The way ahead for spirits

16 May, 2008

Distil's aim is to become for the spirits trade what the LIWF has become for the wine trade - a place

where suppliers can meet buyers and importers from across the globe and do business. "With a dedicated show and some excellent brands on board to work alongside us, we are confident that Distil will become the most effective exhibition for the global spirits industry," says exhibition director James Murray.

Held in the hall opposite the LIWF, Distil will be a hectic three days of tasting, discussion, networking, education, research and debate. Major players in the spirits world will be exhibiting, including big-name brand producers and distributors, along with niche and boutique brands from around the world.

Eaux de Vie will be showing off its extensive portfolio of brandies, whiskies, rums, liqueurs and white spirits. Highlights include Baron de Sigognac Armagnac, Cardenal Mendoza Brandy de Jerez, Doorly's Rum, Heaven Hill Bourbon, Kauffman Vodka and Maxime Trijol Cognac. Stand D10

ABK6 Cognac will be presenting its Age Collection:


Cognacs which state the minimum ageing period for each product on the packaging in an attempt to make Cognac more accessible to consumers. Stand F20

By Necker's portfolio of designer drinks,

including Premium, which is produced and blended in Cognac from natural ingredients, and vodka and Cognac liq ueurs Girl Lychee and Girl Coco will be on taste, alongside vodka brand Pure 'Ka, Black 'Ka (a blend of coffee, ginger, vodka and Armagnac) and Green 'Ka (green tea, mint and vodka). Stand B14

The Mexican Trade Commission will be hosting a selection of the country's leading producers to showcase new ranges of tequila and dark rum , as well as more unusual drinks such as hemp, mandarin and tequila liqueur and tequila cream. Stand E20

Following the recent launch of Gireau Premium French Vodka, the Gireau Corporation will launch a premium French gin at Distil. Both products are made in France from 100% French ingredients and distilled four times. Stand G06

Hayman's Old Tom Gin will make its debut at the Hayman ­Distillers stand. Made from 100% grain spirit with a blend of botanicals, of which juniper is the most dominant, it is based on an 18th

century family recipe passed down to Christopher Hayman.

Stand E10

The Irishman Irish Whiskey will be launching two

whiskies into the UK market - limited edition The Irishman Aged Single Malt, and 70% malt The Irishman 70.

Stand F12

London & Scottish International will be presenting what it says is the world's first

organic Fairtrade


rum. Papagayo is a single estate rum distilled from organically-grown sugar cane harvested on a farming project in a remote region of Paraguay. Organic gin, vodka, and Scotch whisky will also be in the spotlight.

Stand G10

Protégé International will be launching the Wild Geese Collection in the UK. This includes the Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey

in a cube decanter, and the Wild Geese Limited Edition Fourth Centennial .

Stand A18

Essex-based Mangrove, a n autonomous division of Coe Vintners, will be shouting about its portfolio of specialist spirits and liqueurs , including Coole Swan Premium Irish Cream Liqueur, El Jimador Tequila, Fragoli & Mirtilli liqueurs, and Herradura tequilas. Family-owned company Ron Santa Teresa will be in the spotlight with its Araku Coffee Rum Liqueur, Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Liqueur and Venezuelan extra-aged premium rum Santa Teresa Selecto. Whitley Neill Gin will also be available to taste at the Mangrove stand. Created by Johnny Neill, who will be at the show, Whitley Neill is produced with small batch distillation in antique copper pot stills, to a strength of 42% abv. Its signature botanical is the fruit of the African Baobab tree, which also features on the packaging. As well as taking part in the Gin Seminar at Distil, Whitley Neill is launching an international bartender competition - the Whitley Neill Top of the Tree Challenge - to raise money for Tree Aid, a UK-based development charity which provides funding, training and support to local organisations in the Sahel.

