Hapusa, the world’s First Himalayan Dry Gin, is now in Bengaluru. Launched in 2018, Hapusa is a product of Nao Spirits and Beverages, a spirits company that propelled the Indian gin market into the global gin universe by producing the country’s first craft Gin brands.
Hapusa, distilled with foraged Himalayan Juniper and locally sourced botanicals comes to the garden city after being wildly successful in Goa and Maharashtra. The premium gin has been a great success globally, especially in countries such as the UK, Singapore, Norway, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary among others.
Hapusa is Sanskrit for juniper. The untamed flavour and aroma of the juniper triumphs in the gin and is further complemented by other indigenous botanicals such as the gondhoraj lime, fresh turmeric, raw mango, ginger, cardamom, almond and coriander seeds. Found near the snow line in the Himalayas, the elusive Juniper Berries provide a beautiful structure to the gin while the turmeric and the delectable raw mango make Hapusa, a unique contemporary gin.
It is a sipping Gin that can be enjoyed all by itself straight from the freezer at “mountain temperature” or as part of classics spirit forward cocktails like the Martini or the Negroni. The homegrown spirits company has been spearheading the resurgence of the premium Gin category in India under the aegis of three young individuals - Anand Virmani, Aparajita Ninan and Abhinav Rajput.
In the words of Anand Virmani, CEO and Distiller at Nao Spirits & Beverages, “We have long been waiting to introduce Hapusa to the proud Gin-drinking community of Bangalore. It is a city with one of the most vibrant bar scenes in the country and we are looking forward to seeing Hapusa bottles find their place in that landscape.”
Nao Spirits aims to create craft spirits from India for India, and the rest of the world. It is the first Indian Company to be a part of the Gin Guild - the official global body of Gin makers.
(Excerpt from a release)
Grover Zampa Vineyards, India’s most awarded wine producers and pioneers of winemaking, launches the Late Harvest Chenin Blanc to its Art Collection range. Grover Zampa’s Art Collection range reflects the philosophy of winemaking as art and showcases paintings from celebrated Indian artists. There are 7 varietals within this range allowing people to explore distinct styles within one vibrant brand. All crafted, like a piece of art, in the brand’s signature style with imagination, inspiration and dedication.
Speaking on the launch, Mr. Vivek Chandramohan, Chief Executive Officer says,
“Our brand is contemporary, and we believe in offering distinct choices in our wine
range that reflect the winemaker’s signature style and true varietal characteristics
along with the Indian terroir. It reflects our philosophy of winemaking as an art and
the symbiotic relationship between art and wine. This dessert wine will surely be the
delectable end to your meal.”
The Art Collection Late Harvest Chenin Blanc is a pale straw yellow wine with sticky
tears/legs. The intense fruity and floral aromas of apricots, lychees, dates, and white
blossoms adds a nice balanced acidity and is velvety smooth on the palate with a
lingering sweet aftertaste. Serve this dessert wine chilled at 5 - 7°C at the end of
your scrumptious meal. It can be enjoyed by itself, or can be paired with fruit & nut platters, crème brûlée, cheesecakes, vanilla custards, apple pies & lemon meringue
Price Rs 505 - 535 ( 375ml) Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Bengaluru
(Excerpt from a release)
The Happy High Bartending Academy in Ghatkopar is happy to announce 0% interest EMI's for its bartending courses. The Happy High bar school offers Full time courses and part-time courses for current hotel management students and the EMI option will be applicable for both the courses.
" Bartending course is worth the investment as it paves the way to a global career. We see that as lot of bartending aspirants in Mumbai cannot afford the fees in one shot and hence we have come up with a solution for them. We absorb the interest and hence the students get an instalment option without paying heavy interests on loans. " Said Ajit Balgi, the founder of the academy.
The instalments can be as low as Rs 4916 a month and are subject to credit history checks and approvals. Read more about the courses of the bartending institute in the links below
Full time: https://www.thehappyhigh.com/bartending-academy-mumbai.html
Part time: https://www.thehappyhigh.com/bartending-course.html
The Happy High is happy to announce virtual whisky workshops this festive season starting Rs 3000 + GST per head for a minimum group of 30 people. The workshops will include gyaan sessions on the category replete with degustation of different malts. These workshops can be facilitated in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Bengaluru only.
These workshops work well well for employee and client engagement or as a refreshing plug in between long virtual off-site and team meetings. Friday evenings can also be made more memorable with this experience.
Kindly write to email@example.com for more details
The Happy High Bartending institute in Ghatkopar, Mumbai has now announced a part time course in bartending for current hotel management students. The course will be conducted in the evening two times a week over a period of 2 months.
" Most hospitality curricula in the country isn't focussed on bartending and hence the need for a bartending course for hotel management students. Our course focusses on elements that will help students to stand confidently behind a bar. Our pedagogy includes go-to-market assignments and hence fosters holistic learning" said the academy's founder Ajit Balgi
The admission for the current batch is still open, candidate from 2nd and 3rd year of hospitality schools with good conversational English are welcome to apply. You can find more about the course here.We have had students from from ITM IHM Nerul Bharati Vidyapeeth and Anjuman I Islam hotel management colleges.
The Happy High, one of the leading wine & spirit education co now has a category called shopping where we have hand picked recommendations from Amazon for your home bar namely; glassware, bar accessories, wine accessories, cocktail and wine books and also added some interesting syrups and mixers.
