New Products and Promotions – May 2015

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Newcastle Launches Retail Variety Pack

Newcastleis debuting an authentic British variety 12-pack in collaboration with Caledonian Brewery, one of the oldest and most respected breweries in theU.K.The variety pack contains two new styles—Newcastle British Pale Ale and Newcastle British Session IPA—along with Newcastle Brown Ale. |





Old Forester Releases Ready-to-Serve Mint Julep Cocktail

OneKentuckyclassic has added another. The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is now available as an RTD cocktail from Old Forester. Churchill Downs will serve the Old Forester Mint Julep during the 141st Kentucky Derby on May 2nd, 2015. Also available nationally, the RTD cocktail is sold in a commemorative bottle with a themed neck wrap, making it easy to enjoy a mint julep instantly. 60 proof.

SRP: $24.99/1L


Brùton Joins Opici’s Market Street Portfolio

Bruton’s collection of unfiltered, bottle-fermented, craft brews has joined the Market Street Spirits portfolio. Bianca (4.5% ABV), Brùton (5.5%), Lilith (5.5%) and Stoner (7.5%) are all top-fermented, using ale yeast and no preservatives. All ingredients are sourced directly from growers in the best geographical locations for their production. Available in 330ml and 750ml.

SRP: $19.99/750ml, $10/330ml





Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey Launches in U.S.

Glendalough Distillery has released their Double Barrel Irish Whiskey. Distilled from a mash bill of malted barley and corn, the double-aging process combines three years and six months in first-fill American oak bourbon barrels, then six months in first-fill Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks. The whiskey has notes of chocolate and caramel, a sweet and creamy palate and a gingery finish. Currently in Boston, DC, Atlanta and NYC. 84 proof.

SRP: $29.99-$35 |


Burnett’s Adds Two New Flavors to Vodka Line-up

Cherry Limeade and Apple Berry are joining the Burnett’s flavored vodka portfolio. These highly mixable combinations marry the best of each flavor, creating sweet, fruity blends on target with consumer tastes, bringing the Burnett’s portfolio to a total of 36 flavors. Available in 50ml, 750ml, 1L and 1.75L; both 70 proof.

SRP: $10.99/750ml |





2014 Sables d’Azur From the Foothills of Mount Saint Victoire

Côtes-de-Provence vineyards cling to the slopes of Mount Saint Victoire in “restanques,” man—-made stone-walled terraces. Here they benefit fully from the Mediterranean climate; the sun’s continuous beneficial presence ensures that the vines produce fully mature grapes, oozing ripe juice. Blend: 34% Grenache, 33% Syrah, 33% Cinsault; Guillaume Cordonis, winemaker. Marketed by Bronco Wine Company.

SRP: $17.99 |




Skinnygirl Cocktails Launches Spicy Lime Margarita

Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita is the newest RTD cocktail from Skinnygirl. The Spicy Lime Margarita offers a well-rounded balance of cool lime, spicy chili and tequila, and contains a light citrus aroma with spicy undertones. This new offering joins Skinnygirl’s nine other RTD cocktails, including the Sweet’arita, Piña Colada and bestselling classic Margarita. 19.9 proof. Available in 750ml and 1.75L.

SRP: $12.99/750ml, $19.99/1.75L





Pinnacle Debuts New Cucumber Expression

The newest flavor innovation from Pinnacle Vodka comes just in time for the warm weather ahead. Pinnacle Cucumber is five-times distilled, and delivers a vibrant blend of ripe cucumber with subtle hints of sweet vanilla. It can be enjoyed chilled, on the rocks or mixed in cocktails. 70 proof.

SRP: $12.99 |





Bird Dog Whiskey Adds Apple and Chocolate Flavors

Bird Dog—the brand that pushed the flavored whiskey envelope with their original Blackberry version—has added two new flavors: Apple and Chocolate. Bird Dog Apple delivers real juicy apple flavor and finishes with a sweet, warm zest; Bird Dog Chocolate has a rich chocolate aroma, perfect straight up, on the rocks or in a cocktail. Both 80 proof.

