FROM BEHIND THE BAR: AN INTRODUCTION TO TEQUILA


ASIA PACIFIC, 21 JULY – Tequila, like any spirit, has its own complexities and nuances that are waiting to be explored. The world of tequila, in particular, has many facets that you may not know about if you’re not already steeped in it and familiar with the culture surrounding it. Interest in agave spirits continues to grow, and there have never been more tequilas lining liquor store shelves — be they celebrity-branded or craft blended. Each tequila has its own unique characteristics and flavour profile.

With so many tequilas available, finding exceptional tequila can be a challenge. That’s why we turned to the pros from behind the bar to share their tips on what you need to know about tequila if you want to drink the best stuff out there.

Agave Fields

The word tequila comes from an Aztec word te-kuia meaning “the place where we were born” as it was originally produced for hundreds of years before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico. Made from the Weber blue agave plant (also known as *agave tequilana*), the bulb or “piña” is baked and juiced before being fermented in tanks with yeast and then distilled to make tequila.

There are two main regions in Mexico’s Jalisco where agave is grown: the highlands, known as Los Altos, and the lowlands, sometimes called “Tequila Valley,” which are closer to the city of Tequila itself. These areas produce tequilas with dramatically different flavour profiles. Lowland tequilas tend to have more vegetal flavours like grass and sage than highland tequilas; they also tend to taste less sweet than their counterparts from higher altitudes. Highland tequilas, on the other hand, are usually smoother, sweeter, and fruitier than lowland tequilas. Recognising the importance of these two primary growing areas can be a big step to understanding the intricacies of Mexico’s premier spirit.

100% agave is a must when I’m selecting my choice of Tequila. Small batch and tequila from Los Altos would be my preference since there will be richer and more minerality in the spirit.

While I do enjoy drinking tequila neat without any other chaser so that wouldn’t affect the original flavour itself, this is also a fantastic spirit to be used in cocktails for a more wild and vegetal lift.

Tequila, like wine, is an expression of the place where the agave is grown. And not all tequilas — again, like wine — are created equal. So, the next time you enjoy your favourite tequila, keep an eye on the regions and the fields where its agave was grown. While many producers are vague about where their agave comes from, Arquitecto produces batches of tequila that are sourced from the lands of Master Tequilero, Enrique Fonseca, who is known for creating tequilas rich with agave character yet graced with a delicate finish. With no additives, diffusers, immature agave, and non-agave fermentation sugars, every bottle of Arquitecto is spectacular with its own clean character and is an easy choice to start your tequila journey with.

“Always avoid Mixto Tequilas! Having a smooth Blanco Tequila such as Arquitecto is perfect; great in cocktails and great as our house shot too! Generally, it’s great to experiment with and works with almost everything.” — Stuart Campbell, Bar Manager of Margo’s, New Zealand

Arquitecto Distillery

Once you’ve understood the fundamentals of this spirit, take your own tequila connoisseurship to the next level. Whether you prefer to sip it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, each different style of tequila will strongly influence your experience.

There are five types of tequila depending on how long they have been aged in oak barrels. A blanco (white) has no ageing process and is bottled immediately after distillation, a reposado (rested) sits in oak barrels between two months and one year, an añejo (aged) ages between one year and three years while extra añejo (extra aged) sits for more than three years.

Jeremy Blackmore, Director of Mucho Hospitality Group

At Cantina OK!, we make margaritas with a mix of Tequila and a dash of Mezcal. The key to the flavour in a margarita is using lime squeezed right in the moment. The taste of the oils that are expressed from the skin of the lime is as important as the juice.

Personally, I have been returning to drinking tequila with lime and salt. There is something so honestly exciting about the whole process. I’m not really sure why we collectively decided it wasn’t cool but I’m all for bringing it back.

Imelda Ng, Greater China Brand Ambassador for Diplomatico

The taste of tequila elevates cocktails thanks to their distinctive agave flavour. The sweet and sugary essence followed by notes of vanilla and cinnamon makes it a great base for a Margarita and a Paloma!

When you start to understand the taste of tequila, I’d definitely recommend food pairings such as blanco with seafood, aged tequila with red meat or chocolate, and citrus and fresh herbs also works particularly well with the flavour of agave.

As you learn about how to enjoy tequila, remember that just like any other spirit, there is no one right way to drink it. As long as you do it thoughtfully and respectfully, feel free to experiment until you find what works best for you. The key thing is to not let preconceived notions about what kind of tequila you should drink limit your options. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun! The most important thing to keep in mind when drinking tequila is moderation. When used responsibly, all forms of tequila can make great drinks.


ABOUT TRUE BELIEVERS SPIRITS

True Believers was conceived by Proof & Company to offer a range of craft spirits that bridges the gap between economical pouring brands, which often fall short in meeting modern consumer preferences for craft credibility, and super-premium craft spirits, which are generally priced out of reach for house pouring programs. Each of the True Believers brands was developed individually to serve as a versatile archetype of its category, suitable for cocktails and sipping alike. The spirits themselves are produced with authentic craft values by highly-regarded distillers. 

ABOUT ARQUITECTO TEQUILA

Created from high-altitude agave grown on the lands of Master Tequilero, Arq. Enrique Fonseca, near Atotonilco in the highlands. Cooked, crushed, fermented, and distilled at his ABV Tequileña distillery in the town of Tequila. No immature agave, no non-agave fermentation sugars, no diffusers, and no additives were used in the production of this tequila.

For more information, please visit True Believers.



THE ART OF APERITIVO WITH MANCINO VERMOUTH


ASIA PACIFIC, 7 JUNE – Originating from the Latin verb “aperire” which means “to open”, the Italian Aperitivo has a long history extending back to the Roman Empire, and it has been widely spread across the globe. Aperitivo is more than just a simple Italian-style happy hour. Just like everything else, Italians conduct their pre-meal drinks with unmatched and almost unfair sophistication, adding Aperitivo to the long list of things that make Italian culture admirable.