An average consumer in India is surely in for a confusing ride when s/he browses an online store showing hundreds of pages for a certain product,at The Happy High they are attempting to bring in convenience with a shortlist basis their experience and a little bit of research. They have mostly listed value for money or budget recommendations which work beautifully but in certain categories like glassware, they have showcased luxury wine decanters, high end whisky decanters, crystal wine glasses etc too. The list is concise and to the point.
" We have created this barware, glassware and wine accessory section to make home bar shopping easy for our consumers who want to pick bartender certified or recommended equipment and tools. The whole idea is to empower consumers and make them a cocktail party or a wine evening ready host." says Ajit Balgi, Chief at The Happy High.
They plan to keep editing the list on an ongoing basis by taking customer feedback, suggestions and requests. Home Bar Shopping now looks easy! You can see them in the links below:
Glassware for the home bar
- Luxury Crystal lead free wine glasses
- Cocktail glasses
- Value for money, premium wine glasses
- Wine and whisky Decanters
- Whisky, cognac,liqueur glasses
Bar accessories for the home bar
-Cocktail shaker, Boston, Japanese
- Bar Spoons, Jiggers, Muddler
- Pourer 30 ml
-Steel reusable straws
Wine accessories for the home bar
- Vacuum wine pumps
- Wine openers
- Electric wine openers
- Coravin for wine preservation
- Wine pourers & aerators
Syrups and Mixers for the home bar
- Cocktail Syrups, flavoured, maple etc
- Tonic Waters, Ginger Beer
- Nolo Beers, wheat and lager
- No alcohol wines
Cocktail and wine books for consumers
Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, announced that a staggering £240,000 was raised at auction for local causes that support the Speyside community. Having attracted over 13,000 bidders from 55 countries, the limited-edition bottles of Glenfiddich 2007 (Cask No. 25427) Spirit of Speyside Distillery Edition 2020 was a not to be missed opportunity for whisky lovers. Glenfiddich released only 450 bottles of this exceptional whisky, to celebrate the Spirit of Speyside festival, cancelled this year in light of Covid-19. The Glenfiddich Spirit of Speyside Distillery Edition 2020, which has spent 13 years maturing in the darkness of Glenfiddich’s Warehouse 26, was originally handpicked by Master Distiller Brian Kinsman to honour the annual Spirit of Speyside Festival
The auction drew international interest, sparking competitive bidding online from the moment the auction went live to the all-important last hour rush, resulting in 13,000 bids overall.
“We are thrilled with the success of this auction. The money raised will help so many people in the Speyside community, a community that is as important to us today as it was to William Grant over 130 years ago when the distillery first opened". Comments Claudia Falcone, Glenfiddich Global Brand Director.
On average each lot sold for approximately £480. The most sought after bottle numbers include 1 of 450 and 2 of 450 which in turn sold for £6,800 and £3,200 respectively. The final amount raised of £240,000 will go directly to support local Speyside causes most affected by the Covid-19 crisis; and will be split between NHS Grampian, Moray Food Plus and Keirans Legacy.
Diageo India today announced ‘Raising the Bar’, a 75-crore programme committed to support bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol to welcome customers back and recover following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Raising the Bar” will be a two year programme to support the revival and recovery of qualifying bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol across New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and other cities.
Diageo designed the “Raising the Bar” programme following a global survey of bar owners to identify key priorities to support reopening. Their top priorities included hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment and training to transform how their outlets will work when they reopen. The programme will provide targeted non-cash support including physical equipment needed for outlets to re-open like ‘hygiene kits’ with high-quality permanent sanitizer dispensers, medical grade hand sanitiser and a range of personal protection equipment (such as masks and gloves); help to bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol to establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems; mobile bars and outdoor equipment.
Following resumption of business operations and the sale of alcohol in bars, pubs and restaurants, outlets will be able to register their interest for the “Raising the Bar” programme via www.diageobaracademy.com. Bar owners will receive regular updates on best practice training and resources and be able to participate in global surveys to share insights, as they build back their businesses.
“The Indian Hospitality and F&B industry has witnessed unprecedented loss of revenues. This has impacted many start-ups and MSMEs as well as the livelihood of millions of people. Pubs, Bars and Restaurants are an integral part of our communities, bringing people together to socialise and celebrate - something we have all missed during the lockdown. Diageo has always had strong linkages with the Hospitality and F&B industry, jointly curating unique experiences for consumers. The revival of this sector is vital to the economy and to the success of our business. ‘’Raising the Bar’’ is our commitment to qualifying Pubs, Bars & Restaurants that serve alcohol. This support extends to providing enhanced safety measures when they resume operations so that their business and employment can revive, enabling our consumers to feel confident once again to socialise and lead normal lives.’’ Said Anand Kripalu, MD & CEO Diageo India
(Excerpt from a release)
With Covid-19 driving the hospitality and the tourism industries to the wall in India, a pertinent question has come up, is it worth entering the hospitality industry? Should I pursue hotel management? Can I do a bartending course instead of hotel management?
Well the industry opinion is that the industry will start taking baby steps again but in 6-12 months. Even the CEO's of top Indian hotel chains are only taking an educated guess but there are no guarantees. So if you want to enter a hotel management course now, there is a high chance that the situation would have come to normal, meaning that there will be jobs out there. So if you can afford those three years of fees, and you have a passion for the industry then a hotel management course is for you as it will give you a holistic perspective of all departments in the hotel. Hotel management admissions for year 2020-21 are currently on and the colleges are giving out admission forms and brochures. So hurry up and do your research....
