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FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES Making A Stir

FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES

April 9,2021

Francisco Alcaraz, the former master distiller of Patrón Tequila, passed away on Sunday 4 April in Guadalajara, Mexico, following longstanding health issues. He was 75.

Thought to have been the longest-serving master distiller in the Tequila sector, Alcaraz had a career in the Tequila industry that spanned more than 50 years. Thirty years of that was spent at Patrón, a role he only retired from on 14 July 2020.


Credited with helping to establish the brand’s flavour profile, Alcaraz has been praised for helping to shape Patrón into a global brand. Played a key role in the category’s boom in the US, Alcaraz has been described as a pioneer in the ultra-premium Tequila sector.

“His remarkable career set the Tequila standard for excellence and his dedication to crafting the world’s finest Tequila will continue to be the essence of the Patrón,” the brand said.

“He personified the passion and unshakable confidence that guides Patrón in both spirit and practice. As a mentor and ambassador, Francisco personally trained the team who have since carried on his legacy.

“Thanks to his vision, Patrón is able to make the best Tequila in the hardest way possible. His unrelenting commitment to using the finest ingredients and preserving the traditional means of Tequila-making has allowed Patrón to be additive-free from the beginning.

“He will be missed by the many lives he touched, and his legacy will live on in every sip of Patrón,” it added.

Alcaraz is survived by his wife Teresa, four children, and six grandchildren.

FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES Making A Stir

AVIATION TO DROP LIMITED-EDITION BOTTLES FOR "DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE"

April 20,2024

American Gin brand Aviation wants fans to marvel at its ‘ginematic’ universe with six new limited-edition Aviation American Gin bottles inspired by Marvel Studios’ “Deadpool & Wolverine”.

“I discovered Aviation American Gin while shooting the first Deadpool movie,” said Ryan Reynolds, Aviation American Gin’s Co-Owner.


“Back then, Aviation wasn’t big enough to tie-in to a big summer movie, and Deadpool was lucky to get any sponsors at all. A few hundred weeks and drinks later, here we are! They grow up so quickly, don’t they?”

Encased in sleek black glass and accented with red custom strip stamps and metallic details, the limited edition bottles have been designed by Maximum Effort and Sandstrom Partners.

Offering a nod to the iconic character, each bottle variant showcases one of six distinctive Deadpool icons, while the exterior of each gin case simulates the look of Deadpool’s signature suit fabric.

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“Our collaboration with ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ to create this series of bottles is a first-of-its-kind promotion for Aviation American Gin with one of the most iconic characters in pop culture history,” said Ricky Collett, Global & US Brand Director for Aviation American Gin at Diageo.

“The custom bottle embodies the irreverent spirit of both brands and showcases our commitment to pushing cultural boundaries and redefining the gin drinking experience,” Collett continued.

Each limited-edition bottle is filled with the same perfectly crisp, smooth Aviation American Gin fans know and love. Distilled in its unique American style and crafted with a blend of botanicals delivering an approachable and balanced flavour profile, Aviation American Gin is a versatile spirit, perfect for any cocktail occasion.

“The ‘Deadpool’ film franchise has been a cultural phenomenon since its inception,” said Holly Frank, Walt Disney Studios’ VP, Partnership Management and Operations, Marvel. “We’re so excited to be collaborating with Aviation American Gin to give fans a chance to engage with the world of Deadpool in a whole new way leading up to the eagerly anticipated theatrical release of ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’.”

The limited-edition bottles will be available while supplies last from early summer at retailers nationwide, online, as well as the Aviation Distillery, and in select countries (US/UK/CAN/AUS).

For more information, go to aviationgin.com and follow @AviationGin on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES Making A Stir

ESPOLÒN MARKS TWENTY-FIVE YEARS WITH ITS FIRST LIMITED-EDITION BOTTLE

April 19,2024

Mexican Tequila brand Espolòn is celebrating 25 years since the introduction of its signature Tequila Blanco with the launch of a limited-edition celebration bottle.

A first for the brand, the limited-edition bottle was created by renowned Mexican street artist and illustrator, Edgar “Saner” Flores.


“I’m thrilled to be a part of this celebration and honoured that my art is now a part of the brand’s history,” explained Flores. “The essence of Espolòn’s journey inspires the label: the distinctive tequila-making process, iconic brand symbols, and the celebrations and traditions of Mexico.”