Giancarlo Mancino, Creator of Mancino Vermouth and Rinomato Aperitivo

From 12 pm to 1 pm and 6.30 pm to 8 pm, the Aperitivo hour is a daily, informal celebration of life with good people, good drinks and good food and has become an art form of imbibing before the Italians eat.

“The Aperitivo is an essential moment of joy, relaxation, and a time for socialisation. It’s a strong Italian tradition that we always keep alive and incorporate into our range of Mancino Vermouth. Quality is essential as a true Aperitivo moment doesn’t need over-complicated drinks, but delicious craft spirits that can easily be topped up with a seltzer or some Prosecco.”

Created for the very dream of bringing back vermouth made in an authentic, classic 1900’s style, Mancino Vermouth will elevate your Aperitivo Hour with the taste of intricate flavours of the past in simple cocktail recipes.

“Most aperitivo drinks, historically, have a common ingredient: a Vermouth or a Bitter Liquor. A Negroni (the most sold cocktail for 2022), Vermouth Highball, Americano, and Spritzes are the “go-to” drinks for the Aperitivo moment. With simple ingredients, Mancino Vermouth helps to create a drink with lots of personality,” Grazia Di Franco, Mancino Vermouth Brand Ambassador explains.

Americano: Mancino Vermouth Rosso, Rinomato Bitter Scuro, Top with Soda Water

Cardinale Highball: Mancino Vermouth di Torino Secco, Rinomato Aperitivo Bitter Scuro, Dry Gin, Top with Grapefruit Soda

Flora Spritz: Mancino Vermouth Sakura, Rinomato Aperitivo Deciso, Top with Bubbles

As long as you are drinking, appetizers and other light fares should be available. One could regularly find these fundamentals; cured meat, olives and cheeses to vegetables, quiches, pizza, or a small plate of pasta. The Mancino Vermouth team recommends upgrading your food selection with some gourmet bites, homemade dips and small focaccia for a spread of sophisticated nibbles.

Pizza and a Milano-Torino

The great Italian ritual of Aperitivo is continuing to gain propulsion in Australia and Asia, with its Italian rich heritage. The purest expression of Aperitivo can be enjoyed anywhere: at home or in a bar, in a park or by the sea, so long as you are relaxing, in good company, with food and drinks that are delicious.

And Mancino Vermouth is encouraging people to take part in the Aperitivo ritual by providing easy-to-make cocktails at home as well as imparting tips on the best and happiest hour of the day. Just like there’s no Negroni without Vermouth, the Art of Aperitivo is never complete without Mancino Vermouth.


ABOUT MANCINO VERMOUTH

Mancino Vermouth was born in 2011 in a small family-run distillery in Asti, Piedmont. The distillery, established over 60 years ago in 1957, inspired Giancarlo Mancino, owner of the brand, to compose his own vermouth using only the finest hand-picked spices and botanicals. From the moment you pick up the bottle, its classic look and feel, together with the bittersweet concoctions awaiting inside, impress upon you the timeless character that make Mancino Vermouth an integral part of the world’s finest cocktail bars.

For more information, please visit Mancino Vermouth.


THE FUTURE OF WHISKY WITH SIMON MCGORAM, ATOM BRANDS


ASIA PACIFIC, 23 MAY – The whisky industry is exploding in growth with the number of small-batch distilleries increasing by double digits each year. Innovation seems to be coming out of every seam and people are demanding variety when it comes to grains, production styles, and consumption methods. Whisky drinkers are becoming increasingly diverse – pushing for something that suits their tastes rather than just settling for what’s typical – which will lead us into an exciting future filled with various changes within the current status quo.

For these reasons, we sat down with Simon McGoram, Regional Sales Manager of ATOM Brands (Asia Pacific) who shared his thoughts about whisky’s future.

Simon McGoram, Regional Sales Manager of ATOM Brands (Asia Pacific)

Atom Brands enjoys success at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards & Icons of Whisky

How has the market landscape for whisky evolved?

The landscape for whisky has evolved a lot in the Asia Pacific region and indeed around the globe. Whilst the brand ‘Scotch’ remains strong, we are seeing an emergence and increasing interest in new world whiskies. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about with working on brands like That Boutique-y Whisky Company which leads the conversation of craft whisky bottling exciting releases, White Peak in England, Nantou from Taiwan, Three Sheets in South Africa and Black Gate in Australia to name a few.

What are the areas of innovation you can foresee in the whisky process, ingredients and beyond barrels?

In terms of innovation, what haven’t we seen yet? As the world embraces new world whiskies, innovation can be found in every corner of the industry. Oxford Artisan Distillery is leading the charge with heirloom grains in England – it’s producing excellent whisky with more disease & drought-resistant crops (pertinent in the age of global warming). Archie Rose in Australia blends a six malt stream (with a load of speciality malts) to make their new make spirit in a dizzyingly complex process that has seen some delicious results to date. Let’s not forget the recently ratified category of Empire Rye in New York State is a driving force behind some excellent whisky from the US east coast. In short, it’s a great time to be a whisky fan.

What are the primary inputs for an excellent whisky in terms of ingredients, and processes?

Well, the ingredients for all whisky are pretty similar – grain (malted & unmalted), water, yeast and of course time in cask. We could spend a long time discussing speciality grains, length of fermentation, worms tubs and maturation regimes (and anyone who has spent any real length of time with me over a couple of drams would have fallen into this rabbit hole) – but really, I’m a firm believer that whisky is a primarily a product of people, passion and place.