For those who can't afford the fees for hotel management?
For those who are looking at a faster return on investment on their education?
For those who don't have the perseverance to study for three or fours years?
A Bartending Course could be an answer.
- A Bartending course gives you exactly those skills that will help you get a job
- You can start working earlier and get a head start in your career
- You can do a degree by correspondence and spend less money
- A lot of bartenders with a bartending course background follow the same career as hotel management graduates.
The Happy High Bartending Academy,Mumbai offers a 4 week full time program for 12th pass candidates with good level of conversational English. The courses if design by industry professionals for the industry. You can find more about the bartending institute in Ghatkopar, Mumbai here
COVID19 and the lock down has changed the way people are consuming bytes to watch their favourite series or lap up online courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Upgrad etc. The Happy High Bartending Academy, Mumbai has risen to the occasion to provide online sessions for Indian bartenders and beverage professionals as much as it is curating sessions for home bartenders or the drink enthusiast.
For Indian Bartenders and hotel management students is the " 8 Spirited Days" a series of 8 online sessions covering different spirits everyday including history, drinking rituals etc. Much of the knowledge shared is not part of curriculum in hotel institutes. Participants for the sessions came from hospitality organizations like the Leela, Oberoi, ITC, Royal Caribbean, Roseate etc and also from Duty Frees of Muscat and Hyderabad. Hotel Management students from IHM Mumbai, IHM Aurangabad, Rizvi Mumbai, ITM Mumbai, Don Bosco Mumbai etc have given it a thumbs up too. It is priced at Rs 800 + GST and it includes a certificate for the participants.
'Know Your Drinks' for the home bartenders is a weekend session split over 2 days, 1 hour each. The consumers get a brief on the spirit categories, ways to drink, setting up a home bar etc. A good start to being a better party host. This is priced at Rs 499+ GST.
Details of the online courses can be found here
In this lockdown, the power of the internet is being harnessed more than ever. With restaurants and bars bearing the brunt of it, the employees who are equally facing the heat have a blessing in disguise, it is the luxury of time they never had. And this luxury is being utilized greatly if you believe what you see on social media. Whilst Zoom classes , FB videos are doing rounds, Instagram seems to be garnering a lot of viwership given the demographics associated with it and our Indian bartenders, sommeliers and thought leaders are going live all guns blazing.
Devi Singh, a bartender and an ertswhile Diageo World Class winner is pulling all strings to get top bartenders, bar owners from around the world in his afternoon slots and so is Nitin Tewari owner at Together at 12th and the ex ambassador of Bacardi. He brings in discussions on lives for young bartenders to take inspiration from. Indian Sommelier Association, INSA a quasi body is going strong with educational Insta posts very frequently, but they are stronger on Zoom sessions they organize every single day, they are overbooked each time.
Bacardi Ambassadors Harish Acharekar, Avinash Kapoli and Hemant Mundkur are seen mixing almost everyday on FB and so are their counterparts at Diageo,Afzal Kaba and Akash Tomar. On the wine front Sonal Holland, Gargi Kothari of Magic Cellars, Somm Atul Tiwari come with educational videos or chats with wine makers.
So go on there, explore the internet, get inspired and/or motivate others with your work by goin live. The wine and spirit diaspora on the internet is infinite and we must have missed on mentioning so many names who may be doing good work. Please feel to mention about their work in comments .
P.S: If you aren't following us already; we are on Insta/Twitter/FB - @thehappyhigh. We also have an Insta live series starting 20th April, 2020 at 6pm and will go on for 8 days. The 8 Spirited Days will cover 8 Spirits including a bit of history, production and the category. It is open to all, drink enthusiasts or professionals. Get in touch if you want to sign up as per the details below.
Reveilo a family owned wine brand based in Niphad, Nashik has now gone the vegan way starting 2019 vintage which is out in the market. The brand which debuted with its 2006 vintage and was then the most expensive Indian wine brand has maintained its mantra of not being the most expensive but having quality over quantity and growing organically.
Reveilo which earlier had a Italian winemaker were path breaking in growing Italian grape varities like Grillo and Nero D'Avola which found a liking with the consumers. Their entire list can be found here .
Speaking on the move of going with a completely vegan portfolio of wines, Yatin Patil, Director of Reveilo said " Reveilo has always followed a consumer centric approach; so keeping the end consumer and the environment in mind we pursued the Vegan approach, as wine ultimately is a plant based derivative. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products thereby preventing the exploitation of animals. Today’s consumer is increasingly health conscious, research has linked vegan diets with health benefits. Though we were producing Vegan wines since 2017 our wines were labelled “Vegan” only in 2019 since the new FSSAI labelling norms came in force. "
A career in bartending may not be be the first career choice for many but it can certainly open a range of opportunities for 12th pass candidates. In this article we look at why bartending can be a career in India and what is the eligibility to be bartender in India.
Who is the bartending career after 12th in India for?
- For students who don't want to study further
- For students who do not have the financial ability to do hotel management
- For students looking to start earning early and do their graduation through correspondence
- For students of HSC Science, HSC Commerce and also HSC Arts
- For BCom, Bsc, BA graduates looking for a job oriented course in Mumbai
What is the eligibility to be a Bartender in India in good bars?
- Good command of conversational English to get placed in good bars
- A bartending courses to cover core basics of the profession including customers service
Scope for Indian Bartenders in India and abroad?