SRP: $19.99 |





New Amsterdam rolls out Mango Vodka Nationwide

New Amsterdam Sprits has launched their newest Mango Vodka nationwide after a successful run in test markets in January 2015. The vodka joins New Amsterdam’s flavored portfolio of Red Berry, Peach, Citron, Coconut, Pineapple and Orange, as well as New Amsterdam Gin and New Amsterdam Vodka. Layered with tropical fruit aromas of papaya and passion fruit, the finish is crisp and refreshing. Available in 50ml, 100ml, 200ml, 375ml, 750ml, 1L and 1.75L bottles. 70 proof.

SRP: $14.99/750ml; $16.99/1L





Winesellers, Ltd. adds ‘Prodigo’ to Growing Portfolio

Prodigo joins the Winesellers, Ltd. portfolio alongside other Italian brands La Fiera, Gran Passione, Tiamo Organic and Bellafina Sparkling. The wines in the Prodigo range are a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli-Grave, a 2011 Sangiovese Riserva from Emilia-Romagna, and a 2013 Nero d’Avola from Sicily. The upscale package features a signature wax seal.

SRP: $11 each |





Summers Estate Winery Introduces 90-Point Cabernet Sauvignon

The Summers 2012 Andriana’s Cuvée is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from several select vineyards inNapaandSonomacounties, including the Summers’ own vineyards. Aged 16 months in French Oak, 50% new, it is a medium-bodied wine with a deep ruby plum color and notes of black currant, cedar and spice. Marketed by Bronco Wine Company.

SRP: $25.99 |







Cachaça: The tropical, exotic and oft-misunderstood spirit of Brazil

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Cachaça can be confusing, and not just because of its tricky name (it’s pronounced ka-sha-sa, from the Portuguese, by the way). The beloved spirit of Brazil, it was long lumped in with another tropical spirit; and it is often narrowly identified with its most famous cocktail.

But Cachaça is its own deal—actually the oldest of all sugarcane-based spirits, first distilled in 1532—and since 2013 has been recognized by the TTB as a distinctive product of Brazil. That should help the notion of it being “Brazilian rum” fade quickly. Here is some more background and experts’ insight to help American bartenders pull Cachaça beyond the Caipirinha. 

Cachaça is NOT Rum

Both are distilled spirits based on sugar, but whereas rum is made from molasses, Cachaça is made starting with raw sugar cane juice. Rhum Agricole is another Caribbean spirit also made with sugarcane juice, but Rhum Agricole can be distilled up to 70% ABV in the bottle while the limit for Cachaça is 48% ABV. Most Cachaça is bottled between 34% and 48% ABV.

What It’s Like

Cachaça can be quite complex, with a variety of herbal, vegetal and savory characteristics. Familiar aromas include celery, dill, fennel, pepper, clove and mint, most of which come as a result of the barrels used for aging. Even white Cachaças, which are unaged, spend a small amount of time “resting” in barrels. Barrel treatments are traditional and very important to flavor development in the liquid, as Cachaça can be aged in 20 to 35 different types of wood indigenous to Brazil.

How It’s Enjoyed

In Brazil, where meat is hugely popular, a shot of cachaça is ideal for both before and after a big meal. However, Cachaça being a part of the actual meal has become a trend in Brazil over the last few years. “We do pairings with all types of food and twists on classic drinks. People are very open to finding new ways to play with the drink and food,” says Jan Campoy, General Manager of Yaguara in the U.S. Outside of Brazil, Germany is the largest consumer, followed by the United States.


Cachaça is typically mixed, as most Americans likely associate it with the Caipirinha, aka Brazil’s national cocktail, made with sugar and lime. Travis St. Germain, Brooklyn-based mixologist and brand consultant for Yaguara, notes that Cachaça is also the foundation of the Rabo de Galo in Brazil, similar to a Manhattan. It is made with Cachaça, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. The Tabelinha, which means “one and one,” consisting of a shot of beer and a shot of Cachaça, is also popular.



Scale Matters

As with many spirits, production methods have great impact on character. “Industrial cachaça is made at an industrial scale, using continuous distillation and production methods which emphasize yield and lowest cost,” says Steve Luttman, founder of Leblon Cachaça. “Artisanal cachaça uses copper alambique pot stills, similar to the pot stills used in Cognac for eau-de-vie, and is made via batch to emphasize taste and quality at a higher cost.”

