Monthly Archives: April 2012

Friday’s Feature Cocktail – Sloe Gin Fizz

Wow, somehow we’ve wound up at the last Friday in April so let’s celebrate with a beverage. Today, we’re sipping on a Sloe Gin Fizz, a slightly fizzy (hence the name!) cocktail that, in our variation, calls for both a London-Style gin in Beefeater and Hiram Walker’s all-natural Sloe Gin. This is a great, economic alternative if you cannot find the English sloe gin in your market (it only recently became available again in the US, thanks to Plymouth).

The Professor himself, David Wondrich, has already identified for us one of the most eloquently written reviews on the drink:

“Its haunting pink color and fruity opulence are topped with a handsome collar of natural foam which, if the sloe gin be of first quality, is gladsome aplenty.” – Lawton Mackall, Esquire Magazine,  August 1941

So now, what is there that I can really say to top Mackall’s description? I’ll just humbly offer up our recipe instead!

Sloe Gin Fizz

  • 1 part Hiram Walker® Sloe Gin
  • 1 part Beefeater® Gin
  • 1 part Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 part Simple Syrup
  • 5 parts Soda Water

Combine ingredients and serve on ice in a Collins glass.

Have a very happy weekend!


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A Bocci Ball Cocktail for Amaretto Day

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, Cocktail Culture fans! This Thursday is no ordinary Thursday – it happens to be National Amaretto Day. Amaretto is a sweet almond flavor liqueur, boasting notes of caramel as well, and Hiram Walker’s all natural version is made from ingredients including apricot and almond.

So while I could offer up an entire family of cocktails to use your bottle of Amaretto with (a la Godfather cocktail) I’ll offer up instead the Bocci Ball cocktail. Here’s the recipe:

Bocci Ball:

  • 3.5 parts Orange Juice
  • 1 part Hiram Walker Amaretto

Fill a chilled highball glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Garnish with an orange slice.

It may be the Italian origins of both this game and liqueur that give the cocktail its name, but it is a great one to have in your back pocket for an outdoor dining or brunch cocktail.

What are some of your preferred uses of Amaretto? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!





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Looking for Spirits Recommendations? Go for the Gold!

We’re loving the fact that we are today celebrating 100 days from the start of the US Olympics and Paralympics in London, but there’s another Gold Medal out there that we want to celebrate today – the Gold and Double Gold honors handed out at the recent San Francisco World SpiritsCompetition. If you are looking for recommendations of new spirit brands to try, there’s no better place to start than with an award winner! Please see the below press release from Pernod Ricard USA


Tequila Avión® Crowned Best White Spirit and World’s Top Tequila

NEW YORK, NY (April 18, 2012) – Pernod Ricard USA® is proud to announce that its  portfolio of premium spirits brands has claimed the most Double Gold and Gold Medals combined at the prestigious 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Ten of the company’s brands were awarded top in class Double Gold Medals while 15 brands claimed Gold Medals. In addition, Tequila Avión, distributed by Pernod Ricard USA via a global distribution partnership, received the highly coveted Best White Spirit Award, 2012 and was crowned World’s Best Tequila.

Pernod Ricard’s powerful Scotch portfolio — including Chivas Regal® 25 Year Old, The Glenlivet® 18 Year Old and 21 Year Old, and Aberlour® 12 Year Old, 12 Year Old Non-Chill Filtered and 18 Year Old — led the way claiming six Double Gold Medals. Irish brands Jameson® 18 Year Old and Midleton® Very Rare as well as Cognac brand Martell® Cordon Bleu and Avión Silver also claimed Double Gold at the annual competition, reinforcing Pernod Ricard’s commitment to bringing brands of outstanding quality and integrity to market. Gold Medal recipients include: Aberlour 16 Year Old; ABSOLUT ELYX, Chivas Regal 18 Year Old; Martell XO; Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy; Olmeca Altos Reposado; Pernod Classic; Pernod Absinthe; Plymouth Gin; Powers John Lane; Redbreast 12 Year Old; Redbreast 15 Year Old; Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength; Royal Salute 21 Year Old; and The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve.