- Start with a salary of 12000-20000 Rs in India and grow gradually
- With 2-5 years of experience start earning RS 80000 upwards in locations like Dubai, Maldives etc
- One can become a liquor brand ambassador after around 5 years of experience and earn 50-80000 Rs in India
- Bartenders can choose to be entrepreneurs and start their Bar Consultancy
The Happy High sees potential in job focused bartending courses and hence launched their own bartending institute in Mumbai in early 2020. The Happy High Bartending academy in Mumbai will endeavor to become the best bartending institute in Mumbai but focusing on skills that are relevant and help candidates find the best jobs all in a span of 4 weeks. Leave us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on the bar school and counselling.
If you are someone who is thrilled by all things whisky, the fact that The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards is coming to India is something that is sure to leave you all excited. Yes, a precursor to The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards scheduled to be held in April 2020 in Speyside, this event will be held on 15th February, 2020 at the Park Juhu in Mumbai.
An initiative of The Dram Club, Mumbai,this interesting event packs a punch with several activities for whisky connoisseurs, whisky aficionados and just anyone who loves and drinks whisky. The eclectic mix of activities planned during the event on 15th February include:
Opening Lunch: 4 course Glenlivet Paired lunch with Sarita Pereira
Time: 12:30pm to 2:00pm
No. of Guests: 40
Price of the Ticket: Rs. 5,000/- per head.
Blind Tasting & Voting for Speyside Whisky Awards:
No of Guests : 60
The Blind Tasting Sessions will be where the votes for the Speyside Festival will be recorded in batch of 20
people. The schedule of the tasting sessions is as follows:
1. 3:00pm to 3:45pm
2. 4:00pm to 4:45pm
3. 5:00pm to 5:45pm
Glenfiddich Masterclass with Angad Singh Gandhi- Brand Ambassador India, Glenfiddich
2:15PM to 3:15PM
No. of Guests: 25
Ticket Price: Rs. 2,500/-
Glenfiddich India Brand Ambassador, Angad Singjh Gandhi will be hosting a Speyside Special Masterclass for
the guests. Glenfiddich is one of the most known whisky distilleries from Speyside. Angad will take teh guests
through the history and philosophy of whisky making with a selection of some of the finest malts from this
3:30PM to 4:30PM
No. of Guests: 25
Ticket Price: Rs. 2,000/-
Amrut brand team will be hosting its first ever Masterclass with their range in Mumbai as a part of the
Speyside Whisky Festival. They will bring some of the exclusive range of expressions for the event.
GlenGrant Whisky with Dessert Pairing
4:45PM to 5:45PM
No. of Guests: 25
Ticket Price: Rs. 2,250/-
GlenGrant Brand Manager- Suchana Sharma will be conducting a Masterclass of Glengrant 10 & 18 for the
guests and the experience will be curated as a Whisky & Dessert for the guests. The dessert will be curated
keeping in mind the taste profile of the whiskies and will suit and complement the flavors.
Paul John Masterclass with Michael D’Souza (Master Distiller at Paul John Distilleries)
6:00PM to 7:00PM
No. of Guests: 25
Ticket Price: Rs. 2,000/-
Paul John is the Indian single Malt which has been making news across the world and winning some of the
most Prestigious awards at various international whisky awards. Their Master Distiller Mr. Michael D’Souza will
be curating an exclusive tasting for 25 guests of which 5 will be invitees and rest who have bought the tickets.
The line-up will have some of the newer expressions which are recently launched.
About Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards
A unique award show that honours some of Speyside’s finest single malt whiskies, this award is truly one of its kind in the sense that, it is the only one that is judged by actual whisky consumers from all over the world. The eight finalists this year are spread into four categories and the two whiskies in each category will be judged by consumers spread all across including countries like Canada, India as well destinations in the UK and Europe. The winners are expected to be unveiled at the opening of the 2020 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in April 2020.
The Finalists for the Festival Awards 2020 are:
• 12 Years Old and Under: Aberlour 10 Year Old and Cardhu 12 Year Old
• 13 to 20 Years Old: Benromach 15YO and Glenallachie 15YO
• 21 Years Old and Over: Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO and Glenfarclas 25YO
• Non Age Statement: Tamnavulin Sherry Cask Edition and Cardhu Amber Rock
(Excerpt from a press release)
The Happy High is proud to announce another service, Cognac tastings for the Indian market. They Cognac masterclasses will cover nuggets from the history of Cognac, the making of Cognac and of course will end with tasting of different Cognacs and the nuances. The Cognac tastings will be conducted by Ajit Balgi a BNIC Cognac educator who is one of the 90 in the world certified by the Cognac association to speak on Cognac. 'Cognac for now is very popular in the southern states of India but has potential across the country because of the fruit and sweeter notes the world's best known brandy has to exude." said Ajit Balgi, a BNIC Cognac educator.
The workshops will work best in luxury events and HNI engagement activities by luxury real estate cos, entrepreneurial associations like Young President's association (YPO) , Entrepreneurial Organizations (EO), wealth management cos and more.
Zenato a family owned winery founded in 1960 by Sergio Zenato is back in India with VBev . They are known to make the finest wines from Lugana and Valpolicella Classico, two key territories in the Veneto region. The wines were launched in the presence of Mr Marco Milani, Zenato's brand ambassador who was on a visit to India.