Brazilian Mojito

1½ oz Sagatiba Pura

1 Tbsp Superfine Sugar

3 Lime wedges

4 Sprigs of Fresh Mint

Club Soda

Muddle mint leaves, superfine sugar and lime in a mixing glass. Add Sagatiba Cachaça and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of mint. Simple syrup can be used to replace superfine sugar.


Blood Orange Caipirinha


2 oz Leblon Cachaça

2 oz Blood Orange Juice

¼ Lime, cut into wedges

1 tsp Superfine Sugar or ½ oz Simple Syrup

Muddle the lime and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Add Leblon Cachaça and the blood orange juice. Shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass, and garnish with an orange twist.

Cocktail Corner: Gin Steps Out

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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No longer automatically juniper-heavy, gin has progressed to an idiosyncratic new liquid, introducing floral and fruity flavors into the mix. Gin purists may “guffaw” at the non-traditional, but out-of-the-box expressions are where the cocktail creativity is happening, as bartenders tap into a wider range of botanical expressions to create new drinks.


Aviation Cocktail 

Mike Ferrie, Caledonia Bar, NYC

The Aviation is a classic gin cocktail with very little fuss to it. Brockmans, a light, floral gin, emphasizes the sweet notes of the maraschino and the crème de violette for a refreshingly sweet take on the standard.

1½ oz Brockmans Gin

½ oz Lemon Juice

½ oz Maraschino liqueur

½ oz Crème de Violette

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.


I’ll Have What She’s Having 

Ian Hardie, Huckleberry Bar, Brooklyn

Caorunn uses a variety of herbaceous and fruity botanicals for a sweet and crisp-tasting gin. Ian Hardie uses it in tandem with the floral notes of the St. Germain and the tangy Aperol, with a hint of tartness for balance from the grapefruit twist.

1½ parts Caorunn Gin

½ part St. Germain

½ part Aperol

¾ parts lemon juice

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Shake all ingredients and add to a coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.



Corpse Reviver Spring 

Brett Hughes, Madam Geneva’s, NYC

The Corpse Reviver Spring at Madam Geneva’s pays homage to the traditional Corpse Reviver #2, made with gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice and absinthe. However, Hughes tweaks the classic by using Bombay East, lending flavors of lemongrass and black pepper.

1 oz Bombay East Gin

¾ oz Lillet Blanc

¾ oz Combier absinthe

¾ oz Lemon Juice

½ oz Green Juice (snow peas, fennel stalk, kale, green apple)

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Double strain into a large coupe. Garnish with a fennel frond and absinthe mist.



Thai Chili 

Nico de Soto, Mace, NYC

It’s a heat-forward cocktail thanks to the Thai Chili tincture. De Soto uses Citadelle Gin, known for its complexity and floral, spicy flavors.

1½ oz Citadelle Gin

¾ oz St. Germain

¼ oz Simple Syrup

¾ oz Lime juice

1 egg white

¼ oz Cucumber Juice

5 dashes of Thai Chili Tincture

Dry shake, then add ice and shake for 12 seconds. Double strain into a coupette and garnish with a Thai chili on the rim.


Beets By Dre 

Jeremy Strawn, Lazy Point, NYC

“Distilled in London” with “botanicals from everywhere” is how the 86 Co.’s Fords Gin presents itself. The Juniper backbone balanced by citrus, floral and spice botanicals, gives Fords excellent structure formixing. Jeremy Strawn uses the natural sweetness of the beet juice and the herbaceous rosemary syrup to make a concoction that is simultaneously sweet and savory.

2 oz Fords Gin

1 oz  Fresh Beet Juice

1 oz Rosemary Infused Syrup

¾ oz Fresh Lime Juice

Rosemary for garnish

Shake and strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a rosemary branch.

Double Trouble: Two threats surface in election year!

