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Macchu Pisco



October 4, 2013

How the US government’s shut down is wreaking havoc with the spirits industry
By Francine Cohe

Washington DC with monument in background quiet

Think that just because you’re not one of the 800,000 “non-essential personnel” furloughed during the government shut down this week that you and your hospitality/liquor industry brethren and the customers you serve won’t feel the sting? Think again.

While you’re all still expected to be at your job as normal, and it doesn’t seem evident that anything much has changed on a day to day basis, OND sales numbers, product innovation, and revenue (brand and tax revenue) is going to be down this year. Not to mention the possibility of product shortages. There’s no telling yet just how hard we’ll be hit. But it’s certain you’ll see the impact in some way.

Though it is highly unlikely you’re in the same boat as Allison Evanow of Square One Organic Spirits ( and Brian Facquet of Prohibition Distillery (, two craft distillers in the delegation organized by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States ( to present their handcrafted products to VIPs at Berlin’s Bar Convent next week who were just notified that the venue had changed from the American Embassy to the Berlin Hilton thanks to our legislators not coming to consensus, the impact of this government shut down won’t go unnoticed.

Maybe it’ll be noticeable bare spots on your shelves because imported products are tied up at port. That’s a problem that Lizzie Asher, President of Macchu Pisco (, is presently facing. Or maybe you’re a retailer awaiting holiday VAPs to fill your shelves in one of the busiest selling seasons of the year and those new products simply aren’t available. Producers who live and breathe for those on and off premise account sales are certainly feeling it now. Jason Johnstone-Yellin of Single Cask Nation ( notes, “Single Cask Nation has product sitting at the Glenfarclas distillery that cannot be imported before TTB approval is received. Further, our US-sourced Chanukah releases are delayed while we wait to Continue Reading…



January 6, 2013

What you’ll be drinking and thinking about and why, as 2013 marches on
By Francine Cohen

Argentina cars old and new

The past and the present can, and do, exist peacefully side by side. The best elements from eras past stick around to inform the future, while new innovations take their rightful place alongside of them.
Just as it is evident in automobile design, the same can be said of the beverage world. Great old drinks become classics, while new innovations and approaches are embraced with open arms. What does this have to do with drinks and the new year, versus the one just past?

Whether we’re talking about the specifics of the last months of 2012, or just in general about year end, it’s often such a pressure filled time. We’re scrambling to get all those things done we’d promised ourselves, or others, that we’d do and swearing we’ll be better next year. Which brings us to the new year; again, pressure filled, but full of hope for a brighter tomorrow, and new ideas and experiences ahead that promise to make (insert year here) the Best Year Ever.

Realistic? Probably not. We’d all be a whole lot better off, calmer, happier, and more productive if we stopped with the pressure and just focused on doing the best we could every day and finding a little joy in every new discovery instead of awaiting The Big One. Alas, that’s not realistic either.

What could work is just a little proverbial jumping up and down over the trends we’ve seen bubbling up in the drinks industry. At INSIDE F&B we’ve been hearing rumbles about a lot of things, and have the good fortune to be first out of the gate in trying on some of these ideas for size while tasting new products. There are a lot of ideas on the horizon and overall the spirits industry is booming in terms of brand explosion and job opportunities. In the category of new drink ideas some are good, some a little less than appealing; for instance, who are we to stop you from drinking chocolate wine if that’s what you want. Just don’t try and serve it to us. But if someone can make a living from this, and not really hurt anyone in the process, we’re okay with that.

Here’s what we expect to see more of in 2013:
1) Savory. No, don’t expect salt in every cocktail (although a bartender worth his/her salt knows the impact it’ll have to add a scant pinch); but do know that as the bar and kitchen become more comfortable partners food flavors are going to start creeping into our cocktail glasses more often than they have in the past.
2) Texture. Yep, back to the kitchen again. While we’re not sure that chunky bits in our cocktails are what we’re looking for on a regular basis, the judicious use of ice, garnishes, and understanding that ingredients impact mouth feel will enhance the cocktail experience.
3) Sour. Vinegars were popping for a hot minute. We don’t think we’ve seen the end of this. Especially as more bartenders start substituting vinegars for other acid in drinks.
4) International sugar and salt options. Want to use Brazilian rapadura Continue Reading…



October 13, 2011

Ultimate Blast discounted tickets for INSIDE F&B readers

There won’t be a ball dropping, confetti falling, or Ryan Seacrest trying to fill Dick Clark’s shoes as Auld Lang Syne plays in the background but you’ll still want to head to Times Square on Friday night.

Paul Pacult, Dale Degroff, Doug Frost, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Dave Wondrich and other industry leaders have provided us with a solid spirits education illuminating topics from pulque to punches and now it’s time to celebrate all we’ve learned. In just 48 short hours the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis will convert into NYC’s most award winning cocktail party and it’s an event no self respecting quaffer will want to miss.