Depicting an irreverent tribute to Cirilo, the brand’s icon Ramon the Rooster, as well as the steps in Espolòn’s thoughtful tequila-making process. The artwork also pays homage to José Guadalupe Posada, whose iconic illustrations inspire every Espolòn bottle available today.

Additionally, Espolòn has collaborated with The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) to spur the next generation of creatives by supporting the first-ever Modern Maverick Artist Grant – an award created in partnership with NALAC as an extension of the organization’s 2024 NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA) program.

The grant, in the amount of $10,000, will be presented by NALAC to one emerging Latinx/é artist who continues to champion unapologetic originality so they can continue to pursue their artistic endeavours.

As part of the festivities, Espolòn will also be hosting private events in Los Angeles on April 25th and New York City on May 2nd to celebrate those who have inspired and supported Espolòn throughout the years.

Hosted in partnership with iconic creative partners Adrian Per (@omgadrian) and Nicolas Heller (@newyorknico), each event combines the best of the city’s Latino art, culture, music, and of course, delicious cocktails for a night of underground celebrations leading up to Cinco de Mayo.

Espolòn Tequila is the realization of the late Founder & Maestro Tequilero Cirilo Oropeza who put his dream into motion with the construction of an innovative distillery in Los Altos de Jalisco, Casa San Nicolas (NOM: 1440).

From custom-designed stainless-steel autoclaves to serenading its yeast with classical music, Espolòn’s production process combines art with science. It merges traditional and modern techniques, creating a tequila known for its exceptional quality and versatility.

“Espolòn Tequila began with a vision to turn the tequila industry on its head to create something new and different,” explained Andrea Sengara, Vice President of Marketing at Campari America.

“As we commemorate this anniversary, we continue to champion unapologetic originality and spur on creative mavericks in all that we do, always striving to keep Cirilo’s vision alive. The past 25 years have seen this brand grow into a truly global player, and we’re excited to bring this moment to life with engaging events and limited-edition launches for Cinco de Mayo and beyond.”

For more information, go to espolontequila.com

FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES Making A Stir

HENNESSY LOOKS TO HIGHLIGHT ITS VERSATILITY WITH ‘MADE FOR MORE’ CAMPAIGN

April 9,2024

French Cognac brand Hennessy has launched its ‘Made for more’ campaign highlighting five easy, summer cocktails you can make with the brand.

Featuring multi-hyphenate US star Teyana Taylor and Breakthrough British Nigerian Actor Damson Idris, the campaign highlights how any drink or occasion can easily be made ‘more’ when you add Hennessy.


The cocktails featured in the campaign are –

Hennessey Ginger – a mix of Cognac and Ginger Ale,

Hennessy Pineapple – a mix of Cognac, Pineapple Juice and bitters,

Hennessy Berry Mojito – a mix of Cognac, Berries, Lime, Simple Syrup and Mint

Hennessy Honey Highball – a mix Cognac, Honey Syrup, Lemon Juice and Soda Water

Hennessy Margarita – a mix of Cognac, Orange Liqueur, Agave and Lime Juice

“Hennessy is well known everywhere, but people don’t always know how versatile it is – how it brings more flavour, depth and complexity to all kinds of cocktails,” explained Hennessy Global Chief Marketing Officer, Julie Nollet.

“Our new ‘Made for more’ campaign is bringing to life this notion of 1+1=3, showcasing the unlimited possibilities and introducing another side of the brand with beauty, fun and open-mindedness,” Nollet continued.

“It shakes up the brand perceptions and builds on its legacy for a new generation.”

Known for partnering with cultural icons and characters to personify the brand’s multifaceted nature, Hennessy enrolled the creative agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam to show the cognac’s mixability.

The five films, shot by acclaimed director Andreas Nilsson, who directs iconic ads and music videos, spotlight the celebrities as they put Hennessy twists on mixology staples such as the Margarita, Mojito, and Highball.

“Damson Idris and Teyana Taylor are two artists who are exploding at the moment, and I wanted to make sure we captured their essence. Even when he’s playing, Damson exudes style! And Teyana is just the epitome of cool. I think these qualities shine through in spades and fit perfectly with this new direction for Hennessy,” Nilsson explained.