Stand D50

The Worshipful Company of Distillers will be talking about how to improve education in the spirits trade. Established 400 years ago during the reign of

Charles I, the Distillers Livery and its members raise money for charity and promote education across the spirits trade both in the UK and overseas. Stand F7

Synthetic cork manufacturer Tapi UK will be showing its c o-injected T-Bloc stoppers for spirits and liqueurs in bespoke colours with options for embossing and printing. The stoppers are virtually unbreakable and not susceptible to mould or taint, the company claims. Stand P2 (LIWF hall)

For tips on how to be successful in the US spirits market, visit stand D00, where you can sign up to the US Drinks Conference on Oct 14 at the Marriott Marble Arch, London. The conference promises to be "an in-

formation-packed day with practical insights and advice on market size, structure

and trends, consumer data

and case histories on how to navigate the US three-tier system ".

Distilleria Bottega, based 50km north of Venice in Bibano di Godega, will be highlighting its flagship grappa brand Alexander and its grappa-based liqueur Limoncino. Stand E12

Visit Marblehead Brand Development to sample Luksusowa Luxury Potato Vodka, handmade Tezon Tequila, Seagram's Gin, Skipper Rum and Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka. Stand E40

The new look packaging for Cockspur Fine Rum and Cockspur 12 will be revealed at the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association stand,

and brand manager Pauline Clarke will be there to talk about the brand's

£3 million sponsorship deal to become the official spirit at all UK test match grounds for the next three years. "With an exciting programme of sponsorship and sampling activities, Cockspur rum will be one of the category leaders in educating both the trade and consumers about the versatility of golden rums. We're looking forward to working closely with WIRSPA to take the whole rum category forward," Clarke says. Stand E5

West Eleven Cocktails managing director Hew Dalrymple and cocktail creator Ben Reed, from IPBartenders, will be showing their full range of five newly-launched Real Cocktails In A Bottle.

Created for consumers looking to replicate the experience of

professionally-made cocktails at home, the range includes Classic Mojito, Passionfruit Mai Tai, Blueberry Bramble, Pomegranate Cosmo and Elderflower Collins. The drinks are designed to be served chilled, shaken and poured over ice. Stand G16

Stockholm-based AliasSmith AB will be showing a selection of its estate-bottled, small batch 100% agave tequilas. Included in the line-up is an un-aged Blanco, an aged Reposado, Añejo, and an ultra-aged Extra Añejo from the Los Tres Toños Tequila family. The Arette Artesanal Suave Añejo Tequila will be launched at Distil and will be available for tasting alongside Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol 100%

agave quintet, and traditionally handcrafted mezcal El Señorio 100% agave. Stand E11

Oposit Wines & Spirits will be introducing two products to the UK - Troll Liqueurs and Blue Ribbon Premium London Dry Gin, which are both seeking European distributors. Stand C30

Joe McCanta will be holding a workshop called the Conscious Cocktail: A Workshop on Ethical Mixology, which will take a look at drinks that promote fair trade, organic farming and biodiversity. He will round off with a demonstration of ethically-focused signature cocktails and a tasting of infused organic base spirits. McCanta will be in the Ambassadors Suite on May 20, 3.45-4.15pm.

As launch partner

of ­Distil, Whyte & Mackay will have an interactive stand

where two of the stars of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts will challenge visitors to step up to the oche

and battle it out to be in with the chance of winning some prizes. World number three player James Wade will be at the stand

from 11am-3pm

on May 22, and Wayne Mardle will be there


11am-3pm on May 21. Female-targeted Pinky vodka - infused with violets, rose petals and strawberries - will be making an appearance in the Pinky boudoir to ­promote its link-up with top lingerie brand Agent ­Provocateur. Stand C5

Global Brands will be showcasing its range of premium spirits from around the world, including Sobieski rye vodka, ­Ypioca Cachaça from Brazil, Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps, Myers's Jamaican Rum and Danzka Vodka. Stand C50

Château du Tariquet will be unveiling a new XO Bas-Armagnac. Made from a blend of Ugni-Blanc and Baco grape varieties, XO Chance has been aged in oak in the Tariquet cellars and the youngest of the brandies in the blend is 15 years old. It is presented in a glass carafe and described by the producer as "an easy drinking Armagnac with aromas of freshly baked bread, toast and underlying candied fruit. Fresh, supple and well-rounded on the palate, revealing a subtle union of vanilla, oak and fruit". Tariquet will be in the main LIWF section. LIWF stand J72

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