What’s Shakin’ in the Bar & Nightlife Business: Week of October 2

Black and white photo of bartender with cocktail shaker
What's shakin'? Image: ArthurHidden / iStock / Getty Images Plus. All other images property of their respective brands.

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.

 

We will not be divided.

Forever Vegas Strong Las Vegas Victims' Fund GoFundMe page - What's Shakin' week of October 2
 
A horrific and cowardly act of violence was perpetrated against the city of Las Vegas on October 1. The city is reeling, but they are also unifying during this time of crisis. Volunteers are donating their time, resources and money to help the community and stand up to hate. If you’d like to help, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak has set up a GoFundMe page for the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund to raise funds to assist the victims of the tragic Las Vegas shooting, along with their families. Locals can give blood, or donate water, canned goods, or non-perishable items to Three Square and Catholic Charities. The city is coming together in the wake of this horrific tragedy and will remain Vegas Strong.

 

A journey into the Flavor Spiral.

Flaviar spirits sampling subscription service Tasting Box - What's Shakin' week of October 2
 
Have you ever wondered how so many of your guests seem to have firsthand knowledge of unique, rare and special spirits? The answer isn’t just that they’re reading reviews online and passing the information along as though it’s their own. Many of your spirits-educated guests are proud members of the membership-only spirits community Flaviar. This online spirits club is helping its members develop their palates, discover an incredible array of spirits, and put together home bars that are at once personalized, well curated, and worthy of a bit of boasting.

Flaviar, whether you realize it or not, is having an impact on your business. Members receive themed tasting boxes each quarter, and those boxes feature the Flaviar Flavor Spiral. They’re also invited to exclusive tastings, further exposing them to spirits that range from slightly to completely off the beaten path. As they uncover new spirits that they enjoy they’re going to look to you to add them to your inventory. You should consider joining yourself to keep up with your guests, learn what they’re learning, and anticipate what they’re going to ask you to carry.

 

Say goodbye to boring fruit.

 
How do you make apples, oranges and pineapples fun? You infuse the apples with cinnamon and whiskey, the oranges with tequila, and the pineapples with rum, obviously. That’s precisely what Fruit Nippers, LLC has done, and their infused fruits enhance cocktails, desserts and marinades. Each fruit expression comes in 13.5-oz. jars, and each is fat-free, gluten-free, kosher, and just 70 calories per serving. Learn more about Apple Cinnamon & Whiskey, Oranges & Tequila and Pineapples & Rum and check out recipes at the Fruit Nippers website.

 

This is our kind of hummingbird.

Novo Fogo Colibri cachaça from Brazil - What's Shakin' week of October 2
 
Consumers and bartenders alike have become increasingly interested in Cachaça. One of the best known producers is Novo Fogo. Beloved for both their commitment to sustainability and their ceaseless innovation, the small but impactful Brazilian brand has been making a name for themselves by releasing intriguing special editions. The latest special offering is Novo Fogo Colibri, which is the Portuguese word for “hummingbird,” and was released this past Monday. Colibri is an expression of cachaça that was created by moving the liquid back and forth between repurposed oak barrels and Brazilian teak (amburana) barrels. The oak imparted flavors of vanilla and toffee, the amburana delivered cinnamon and chestnut flavors, and maturation helped develop notes of banana, passion fruit and snickerdoodle.

 

Jack-O’Blast: The Return

Captain Morgan’s seasonal Jack-O’Blast returns for fall - What's Shakin' week of October 2
 
Like an iconic, supernatural villain from a horror movie, Captain Morgan’s seasonal Jack-O’Blast has returned! It has arrived just in time for your fall and Halloween menus and promotions with its blend of pumpkin spice and spiced rum. You can’t miss the pumpkin-shaped bottle, and your guests will want to know about when they see it on your back bar. Captain Morgan suggests you enjoy Jack-O’Blast as a chilled shot, but it’s fantastic as the base for seasonal recipes. One such recipe is the Pumpkin Spiced Shotte:
  • 1 oz. Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast
  • 1 oz. Captain Morgan LocoNut
  • 2. oz. Cold brew
  • Whipped cream, cinnamon and caramel to top

Combine Jack-O’Blast, LocoNut and cold brew in a shaker with ice. Pour into 2.5-oz. shot glass, and top with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. We’re already looking forward to next year’s release, because this seasonal release deserves as many sequels as your favorite horror franchise.

 

Smooth and refined with perfect taste.

Hornitos Cristalino añejo tequila - What's Shakin' week of October 2
Image: Beam, Inc.

Much to our surprise, that’s apparently not a description of the Nightclub & Bar staff. Instead, it’s how Hornitos Tequila is describing their innovative new expression called Cristalino. Hornitos Cristalino is an añejo tequila aged for a minimum of 12 months in American white oak casks and filtered until it’s both incredibly smooth and crystal clear, making it the first such tequila in the premium category. The resulting 80-proof liquid is characterized by floral and honey notes, along with vanilla, butterscotch and toasted wood flavors.

 

[Insert witty Game of Thrones “Winter is coming” reference here]

Glenfiddich Experimental Series Winter Storm Scotch whisky aged in icewine casks - What's Shakin' week of October 2
 
Image: William Grant & Sons

The third release in the Glenfiddich Experimental Series has been revealed! Glenfiddich Winter Storm came to be after Glenfiddich’s Malt Master Brian Kinsman returned from a trip to Canada. During the trip, Kinsman learned how icewine is produced, and it got him to experimenting with French oak icewine casks. The Malt Master filled the casks with different Glenfiddich malts that had been aged for up to six months. Kinsman eventually found that only whiskies that had been aged for 21 years were able to stand up to icewine’s inherent intensity. The product of Kinsman’s experiments is Winter Storm, a golden whisky with tropical fruit, candied sweets and wine notes on the nose; candied fruit and Turkish delight flavors that transform into lychee; and a short, crisp finish courtesy of the drying sensation of the icewine.