Taste award winning cocktails (some made with Fever-Tree mixers) from Macchu Pisco, new cocktails from Louis Royer Cognac and LiV Vodka, international wines and champagnes that scored high in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge and all sorts of unique bottlings, wine, cocktail and spirit tastings.

The evening doesn’t have to end when you head out the door. Visit with the authors of some spirited cocktail books and take a signed copy home with you. Throughout the evening you’ll have a chance to buy their books and meet and raise a glass with the following authors:

• Ultimate Beverage Challenge/Ultimate Blast founder F. PAUL PACULT – American Still Life: The Jim Beam Story and Making the World’s #1 Bourbon; A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Became Global Icons
• JILL DEGROFF – Lush Life 2: Portraits from Behind the Bar
• DALE DEGROFF – The Craft of the Cocktail; The Essential Cocktail
• KAREN FOLEY – The American Cocktail: 50 Recipes That Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast
• JIM MEEHAN – The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy
• DAVID J. REIMER SR. – Micro-Distilleries in the U.S. and Canada: 2011 Edition
• DAVID WONDRICH – Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl; Imbibe!

For a DEEP discount on this evening that promises to be one of the best parties of the fall INSIDE F&B is proud to partner with the Ultimate Blast to offer industry readers a $25 ticket. Go to the list of everything that will be available to be poured.

The facts:
Date: Friday, October 14, 2011
Address: Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway @ 45th St., NYC, Broadway Ballroom
VIP Tickets: $122.50 before 9/15; $175.00 after; 5:30 – 9:30pm
General Tickets: $87.50 before 9/15; $125.00 after; 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Purchase Tickets here:

Rocks Stars


August 19, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things
By David Ransom

Photo by Charles Steadman

Once again this past July in New Orleans, Mrs. And Mr. Cocktail (aka Ann & Paul Tuennerman) put on what those of us in the business have affectionately come to consider the triathlon of liver survival (drink-filled seminars, drink-filled tasting rooms, and drink-filled dinners and parties… not to mention the obligatory night-ending swing through Old Absinthe House on Rue Bourbon every night just to prove you didn’t expire during the course of the day) that is Tales of the Cocktail (

Having just completed its ninth year, Tales has grown from a tiny industry-focused event that brought the nation’s top bartenders together for a few days of camaraderie, events, and parties, into a truly international symposium, complete with a “Spirited Awards” program (like the movie industry’s Oscars) that hands out honors to establishments and industry leaders from around the world, and now brings in professionals and consumers from all over the globe to celebrate the world of cocktails in the city that created them.

Rocks Stars and I feel honored to be given the chance to attend each year, and as always, I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my experiences…now that I have recovered enough to be able to write again…

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things from this year’s Tales, both good and bad, but really all good, as nothing that includes having a well-crafted drink could ever really be bad… and in no particular order:

Best Hosts Under Pressure: Ann & Paul Tuennerman. Nine years into it, Tales could probably have run itself, but Ann and Paul were everywhere. Every event. Every day. Every night. What amazes me about this is that Paul was recovering from a health scare and had just spent time in the hospital. I have to tip my hat to these two intrepid souls for not staying in the background and recuperating at home while “their baby” was staged. Quite to the contrary, they were all over the place from Tuesday’s Media Welcome Party at Arnaud’s French 75 bar (beautifully run by Chris Hannah, one of NOLA’s finest drinks-smiths –,to the final Sunday Brunch with Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail, and everywhere in between. I even ran into Paul solo, visibly tired yet surely on the mend, at the Suntory Suite ( one afternoon where we chatted on the balcony overlooking Bourbon Street while enjoying a glass of Japan’s finest single malt. Continue Reading…



July 8, 2011

When design updates have an impact on history and profits
By Francine Cohen and Eric Tecosky

Last week we brought you a story about bottle design that explored the functionality of visual impact of the bottle itself. (

Taking it one step further this week is some very thoughtful input from one of our favorite Los Angeles based contributors, Eric Tecosky (of Jones Hollywood and Dirty Sue Olive Juice fame –, and a recent judge in the Macchu Pisco Centennial Pisco Sour Competition –

In a world where icons like Coca-Cola and Tony the Tiger resonate as impactfully as being able to spot your favorite brand across a crowded bar, Tecosky takes to task (in a most polite way) the dear folks at Brown-Forman ( who, suddenly, seem to feel the need to mess with one of the liquor industry’s most enduring and visible icons; the Jack Daniel’s label. Though we’ve been assured by the distillery that the juice in the bottle hasn’t changed (phew!), the visible representation of what Jack Daniel’s represents is now, according to the brand, more streamlined.