These less tangible and personal elements are what help consumers fall in love with whisky – much like the bar industry, it’s passionate people that are at the heart of it working in a dynamic range of venues. Great whisky, much like a great bar, somehow manages to capture the essence & devotion of those behind it – and best manages to reflect the soul of where they’re from.

At That Boutique-y Whisky Company, we never try to lose sight that our whisky is made by people – our graphic novel-style labels often try to tell the story of the people and places involved in making their fabulous product.

What exciting news will we expect from your brand in the future?

In exciting news from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, we’re thrilled to be celebrating our 10th birthday this year and look forward to announcing soon a very special line-up of 10th Anniversary bottlings to mark the occasion. We are also planning a return trip to Australia after the success of our first Australian series. And very shortly our Boutique-y Record Series will be released – a double scotch whisky release that combines the teams’ love of music with some cracking drams.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Australia Series

Across the globe, demand for whisky is only increasing, so much so that it’s creating a new era of exploration for enthusiasts. Luckily for us, one company has been ruthlessly keeping up with the booming and changing markets, with innovation and quality at heart. ATOM Brands has been focused on crafting high-quality liquor products and extending to the joys of innovative research, leading them to what they do best today. Expect what you’ve come to love from this 8-years-old brand in future releases: awe-inspiring whiskies crafted by innovators who are always eager to seize inspiration before anyone else does.


ABOUT ATOM BRANDS

Being the disruptive innovative arm of the Atom Group, the leading distributor of craft spirits in the UK, ATOM Brands owns, creates and produces some of the most exciting, innovative and high-growth, multi-award-winning (and delicious) brands in the drinks industry. It all started with the creation of Bathtub Gin, and rapidly grew to include the full Ableforth’s portfolio, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, That Boutique-y Gin Company and That Boutique-y Rum Company, as well as the groundbreaking Drinks by the Dram. The winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade in 2019 which recognises outstanding short term growth in overseas sales over a 3 year period, ATOM Brands now proudly operates in over 70 growing craft spirit markets worldwide, including Taiwan, USA, China, Japan and Germany.

For more information, please visit ATOM Brands.


CITADELLE GIN PUSHES BOUNDARIES WITH THE RELEASE OF VIVE LE CORNICHON FROM "LES EXCENTRIQUES" COLLECTION


ASIA PACIFIC, 4 APRIL – Citadelle Gin, the pioneering brand behind the craft gin movement in France, has officially unveiled its Citadelle Vive Le Cornichon in the brand new limited edition series last week. The first edition in their Les Excentriques collection was launched with partner bars all across the globe, including 28 HongKong Street, Singapore and Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden, Australia.

Given that gin is known not only for its bright juniper bursts but also for its citrusy, herbaceous flavours and floral botanicals, one might think a pickle-flavoured gin hitting bars on April 1 might be an April Fool’s joke. But this savoury gin is just another brainchild of Alexandre Gabriel and the team at Citadelle Gin as part of a continuing effort to push the boundaries of what a gin can be.

Vive Le Cornichon Launch Party at 28 HongKong Street

Created in 1996, Citadelle Gin remains unquestionably a distillery that seeks innovation when it comes to both technique and ingredients. Their latest gin release is a creative masterpiece of using an unusual ingredient to achieve the innovative flavour, in this case, the cornichon.

Vive Le Cornichon (translated as long live pickles) honours the ingredient and defies the traditional sweet, fruity gin expressions, with its pickle-like notes and a palate of voluptuous, vinegary flavour. The first of the “Les Excentriques” collection is infused with 100% French hand-picked pickles from Maison Marc, a brand well known to the lovers of French terroir.

Cultivated, herbicides-free cornichons with no preservatives by Maison Marc

This ultra-limited edition dry gin was naturally developed in the new Citadelle distillery designed by Alexandre Gabriel and entirely constructed by the château’s in-house teams. As gin drinkers are becoming increasingly adventurous with more varieties available in the market, Citadelle took advantage of this enormous freedom to play with the versatile spirit and create a unique delight.

Similar to their other extraordinary spirits, Vive Le Cornichon has also been distilled using the patented process of gradual infusion of juniper berries and 19 other botanicals, this time with the saline flavours of the cornichon redefining the juniper-based spirit. It will certainly be exciting to see Vive Le Cornichon being a natural match to savoury cocktails such as a Gibson or a Dirty Martini at the hands of imaginative personalities at bars.

Citadelle Gin has truly been an innovator in its category with its range now comprising five extraordinary expressions, each bringing a whole new story to life with their respective flavour combinations. Vive Le Cornichon embodies all that is fun and innovative about Citadelle – it stands out from other gins in terms of taste and style, while still being recognisable as part of the Citadelle family. With this unprecedented expression, Alexandre Gabriel is once again pushing against the limits of creativity and experimentation with his teams. His mantra “Impossible is not Ferrand” has never sounded more true.


ABOUT CITADELLE GIN 

Citadelle Gin is a brand of Maison Ferrand, located in the southwestern region of Cognac, more precisely at the Château de Bonbonnet where Citadelle Gin was created in 1996. Citadelle is the pioneer of French gin. Alexandre Gabriel developed and patented the first ever progressive infusion process, which consists of infusing each botanical in succession to preserve its organoleptic quality and capture the ultimate flavor. The result of this painstaking technique is original and elegant, subtle and balanced. The Citadelle range, a darling of bartenders everywhere, includes four expressions: Original, Reserve, Old Tom and the Extrême limited editions. A fifth is now available with Jardin d’été. Citadelle is very proud of its creations and rewarded with numerous medals from major international competitions.

For more information, please visit Citadelle Gin.