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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This is an election year for the State Assembly, and two troubling bills have surfaced with our industry aligned in the crosshairs. Both bills are sponsored by well-known South Jersey Legislators in Democrat leadership positions
Assembly Bill A4267 calls for the creation of potentially thousands of new and very inexpensive licenses for BYOB restaurants, which could include anything from a pizzeria to a McDonalds to a Quick Check or a boardwalk concession with a kitchen. These new R-1 & R-2 licenses would be issued at the local municipal level and cost $1,500 to $10,000—equating to a fraction of the cost of existing licenses.

The NJLSA met with the bill’s primary sponsor, Assemblyman John Burzichelli (District 3) last month to discuss our concerns, including the obvious loss in sales our licenses would experience from BYOB customers no longer purchasing from our licenses. We also addressed his bill could dilute the value of the Broad C licenses many of our licensees own. Most importantly, we discussed our concern that a legislative precedent could be established for future consideration of an R-3 retail license for grocery and convenience stores as well as big box stores like Walmart!

We are currently working with our industry partners to create an alternative bill we can present to the Assemblyman that would not turn our marketplace upside down. Clearly, this so-called “Common Sense” bill would make no sense for anyone other than real estate developers looking for something for nothing.

The second threat we are watching, Assembly Bill A2002, represents Armageddon for our already struggling independent retail sector and would raise the current two-license limit to 10 licenses! Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald (District 6) has been the lone wolf in our Legislature on this issue for as long as I can remember, and although he is clearly driving the two-license limit challenge bus, Wegmans is providing the fuel while hiding behind the façade of their alter ego trade association known as “Retailers for Responsible Liquor Licensing.”

Through my serving on the Executive Board of the American Beverage Licensees, I have become thoroughly informed and aware of what is really going on in the rest of our nation. The realities represent a stark contrast to what the Majority Leader has represented, and the fact is that New Jersey is NOT that different from a lot of other states fighting the same battles with the big boxes.

Some good news, for a change. A comprehensive study published by the Foundation for Responsible Alcohol supports that LICENSE LIMITS SAVE LIVES the same way speed limits save lives. The study of DWI fatality rates in alcohol sale grocery chain states revealed an average rate of 4.2 deaths per 100,000 of population, as opposed to the national average for all states of 3.3 deaths per 100,000. New Jersey’s rate of 1.9 deaths and New York’s rate of was 1.8 deaths correspond to less than half the national average of chain states.

New York has a single license limit and was ranked 50th and New Jersey has a two-license limit and was ranked 48th. The five lowest states either had low license limits or did not allow any sale of alcohol in grocery stores. Twenty-four of the 26 worst states with the highest fatalities rates were—take a guess—grocery chain states where alcohol is too convenient and too accessible. It’s time for Assemblyman Greenwald to stop trying to step on the backs of small business owners and start thinking about saving lives!

It is with great pride that we announce that Jerry Fischer will be representing the NJLSA as our Legal Counsel.

Lauber Selections Holds Spring Tastings at the Jersey Shore

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Lauber Selections, the fine wine division of Fedway Associates, held two Spring walkaround tastings at the Jersey Shore in March. The first was held at The Reeds at Shelter Haven Resort, Stone Harbor, on March 18th, and the second was held at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch on March 24th.

The Reeds at Shelter Haven Resort, Stone Harbor: Bill Swenarton, Lauber Selections; Keith Bader, Lauber Selections; John Bengivenni, Lauber Selections; and Tom Peters, Fedway South


Ocean Place Resort & Spa, Long Branch: Bill Swenarton, Lauber Selections; Michele Zuckerman, Lauber; Rich Levin, Lauber; and Matt Bivona, Fedway

R&R Marketing Artisan Group Takes Upstate NY Distillery Trip

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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On Tuesday, March 24th, The Artisan Group from R&R Marketing took a trip to two distilleries in Upstate NY. Sales reps and managers from R&R visited Dutch’s Spirits in Pine Plains, NY, where they toured the new state-of-the-art facility creating Dutch’s Sugar Wash Moonshine, Dutch’s Cocktail Bitters and other upcoming releases including a peach brandy and whiskey. The group then ventured over to Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery to create a batch of Brooklyn Gin with owner and distiller Joe Santos.