Founder Sergio Zenato is a pioneer from the Lugana region and the foundation of the winery is from exceptional quality wines that he produced from the Trebbiano di Lugana. Their Lugana vineyards are known to have the oldest vines in the region. He was the first to age Trebbiano in oak which at the time was unheard of. He was also one of the first producers to revive the Ripasso method in the nineties. Zenato is among the most awarded Italian producers for Amarone and Ripasso today.
Sumedh Singh Mandla, Chief Executive Officer, VBev on the occasion said: “We at VBev are committed to bringing the finest wines from around the world to the Indian sub-continent. Zenato stands testament to the best that fine Italian wines can offer, their Amarone and Ripasso are some of the best from the region. Zenato wines we believe will find the perfect pairing with fine dine Italian and Indian cuisine, two of the top cuisines preferred by the Indian consumer. The Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG is a complex yet elegant wine with a velvety structure, it has received 90+ ratings from all top critics year after year to make it one of the most appreciated
Amarones today. Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore DOC, a wine greatly connected to Amarone offers great value for the fine wines from Valpolicella. To complete the portfolio, we also have a Soave Classico and Bardolino from Zenato’s portfolio that represent two additional historical regions in Italy. They offer light, refreshing wines that can be enjoyed as an aperitif, antipasti or with kebabs.”
Marco Milani, Brand Ambassador – Zenato said: “Arriving in India after traveling across Asia Pacific was a big surprise, it suddenly felt like home. India and Italy have a lot of cultural commonalities, I hope that our countries can continue to grow closer in the future. I believe wine can contribute to strengthening this connection and we are confident that VBev our partners in India will be successful at achieving this. We have the same vision of sharing and developing knowledge about the region and Italian wines and committed to the long-term position of Zenato in the Indian market. I am optimistic that the Zenato Amarone and Ripasso will do very well; its full body, complex aromas, intense flavours and strong character will find great acceptance with the Indian consumer.”
Zenato Soave – Rs 2,290
Zenato Bardolino – Rs 2,290
Zenato Ripassa – Rs 4,990
Zenato Amarone – Rs 10,900
The Copitas team of Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru showcased a first ever preview of their cocktails in Mumbai during the festive season. Ahead of the momentous opening of this chic destination bar in Bengaluru, this very special takeover was a preview of this stylish new addition to Garden City’s nightlife.
From their base at AER, one of Mumbai’s most celebrated bars, located in Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, the core team of 5 from Copitas showcased their prized cocktails as a never seen before, must-try experience. Copitas is the soon-to-be-unveiled, atmospheric bar at Level 21 at the newest luxury hotel in Bengaluru. Slated to become an address for those who wish to be seen unwinding in style, this high energy address will serve cocktails with a Bengaluru flair.
“We’re delighted to have team Copitas join us at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai and are stoked that they showcased their signature cocktails at AER for the first time ever, ahead of the bar’s opening in the Garden City. Through the week-long showcase of our craftsmen behind the bar, from both our hotels in India, our guests enjoyed handcrafted cocktails that are rooted in innovation and traditionalism; all the while, playing up local ingredients and influences from Mumbai and Bengaluru”, said Ashwin Mathur, Hotel Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai.
The Copitas takeover of AER was the stage for a playful combat of the two Bacardi Legacy Champions - Abhishek Shevade from South and Harish Subramanian from West, both cherished Four Seasons craftsmen. Their cocktails are as below respectively
UTSAVAA : 'Utsavaa' is a tribute to the festive spirit. And, to the committed bartending fraternity. During festive celebrations, when there is joyous laughter on the floor and the clink of glasses, there’s never a moment to wind down the spirited bar teams shaking it up, tirelessly….all along, with their winning smiles and steadfast vitality.
A tantalising medley of Pineapple Cordial, Homemade Vanilla syrup, Bacardi Carta Oro and Prosecco, got our bartending wizard Abhishek Shevade the winning title at the Bacardi Legacy Championship from South India.
TURTUK : ‘Turtuk’ is the last Indian outpost before Pakistan. A land marked by the jaw dropping beauty of a complex terrain - bountiful apricot trees, free-flowing rivers, stoic mountains, deserts and plains. A land as beautiful as its people - resilient in their beauty and strength, having lived to overcome the ravages of partition. This cocktail is a tribute to the unflinching spirit of mankind. A melange of fragrant Apricot Brandy reminiscent of the apricots of Turtuk, Antica Formula, Bacardi Oro, Angostura Bitters and a flourish of rice wine vinegar.
Harish Subramanian, winner of Bacardi Legacy Championship from the Western region doffs his hat to the beauty and strength of the people in Turtuk. ( Excerpt from a release)
Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single-malt whisky continues to push boundaries of experimentation with the never seen before single-malt curation- ‘Glenfiddich Experiments’. The ground-breaking initiative is a result of collaboration between Glenfiddich and Malabar Secrets, a niche state-of-the-art natural spice flora extracts brand. Glenfiddich has reinvented the norm and redefined the single malt serve in India with Glenfiddich Experiments.
The event was hosted at Mumbai’s first members’ only workspace and social club, The A. Romil Ratra, CEO at The A and a leading hospitality veteran co-hosted the evening with Angad Singh Gandhi, India Brand Ambassador, Glenfiddich. Building on the experimentative spirit of Glenfiddich, the culinary team at The A curated an exclusive menu by integrating select local herbs and spices, taking inspiration from the essence of 3 elixirs, i.e. Sweet Obsession, Dufftown Confluence and Bittersweet Symphony and finished the experience with a global appeal.
