NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hanna Lee Communications, Inc., an award-winning marketing agency that integrates traditional public relations with innovative social media marketing, today announces the results of its first Hanna Lee Communications Cocktails and Spirits Forecast.The inaugural edition of the forecast features 14 tippling trends that will shape on- and off-premise consumption in 2014 from top beverage expert Noah Rothbaum, Liquor.com 's editor-in-chief and author of "The Business of Spirits."
"We were very excited to work with Noah to gain his insights into what's ahead in 2014 for cocktails and spirits," says Hanna Lee, President and Founder, Hanna Lee Communications. "This forecast will benefit the spirits and cocktail industry overall, as well as the media who cover it. We plan to undertake this forecast on an annual basis with a range of experts as our way of giving back to the industry."
"2013 was a great year for drinkers, with a range of excellent new bars opening across the country and many important new spirits entering the market," says Rothbaum. "2014 is shaping up to be just as exciting. Both innovations and a return to classics will continue to drive growth."
The 14 trends for 2014 are as follows:
1. Locavore Tippling
- From Brooklyn to Oakland, dozens of craft distilleries have opened across the U.S. and are producing a dizzying array of spirits, from gin to bourbon, absinthe to applejack, often from locally sourced ingredients. These spirits will continue to be embraced by their proud communities.
2. Drink Vodka Like a Russian
- While athletes will compete head-to-head in February at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there will be no fighting at the bar. Vodka, Russia's national drink and a perennial U.S. favorite, will power infusions and will be a ubiquitous presence in cocktails throughout the games.
3. Saude! (That's "Cheers" in Brazil)
- With the World Cup this June and Summer Olympics in 2016, Brazil will grab the world's attention, and the tropical country's national spirit, cachaca, will be showcased. There's no better way to celebrate Brazil than with a hand-muddled Caipirinha, its signature cocktail.
4. The Professional Cocktail Party
- Borrowing a page from big-time food events, festivals and conferences devoted to cocktails and spirits are taking the U.S. by storm. Tales of the Cocktail is the original and largest cocktail conference for the bartending community, and New York's Manhattan Cocktail Classic is one of the most prominent consumer-focused bashes. Boston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Portland (Ore.), San Antonio and San Francisco have joined in, with additional cities expected to follow.
5. High-Tech Bartending
- Centrifuges, liquid nitrogen, smokers and lasers seem more at home in a lab than a bar, but pioneering watering holes around the world, including Honeycut (Los Angeles), 69 Colebrooke (London) and Booker and Dax (New York) are using these cutting edge tools to mix up drinks.
6. Bourbon and Rye Renaissance
- With consumers and bartenders craving more flavor-forward spirits, as well as the "Mad Men" effect, bourbon and rye whiskies are continuing to make a robust comeback. They're returning as fashionable sipping spirits, as well as the foundations for cocktails.
7. Cocktails To-Go
- Enjoy your favorite craft cocktail at home! Artisanal brands and top bartenders are launching their own lines of handcrafted bottled cocktails, from Palomas to Negronis. Simply pour over ice and sip away.
8. Flavor Bombs
- Cinnamon tequila. Apple Irish whiskey. Honey Scotch. Thanks to the success of flavored vodkas and Jim Beam's Red Stag line of flavored bourbons, brands are rolling out increasingly more flavored spirits. While consumers may tire of the more outrageous flavors, some experiments will catch on.
9. Global "Scotch-Like" Whiskies
- Scotland's centuries-old near-monopoly on single malt whisky is facing a new and serious foreign threat: "Scotch-like" whiskies from Japan, India, Taiwan and even Upstate New York. As these spirits win critical accolades and praise from tipplers, expect the selection to increase even more this year.
10. Truly Vintage Spirits
- To more authentically recreate pre-Prohibition cocktails, bars and restaurants are now stocking genuinely vintage spirits that date back decades, which were purchased at auction or from collectors. Stop by Pouring Ribbons (New York), MilkWood (Louisville) and Canon (Seattle) to experience some real "liquid history."
