Archive for the ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ tag

16th Annual Tales of the Cocktail: MKTG & Diageo Making A Splash Together

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Photos courtesy of Diageo.

Photos courtesy of Diageo.

MKTG and Diageo made a splash at the 16th annual Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (July 19-24, 2016). TOTC is the world’s premier cocktail festival for both industry and consumers, sponsoring a series of seminars, tasting rooms, spirited dinners and volunteer events with the Bon Vivants (San Francisco-based & nationally recognized cocktail, hospitality, marketing and design firm). Immersive experiences allowed attendees to experience innovative Canadian-themed cocktails by Crown Royal, rejuvenate in the morning at the Tanqueray Gin & Juice bar, taste rare malts from the scotch portfolio- brought together by some of the greatest bartenders in the world at the World Class Family Reunion dinner and let loose at the #DiageoGames portfolio party.

Some highlights included:

Ode to the Bowl: Tequila Don Julio, Zacapa Rum, Ketel One Vodka and Bulleit Bourbon sponsored the unofficial kick-off to Tales of the Cocktail at the world-famous Rock’n’Bowl lanes, in a partnership with the Spare Room in Los Angeles. Teams from around the globe competed for the Punch Bowl prize, with Team London bringing home the gold!

World Class Family Reunion: After five years of touring the country and looking for the best bartenders, Diageo’s World Class program hosted a dinner to reunite past competitors and reminisce about the challenges and triumphs of the past five years.

#DiageoGames Portfolio Party: Diageo showcased 14 of its brands at the Diageo Games, arguably one of the most talked-about events at Tales of the Cocktail this year. Each brand represented a country, and activities that consumers could participate in included volleyball, badminton, speed-walking and foosball.

A buzz was building throughout the week with the “Follow the Torch” campaign and hashtag.  Bartender Sean Kenyon and a group of 15 bartenders began the journey with the torch in Denver, CO, riding their motorcycles to New Orleans, and the journey was completed throughout the week of Tales of the Cocktail in the French Quarter by bartenders on a custom, branded pedicab with inflatable torches. Each leg of the run was shared on social media, and generated more than 53,000 likes and views.

Tasting Room- A Spirited Celebration of the Americas: Lauren Mote (2015 Canadian World Class Champion and co-founder of Bittered Sling Bitters) partnered with Diageo’s Reserve Brands to execute this tasting room to take guests on a tour from Western Canada to the Southern United States, mid-Mexico through to Central America, with a quick bounce to the Patagonian region of South America, all told through the story of cocktails.

Guests enjoyed the following cocktails, brought to life in posters and recipe postcards designed by New Orleans-based artist Phillip Collier:

Neerlandia: Ketel One Vodka, Caesar Mix & Bittered Sling Gastown Bitters

Freemasonry Fizz: A breakfast-inspired Ramos gin fizz featuring Tanqueray No. TEN with local organic eggs & Fruit Loop cereal garnish

Anacafé: Zacapa Rum 23 paired with fresh espresso, yellow Chartreuse & Giffard Banane

Century Plant: Tequila Don Julio Blanco, Mezcal, Aloe Vera Juice, Ginger, Lime & Gose beer


–Contributed by the MKTG Diageo team

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

July 26th, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Guest Q&A: George Dickel Ambassador Douglas Kragel

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George Dickel Ambassador Douglas Kragel  The title “Whisky Ambassador” sounds like a dream job. What’s your background, and how did you find your way to George Dickel?
My background is in both service and sales. I have worked every position in restaurants and bars since my first job as a dishwasher. Before becoming the National Ambassador for George Dickel, I worked as a sales representative for a liquor distributor in Baltimore, MD.

You must love whisky. What’s your favorite way to drink it?  What do you drink when you’re not drinking whisky?
There are so many great ways to enjoy whisky that it’s hard to choose a favorite, but currently I’ve been drinking a good amount of whiskey sours. When I’m not drinking whisky I’m most likely drinking a cold beer.

American whiskey is really hot right now. Why do you think that is?
I think one of the factors behind the rise in the popularity of American whiskey is the rise of craft in the beverage industry. Craft beer has paved the way for consumers looking to quality American products, and craft cocktails have brought attention back to the use of American spirits from the pre-Prohibition era.

Traditionally people think of whisky as a cold-weather spirit. How do you teach people to think differently?
I tell people to drink what they like and not to follow convention. What’s better than a cold whisky sour in the summertime?

What kind of trends are you seeing, either among bartenders or consumers?
I think the biggest trend I’m seeing is honesty. That means bar programs that are upfront and have a genuine identity, and consumers who aren’t afraid to forgo that list and order what they really want.

In July you participated in Tales of the Cocktail, which is like the Super Bowl of the spirits industry. Any favorite moments/experiences?
It’s hard to pinpoint any one particular moment at an event as lively as Tales. What I do love the most about that week is the opportunity to work alongside all of the Diageo Masters of Whisky, and tap into the vast network that they have built across the country.

Whisky brands have been doing a lot to bring new in consumers, including women. What are you doing with the brand?
Generally, to get new consumers to try your product, you have to make it more accessible. Whisky can be an intimidating category. For us, it’s all about educating folks on what George Dickel Tennessee Whisky is, and how it differs from other spirits. For instance, our unique charcoal filtration process produces a smooth sipping whisky that goes down easy.

What’s your favorite meal (or flavor) that people might not think to pair with whisky?
Seafood. I think the rich flavor of say, oysters, can be complemented nicely with the dry nature of rye whisky, for example.

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Eddie Vedder. For the simple reason that it would give me a chance to spend a little time with an idol, and talking while drinking whisky would help me feel a bit less nervous.

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