The ‘Glenfiddich Experiments’ experience re-defines the rules of traditional single malt serve by exploring and handpicking exotic ingredients that are specialties of India’s diverse landscape and bringing them to magically fuse with Glenfiddich’s best. Carefully curated by the Glenfiddich India Brand Ambassador, Angad Singh Gandhi, the highlight of these serves are the specially designed elixirs that uplift the sublime Glenfiddich 12-year old to even greater heights. Comprising of three exceptional elixirs- Bitter Sweet Symphony, Dufftown Confluence, Sweet Obsession that have been formulated by bringing together fine ingredients such as the fragrant Mysore jasmine, spicy Malabar clove, Kerala black pepper, cinnamon from the Western Ghats, bitter orange from Nagpur, the Kashmir peach, spiced coriander from Karnataka and other unique handpicked spices to create the perfect background for aromatic elevation.
“Glenfiddich as a brand believes in breaking whisky rules and challenging traditions, we believe in the philosophy of what can’t be done, must be done at the Glenfiddich distillery. Our collaboration with Malabar Spice to launch ‘Glenfiddich Experiments’ is in sync with our history of seeking the extraordinary and continue to bring out revolutionary offerings.” said Payal Nijhawan, Head of Marketing, William Grant & Sons India.The Glenfiddich Experiments menu is a celebration of thoroughly researched recipes with ground-breaking experience and innovative additions that promise to be a revolution for single-malt lovers. (Excerpt from a release)
Caruntum is now the latest region in Austrian wine. The region has reached agreement on the three levels Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine), and continues to emphasise the traditional and highly prized varieties: white wine vinified from Chardonnay, Weissburgunder or Grüner Veltliner, red wine from Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.
The family of Austrian winegrowing regions with DAC status continues to grow: after thorough consideration and regional consensus, the winegrowing region Carnuntum submitted a draft DAC regulation, which has now been signed by the Federal Minister for Sustainability & Tourism Maria Patek. This makes Carnuntum the fourteenth Austrian winegrowing region with specific protections in place for regionally typical wines.
Willi Klinger, managing director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) summarises: ‘With the DAC regulation that has now been enacted, Carnuntum is also embarking on the successful path of origin-based marketing. The winegrowers have succeeded in working out a profile that will unmistakably express and convey the characteristics of their region in both red and white wine, and will ensure even greater distinctiveness’.
Three levels, regionally typical grape varieties
Like the Steiermark, Kamptal, Kremstal and Traisental, the region Carnuntum – located in the eastern part of Austria between Vienna and the Slovak border, encompassing an area of 906 hectares under vines – will henceforth implement a three-level DAC regulation: Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). The varietal palette focuses on the region’s marquee players: for white wines Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grüner Veltliner, and the reds Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Monovarietal Carnuntum DAC wines must be vinified exclusively from these varieties, while blends must contain at least two thirds of one of them. This means that cuvées can also contain up to a third of other approved Qualitätswein (quality wine) varieties – for example, in a red wine, Sankt Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
Carnuntum has been showing very well now for quite some time, with distinctive red wines and robustly structured whites. The new DAC regulation stipulates that all wines must conform to the flavour profile ‘dry’, and that red wines must also have an alcohol content of at least 12%. In addition, Ortswein and Riedenwein must be given adequate time to develop their distinctive and expressive character: the application for obtaining a Federal Inspection Number may not be submitted before 15 March for white wine and not before 1 November in the year following the harvest for red wine.
Rubin Carnuntum will remain
The established brand Rubin Carnuntum will remain in place parallel to the DAC regulation, and will continue to provide a guarantee of special and regionally typical wines vinified from the variety Zweigelt.
Was does DAC signify?
Districtus Austriae Controllatus (DAC) is a legal indication of origin for regionally typical Austrian Qualitätswein. So if a wine label features the name of a winegrowing region in combination with ‘DAC’, one is guaranteed a wine of quality that is typical of the region. A DAC wine may only be produced from the grape varieties specified for that DAC region and must comply with all requirements of the regulation established by the region. There are currently 14 DAC winegrowing regions in Austria. Wines that do not meet the DAC requirements will bear the name of the respective federal state as an indication of provenance, as part of the variety of available wines at this level of origin. (Excerpt from a release)
Gaius Octavius Caesar Augustus of Rome, visited Ancient Olympia to take part in the Olympics. The first night of his visit was hosted in the villa of the Roman province in Elis. Wanting to make a good impression on the Emperor, the Provincial Governor wanted to offer him the best wine native to Sacred Olympic Land.
It was a red wine with ruby color, full of delicate and mysterious flavors. The vine that gave this wine was grown only in the blessed Land of Ancient Olympia. The Emperor Augustus duly honored the Wine and it was known to all that good wine could easily lure him into excesses... So he got drunk on the dark red wine and slept that night. The next day, of course, he woke up with the sun high in the sky having missed the opportunity to take part in the Olympics.
The Greeks of course offered him an olive wreath and a golden crater. The legend says that Augustus stayed for three days walking around with him and tried all the wines and goods of the area, but on the day he left he ordered the Roman governor of Ilida to send him two large containers of that red wine to Rome each year. That shiny, ruby wine… For as long as the Emperor lived, the Provincial Governor faithfully followed the command. But those times was strange, and one-night Gaius Octavius Caesar Augustus of Rome, was poisoned by his own wife.
Some say that on the night he was poisoned, he was drunk on this wonderful red wine from Olympia Land. The local wine-makers, in the name of the Emperor who honored them by his choice, they name the ancient vine and red ruby wine 'Augoustiatis', by the name of the great Emperor.
