First crafted in 1575 with exotic spices and herbs, Bols liqueurs
have always been on the vanguard of innovation. Today that
pioneering spirit continues with flavors like the just-released
Bols Yogurt and soon-to-be-released Bols Foam, a foam liqueur
which rests on top of a drink. Says Nadari: “In Asia and
America, people eat a tremendous amount of yogurt so we set
out to create a yogurt-flavored liqueur; it’s low sugar, made
with real yogurt and doesn’t curdle like most cream liqueurs.”
At the WSWA Convention in April, a Bols Yogurt cocktail took
first place, on top of the brand new liqueur winning Double Gold and
Best of Show in the Liqueurs category.
The Bols liqueur line officially joined the Bols USA portfolio on
July 1
, kicking off with a new ad campaign, “Add Flavor to the World.”
Nadari explains, “With that campaign, we want to express that we not
only add the essential flavor to a cocktail with our Bols Liqueur range,
but also to the entire category and the lives of the users of our prod-
ucts.” The 36-flavor portfolio includes bar essentials, store essentials
and seasonal specialties like Pumpkin Smash and Hot Cinnamon.
Among the best-selling liqueur lines in the country (at 400,000 cases a
year), they are the most awarded as well.
“The liqueur category isn’t considered the most
dynamic, but we design ours to compete against high
quality stand-alone products like Midori and Grand
Marnier,” attests Berkhemer. “The category is often a
battle on price, a race to the bottom, and we want to
step out of that battle.” Bartenders are taking note of
this rare quality-to-price ratio: Bols Orange Curaçao
has become the go-to Margarita ingredient for many,
making it the fastest growing liqueur in the portfolio.
Reinvigorating a brand like Galliano has its challenges—namely, that
many bartenders aren’t quite sure how to use it. However, one obstacle
the brand does not face is obscurity. “Everyone in the U.S. knows this
brand,” says Nadari. A back bar staple in the 1960s and 1970s, owing
largely to the popularity of the Harvey Wallbanger (a mix of Galliano,
orange juice and vodka), Galliano declined steadily from a half a million
case brand to under 100,000 cases.
Lucas Bols purchased the brand in 2006 and went back to Italy to
track down the original recipe, created in 1896. “We realized that the
former owners had played with the recipe—made it sweeter, added
more vanilla—and we brought it back to its roots at 84 proof with
more herbaceous flavors,” says Nadari. “We would not be attracting
bartenders today had we not done that.” Almost immediately, the brand
started go grow, and Galliano has been increasingly turning
up in drinks across the country.
Nadari believes the cocktail culture, which had been
obsessed with Prohibition era-cocktails, has shifted its at-
tention to the retro drinks of the ’60s and ’70s—how else
to explain the recent resurgence (the Drapers and friends
sipped Galliano neat on the season premiere of
Mad Men
, and Harvey Wallbangers were in an episode of
The Americans
). Mixologists across the country are
making their own twists on the drink, and creating new
ones, using Galliano almost like Chartreuse. Lucas Bols
has also launched a “Find Harvey” campaign, bringing
back to life the cartoon character the brand’s ad agency
used 40 years ago. Look also for the new Galliano Ris-
tretto, a beautiful liqueur that tastes just like “ristretto,”
a bold style of espresso the Italians love so much.
bols liqueurs:
adding flavor to the world
the return of retro:
Galliano’s comeback story
lucas bols
Blue Hawaiian
2 oz. White rum
1 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
3 oz. Pineapple juice
¾ oz. Coconut cream
½ oz. Cream
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice
Blend all ingredients with a scoop
of crushed ice until smooth and
pour into a glass
Espresso Martini
(Galliano Ristretto)
1 oz. Galliano Ristretto
1¼ oz. Vodka
Shake and strain into a
martini coupe.
Harvey Wallbanger
½ oz. Galliano L’Autentico
1½ oz. Vodka
4 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
Mix vodka and orange juice in
a highball glass filled with ice
cubes. Pour on a float of Galliano
and garnish with orange wedges.
Kir Royale
oz. Bols Crème de Cassis
Top with Champagne
Top with Bols Cassis Foam
Build in champagne flute.
Orange Gin & Tonic
1 oz. Damrak Gin Tonic
Build over ice in a tall glass.
Garnish with an orange wedge.
The Bronx From Above
1½ oz. Bols Genever
1 oz. Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth
½ oz. Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Add ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and
shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Recipe by Frank Caiafa, Peacock Alley, NYC
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