What’s Shakin’ in the Bar & Nightlife Business: Week of June 19

Black and white photo of bartender with cocktail shaker
What's shakin'? Image: ArthurHidden / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Bar, nightclub and restaurant operators, managers, bartenders and other staff members have a lot to keep tabs on. From every day operations tasks to new product releases to spirit, beer, wine, cocktail and food trends, keeping on top of bar and nightlife news each week can be a project in and of itself.

That’s where we come in. To make things that much easier for you we’ve put together a detailed rundown of what happened this week that you should know. You need to know what international products are finally being distributed throughout America, what innovations are being made in glassware and bar and kitchen products, what and when music streaming services are featuring a new album, and so much more. In life, knowledge is power. In this business, knowledge is dollars.


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One BILLION dollars! Muahahaha!

George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman sell Casamigos Tequila to Diageo for one billion dollars - What's Shakin' week of June 19
Attribution/Copyrights: Casamigos

What? Like you didn't know I was going to do that. For those of you haven't heard, actor, activist and entrepreneur George Clooney, former hospitality business magnate turned spirits entrepreneur Rande Gerber, and high-end real estate tycoon Mike Meldman have sold Casamigos Tequila to Diageo for up to $1 billion. The "up to" refers to the terms of this staggering deal: the three owners will receive $700 million up front and can receive up to an additional $300 million should the brand reach sales goals. Not a terrible payday for a brand that has only been available commercially for four years. For more on this story and the brand itself, read our more in-depth Casamigos Tequila story.


An elegant spirit from Durango comes to the US.

Fabriquero Sotol Durango launches in the United States - What's Shakin' week of June 19

Those of you who are always on the lookout for the new, unique and lesser known, rejoice – sotol is now available in the United States! Sotol, also known as Dasylirion wheeleri or “the Desert Spoon,” is similar to tequila but is characterized by gentler floral notes. Fabriquero Sotol has launched in the US and the seemingly endless demand for tequila and mezcal certainly bodes well for this elegant spirit. One of just two sotols produced in Durango, Fabriquero Sotol uses 100% estate-grown plants which are hand-picked at the peak of their ripeness, cooked for 5 days in a lava rock-lined pit with acacia and mesquite, and crushed by hand. You’re going to want to get your hands on this!


The Bluecoats are coming!

Philadelphia Distilling Bluecoat America Dry Gin - What's Shakin' week of June 19

Well, they first came in 2006, but now they’ve come to the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Bluecoat American Dry Gin’s creative home, Philadelphia Distilling, is proud to announce the recent opening of their brand-new facility comprised of a distillery, bar, retail store and tasting room in Fishtown. This American Dry Gin goes through 5 distillations and, in true American fashion, is a total departure from its traditional London Dry Gin counterpart. Bluecoat is also the only premium gin made with 100% certified organic botanicals, juniper berries and American citrus, and it’s perfect for celebrating the 4th of July with refreshing gin cocktail recipes.


Care for a sip of wilderness in a bottle?

Cardinal Spirits and Lior Lev Sercarz to launch Terra Botanical Gin at La Boîte - What's Shakin' week of June 19

Chef, cookbook author, master blender and owner of La Boîte spice emporium Lior Lev Sercarz has collaborated with Cardinal Spirits to create a one-of-a-kind spirit. Terra Botanical Gin is an unconventional gin, to say the least. The star of this gin is zuta, a wild mint indigenous to Israel. Zuta imparts a floral, herbaceous character with notes of pine and resin. Terra is balanced by cubeb berries – which are peppery and aromatic – and lightly bitter grapefruit.

If you happen to be in NYC on Monday, June 26, and are available from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Sercarz is hosting a launch party for Terra Botanical Gin at La Boîte. Cardinal Spirits’ co-founder Adam Quirk will be on hand as well. This launch party is free to attend and open to public if you RSVP: [email protected].


Seriously, gin is having a major moment.

If the previous two stories weren’t enough evidence of that fact, consider this next development. Valentine Distilling Co. has granted access to an exclusive barrel release of their Liberator Old Tom Gin to two Traverse City, Michigan, restaurants. Two Off the Map Hospitality properties – Trattoria Stella and The Franklin – will feature this special and limited release of Liberator Old Tom Gin.

“This barrel of the Liberator Old Tom Gin is completely unique and amazing,” said restaurateur and sommelier Amanda Danielson. “It’s a crafted Michigan product from a small company owned by people who give a damn about every customer. It is precisely reflective of what we do and who we are at OTMH.”