For more information and cocktail ideas, go to hennessy.com

FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES Making A Stir

ART OF ITALICUS ANNOUNCES ITS UK 2024 WINNER

March 20,2024

British bartender Brandon Stead from 45 West (Gin and Cocktail Bar) in Leicester has won the UK final of the 2024 Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge. 

Stead’s winning creation, ‘Vincent and Gallo, ’ stunned judges with its combination of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, homemade clarified sunflower seed orgeat, IPA, soda, and Absinthe.


“I was inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers and their connection to Italy, the beauty of nature, and believing in your work, despite what those around you are doing or saying,” Stead explained.

“I loved how Sunflowers rise and set with the sun, in much the same way Italicus starts with the morning harvest of Bergamot and ends in the bottle, labelled with the colour of Italian sunsets,” Stead continued.

“Once I started making the connections between Sunflowers and Italicus, the cocktail just fell into place, and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.”

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Stead has secured a spot in the upcoming final in Rome, where he will compete for the Global title. He will also receive a once-in-a-lifetime trip and mentorship with Cafe La Trova by Julio Cabrera in Miami. 

The judging panel included Erik Lorincz, owner at Kwant Mayfair, Sandrae Lawrence, Co-Founder of The Cocktail Lovers and ItalSpirits Advocacy Director, Roberta Mariani.

Second place was awarded to Emmy Pip Knight from American Bar in The Savoy London, with her cocktail ‘Notion’ which consisted of ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto, Lem-Marrakech Bitters and a homemade soda, including ingredients such as rose petals and Amontillado sherry.

Marie Nolin from The Coral Room in London was awarded third place, creating ‘Blossom in the Dust’ a cocktail made with ITALICUS Rosolio Di Bergamotto, bergamot juice, kefir fig water and activated veg charcoal.

For more information on Italicus, go to rosolioitalicus.com

FORMER PATRÓN MASTER DISTILLER FRANCISCO ALCARAZ DIES Making A Stir

JEWEL OF THE SOUTH WINS MICHTER’S ART OF HOSPITALITY AWARD

March 19,2024

New Orleans bar Jewel Of The South has been awarded the Michter’s Art Of Hospitality as part of the third annual North America’s 50 Best Bars awards.

“Jewel of the South has created a community that provides exceptional hospitality and customer service that always stands out and keeps customers coming back time and time again,” explained Emma Sleight, Head of Content for North America’s 50 Best Bars. 


“In addition to offering that quintessential dose of traditional southern hospitality, they serve alongside a cocktail menu that is synonymous with Chris Hannah’s love for New Orleans and the bar’s French Quarter location.

A reimagined, classic New Orleans tavern set in a renovated 1830a Creole Cottage, Jewel Of The South presents a cocktail program that is steeped in history while showcasing classic techniques with innovative seasonal flavours.

The award-winning cocktails on the menu focus on riffs that showcase the historic city, with drinks that include The French 75, The Jewel Sazerac, and the Brandy Milk Punch. Emphasizing historic ingredients, the cocktail program gives guests the chance to soak in the city’s past while simultaneously sipping on the future.  

“Winning the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award is such a thrilling recognition, and coming from an area in our country where we pride ourselves on exactly that, it’s especially fantastic,” said Chris Hannah, Partner and Bartender, Jewel of the South.

“I’m even more excited to reveal to our staff that we’ve won this amazing award for literally what we emphasize to them every day: that our most important asset here at Jewel of the South is hospitality.”

Exemplifying that magical synergy between exceptional drinks and exceptional hospitality, Jewelo Of The South is proving the validity of its name by offering a warm welcome to every guest who walks through its doors.

“Congratulations to Chris Hannah, Victoria Espinel, John Stubbs, Paul Greagoff, and the entire team at Jewel of the South on this wonderful recognition,” said Matt Magliocco, Executive Vice President of Michter’s Distillery. We join in celebrating the Jewel of the South team on a great honour for their establishment and the New Orleans bar community as a whole.” 

The North America’s 50 Best Bars 2024 awards ceremony will take place at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in Mexico on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. Returning to Mexico for the second year in a row, the awards aim to provide consumers with an exceptional list of expert-approved drinking destinations across North America.

The countdown to the list of North America’s 50 Best Bars and the awards ceremony will also be broadcast to a global audience who cannot attend in person. Cocktail lovers are encouraged to watch through The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook page and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube channel.  

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