ABOUT MAISON FERRAND

Maison Ferrand is owned by Alexandre Gabriel, Cellar Master and creator of fine spirits. Based in Cognac, Maison Ferrand produces Ferrand Cognac according to ancestral techniques stretching back 10 generations; Plantation Rum, celebrating the world’s finest rum terroirs; and Citadelle Gin, gin de château. Alexandre’s passion for exploring ancient techniques and developing new ones through constant experimentation has made him a true font of knowledge. He is always looking for new experiences and opportunities to share his discoveries. In 2017, the American Distilling Institute presented him with its highest distinction for his remarkable contribution to the world of spirits.

Read more about Maison Ferrand here.


PEDDLERS SHANGHAI GIN CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR AND THE SPIRIT OF THE TIGER


SINGAPORE, 25 JANUARY 2022 – Shanghai-based Peddlers Gin Company is celebrating Chinese New Year in 2022 – the Year of the Tiger –  with a series of events and partnerships in Singapore.

The cornerstone event will be a two-week partnership with Projector X, an indie film theater that will feature Chinese New Year related screenings and Peddlers Gin cocktails paired with Chinese delicacies from 26 January to 6 February. To ring in the festivities with delicious dumplings, film-goers and the public alike are welcome to enjoy some G&Ts and special Shanghai Dumplings from 29-30 January only. 

At the same time, six bars from Singapore’s exciting cocktail scene will each feature 3 Peddlers Gin specials for 2 weeks in Peddler’s Tiger Bar Crawl. There will be special menus at partner venues Sago House, Stay Gold Flamingo, Barbary Coast, 28 HongKong Street, Druggists, and Set of Six. At these top bars, guests can explore drinks inspired by ingredients and botanicals from around the different regions of China.

Some of the highlights include:

28 HongKong Street’s "Vice & Valor"

Barbary Coast's "Count Cassia"

Sago House's "Peddler's Street Side Special"

As part of its global Chinese New Year campaign, Peddlers will be releasing exclusive interviews with people across the generations in China who were born in a Year of the Tiger. From an 86 year old hunter-turned conservationist to a 24-year-old surfer, a rice farmer, a hip hop star, and everything in between. Each story paints a picture of Chinese culture, celebrating the human spirit in a country undergoing unprecedented change.

Peddlers special limited edition gift box with a custom Spirit of the Tiger cocktail mug, available online and at events.

“The Lunar New Year is about celebrating what’s new, honouring what came before, and feasting with family and friends. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger – an animal that represents bravery in Chinese culture.

Along with some exciting events, delicious food, and cocktails, we’ll be releasing exclusive content that captures the spirit of the tiger and sheds a human light on China and its rich cultural diversity. We can’t wait to share these stories – and some cocktails – with the world”, said Joseph Judd, Marketing Director of Peddler’s Gin

Peddlers use the London Dry method, which means no additives or artificial flavours are added after distillation. Their use of a traditional copper pot ensures a crisp, clean taste. Peddlers Gin is double distilled, with a vapour infusion of the delicate Chinese botanicals including Sichuan pepper from the mountains of Hanyuan, near Chengdu.

The expansion of Peddlers Gin Co around the world follows a surge in demand as an adventurous new generation seeks unique gins which push the boundaries of flavour and craft. With notes of Sichuan pepper, Buddha’s hand & Chinese mint, the award-winning flavour profile of Peddlers Rare Shanghai Gin is delicious in a cocktail or mingling with mixers. Along with being critically acclaimed, earning medals at the San Fran World Spirits Awards and CWSA, Peddlers Gin stands out for its distinctive and award-winning bottle design.

Now being served at bars around Singapore, Peddlers Gin is helping to pioneer the craft spirit industry in Asia.


ABOUT PEDDLERS GIN COMPANY

Peddlers is a Shanghai gin company started in 2017 with a vision of challenging perceptions of what it means to be ‘Made in China’. Using uniquely Chinese ingredients like Sichuan Pepper and Buddha’s Hand, Peddlers Gin tells a story of diverse regions of China. With exports of their premium gin to over ten countries throughout the Asia Pacific, and triple-digit sales growth, Peddlers is proudly representing Shanghai to the world.

For more information, please visit Peddlers Gin Company.


PROOF & COMPANY’S NEW LOOK LEADERSHIP TEAM ANNOUNCED, BUILDING FOR A POST PANDEMIC RECOVERY IN APAC


SINGAPORE, 18 October 2021 – Since commencing his new role as CEO of Proof & Company in April, Paul Broadbent has been focused on building the best team to guide the rapidly expanding drinks company in Asia into its next phase of growth. As part of this growth strategy, three key appointments have been made in the past month adding to two prior appointments in Trisha Chan (General Counsel) and Damian Kaehler (General Manager – Australasia), who joined Proof & Company earlier in the year.

In a commitment to strengthen the company’s brand building reputation, Proof & Company has appointed Vienna Thompson into the newly created role of Head of Marketing.

Vienna is a seasoned brand, communications and marketing professional with over 15 years’ experience in APAC. She prides herself on a non-traditional career trajectory that has spanned agencies, consultancies and in-house roles across multiple industries, thus bringing a different perspective to the drinks and consultancy business.

Based in the Singapore headquarters, Vienna will lead an expanding marketing team across APAC, building not only the Proof & Company brand but the 50+ extraordinary spirits brands within the portfolio with a focus on consumer and brand experience executions across the Proof & Company markets.

Vienna Thompson, Head of Marketing

“Proof is an intoxicating (shameless pun) business for a brand marketer; with an entrepreneurial and creative foundation, portfolio of exciting partner brands, passionate people, spirited community… and I’m thrilled to join the newly formed leadership team tasked to evolve an already cool, highly regarded brand. The opportunities, and fine drinking occasions, are endless.”