Like the standard Liberator Old Tom Gin, this exclusive offering was aged in new American Oak barrels. However, this OTMH gin is aged for roughly one year before it’s transferred to and finished in a gin barrel that once housed Ferndale mead. Truly, this is a one-of-a-kind gin with a unique flavor profile, and it’s only available at these two locations in the United States. Gin is in.


Happy anniversary, Teeling!

Teeling Whiskey Co. celebrates the two-year anniversary of the Teeling Irish Whiskey Distillery - What's Shakin' week of June 19
Attribution/Copyrights: Teeling Whiskey Co.

Gin isn’t the only spirit enjoying a moment. The increase in demand for Irish whiskey is steadily growing, and one distiller just achieved a major milestone. Not only is Teeling Irish Whiskey Distillery celebrating its two-year anniversary, they welcomed their 185,000th visitor this month! This feat is particularly impressive when you consider that Teeling became the first distillery to operate in Dublin in more than 125 years when they opened their doors in June of 2015. Congratulations, Teeling Whiskey Co.! We wish you many more years of producing fantastic Irish whiskey.


Guess who’s back?

MillerCoors brings Zima back for limited time with Back, not Back and #ZimaIsBack summer campaign - What's Shakin' week of June 19
Attribution/Copyrights: MillerCoors

No, not Shady. Zima is also having a moment, friends. The first time Zima had a moment was in 1994, but it disappeared by 2008. MillerCoors has decided that the crystal-clear, malt-based adult beverage deserves another moment though, choosing this summer for Zima’s (very limited) comeback. Act fast for a taste of ‘90s and early ‘00s nostalgia because Zima goes the way of the CD player by Labor Day. Make sure you post your photos of Zima on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ZimaIsBack.


“The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!”

Novo Fogo Cachaça launches distribution in Europe - What's Shakin' week of June 19
Attribution/Copyrights: Novo Fogo

Novo Fogo is slowly leading the charge for cachaça to take over the world. The USDA-certified organic Brazilian spirit is launching in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and France. The launch was kicked off with educational cachaça seminars in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam and Paris. Novo Fogo Silver, Chameleon, Barrel-Aged and Tanager are the first expressions available in Europe, and the brand will launch in additional European countries later this year.


How to make delicious, all-natural Margaritas.

Monin Margarita Mix is all-natural, vegan, gluten free and GMO free - What's Shakin' week of June 19
Attribution/Copyrights: Monin

Today’s guest is more focused on wellness, healthy ingredients, and the details about what they’re consuming. Monin’s newest flavor is a Margarita Mix that’s vegan and free of gluten and GMOs. This all-natural concentrate is made with real lemon and Persian lime juices, and it’s sweetened with organic agave nectar. This new Monin flavor is perfect for health-conscious guests and great for operators since it comes in 64-oz. PET bottles, meaning you can make 2-gallon batches with it. To get you started, they’ve even provided a recipe:

Monin Margarita Mix

Yields 2 gallons of prepared Margarita mix

  • 192 oz. Filtered water
  • 64 oz. Monin Margarita Mix
  • 3 oz. prepared Margarita Mix
  • 1.5 oz. Silver tequila
  • 0.5 oz. Triple sec
  • Salt and lime (optional)

Combine the first two ingredients and stir to mix (will yield 2 gallons). In a 12-oz. glass, combine last three ingredients. For on the rocks Margarita, add 0.75 oz. of Monin Syrup or 0.5 oz. Monin Fruit Purée of choice, and serve over ice. For frozen Margarita, replace triple sec with 0.75 oz. of Monin Syrup or 0.5 oz. Monin Fruit Purée of choice, blend with ice, and serve.


Want to attend Jon Taffer’s Rescue Tour? TouchTunes has your back!

Jon Taffer and TouchTunes partner for Rescue Tour - What's Shakin' week of June 19
Attribution/Copyrights: JonTaffer.com

We all know Jon Taffer, the host and executive producer of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue. But you may not be aware that in addition to hosting Spike TV’s most popular series, speaking and consulting, Taffer travels the country to share his bar operation tactics with his Recue Tour. This year, the Rescue Tour is headed to 27 cities throughout the United States.

Those interested in learning from Taffer will be pleased to learn that TouchTunes is offering attendees 15% off their registration. Simply use the code TOUCHTUNES when you checkout to receive your discount.

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