“Recognition from this esteemed organization is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship of our premium brands,” noted Paul Duffy, CEO of Pernod Ricard USA. “And the outstanding recognition won by Tequila Avión reconfirms that it belongs alongside such leaders as ABSOLUT, Jameson, Chivas and The Glenlivet.   We recognized early on that Tequila Avión has all the elements necessary to become one of the next great global iconic spirit brands,  and we are thrilled that it is now part of our portfolio through our joint venture with the Tequila Avión company.”

The San Francisco competition is the oldest, largest, and most recognized spirits competition in the United States. This year, thirty-three prominent spirits experts convened to judge more than 1,200 spirit products from around the world.


Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs more than 18,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI).
The company’s leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu®, Kahlúa® Liqueur,  Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac,  Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avión™ Tequila (through a joint venture with Tequila Avión); such superior wines as Jacob’s Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.
Pernod Ricard USA is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit:

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Introducting a New Flavor – Hiram Walker Whipped

On Tuesday afternoon, Pernod Ricard USA released news of its newest flavor to be released from Hiram Walker. Below is the press announcement introducing Hiram Walker Whipped:


New York, N.Y., (April 10, 2012) – Hiram Walker, a brand known for both its traditional and innovative line of premium liqueurs, schnapps, brandies and triple sec, will be releasing a new flavored imitation liqueur, Hiram Walker® Whipped Cream Imitation Liqueur this June. The smooth whipped cream flavor is perfect for delicious dessert-like mixed cocktails and is a tasty treat served chilled and straight up as well.

“Whipped is the fastest growing flavor in the spirits category, increasing in size five fold between 2010 and 2011[1], and has become a key growth driver in the vodka segment,” noted Sarah Sercia, Brand Manager for Hiram Walker, Pernod Ricard USA. “While whipped is an established flavor in the vodka segment, Hiram Walker Whipped Cream will be the only nationally available whipped flavor in the cordials segment. Cordials are the second most shopped retail segment behind vodka[2] and have the highest incidence of cross-category shopping with vodka[3], making Whipped Cream a natural extension of our diverse flavor portfolio that will allow consumers and bartenders alike to create delicious and distinctive new cocktail recipes or develop new flavor variations on old favorites.

The launch of the new Hiram Walker Whipped Cream will be supported at retail with custom POS and merchandising materials including one case bins, case cards and special recipe neckers designed to inspire Cordial shoppers looking for innovative ways to enjoy Hiram Walker Whipped Cream. The neckers include four drink recipes that highlight Hiram Walker Whipped’s natural pairing with Pernod Ricard premium brands such as ABSOLUT® and Kahlua®. On-Premise, Hiram Walker Whipped Cream offers bartenders a delicious and reasonably priced offering to capture the increasingly popular whipped shot occasion.

Hiram Walker Whipped Cream will be available in 1L, 750ml and 50ml sizes. The suggested retail price for a 750ml is $9.99.

[1] Neilsen January 2012
The Liquor Shopper Experience – “The Last Three Feet” – Qualitative Phase Final Report Envirosell non holiday, 2007
The Liquor Shopper Experience – “The Last Three Feet” – Qualitative Phase Final Report Envirosell non holiday, 2007

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Happy Licorice Day!

Hello Cocktail Culture fans and sorry for the absence early on this month. But I’m back with a great assortment of cocktail recipes to help celebrate National Licorice Day today. Hiram Walker produces two tremendous products that will give you the licorice flavor you may be craving today, both Sambuca and Anisette. Hiram Walker carefully selects and imports the aniseed for both of these bar essentials, providing a clean and delicious licorice flavor from sip to swallow.

If you’re looking for a great cocktail recipe in which to use either of these products, A History of Drinking today features The Black Cat, a layered shot of Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, Hiram Walker Anisette and Tequila. On Cocktail Culture, I offer up the Sol y Sombra. Served in a brandy glass (sometimes referred to as snifters), this beverage offers an elegant approach to serving up anise-flavored spirits. Here’s the recipe:

Sol y Sombra

Combine ingredients, chill and serve in a brandy glass (snifter).

Cheers and enjoy celebrating Licorice Day!

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