Today, 2,000 years later, here in Ancient Olympia, at Ktima Brintziki (Estate) still cultivates the same vine with the same care and produce the same wine that was worthy of Emperors. The well over four millennia of Olympic Winery history that we follow faithfully and diligently, they hope to bring to you the same thrill it once caused to Emperor August ( excerpt from a release by Brintziki estates)
Sofitel Mumbai BKC, Accor’s French luxury brand launched the 2019 edition of Sofitel Wine Days scheduled from September 21st to October 31st, 2019. Sofitel Wine Days is the hotel group’s annual global celebration of France’s unique winemaking heritage and culture. Carrying forward this legacy, the initiative brings all 120 Sofitel Hotels & Resorts worldwide together to celebrate the essence of French wine at each destination.
On the occasion of Sofitel Wine Days, the luxury hotel will be hosting exquisite events, engaging sessions, and meetings with local wine experts in the city. Events hosted by master sommeliers will provide guests an opportunity to embark on an odyssey full of surprises, providing a platform to discover exotic flavours and varieties of wine. To mark the inauguration ceremony, the 5-star hotel invited wine connoisseurs to discover ‘une belle sélection’ of wines in celebration of the grape harvest season in France. Providing an ideal opportunity for guests to discover Sofitel's French Art De Vivre, the business hotel will be offering wines from Alsace, Bordeaux, Corsica, and Rhône paired with classic dishes from each of these regions by Executive Chef Neeraj Rawoot and his team of talented chefs.
Through the ongoing global celebration, the luxury hotel looks forward to delighting amateurs and aficionados alike, as they discover the secrets of wine.
VBev introduces leading Single Malt brands The Dalmore Highland Single Malt & Jura Single Malt from the Whyte & Mackay portfolio in India. Whyte & Mackay was founded on the docks of Glasgow in 1844 by James Whyte and Charles Mackay, who laid the foundations for the company which has since gone on to produce some of the most highly-awarded and respected whisky brands in the world. The portfolio includes its flagship Whyte & Mackay Blended Whisky, award-winning Single Malts The Dalmore, Jura, Tamnavulin, Fettercairn, and Shackleton. Most recently the producer has created and launched new brands including The Woodsman, Wildcat Gin, Whisky Works with more innovations to be announced.
. The rising economic prosperity among the middle class and millions of new consumers entering the legal drinking age each year continues to position India as an increasingly important market on the global premium whisky map. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reported that India hit a record high in 2018 having sold 112.6 million bottles valued at 4.7billion pounds bumping it up to one of their top export markets for scotch whisky. “We are elated to introduce Whyte & Mackay’s iconic whisky portfolio to the Indian market. We have curated an offering for the Indian whisky consumer at every stage of their journey of discovery. The Dalmore Highland Single Malt, revered globally by collectors, connoisseurs and seasoned single malt drinkers will be a perfect fit in the growing luxury single malt segment. The extraordinary Jura Single Malt, the only single malt from the Isle of Jura, we foresee will carve a niche among the new single malt drinkers. John Barr Reserve, critically acclaimed for its unmatchable quality in the blended scotch segment caters to consumers transitioning from premium Indian whiskies to the blended scotch category.” said Sumedh Singh Mandla, Chief Executive Officer, VBev. The price is in Maharashtra Jura 10 Rs 7500, Dalmore 12 Rs 10500 and John Barr blended scotch at Rs 2650. ( approximate prices)
( Excerpt from a release)
‘Austrian winegrowers are looking forward to a good vintage with fully ripe grapes this year. Compared to the big harvest in 2018, an average volume of approximately 2.4 million hectolitres is expected. And after the record-breaking early harvest last year, picking will begin around Lake Neusiedl at the beginning of September. In other regions, the primary harvest will begin in mid-September’, explained Johannes Schmuckenschlager, president of the
Austrian Winegrowers’ Association, with regard to 2019.
No late frost damage this year
After a normal budding, late frost damage could be avoided once more this year, despite a few anxious nights. In contrast to the previous year, flowering took place about two weeks later – at the normal time. The great heat in June 2019 with record temperatures over 30°C then led to rapid progress of the vegetation. The dry and hot
weather conditions also provided the reason why very healthy grape material is available throughout Austria this year, as this dryness worked against the development of any fungal diseases during and after flowering. The very high
temperatures around blossoming led, however, in some areas and some vineyards to a poor fruit set.
First drought, then relief
In some regions – for example, in Burgenland and around Krems – the heat brought severe drought stress in June and July. At the end of July, however, the onset of rainfall provided relief in most winegrowing regions. Occasionally there was also heavy precipitation in the form of downpours and thunderstorms, and some hail damage was recorded. At present, the vegetation is progressing quite nicely thanks to the rainfall, which is why one may expect a normal start to the harvest this year.
So how is 2019 looking?
The development of the vegetation cycle in 2019 points to a fully ripe vintage. Due to the arid stretch after flowering in June and July, the berries are on average a bit smaller, which is also an indicator that there will be some very aromatic wines. And because of the postponement of maturity to a normal, slightly cooler period, growers
expect high sugar concentration but sufficient acidity as well. 2019 should offer very harmonious and nicely balanced wines.
(Excerpt from a release)
Ignacio, export manager for Grupo Avinea; one of the top Argentinian wine groups and the export partner for Ace Beveragez, visited India for the first time to attend a few exclusive wine tasting events, hosted by Ace Beveragez, held in Delhi and Mumbai to learn the development of wine industry in Indian market and was elated with the wine appreciation by Indian audience, especially for Malbec. He enlightened the guests with his knowledge of wine and the story of Argento and AG wines.
