Posted on | June 16, 2011
Written by | Alia Akkam
Super-premium Effen Vodka, and its black cherry and cucumber iterations, have struck a chord with fashion-savvy consumers. Now Beam Global Spirits & Wine is further capitalizing upon the explosive flavored vodka trend with a new line: Pucker.
“Pucker is a high-end vodka with a social, fun-loving aspect,” notes Kim Washington, senior director. “The growth of flavored vodka is apparent, and we really saw an opportunity to expand on the flavor expertise of Pucker Cordials.”
Catering to consumers LDA+1-29, Pucker Vodka is skewed to female and African American demographics, but overall, Washington says, Pucker will resonate with a more inclusive psychographic: “a generation of outgoing people who live life to the fullest.”
Distilled four times and made with natural fruit flavors, Pucker Vodka comes in four colorful varieties: Sour Apple Sass, Grape Gone Wild, Cherry Tease and Citrus Squeeze.
While “much of the appeal is in its ability to consume straight on the rocks or with simple mixers like lemon, lime and soda,” Washington points out Pucker also lends itself well to a”range of interesting cocktails.”
Helping spearhead this mixology effort is Stephanie Schneider of Huckleberry Bar in Brooklyn, NY, who has teamed up with the brand to create custom Pucker Vodka cocktails.
“The flavors are so big, bold and balanced that I didn’t find I needed to add a lot of extra ingredients” says Schneider. “There’s a lot of fruit that adds roundness, so you can create a clean, simple cocktail.”
Schneider’s creations span the contemporary and the classic. The “Sweet and Sour Apple,” with Sour Apple Sass, for example, bridges the gap between traditional apple martini lovers and those who relish, say, Calvados and applejack, featuring maple syrup, lime juice and anisette cordial. Schneider uses the Citrus Squeeze to make the “Main Squeeze” with ginger cordial, lemon juice, cilantro and tonic; fresh thyme, honey syrup, orange juice and orange bitters combine with Cherry Tease in “It’s Cherry Thyme.”
In the “French 75,” a cross between a French Martini and a traditional French 75, Schneider pairs Grape Gone Wild with lemon juice and simple syrup and tops it with sparkling wine. “Grape takes over the Chambord note found in a French Martini, and the Pucker Vodka stands in for gin in the French 75,” she notes. “Everyone loves Champagne cocktails, especially the ladies, so it’s easy to please the crowd.
Going for the Bold
Pucker is packaged in colorful capped bottles adorned with the lipsticked imprint of lips to “speak to the personality of the brand,” explains Washington. “It has a sophisticated look that breaks out from other brands in
Like many flavored vodkas, Pucker will be more heavily weighted in the off-premise, and has developed corresponding in-store POS derived from a national media campaign Washington expects to reach 94% of the target audience.
“The flavored vodka category is growing,” says Washington, “and it’s projected to grow even further. Pucker gives consumers the new taste experiences they demand.”