Every year I look forward to the WSWA trade show to see what new spirits are in hopes for gaining distribution and market space on liquor store and bar shelves across America. This year’s products brought new ideas and new flavors to the field. Here is my list of new products who stood out among the rest.
Sweet Potato Vodka: We’ve all heard of potato vodka, but sweet potato vodka? I was intrigued. Corbin Sweet Potato Vodka is distilled from 100% sweet potatoes, gluten free, and handcrafted in small batches. Ten pounds of raw sweet potatoes made up of 8 unique varietals, aged upwards of 16 months, are required to make just one bottle of this unique product. While I did taste similar characteristics to other potato vodkas on the market, Corbin stood out with a sweeter yet still potent flavor. Unfortunately, I didn’t taste the product in cocktail form; however I’d be interested to try their “Stubborn Mule” (a take on the Moscow Mule): 2 oz. Corbin Vodka, ½ oz. lime juice, 1 dash bitters, and topped with ginger beer.
Marley Coffee Liqueur: The next standout was Marley Coffee Liqueur by United Spirits, LLC and Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley. Few products have stood up in quality to the leading coffee and cream based products dominating shelves, but this one stands a good chance. Each product is made with Marley Coffee, an international gourmet coffee company founded by Rohan, and sourcing beans from around the world including Ethiopia, Central America and Jamaica. Both the coffee-based and cream-based products are extremely smooth and fresh. They were remarkable served simply on ice.
TeQava: TeQava is not just any tequila, it’s a sparkling tequila. Made with a blend of 100% Blue Weber Agave Triple Distilled Tequila, TeQava derives from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico making its debut to the US markets. It is uniquely carbonated with aromas of butter, vanilla, caramel, nectar, and agave. TeQava is a blend of the word “Tequila” and “Cava.” Cava is the Spanish word for cave where sparkling wine is stored. TeQava is to be served straight chilled, though I am already imagining how well this could work into current trendy cocktails.
Traverse City Whiskey: “A story with every bottle,” Traverse City Whiskey Company has a recipe that has been passed through a family for generations. It’s a unique craft whiskey from northern Michigan. It ages in a cooler climate giving the bourbon a very interesting and appreciated flavor profile and aroma. This Bourbon Whiskey is a crafted blend of corn, rye and barley and is aged for four years in American oak. In Traverse City, the creators spend endless summer nights by the lake with nothing but a circle of friends, a campfire, and a bottle of Traverse City Whiskey. Cheers to summer nights around the corner!
Atlantic Bottling Maple Bacon Whiskey: Breakfast cocktails have recently been on-trend, and what better way to start the day than with a maple bacon whiskey? Atlantic Bottling’s version is easy on the non-whiskey drinker but also intriguing enough to the typical whiskey drinker. This drink would make a good brunch beverage, while their Western Honey Pepper Whiskey has a good kick for an afternoon or evening beverage.
THE LONDON No1: Directly from London comes THE LONDON No1, a very unique gin created with traditional gin making techniques then incorporates herbs and spices from the 18th and 19th centuries. Drawn towards the Gonzalez Byass (makers of The London No1) booth by the distinct turquoise color of the gin, this product stands out not in gimmick alone but in quality taste. The London No1 is made up of twelve different botanicals: orange peel, coriander, lemon peel, juniper, liquorice, cinnamon, almond, angelica root, lily root, cassia, savory, and bergamot. Once I get a bottle on hand I will be sure to try their The Passion Fruit and the London No1 Sour Drink By Andres Madrigal: 150ml of The London No1, 30g Passion Fruit pulp, 80ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 20ml of green lime juice freshly squeezed, 42g of white powdered sugar, 62g of egg white, and 6 ice cubes perfumed with bergamot, cinnamon and juniper.
The 70th annual event held in Orlando chose their selection of winners which can be seen HERE.
Until next year!