Posts Tagged ‘Solerno’


Monday, December 29th, 2014

By Sara Kay


With events like New York Champagne Week, which is only in its second year and has already experienced an incredible amount of notoriety, it brings to mind an important question about the future of champagne as not just a celebratory beverage on its own, but a key player in the cocktail world.

The French 75 and the Kir Royale – both cocktails that feature champagne – are staples in the classic cocktail category, but as we’ve seen from events such as this one on Nobember 4th, versatility is the name of the game.


Champagne and cocktail lovers alike came together for the first consumer event of New York Champagne Week 2014 to see bartenders from around New York City compete for the title of best champagne cocktail. Sponsored by Nicolas Feuillatte, these competitors took over Evelyn Drinkery and created some truly outstanding tipples for people to sip on and enjoy as they talked about all things bubbly.

For Rob Bigelow, Master Sommelier and Senior Director of Wine Education and On-Premise Development for Ste Michelle Wine Estates, the future of champagne cocktails looks bright, and won’t be slowing down any time soon. He says, “It’s my opinion as a master sommelier and the opinion of most mixologists that champagne is the superior choice for sparkling wine in a cocktail, and that has to do with the quality of the grapes it comes from. At the end of the day, it’s just better.”

The competition ended with a bit of a twist; two competitors came away with the first place trophy, that trophy being a magnum bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte and the possibility of having their cocktail featured at Tales of the Cocktail 2015. Marlo Gamora of Jeepney and James Menite of The Plaza Hotel were crowned the two winners of the evening, with Micaela Piccolo of Distilled NYC coming away with the People’s Choice award.


A tie in a cocktail competition is fairly unheard of, but it signaled something exciting that industry insiders have known for a while; that Champagne cocktails are on the rise. It also means that competitions like these are finally being seen as ways to showcase the creative use of a base spirit like Champagne, and not just for bartender bragging rights or awareness of a certain spirit brand. In a display of excellent sportsmanship, Gamera and Menite accepted their equal first place win with joy, hugging it out and congratulating each other on a job extremely well done.

Gamera’s win with his drink The Pastry War meant first taking on the job of thinking about champagne in a whole new way. He explains, “I never thought mezcal and champagne would go together, I’ve never made a mezcal champagne cocktail before and I figured, why not? Mezcal is a great spirit and champagne as well. I took a dash of absinthe to tie them both together, then added a form of Asian expression from my background into the cocktail to really balance them out.”

Menite had similar sentiment about his approach to creating his winning cocktail, the Doit Anoir, which featured Salerno Blood Orange Liqueur as the base spirit. He notes, “I wanted to do the first egg white champagne cocktail. I’d never seen it done before and I thought it would work really well with the Salerno blood orange liqueur and the Ramazzotti Amaro. I don’t know if Salerno has ever been used as a base spirit, people mostly use it as a mixer. I wanted people to see it can be used as a base spirit. I wanted to showcase the Salerno and the champagne and how well they worked together.”

Whereas most champagnes ring in with a fairly hefty price tag, making working them into a drink menu not the economical choice for using in cocktails, Bigelow believes it’s brands like Nicolas Feuillette that end up coming out on top based on the low price point and the younger and hipper personality.


Cocktail innovation tends to be the focus for many of these competitive events, but there is also an element of education that comes in as well. Mixologists of this caliber know what makes a good cocktail great, and by discovering that champagne serves as the perfect balancing agent, it’s only a matter of time before the bubbly becomes a regularly featured ingredient in many a cocktail.

Charlotte Voisey, Brand Ambassador for William Grant & Sons, which provided all the spirits, comments, “It’s nice to see champagne in the industry getting the recognition it deserves. Champagne is a fantastic source of acidity, and that’s the key ingredient in any cocktail to balance everything out, and as we saw tonight, it goes well with every spirit category too.”

The cocktail industry sees its fair share of changing trends, with a particular drink being all the rage one day and yesterday’s news the next day, but when it comes to champagne cocktails, the attitude is fairly clear; they aren’t going anywhere.

“Whether it’s a cocktail or champagne straight up, it’s always going to be a good time,” says Gamera. “And, to quote Coco Chanel, she said t’here’s only two times that I drink champagne, when I’m in love or when I’m not.’ Anytime is a good time for champagne, even if you’re feeling down or feeling up. Champagne cocktails are always going to be there.”

We’ll cheers to that.



Monday, July 8th, 2013

1st Annual Dame Hall of Fame Luncheon is on July 18th
By Francine Cohen

TOTC 2012 Dame Hall of Fame luncheon table set

Follow the hats on July 18th and you’ll notice that the ladies are at it again – celebrating their past accomplishments and looking towards an even brighter future that will be revealed at this year’s Dame Hall of Fame luncheon at Tales of the Cocktail 2013 ( This the day for some serious celebrating of the strides women have made in the spirits industry, and all are welcome at this celebratory luncheon held at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel (

Returning sponsor Hollis Bulleit, World Ambassador for Bulleit Bourbon & Rye, explains why she and her brand are coming back for the sophomore year of this event that is co-sponsored by LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), “The Dame Hall of Fame means to me that I get to celebrate with my peers the breaking of another glass ceiling. It is a place for me to be proud of my accomplishments and taking the risk to add a feminine perspective and queer perspective in an industry that up until quite recently had a lot of rules on the right way to enjoy brown spirits.”