11. Simple, Classic Cocktails
- Forget about12-ingredient cocktails. Both bartenders and consumers have grown tired of overly fussy drinks that take a lot time to cobble together and are often puzzling flavor-wise. Expect a return to simpler, classic cocktails. Remember, these drinks are classic for a reason.
12. Overproof Spirits
- While many modern spirits clock in at 40 percent alcohol by volume, a growing number of tipples are breaking that barrier, pushing up to 100-proof, 110-proof and even higher. Mixologists have discovered that these "higher-octane" spirits stand up exceptionally well in cocktails.
13. Rum and Tequila: The "New" Sipping Spirits
- For many years, spirits like rum and tequila were mostly consumed unaged in cocktails like the Mojito and the Margarita. Today, mature versions of these spirits are being sipped and appreciated like fine cognacs or Scotch whiskies.
14. Price Hikes and Bargains Galore
- Prices for both cocktails and liquor have grown over the last few years and will continue to do so, especially in categories like single malt Scotch, as well as bourbon and rye, where producers can't keep up with international demand. However, bargains can still be found in the vodka, gin and rum categories.
Editor's Note: Noah Rothbaum is available for interview, with a photo upon request.
About Noah Rothbaum
Noah Rothbaum is the editor-in-chief of Liquor.com and the author of The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink. Liquor.com is the winner of the 2013 James Beard Award for its "How to Cocktail" video series and the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best Cocktail Writing.
Rothbaum has spoken at a number of industry conferences, including Tales of the Cocktail, the Boston Cocktail Summit, Thirst Boston and the National Restaurant Association Show, and has guest-lectured at the Culinary Institute of America, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and Lehigh University. He has also judged several cocktail competitions and been quoted in a wide selection of publications and websites, including O, The Oprah Magazine, BrandWeek, Beverage Media, Nation's Restaurant News, BBC.com, TravelandLeisure.com, MoneyWatch.com, SmartMoney.com, CNBC.com, MarketWatch.com and Forbes.com.
According to Chicago magazine's chief dining critic, Jeff Ruby, "Rothbaum knows drinking like Newton knew gravity, but he's not all high and mighty about it, creating laws and whatnot." And The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog called him "one of the smartest tipplers (and writers on spirits) we know."
In addition, Rothbaum has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, Gastronomica, Esquire, Details, Men's Journal, Men's Fitness, Life, NYMag.com, TheAtlantic.com and Portfolio.com.
About Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.
Headquartered in New York City, Hanna Lee Communications, Inc. is an award-winning marketing agency that integrates traditional public relations with innovative social media marketing. It is specialized in hospitality and lifestyle PR, including spirits, wine, food and travel, as well as event management. The agency only represents products and companies that it is passionate about. This outlook drives its well-acknowledged excellence.
The agency has created a number of successful PR, event management and social media case studies that have earned recognition from prestigious national and international organizations that include PR News' Platinum PR Awards, PRWeek Awards, SABRE Awards, PRSA-NY's Big Apple Awards, The Communicator Awards, The Bulldog Awards and the W 3 Awards. In addition, through its multi-year PR campaign for Mionetto Wines, Hanna Lee Communications contributed to developing the now popular Prosecco category in the U.S.
Hanna Lee Communications' client experience includes the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, Campari, Louis Royer Cognac, Santa Teresa Rum, The Dead Rabbit, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, TINCUP American Whiskey, GRACE Restaurant and Pub, Leblon Cachaca, Cooper Spirits' Lock Stock & Barrel Rye Whiskey, Melibea Urban Mediterranean Restaurant, Atsby Vermouth, Pisco Control C, Sobieski Vodka, Marie Brizard Liqueurs, Michael's New York, MONO+MONO Restaurant, Forcella Pizza Restaurant Group, Rayuela Restaurant, Macondo Latin Tapas Bar, San Domenico New York (now SD26), Japan Week, Wines of Croatia, Terra Andina Chilean Wines, Mionetto Wines, G7 Portuguese Wine Consortium and others.
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