The Wine & Food soiree held on 1st August in Townhall, Lower Parel, hosted by Ace Beveragez featured some of the city’s finest wine and lifestyle bloggers, influential media personalities, gourmets and sommeliers relished splendid food by townhall and some of Argentina’s best wines and innovative cocktails made with the wines that were showcased at the event.
The wines that were showcased
AG Malbec Shiraz - It is characterised by vibrant fruit flavours and is a perfect blend of two varieties, the Malbec gives blackberry and toasty oak characters on the nose, while the Shiraz provides an explosion of black fruit and pepper, which put together form a wine with medium body, ripe fruit flavours.
AG Chardonnay- The quintessential expression of today’s Argentina, this fruity and refreshing wine offers enticing aromas of tropical pineapple and lime citrus. Concentrated flavours of honeydew melon and passion fruit are also complemented by subtle minerality leading into a fresh, crisp finish.
Argento Malbec- It comes with a greater concentration of fruit and complexity, this one is exceptional, intense and expressive and comes in rich complex flavors on the palate and a soft mouth texture.
Argento Chardonnay- It is golden and expresses fresh citrus aromas, although a full-bodied wine in the mouth, it is a clean wine, with fresh flavors of grapefruit and pineapple complemented by mineral notes. The finish is persistent and refreshing, with a rich texture and crisp acidity.
The food from TownHall complemented well. Margherita Pizza with Burrata and Basil, Asparagus with a peanut flavoured sauce, Asparagus Tempura Sushi along with other Hors d’oeuvres paired perfectly with Argento and AG wines and signature cocktails. Cocktails that were specially made for this event by Lokesh - The Townhall mixologist
State Norma - prepared using Tequila, AG 47 Malbec and topped with a delicate cucumber slice.
The Spritzer - prepared using White Wine, Elderflower syrup and gin, served over crushed ice and garnished with an orange slice and powdered sugar.
(Excerpt from a release)
The value of Australian wine exports has continued to grow in the 12 months to June 2019, increasing by 4 per cent in value to $2.86 billion. China continued to drive growth and the United States of America (USA) also made a welcome return to growth.
Export volumes decreased by 6 per cent to 801 million litres (89 million 9 litre case equivalents); this volume decline was driven by a decrease of 7 per cent in shipments of wine below an average value of $2.50 per litre free on board (*FOB). This resulted in a 10 per cent increase in the overall average value of exported wine to $3.58 per litre, the highest level since 2009.
Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the growth in value and the declines in volume at that lower end of the price spectrum would be welcome news to the sector that has been focusing strongly on growing value rather than volume.
‘The strong growth in average value is positive for the wine sector and the broader economy as it lifts returns for wine businesses and flows through to regional economies through higher grape prices. Our National Vintage Report 2019 released last week shows that the average grape price has lifted for the fifth year in a row, reaching $664 per tonne, the highest level since 2008’, Mr Clark said.
‘The turnaround in exports to the USA, which grew by 2 per cent in value to $432 million, is pleasing. Average value increasing 6 per cent to $2.83 per litre, the first growth in 2 years, rewards the efforts of the many exporters who are working actively in that market to change perceptions about Australian wines and communicate about the diversity and excellence of Australia’s offering.
‘There were increases across most major price segments in the USA with the stand out segment for growth being $7.50 to $9.99 per litre FOB.’
Mr Clark said Australian wine exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) had reached a financial year record, increasing 7 per cent in value to $1.2 billion. Volume, however, decreased 16 per cent to 154 million litres (17 million 9-litre case equivalents) as exports of wines below $2.50 per litre FOB declined.
Australia is well-placed in China, currently sitting behind Chile and France in export volume and second to France in export value. However, looking at the first five months of 2019, Australia has overtaken France to become the number one imported wine category in mainland China by value. Australia’s imported market share has jumped 13 percentage points since 2015 to 24 per cent based on volume; compounded by the recent contraction of the total import market.
Mr Clark said that the United Kingdom (UK) market had experienced a slight decline with value decreasing 3 per cent to $373 million and volume declining 4 per cent to 236 million litres (26 million 9-litre case equivalents). Average value increased 1 per cent to $1.58 per litre. The volume decline reflects that some of the larger brands have wrapped up their strategies of getting additional product into market pre-Brexit to mitigate any disruption to exports.
‘It’s important to retain perspective on the UK market. Research by IRI shows Australia was ranked number 1 in still wine off trade [retail] sales in the 12 months ended March 2019, with a market share of 24 per cent in volume and 23 per cent in value’, Mr Clark said.
Off-trade sales in the UK for Australian wine grew 1 per cent in the year ended March 2019 to £1.2 billion. The key areas of growth were wine priced between £5.01–7.00 per bottle (up 1 per cent), £8.01–9.00 (up 10 per cent), and £10.01–20.00 (up 4 per cent) (IRI Worldwide). Australia has the highest share (30 per cent) in the £5.01–6.00 per bottle segment.
Mr Clark said Australian wine supplies would remain tight in the medium term with last week’s National Vintage Report revealing that the 2019 vintage was 1.73 million tonnes, just one per cent below the 10-year average. This means that supplies, particularly of reds that dominate Australian exports, will continue to remain stable.
(Excerpt from a release)
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