In Proof & Company China, Craig Aldous has been appointed as the General Manager, replacing Chris Lowder who exited the business in July after a month-long transition between the two. Craig brings a wealth of knowledge in doing business in China with 10 years with Elders China as CEO and more recently CEO of Woolworths China (including Summergate Wine and Spirits). One of the largest wine importers in China, Summergate employed 400 staff and represented over 80 brands of wines and spirits.

During his time with Woolworths China, Craig developed a customer-centric culture within the organisation, following the mantra, “If your job is not to serve the customer then it is to support those people who are serving the customer”.

Craig Aldous, General Manager, China

“China is a challenging market but presents opportunities for premium brands – which Proof & Company has in abundance! I’m excited about the portfolio and the calibre of partners we work with in the region, as well as the visionary initiatives the company is taking to promote environmental sustainability through its ecoSPIRITS program.”

The third and most recent appointment is that of Brandon Grusd as General Manager of the Southeast Asia region based in Singapore. Grusd’s history before Proof & Company includes three years with Maritime & Mercantile International with headquarters in Dubai, UAE and spanning 16 other geographies, through which he undertook a variety of roles in different sectors, including; Head of Spirit Education, Non Alcoholic Category Management for International Markets & FMCG, Head of New Product Innovation & Onboarding, Category and Brand Management for Speciality Products, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader and Advocate and most recently WSET L3 Educator.

Prior to his time with Maritime & Mercantile International, Brandon held a senior role in Dubai as Group Operations Manager, responsible for the management and growth of consultancy project teams throughout the region and abroad – experience which is crucial for the work that Proof Creative does in Singapore and globally.  Brandon will now relocate to Singapore with his family to drive the market that started it all for Proof & Company 10 years ago.

Brandon Grusd, General Manager, South East Asia

“I have been impressed with the growth, innovation and urgency of Proof & Company from afar for some time now and I could not be more excited to be joining the team in Singapore. They have effectively expanded through this pandemic by cultivating strong partnerships while maintaining notoriety in the APAC region. I will look to further build team capabilities, driving forward our consumer and brand building focus areas and continue to deliver and grow award winning concepts and distribution through our network.“

Proof & Company continues their expansion in APAC under the leadership of Broadbent, with a simple strategy to reach more customers, more often.  Taking premium craft spirits to more regions of Asia and more accounts, especially the retail channel in all markets, has driven the growth of the business, even during challenging trading periods in the region.

Paul Broadbent, CEO, Proof & Company

“Each of these appointments have a proven track record in strong leadership which resulted in improved financial performance, increased satisfaction from brand owners and stakeholders, and higher engagement scores from their people, which were all the qualities I was seeking while building out this new leadership group.”



PROOF & COMPANY’S JERRY JOINS ALLARA GLOBAL TO FORM PREMIUM HOSPITALITY RESOURCE


SYDNEY, 23 September 2021 – Proof & Company and Allara Global jointly announced today Allara’s acquisition of JERRY Global with a commitment to continue to develop & integrate the solution. As part of the acquisition, Nicole Smith – JERRY Chief Education Officer, will join Allara Global as Education Lead, JERRY working under Aaron Johnson – Allara Global General Manager.

Under the terms of the acquisition, the two parties will collaborate in other areas including content development and new customer acquisition. Proof & Company will have access to and continue to use JERRY in its work with hundreds of hospitality operators across Asia Pacific for at least two years.

JERRY beverage e-learning joins Allara Global stables, delivering a 400+ online course library to the hospitality industry

Paul Broadbent, CEO, Proof & Company

“The JERRY training program is one of the many layers to Proof & Company that has helped drive our vision to champion the second golden age of drinking in our markets and elevate beverage programs throughout the industry. Many talented people have contributed to the JERRY journey, starting with Nicole and including contributors from around the world.

From all of us at Proof & Company, thank you to everyone who has contributed to JERRY’s impact on hospitality professionals around the world. We look forward to partnering with Allara as they drive JERRY’s growth over the coming years.”

Andrew Lewis, CEO, Allara Learning & Allara Global

“Allara Learning started from a deep passion for hospitality and seeing a gap in the market for quality training that would meet the ever-changing landscape, one that demanded integrated bespoke training within the workplace. This blended learning approach – online, face-to-face and workplace – became the model of success for our clients. We launched Allara Global, our eLearning platform, to provide dedicated support for the fast-growing online arm of the business.

Our trainers and mixologists all know and love the JERRY product and thus we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Proof & Co. We warmly welcome Nicole Smith into the extended Allara family and look forward to working together.”

Aaron Johnson, General Manager, Allara Global

“This strategic acquisition is part of our ongoing commitment to add depth to our rapidly expanding content library and provide additional value to our hospitality clients throughout Australasia and beyond.

This is another fantastic step forward in the continued evolution of Allara Global and we are incredibly excited at having JERRY join us for this journey.”

Nicole Smith, Education Lead – JERRY, Allara Global

“Never before has the need for holistic online education been so great. The industry-leading beverage and hospitality learning platform, JERRY, has joined forces with Allara Global to meet this challenge. Allara Global, brings over 10 years of experience delivering hospitality, leadership and retail management. Together, they will provide the most comprehensive training program in the hospitality space.”