Ariel Schlein, Dutch’s Spirits; Rick Cordero, Kyle Mehta, Sean Grimshaw, Jasmeet Sawhney, Christie O’Brien, Lorraine Garafola, Joe Ruberto, John Carroll, Frank Veltri, Young An, John Oliver, Walter Bolivar and Jon Malone, R&R Marketing


Young An, John Oliver and Jasmeet Sawhney cracking juniper berries


Rick Cordero and Joe Ruberto stirring botanicals into a batch of Brooklyn Gin

Yellow Tail Marketing Team Goes on Tour

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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The Yellow Tail marketing team visited key accounts to see the growth of displays and brand impacts in the New Jersey marketplace. The team toured various stores and got retailer insight as to how the brand continues to captivate consumer interest.

Nina Burdett, Deutsch Family W&S; Rick Wilson, King’s Morristown NJ; and Libby Nutt, Casella Family Wines Australia

Opici’s Dennis Slack Recognized for 40 Years of Service

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Sales Representative Dennis Slack was recognized for 40 years of service with Opici Family Distributing. Dennis was awarded Sales Representative of the Year in 2007 and was most recently part of the 2014 American B.D. Sales Team of the Year. The Opici Family would like to thank Dennis for his years of dedicated service to the organization, suppliers and customer base.

Don Opici, Linda Opici, Dennis Slack and Dina Opici

Opici Family Distributing Holds Annual Sales Awards Dinner

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Opici Family Distributing held their 15th annual Sales Awards Dinner at their Glen Rock offices on March 20th. Awards included Sales Award Winners and Team of the Year Award.

Opici Family Distributing Sales Award Winners: Mark Metzger, Christopher Robinson, Bill Amerman, Graig Serrao, Lindsey Leddy, Brad Esposito, Carly Humphreys, Domenick

Opici Family Distributing Team of the Year Award Winners: Bill Amerman, Dave Fleck, Bob Stabile, Dave Shea, Chris Bill, Charles McMahon, Jerry Brown, Andrew Stubenvoll,
Tom Oryniak and Chad Lapp

Fedway Holds Spring Tasting at the Borgata Hotel

Posted on | April 23, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Fedway Associates held their annual Spring Atlantic City Wine & Spirits Tasting at The Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa on Wednesday, April 15th. Once again, this year’s tasting was an overwhelming success, with over 5,000 industry professionals in attendance.

Fedway’s Frank Panicali (left) and Sean Weinerman (right) with Mark O’Neil, Matt Mitchell, Heather Peterson and Theresa Grimes of Jackson Family Wines


Dan Smith and Jaclyn Methuen, Tito’s Handmade Vodka


Bill Welter and Sean O’Rourke, Journeyman Distillery


Brian Daicy; agency model; Alex Picone, Palm Bay International


Laura Piano, Ally Burkett, Pat Conboy, Ken Baker and Joe Katz, Delegat Wines


Herman Mihalich; John Cooper, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey


Bill Heiser, Gabe Cardarella and Jennifer Smith, Bacardi


Drew Adleman and Michael Calleja, Devotion Vodka


Brian Daicy, Jamey Bailey, Doug Santoro, Amanda Treacy and Shawn Balzano, Palm Bay International


Robert King, Jersey National/Capital; Christopher King, Federal Wine & Liquor; and Donna Evangelista, Jersey National/Capital


Massimo D’Andre, Dago Suarez, Stacy Winfield, Otis Alexander and Brian Taylor


Artie Kamberogineris; Sami Fallawi; Nick Marucci; Christina Conti; Greg Anagnostis; Alexander Condos, ShopRite


Charlsey Chuplis; Tom Smith; Andy Brown; Mike Emley; Tom Merola; Joe Serdo; Jamie Keohana, Proximo Spirits


Rich Scelfo, Ketan Shah and Lucy Lombardi, Carolina Wine Brands; and Dan DiSabatino, Roger Wilco Sicklerville


Bill Swenarton, Lauber; John Flynn, Groth; Damien Correia, Vintage Point; and Doug Frick, Lauber


Keith Pianka, Keara Funck and Joe Gratkowski, Diageo; and Mike Sangee, Fedway

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