in “The Big Lebowski,” Kahlua has started a new campaign, “Delicioso,” that aims to educate consumers on the coffee liquor’s Mexican origins and cocktail-ability. Apparently many consumers think Kahlua is a creamy drink (which it isn’t) and about a third think it’s from Hawaii, Andrew Nash, brand director for Kahlua, told Marketing Daily. The campaign features television spots with Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera talking about her home state of Veracruz and its ability to “bring unexpected things together” and emphasizing the “intriguing” nature of the liquor, while the print campaign and website offer cocktails that go beyond Kahlua and cream, such as the Espresso Martini , Kahlua Ginger Ale and Perfect Serve (Kahlua on the rocks with an orange twist).
Perhaps the campaign can change Kahlua’s frequent status as an LLL (Last Liquor Left at the party – you know what we mean). The Dude would approve.
New Bombay Sapphire Limited Edition Sparkles
Bombay Sapphire is pulling out all the crystal stoppers with a Limited Edition pack featuring a handcrafted bottle, presentation case and booklet describing the history of the brand. Approximate pricetag: $2,000. At that price, it better pour the most delicious G&T you’ve ever had – and then tuck you in for the night.
The package features a bottle-inside-a-bottle design, with a blue inner vessel suspended inside a clear crystal glass decanter in a bespoke foil gift box. The stopper is also crystal, in the shape of a crown, and hand-set with blue crystals around the neck. At the apex is a double diamond-shaped blue crystal.
Just 350 of the bottles will be available for sale through luxury retail outlets in the U.S., U.K. and Europe before Christmas 2010, with additional limited worldwide distribution in 2011. The holiday timing is fortuitous, with the luxury market in a rebound as the rich decide they’ve had enough austerity already. This should be a perfect boozy bauble for that billionaire on your gift list.
And what a stunning bauble:
Bushmills Single Malts Get Modern Makeover That Looks to the Past
In pop culture, it seems like celebrities are getting younger and younger (Justin Bieber will be washed up and on a comeback tour before he hits drinking age), but when it comes to whiskey, old is gold. Accordingly, Bushmills has come out with new packaging for its 10-, 16- and 21-Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskies. The look emphasizes “heritage and authenticity” while updating the design. The redesign has outer cases featuring images of the Old Bushmills Distillery, Ireland’s oldest operational distillery, which was granted its license in 1608. This date features prominently on the new bottles. Color coding differentiates the flavors of the single malts and labeling includes information on the casks used to age each whiskey, along with its taste profile.
The Bushmills single malts are not just a pretty package, however. In March this year, all three varieties won gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, while in February, the Bushmills 21 Year Old Single Malt was also named the World's Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey at the World Whiskies Awards in London.
Hank Jr. Keeps the Spirit of Moonshiner Alive
There have been plenty of country songs about moonshine (see below for the great granddaddy of ‘em all), but now Hank Williams, Jr., is bringing moonshine to the masses another way. He has joined with J and M Concepts as an owner of Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey, based on the recipe of Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, a moonshiner who committed suicide in 2009 at age 62 rather than go to jail after he was convicted of illegally distilling alcohol. The hooch, which is handcrafted and packaged in Mason jars, arrived in Nashville bars this week. A launch party Tuesday night at Nashville’s Marathon Building included celebrities such as Williams, Kid Rock, Martina McBride, Jamey Johnson, major league ballplayer Nick Swisher and actress Joanna Garcia.
Williams called Sutton “real Appalachian Americana” and said he was a “folk hero.” Popcorn Sutton’s will have a regional approach that emphasizes the Southern heritage of the unaged whiskey, and it also taps in to the growing interest in small craft distillers nationwide.
We’ll take you into the weekend with a video extolling the virtues (and vices) of the white lightnin’. Enjoy responsibly, y’all – but enjoy.