Allara plans to migrate JERRY content and learner base into their learning management system in due course, but for now the focus is on getting JERRY into the hands of the hospitality industry in a post-covid environment. Tangibly, this means providing free access to existing JERRY clients until January 2022.  For more information or to sign up, please contact info@jerry.global


About Allara Global

Allara Global provides end-to-end eLearning solutions to empower businesses with a set of tools to meet their staff training needs. From induction, onboarding and upskilling to workplace safety and compliance; they provide scalable expert training with the aim to help businesses build better teams, an engaged workforce, and profitable operations. Allara Global’s eLearning complements the industry expertise of their sister company, Allara Learning, to create engaging world-class content.

https://allaraglobal.com

 

About Allara Learning

Founded in 2009, Allara Learning is a leading Australian national vocational education and training provider offering training solutions to the industry including Nationally Recognised Qualifications, short courses and JobReady employment programs. With a focus on hospitality, leadership and retail management training; Allara’s mission is to make a real difference to businesses whilst providing the learner with education and training to enable career growth. Clients include Accor, Merivale, Solotel, Howard Smith Wharves and Compass Group. In March 2021 Allara Learning launched two live training venues in Brisbane, Australia – Leonards Bar & Bistro and Dawn.

http://allaralearning.com.au

 

About JERRY

Established by Proof & Company in 2018 and based in Singapore, JERRY is one of the industry’s leading modern beverage learning resources, with over 8,000 learners in 44 countries who have earned JERRY Certificates. Backed by a library of more than 200 online courses across a range of beverage subjects, JERRY offers five levels of certification programs to beverage and hospitality professionals. JERRY also offers bespoke learning environments to large hospitality operators, including Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Starbucks and Accor Hospitality Group.

https://jerry.global


ELEMENTAL DISTILLERS PARTNERS WITH PROOF & COMPANY NEW ZEALAND AND ECOSPIRITS


AUCKLAND, 29 JULY 2021 – Starting this month, award-winning, Marlborough-based distillery Elemental Distillers will partner with Proof & Company to accelerate its brand growth and distribution presence in its New Zealand home market. The new partnership will also see Elemental’s Roots Marlborough Dry Gin become the first New Zealand spirit to be available in the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste distribution technology.

Roots Marlborough Dry Gin voted NZ Best Overall Gin 2021

Roots Marlborough Dry Gin, in bottle and ecoTOTE™ format

The new partnership is a natural fit as both companies share a vision centred on the rise of craft and local spirits, industry education and brand independence in the region. It also comes hot off Roots Gin’s recent “Best Overall Gin 2021” win at New Zealand Spirit Awards in June.

The picturesque, thoroughly sustainable Elemental distillery in Vines Village, Marlborough

Founded in 2019 by Ben Leggett and Simon Kelly, Elemental has rapidly emerged as one of New Zealand’s premier craft distillers, producing gins, bitters and liqueurs in the heart of the internationally recognised Marlborough wine region.

With a hospitality career that took him from bar back to bartender to brand ambassador in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Leggett knew from an early age that he eventually wanted to build his own spirit company. When the time came, Leggett chose to partner up with Kelly, a United Kingdom native who had left the corporate world for a 15-year career in wine production, commercial and brand management. Simon holds the Diploma of Wines and Spirits from the WSET and is an Associate of the International Wine and Spirits Trust.

Elemental Distillery Founders Ben Leggett (right) and Simon Kelly

The duo set out to create both a gin brand and a craft producer grounded by the principles of seasonality, traceability, and sustainability. The distillery itself is built from repurposed shipping containers, utilises solar power for distilling and production, and employs a water reticulation system drawing well water from below the distillery. The result is a superb low carbon craft gin, as well as a range of bitters and craft liqueurs.

 As luck would have it, on the day of the first run of Roots Gin Leggett’s wife Louisa gave birth to their first son, Toby. The first bottle of Roots Gin, bottled on Toby’s birthday, was aptly named ‘Toby’s Cut’ and is now kept at the distillery. It will be released on Toby’s 18th birthday.

Roots Gin is a crisp, robust London Dry that is batch distilled in a 200L pot still after a 24-hour activated maturation in a sustainable whey neutral base spirit. Whey spirit is sourced sustainably from local dairy production, making use of a by-product of milk processing. Roots Gin botanicals are entirely locally sourced in New Zealand, with the exception of juniper berries that are wild foraged in North Macedonia. The juniper base is supplemented with ‘Golden Special’ grapefruit from Gisborne, New Zealand, coriander seed from Hawke’s Bay, organic Motueka hops from Nelson, wild-foraged gorse flower from Marlborough, and wild-foraged Kawakawa berries from the Kāpiti Coast, Bottled at 45% ABV, this is a crisp and robust London Dry-style gin.

Golden Special grapefruits and local botanicals are highlights of Roots Gin

A visit to the distillery itself is a wonderful experience if you find yourself in the Marlborough region. Visitors can enjoy personalised tours and tastings with the distillers themselves and purchase bottles from the cellar door. Each September, locals are invited by Elemental to volunteer for a day to pick local wild gorse flowers from a high plateau in the Kaituna Forestry range. October sees the distillery hosting the annual ‘Grapefruit A-Peel,’ when freshly harvested Golden Special grapefruits are peeled for the next year’s runs of gin production. Volunteers for both events are compensated in barbecue and Roots Gin & tonics.

To accelerate the growth of Roots Gin, Proof & Company will first expand its distribution footprint in the on-trade and premium national retail channels, while launching the gin in its ecoSPIRITS pouring program across New Zealand. The new partnership will also see the brand take on a broader presence in New Zealand’s strong independent retail landscape. Strong trade and consumer demand for local spirits will provide a tailwind for this next phase of expansion.

Ben Leggett, Founder of Elemental Distillers

“Roots Marlborough Dry Gin is a product driven on values of sustainability, traceability and transparency. The story of Roots is one of not only each botanical selected, but of how they’ve been grown, when they were harvested and how we ultimately use them,” notes Leggett, “ With aligned principles of sustainability alongside a passion for premium craft spirits, we’re excited to join the Proof & Company portfolio and the ecoSPIRITS technology platform.”