Brilliant marketing strategy that’s going to boost sales or foolish, grasping-at-straws for market share visual travesty? See what Tecosky has to say about it and let us know if you agree. Or not.

Dear Someone with a sense of reality at Brown-Forman,

I write to you with a severe case of overwhelming sadness. A cultural icon has died. That icon has been with the world for many years and has touched millions across the globe. That icon has dined with some of the most influential people in all walks of life. That icon has shared the stage with legends in the entertainment business and at the same time has brought joy to regular people like you and me. That icon was the bottle of Jack Daniel’s. How did that icon die? Where did it go? These are questions that I have been asking myself since I ripped open a case of the “new” Jack Daniel’s.

Why the new bottle design and label? If I had to make a guess, here goes…I can only assume that some high paid marketing exec was looking for a way to shine and started an inner office campaign to “hip” up the image of Jack Daniel’s. Once that train left the station with everyone on board, there was no turning back. High-fives were exchanged, photo shoots were scheduled, corporate dinners were booked – “people will be amazed when they see how we have made Jack Daniel’s cool again.”

Now, I don’t want to judge too harshly or point fingers at anyone, instead, I offer you this – The New Coke. In 1985 Coca-Cola scrapped their flagship brand due to lost market share to Pepsi and launched, The New Coke. New formula, better taste, blah, blah, blah. Consumers were up in arms and after a couple years of trying to make it work, they went back to “classic’ coke.

Forgetting that it failed for a second, let’s look at why it failed. Coke was a cultural icon. The world grew up with it and trusted it. Sure, maybe sales were lagging at that time, but it was not because Coke didn’t taste they way it should, it was because Pepsi was being more aggressive in product placement – supermarkets, restaurants, etc. The answer should’ve been, “let’s analyze what is not working and fix the problem.” Instead, they took an extreme approach and fell flat on their face. History should be the teacher to every brand facing similar predicaments.

I don’t work for Brown-Forman, so I am not privy to meetings, strategy sessions, etc. but, as a reasonably educated, business minded individual, I can offer with confidence that whatever was the spark that ignited the flame which resulted in the new packaging should’ve been met with an extinguisher immediately.
Instead, I would have looked at why you thought you needed a change to begin with. Sales? Demographic? Competition? Maybe your distributors have the attitude of “Jack sells itself,” and they focused more on other brands. Maybe your internal strategy wasn’t focusing on new whiskey drinkers or converting people from competing brands. Whatever the impetus was, believe me – new packaging is not the answer. Everyone knows the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Well I offer you a new adage, “If it ain’t broke and it kicks ass, the problem lies somewhere else.” Change like this is reckless and unnecessary. It reeks of someone pushing a new idea through to divert attention away from something they were unable to remedy.

Jack Daniel’s is cool. Period. Jack Daniel’s is iconic. Period. Jack Daniel’s is a great whiskey. Period.

In a shrinking world, lines are muddled and identities are lost. We must hold onto the few emblems of a disappearing era. Jack Daniel’s is one of those emblems. A true icon of America, and the world as a whole. Jack Daniel’s has achieved something that few brands have ever done. That achievement should be held onto for dear life, and not abandoned for something new, just for the sake of something new.

Finally, I offer you Frank Sinatra; another true icon beloved by the world. Frank Sinatra defined cool. He defined generations. He inspired millions and continues to bring joy to the world, years after he’s been gone. There was a point in his career when his big band sound and crooning voice was being taken over by rock and roll. Record sales were down, huge concerts were a thing of the past and it looked like Frank Sinatra was going to be a memory. Music that your parents listened to.

What did Frank Sinatra do? Did he make a big change? Did he learn the electric guitar and start growing out his hair? Did he introduce to the world the “new” Frank Sinatra? No. He did none of those things. Frank Sinatra did what he did best and kept on doing it. But he expanded the way he did it. He always did movies, but instead of cute singing and dancing roles, he took on some real roles. And for that he won an Oscar. He always did shows, but instead of running around the country he took his act to Vegas. And for that, The Rat Pack was born. Frank Sinatra didn’t change his image, he just figured out a way to expose his image to the world again. And it worked. And what did he stock in his bar at all times? Jack Daniel’s.

In conclusion, I urge you to reconsider the change. Actually, don’t reconsider, just go back to the way things were. You got it right the first time.


Eric “ET” Tecosky
Bar Manager/Jones Hollywood
Owner/Dirty Sue premium olive juice
Proud consumer of Jack Daniel’s



June 30, 2011

Centennial Macchu Pisco Competition Deadline is today, June 30th

By Francine Cohen

Bet you didn’t know that 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu by American explorer, Hiram Bingham. Us either; until the good folks at Macchu Pisco told us this interesting fact.