Having women lead the way on the right way to enjoy brown spirits, and spirits of every hue, is a far cry from the days when when women weren’t even allowed in bars. Now they’re shaking up the entire industry as mixologists, bar owners, ambassadors and more. It wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing dialogue and mentorship that LUPEC engenders throughout the year and, since LUPEC events are not simply brand commercials, that is why organizers decided to add an engaging educational component to this year’s luncheon via a Q&A session that will foster spirited conversation. LUPEC NYC President Lynnette Marrero notes, “It is important for LUPEC events at Tales of the Cocktail to be a chance for brands to interact with our members and to share their unique brand stories with our fan base.”

TOTC 2012 Dame Hall of Fame Lillet ladies talking

The luncheon’s supporting brands

Read the rest of this entry »


Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Because we’re gung-ho on competitions that aren’t just the same old same old, we’ve got two fun ones coming up for you.

Part I – Waterlogged
If you’re going to be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail ( 10th anniversary installment of this memorable (well, most things you do you’ll want to remember) annual event, you’re going to want to stick around at least until midday on Sunday when Solerno unveils the Mr. Solerno Swimsuit Competition:This One’s for the Ladies. (

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur just may have you blushing at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail and talking about the raucous event that will be sure to go down in Tales of the Cocktail history. Solerno has asked (ahem, yes, occasionally coerced) a group of the industry’s funniest, most outrageous and courageous male bartenders to battle it out in a competition that will combine quick wit, cocktail skills, costumes, shenanigans (perhaps a bit of interpretive dance?) and … yes …. your favorite boys in their bathing suits, naming one winner “Mr. Solerno 2012.”

The first annual “Mr. Solerno Swimsuit Competition!” will be hosted by your emcee for the day – Miss Jackie Patterson, the National Ambassador for Solerno on Sunday, July 29th from 12pm to 2pm at the Hotel Monteleone pool, as a precursor to the now legendary Milagro Pool Party.

Each gentleman competing will be coached and hosted by a proud “Pageant Mom.” The Pageant Mothers, likewise, are a collective of the industry’s best and brightest female bartenders. These ladies will coach their wards to rock the catwalk and answer the judges scintillating interview questions, while each Mama creates a Solerno-based, frozen blender cocktail. This is a poolside competition after all.

The judging panel consists of four of the industry’s most discerning minds in male physique and frozen blender mixology (Yeah, we have no idea what that means either. Just go with it) who will quiz, comment, sip, judge and ultimately add a few surprises of their own before determining a winner. This is an afternoon that promises to be filled with hard bodies, tan beer guts, frozen drinks, Solerno (obviously), a feather boa or 12 and an absurd amount of fun.

Don’t miss it!

To enter, follow this link
1. The team with the most “likes” on their entry is guaranteed a place in the competition.

2. Both competitors must already be attending Tales of the Cocktail 2012 in New Orleans and be present on Sunday, July 29th, 2012.

3. The frozen Solerno cocktail must contain no more than 7 ingredients, and may not include any homemade ingredients, that includes syrups, tinctures, bitters or liqueurs.

4. The frozen cocktail must contain at least 1 ounce of Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur.

5. When considering other ingredients for the frozen cocktail, please be mindful of the William Grant & Sons portfolio of premium spirits: Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Lillet, Tullamore Dew, Stolichnaya, Reyka Vodka, Art in the Age Liqueurs, Hudson Whiskey.

6. We are looking for the most delicious, frozen, Solerno focused, poolside beverage.

7. Please do not post any nude photographs, keep it classy my friends.

1.This Contest is organized and conducted by William Grant & Sons (“the Organiser”).

2.This contest commences at 3:00pm on 8 June 2012 and ends at 12:00am on 6 July 2012, running for a period of 5 weeks.

3. Participants will submit one photo & recipe.

4. Grand final judging will be announced the week of July 9th.

6. Eight people will be entitled to win once.

7.This contest is only open to all residents of The United States (“Eligible Entrants”). Employees and the immediate families of William Grant & Sons (“the Organiser”), are ineligible to enter or claim a reward.
Contest Prize

Conduct of This Contest
9. Winners are determined by Willima Grant & Son’s’s discretion (100%).

10. Winners will be notified on the Facebook wall.

11. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable, and not exchangeable for cash, credit or any other item. All winners shall accept prizes as they are and subject to any terms and conditions to the prizes. William Grant & Son’s makes no representation, warranty or undertaking whatsoever as to any implied terms and conditions with respect to the prizes in this Contest. William Grant & Son’s assumes no liability or responsibility whatsoever in respect to defect or deficiency of the prizes or the nature/consumption of the prizes and will not entertain any direct correspondence with anyone in this regard.

12. Any prize not won or unclaimed by July 9th will be forfeited. The winner whose prize has been forfeited or unclaimed is not entitled to any payment or compensation from William Grant & Son’s not withstanding non-receipt of notification that he/she is a winner.

14. The decision of William Grant & Son’s on all matters relating to or in connection with this Contest (including selection of the winners) will be final and binding on all parties concerned.

15. William Grant & Son’s may, at any time at its sole discretion and without prior notice, vary, modify, delete or add to these Terms and Conditions and may also withdraw or discontinue this Contest at any time without notice or liability to any party.

16. William Grant & Sons shall not be responsible for any breaches of contract or any actions or omissions on the part of suppliers nor be liable in any way to any party for any loss or damage arising in connection with this Contest, for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to any delay in processing of applications, error in computing, any breakdown or malfunction in any computer system or equipment and any notice which is misdirected or lost in post.

These Terms and Conditions are governed by USA law.