Damian Kaehler, General Manager of Proof & Company Australia & New Zealand

“The growth of our New Zealand business has been exceptional, and that momentum will continue with the further rollout of the ecoSPIRITS. Local craft spirit brands have experienced the strongest growth, with consumers choosing to support local where they can,” notes Damian Kaehler, General Manager, Australia & New Zealand at Proof & Company, “We are delighted to partner with the great team at Elemental Distillers to represent Roots Gin at home and, eventually, around the Asia Pacific region. Together, we will be able to accelerate the growth of one of New Zealand’s finest spirits.”



PROOF CREATIVE CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE OPULENT REPUBLIC BAR AT THE RITZ-CARLTON IN SINGAPORE


SINGAPORE 6 July 2021 – As Singapore venues reopen their doors and welcome guests back after the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions, local cocktail enthusiasts can finally experience the grandeur and magnificence that is the newly opened Republic Bar in the East Wing of the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. The Lion City is no stranger to dramatic hotel bars, but Singapore now has one with a concept to celebrate as its very own.

Republic Bar is an homage to the then and now – The ‘House on the Hill’ overlooking Singapura. Flavours, ingredients and aesthetics are inspired by the 1960s, an influential decade for the modern world and one that marked the founding of Singapore as an independent republic. Bringing this concept to life, four 1960s cultural capitals – Singapore, the United Kingdom, America and Italy – are represented celebrated throughout the venue.

Glam 1960s interiors by acclaimed tonychi studio

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Helming the revitalisation of the East Wing of the hotel was globally-acclaimed design firm tonychi studio, whose previous works include the Rosewood Hong Kong Hotel in Kowloon. Meticulous and discerning design touches are showcased throughout three separate spaces: the Library Reception, the Republic Lounge and the Republic Bar. One design highlight is a curated display of spirits evoking of the four cultural epicentres, an ode to the famous home bars of the 1960s. Each ‘Home Bar’ is adorned with red Venetian glass, 1960s vintage spirits bottles and the requisite crystal and barware for serving a well-balanced stirred drink. Guests can relive the era with authentic liquid history, imbibing on their drink of choice.

The America ‘home bar’ at Republic Bar

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Republic Bar team is led by Head Bartender Martin Villareal, Beverage Manager Konstantin Nemolochnyi and Outlet Manager Rudi Mohamed. Much of the team came together in the hotel’s award-winning Chihuly Lounge, which anchored the East Wing prior to the renovation. As a result, the team was intimately involved in the menu development from start to finish, supported by the Proof Creative team. Guests at Republic Bar can expect thoughtful, immaculately garnished cocktails, each prepared in 1960s style.

 “Being a part of Republic’s opening is a huge honour for me. To work alongside tonychi studio and the expert Proof Creative team was both exciting and educational. Republic Bar is the result of our collective effort. We feel very proud to share this new experience with Singapore – home to one of the most vibrant cocktail scenes in the world,” notes Nemolochnyi.

Head Bartender, Martin Villareal

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Beverage Manager Konstantin Nemolochnyi

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Outlet Manager Rudi Mohamed

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Mythical Beast Cocktail, with Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Merlion, a national Singapore icon born in the 1960s, takes centre stage in the Mythical Beast Cocktail, which uses a base spirit from Singapore’s first full-fledged microdistillery, Brass Lion Distillery. A spirituous stirred drink, Brass Lion Gin is blended with Tio Pepe sherry, house-prepared Port City syrup, citric solution and Scrappy’s Orleans Bitters.

Republic Bar cocktail elegance, with the Mini Skirt Cocktail at left

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Mini Skirt Cocktail takes inspiration from one of Britain’s most famous design ideas from the 1960s period by fashion designer, Mary Quant. A red-hued, sour-style drink with citrus and berry notes, this cocktail is a shaken blend of Tried & True Straight Wheat Vodka, Luxardo Limoncello Liqueur, Pimm’s No. 1, house-prepared cranberry pineapple cordial and citrus stock. The Mini Skirt is served in an era-inspired bespoke cocktail coupe designed by British purveyors, John Jenkins & Sons, a family business who hold a Royal Warrant for crystal glassware.

The 15 Minutes of Fame Cocktail, with Farmer’s Organic Gin

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

A memorable quote from notorious American pop artist, Andy Warhol, who said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” is the inspiration for the 15 Minutes of Fame Cocktail in the America selection. This drink is a  visually striking serve with chocolate paint garnish in the same vibrant colours as Warhol’s  iconic Marilyn Monroe silkscreen. Farmer’s Organic Gin and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur are balanced with clarified apple juice, verjus, cacao, Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters and topped with Champagne.

Republic Bar’s signature Boneless Texas Buffalo Wings

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The bar’s elevated food menu is created by Executive Chef Massimo Pasquarelli and offers guests a selection of plates inspired by social and cultural trends of the 1960s. One of the culinary highlights is the boneless Texas Buffalo Wings, a reimagining of the classic bar snack with tender bites of chicken, criss-cross chips and house made ranch and barbecue sauce.

Proof Creative’s work on Republic Bar dates back to 2018, when it was asked by the hotel and its owners, longstanding clients Pontiac Land Group, to bring a signature bar concept to one of Singapore’s most iconic hotels. Over time, the Proof Creative team working on the project included Spirits Evangelists, Mimi Lorandova, Jeremy Chua and Guillermo Bravo, with support throughout from Creative Director, Jason Williams and Creative Project Coordinator, Jonathan Teo.

 

Notes Teo, “I had the privilege to be involved in Republic Bar from ideation to opening, and I witnessed tremendous creativity, teamwork and tenacity from the Republic Bar team during the lengthy process of research and development, pre-opening and training. It has been an enjoyable journey for all involved.”


