Kangas and Rocket Pops are Tops in News This Month

News Room

A random wrap up of the month’s not so serious news in wine and spirits

Crain’s New York reports that with a mostly remote or hybrid work force in place, many drinking establishments have changed their happy hour habits. Now Tuesday through Thursday are the more heavily trafficked days, and many establishments are seeing patrons ready to belly up to the bar earlier in the day as work days have become more relaxed. Forget the saying “it’s 5 o-clock somewhere”: 4 o’clock is becoming the new norm.

A trade publication, “The Spirits Business,” citing a report from the hospitality research firm, CGA, notes more than two-thirds (70%) of American consumers are more likely to opt for a vodka-based ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage over any other spirit. The report, “Who is the American RTD drinker?” found vodka was choice No. 1 in RTD, followed by tequila and rum. Gin ranked the lowest of white spirits. The report also finds the RTD drinker, demographic skews younger: Only 16% of drinkers over the age of 55 saying they consume them.

Millennially driven blog Vine Pair runs a story by veteran beer writer Joshua Bernstein on “It’s the Bomb: Why Rocket Pop Is This Summer’s Hottest Beer Flavor.” Rocket Pops, dotcha know, are a multi-colored, “rocket” shaped frozen ice treat on a stick, developed in 1955. The new trend, Bernsteins says, “channel[s] nostalgia … a proven sales tactic in the alcohol industry.” Hop on Pop before the ready-to-retire spiced pumpkin trend kicks back in.

Leave the cute animal wine label behind and hop on over to this story at Wine Enthusiast, which reports on Australian wineries (called “cellar doors” over there, attracting consumers by offering tastings that pair with wild critters. No, it’s not what you think: no harm to animals was done and no utensils were used. Rather, several wineries are enticing consumers with activities such as guided wine tasting and wildlife tours. Some tours are focused on endangered animals such as the ringtail possum, others are at sanctuaries for kangas where you can feed and pet a baby hopper and over at the venerable Banrock, you can look for Australian little bittern or chestnut-crowned babbles. Oh wait, you can also go on a platypus tour! What wine goes with that?

Ceramic shards from a Puerto Rican island indicate a presence of wine culture in the Americas that may date to European colonization times. As reported in Wine Spectator, in turn, citing a paper published by U.K. researchers in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences last month, a 16th-century Spanish olive jar revealed residue of tartaric and malic acid—two acids found in wine production—which may mark the oldest-known evidence of wine in the Americas. The jar was found at what the researcher believe was a religious site on the Isla de Mona, the third-largest island in the archipelago, unpopulated except by rangers and scientists.

Apparently the tequila martini is a thing. Mashed.com reports on a niche concept that to this gin drinker seems unlikely. But, the post likens tequila’s blue agave note to gin’s botanic profile, so what the heck. The espresso martini is a thing, so why not tequila? (In the meantime, make mine a Beefeater straight up, a little dirty and two olives).

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