Even more interesting was learning that Macchu Pisco has partnered with the Peruvian government, Peru’s national airline Avianca Taca, and Orient-Express to create a cocktail competition unlike most others.

More than just a cocktail competition, this spirited adventure celebrates the culinary culture of Peru – from drink to food and their origins. Lizzie Asher, President of Macchu Pisco LLC, comments, “While we toast to one Peruvian treasure being re-discovered by an American, likewise we can say that Peruvian Pisco is being put on the map thanks to bartenders who embody Hiram Bingham’s spirit of adventure.”

After traveling to Boston to judge their local competition this past Monday (a big round of applause to Boston’s winner, Naomi Levy of Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks thanks to an invitation from the Macchu Pisco team (including sister Melanie Asher who is the founder of the company and the brand’s master distiller) we know that the spirit of adventure needed for this competition is different than your normal approach.

So, let’s see, how can we explain it to you so fully that you’ll want to enter? Well, this one’s national (yes, we know, so are some others). This one allows every competitor to present their drink and describe it to the judges (yes, yes, we know, other competitions have that element too). This one has prizes for: the best tasting cocktail (uh, huh, we know, same old, same old); most creative/relevant to the topic (hmmmm, getting a little different here, aren’t we?); and takes presentation into consideration (tip – invest in pretty glassware, judges like pretty glassware). The Centennial competition is judged by both Continue Reading…



June 25, 2010

Go Ahead and Play the Field at CKTL JAM

Put 9 featured brands on the bar, add 9 bartenders, mix them all together and what you get is a whole lot of great drinks making their debut, and some innovative ideas about bartending.

That’s the method behind the madness of the semi-annual experimental cocktail laboratory fondly known as CKTL JAM, which is scheduled for Monday, June 28, from 6:00-10:00 PM. Hosted at Astor Center ( and co-founded by PipeLine Brands ( this bi-annual showcase of the best artisanal brands and bartenders in play puts new and favorite brands into the hands of the tri-state area’s most creative mixologists, giving them a chance to explore new flavors and products that are just hitting the market. Guests on the other side of the bar have the distinct pleasure of rubbing elbows with the bartending elite and tasting new to market products while being among the first cocktail connoisseurs in the city to taste these on-the-fly cocktails and weigh in with their opinions.

The CKTL JAM-as-incubator works thanks to the objective (and often critical) audience of bartenders and cocktail aficionados in attendance who are happy guinea pigs/tasters of the drinks. As groups of brands are showcased hourly by a new 3 man shift behind the bar, attendees are able to see the mixology process in action as new drink creations are formed before their very eyes.

Drink creation isn’t the only goal of the evening. A number of interesting (and new) brands, including the newly launched Employees Only line of cordials, DonQ, Macchu Pisco, Maker’s Mark, Yamazaki, and more will be available for sampling straight and in signature cocktails at individual tasting tables. The evening’s recipes will be compiled and made accessible to all attendees.

This pre-summer and pre-Tales reunion bash was developed by PipeLine to benefit the U.S. Bartenders Guild New York Chapter (USBG-NY), offering bartenders a chance to forge a bond Continue Reading…



May 6, 2010

A Micro Spirits Odyssey presented by Hush Cocktails

Manhattan is about to be awash in an unprecedented celebration of small batch spirits.

The Micro Spirits Odyssey, created by Hush Cocktails ( expressly for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (, is a daylong event co-hosted by Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter ( comprised of a series of seminars and spirits tastings paired with the perfect small bites to honor the small artisan producers and welcomes the imbibers who love them.

Erin Williams of Hush explains why it came together, “What we at Hush Cocktails love about this event is that it is aimed at promoting the ‘underdog’ – that small producer who gets shut out of other events because they may not have the marketing budget that allows them to participate and get the exposure they deserve. The Micro Spirits Odyssey is being hosted in an elegant space, with exquisite cocktails and culinary pairings which is a luxury many of these small batch micro distilleries could not afford to produce on their budgets like many of the more prominent and established brands are able to do. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of support from our peers, and we wanted to extend that support to the folks who make our job possible- the creators and producers of spirits. Every big brand and company that exists today started out small, and with the support of our fellow boozehounds and connoisseurs alike making this event a success, we hope to create a community that can help build and shape our passions to evolve with success, and of course, a simply marvelous time!”

You can’t help but marvel at the lineup of seminars which will enable you to explore various aspects of the growing artisan distillery movement (see schedule below) and you’ll be wowed by the offerings of participating spirits producers (see list below) who will be pouring tastes in “Ground Control” as customized cocktails are offered by Hush Cocktails and guest bartenders: Eryn Reece of Mayahuel, Yael Vengroff of Pegu Club, Frankie Marshall of Clover Club, Continue Reading…