With Republic Bar now open again and dining in allowed in Singapore, bookings can be made on Republic Bar. You can follow the journey on Instagram  


PROOF & COMPANY AUSTRALIA TO TAKE ECOSPIRITS NATIONWIDE WITH AUSTRALIAN LIQUOR MARKETERS


MELBOURNE 22 April 2021 – Building on the remarkable success of its ecoSPIRITS technology since the Australian launch in early 2020, Proof & Company Australia has now forged a new partnership that will see leading wholesaler Australian Liquor Marketers offer sustainable spirits distribution to thousands of more hospitality venues nationwide.

Beginning 1 May, premium spirits in the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste format will be available to ALM customers, starting with Melbourne and progressively rolling out nationwide over the course of the year.

“At ALM, we are the largest national liquor wholesaler supplying independently-owned liquor retailers and on-premise venues with the most extensive range of products in our portfolio, notes Anthony Rose, ALM On-Premise Category Manager, “Specialising in on premise, we know that sustainability and service are both important to our customers. For this reason, we are proud to announce our new partnership with Proof & Company Australia and ecoSPIRITS.”

Under the new partnership, ALM’s warehousing and delivery teams have received specialised training and support to manage ecoSPIRITS’ patent-pending ecoTOTE format, ensuring seamless supply chain management, warehousing, tracking and fulfilment – all while eliminating more than 80% of the carbon footprint of spirits distribution.

ALM customers will now have access to a growing range of premium spirits in the ecoTOTE format, including one of Australia’s most highly awarded gins from Never Never Distilling Co. and the acclaimed Plantation Rum from Maison Ferrand.

“We have long been proud to have been one of the first spirits partners for ecoSPIRITS, developed by our good friends at Proof & Company,” notes Angelique Julienne, Marketing & Communications Director at Maison Ferrand, “We are convinced that meaningful ecological innovation like sustainable alternative packaging are the future of our industry when done with authenticity. In addition to our partnership with ecoSPIRITS, Maison Ferrand is continually working to do our part. At the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados, we aim to be a net zero carbon footprint distillery by 2030.”

Angelique Julienne, Marketing & Communications Director, Maison Ferrand

The West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados

A source distillery for Plantation Rum, where Maison Ferrand is installing solar power as part of a push for net zero

In addition to Never Never Triple Juniper Gin and Plantation 3 Star, Original Dark and Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum, ALM will offer Tried & True Vodka, Arquitecto Tequila, Mackintosh Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Widges Gin in ecoTOTE format from May. Additional spirits in ecoTOTE format will become available in the coming months.

Since its launch in Australia, ecoSPIRITS has been quickly adopted by more than 100 hospitality venues. Venues adopting the ecoSPIRITS technology reduce the cost of their spirits purchasing, eliminate 95% of the daily glass and cardboard waste from their spirits pours and save 150g of carbon emissions per serve. Bars have embraced well-made spirits in the sustainable format. As Huw Griffiths, owner of Union Electric in Melbourne notes, “Union Electric has always loved Plantation Pineapple, not just as one our favourite spirits but also for the story and care that goes into its production. ‘Stiggins Fancy’ teaming up with ecoSPIRITS is one more good reason to love Pineapple and a good example of an industry leader setting an example addressing issues of waste and sustainability.”

Huw Griffiths, Owner, Union Electric, Melbourne

The ecoSPIRITS closed loop system, which includes the ecoPLANT™, ecoTOTE™ and SmartPour™ technologies, is operated in Australia by Proof & Company, which has been an early champion of sustainable spirits. Venues joining the ecoSPIRITS network through ALM will have access to all ecoSPIRITS benefits, including the “One Tote, One Tree” reforestation commitment under the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program.

“End consumers are increasingly looking to reduce their impact on the planet,” says James ‘Dub Dub’ Wynn-Williams, National Sales Manager at Proof & Company, “It has been a great honour to introduce the ecoSPIRITS technology to the Australian hospitality industry over the past 12 months. Our partnership with ALM will simply help us work with more venues to reduce waste and the cost of their premium spirits. We couldn’t be more excited about the future for sustainable spirits in Australia.”

James ‘Dub Dub’ Wynn-Williams, National Sales Manager, Proof & Company Australia

ecoSPIRITS will be available via ALM from 1 May. For more information, please reach out to your local ALM or Proof & Company representative, or contact James Wynn-Williams


About ALM
Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) is Australia and New Zealand’s leading broad range liquor wholesaler, supplying more than 14,500 hotels, liquor stores, restaurants and other licensed premises throughout Australia and New Zealand with all their liquor needs. ALM provides retailers with a one stop shop that allows them to receive all their liquor supplies “in one delivery; on one invoice; in full; on time; every time” together with strong marketing support and a wide variety of retail services. ALM provides a specialist on-premise liquor supply and marketing support division to the on-premise sector, including bars, restaurants and hotels, via Harbottle on-Premise (HOP) in Australia and Allied Liquor in New Zealand. ALM will continue to help grow and consolidate key brands in the marketplace, and continue to drive the success of the business with the strong support of Metcash Trading Ltd.

For more information on ALM, please visit almliquor.com


About ecoSPIRITS
ecoSPIRITS is the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste spirits distribution technology. Founding in Singapore in 2018, ecoSPIRITS has developed a patent-pending closed loop distribution system that nearly eliminates packaging waste in the premium spirits supply chain. By dramatically reducing packaging and transport costs, ecoSPIRITS provides both a powerful cost advantage and a transformative carbon footprint reduction. By partnering with ecoSPIRITS, spirit producers, distributors and hospitality operators can save costs and reduce the environmental impact of their operations. With each bottle eliminated, ecoSPIRITS saves at least 550 grams of carbon emissions. This means each cocktail or spirits pour through ecoSPIRITS saves 30 grams of emissions. The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program adds an additional 120g of carbon emissions savings per serve.

For more information on ecoSPIRITS, please visit ecospirits.global or follow ecospirits.global on Instagram.