Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Seasons 52 Partners With Enrique Iglesias's Atlantico Rum To Debut Two New Signature Cocktails

(News brief by Shanken News Daily) Darden Restaurants-owned Seasons 52 has partnered with music star Enrique Iglesias’s Atlantico rum to debut two new signature cocktails. Throughout the summer, Seasons 52 will offer the Watermelon Refresher using Atlantico Platino, watermelon and agave nectar; and the Strawberry Lemon Euphoria with Atlantico Reserva, fresh strawberries, lemon juice, lemon wedges and mint. Atlantico is a Dominican rum selling for around $35 a bottle. Iglesias became a partner in the brand with founders Brandon Lieb and Aleco Azqueta last fall. Seasons 52 currently operates 23 restaurants in 13 states across the country, with additional restaurants opening in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California, and Dallas, Texas, this fall.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Louisiana Spirits Expects To Be Up And Running By This Fall

(News Brief by Shanken News Daily) Craft distiller Louisiana Spirits expects to have its new rum distillery up and running by this fall, with rum expected to be available by year-end, according to local press reports. Construction on the company’s $5 million distillery, located in Lacassine in southern Louisiana, began last fall. The site will also include a 12,000-square-foot warehouse and 6,000-square-foot tasting room and visitors center. Initially, Louisiana Spirits will use local sugar and molasses to produce about 200 gallons a day of light and spiced rums, with more products to follow. Company president Trey Litel formerly worked in sales and marketing at Bacardi USA.

Serrallés USA and Death’s Door Spirits Unveil a New 25,000-Square-foot Craft Distillery in Middleton, Wisconsin

(News Brief by Shanken News Daily) Serrallés USA and Death’s Door Spirits have unveiled a new 25,000-square-foot craft distillery in Middleton, Wisconsin. Featuring a 2,000-liter still and six 3,100-gallon fermentation tanks, the state-of-the-art facility will bring Death’s Door’s capacity to 200,000 six-bottle cases. Founded in 2005 on Wisconsin’s Washington Island, Death’s Door inked a long-term, national U.S. distribution and marketing agreement with Serrallés USA—the U.S. unit of Puerto Rico’s Destilería Serrallés—last year. The craft distiller’s portfolio includes its flagship Death’s Door gin, as well as a vodka and white whiskey, all priced between $29.99-$34.99 a bottle. According to Serrallés USA, Death’s Door sold a total of around 16,300 six-bottle cases last year.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Rum Liqueur RumChata Enjoying Fast Start Through Cross-Category Appeal

(by Shanken News Daily) Rum-based cream liqueur RumChata may be a difficult brand to classify, but there’s no ambiguity about its success in the first half of 2012. In the first six months of the year, RumChata shipped more than 1 million bottles (the equivalent of roughly 83,000 cases) in the U.S. market, and its impressive growth trend—17,000 cases sold in calendar 2010 and 64,000 cases sold in 2011—suggests that it may well grow much larger in the near future.

Introduced in 2009, the 13.8%-abv RumChata is a mix of five-times distilled Caribbean rum and Wisconsin dairy cream. It’s produced and bottled by Agave Loco Brands of Pewauwee, Wisconsin, and retails for $19.95 per 750-ml.

While relatively new offerings like RumChata are often strongly reliant on a single region and/or channel, the brand’s early success has been quite diverse. Available in 49 states, RumChata has enjoyed its fastest growth in Wisconsin, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska. Until recently, its sales were basically split 50-50 between the on-premise and off-premise channels, although the addition of new sizes and expanded distribution is now skewing the balance towards the off-premise. Recent Nielsen national scan data ranks RumChata among both the U.S. market’s leading rum and cream liqueur brands.

Straddling the rum and cream liqueur segments, RumChata has benefited from a diverse consumer base and has carved out a place in various consumption occasions. The brand’s younger consumers often drink it as a straight shot or mixed in a variety of shooters, while older consumers tend to drink it on the rocks or in their coffee.

RumChata’s versatility has made it increasingly popular among bartenders and mixologists, Agave Loco tells Shanken News Daily, and the brand is also gaining notice via social media outlets like Facebook. A cameo appearance in a 2011 episode of HBO’s “Entourage” has also raised RumChata’s profile. On pace to add roughly 100,000 cases to its volume this year, RumChata certainly appears to be a brand to watch.