Fall Flavors Add Flair to Classic Cocktails
One of the biggest trends in the spirits industry of the last few years is flavored booze. During the summer months, companies release myriad vodkas and gins featuring fresh flavors ranging from cucumbers to dragon fruit. Now that fall is upon us, spirits are getting darker and flavors are getting bolder. Companies like Southern Comfort, Wild Turkey, Jim Beam and Patrón are getting into the mix.
Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice
Southern Comfort, the famed liqueur made with fruit, spices and whiskey flavors has launched a handful of flavors in the last few years. Southern Comfort in the US consists of five delicious flavors including Southern Comfort Lime, Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry, Southern Comfort 100 proof, and the classic, original Southern Comfort 70 proof.
On October 1st, they launched their first holiday flavor: Gingerbead Spice.
“What’s great about Gingerbread Spice is that we kept that classic Southern Comfort original flavor, but gave it a holiday twist with hints of gingerbread and cinnamon spice,” says Southern Comfort Brand Director Jennifer Powell.
The newest addition the Southern Comfort family of drinks, Gingerbread Spice, is like a bottle that is choked full of the holiday season. The flavors are surprisingly subtle and the drinker doesn’t feel like they are being punched in the face with spices. “Upon the very first sip, tasters are met with an enticing mix of cinnamon rolls, vanilla, gingerbread and original Southern Comfort,” says Powell. “We’ve truly bottled the holidays.”
Powell suggests that Gingerbead Spice is served warm. “When you heat it up, it really brings out the dynamic notes in Gingerbread Spice and tastes delicious served warm by itself, not to mention, you can also use it as a base for a variety of cocktails.” One of her favorites is the Gingerbread House Cider. “Just combine Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice with hot cider, top it off with a cinnamon stick for the perfect holiday drink.”
Adding to the holiday feeling, the packaging makes the bottle look like a present. “We wanted to make the bottle itself something our fans would enjoy,” she says. “Our packaging embodies the holiday spirit – and is all wrapped up and ready to go! Not to mention, it comes with an attached gift tag making it the easy choice to bring to any holiday party, and personalizing for friends and family.”
Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice is best served warm by itself to truly showcase all of its dynamic aromas and flavors. “We also encourage folks o be creative and add Gingerbread Spice to their favorite holiday drinks, such as hot chocolate, caramel or hot cider, to really give their classic favorites a unique flavorful kick.” You can also visit SouthernComfort.com and find great holiday recipes using Gingerbread Spice.
Southern Comfort is always looking for new ways for their fans to enjoy their product by incorporating unique and delicious flavors. “We will be releasing a new Southern Comfort flavor in early March, which we feel will deliver another great tasting and dessert-inspired flavor experience for our fans.”
American Honey Sting
Wild Turkey’s American Honey line of bourbon liqueur’s latest offering is Sting. The name should be an indication that this spirit has a little bit of bite on top of the sweetness.
Introduced in October 2014, Sting is new innovation from Wild Turkey. It’s a mix of Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, honey and the addition of one of the hottest peppers in the world: the ghost pepper.
There’s a reason the ghost pepper has such a spooky name. The Scoville scale measures the heat of a peppers and spicy foods that contain capsaicin. As a point of reference, jalapenos have a scoville rating of 3,000 to 10,000 heat units. Ghost peppers have a rating around 1,000,000 heat unites, making it one of the scariest peppers in the world. Don’t let that frighten you away from American Honey Sting, though. The heat is expertly tamed down by the bourbon and honey and is mostly limited to a nice, slow burn at the very end.
Even though it seems like flavored spirits are a new phenomenon, American Honey was launched by Wild Turkey in 1976. This paved the way for the explosive growth that is currently underway in the US market today. American Honey Sting is actually the first flavor of American Honey ever released. It’s only available for a limited time, while supplies last.
Ghost peppers and bourbon wouldn’t immediately seem like a match, but American Honey Sting is perfectly paired. American Honey already has a sweet, almost citrus flavor and the addition of spicy heat balances it out, creating an original flavor with a surprising, subtle kick.
Wild Turkey’s Jimmy Russell is the longest tenured, active Master Distiller in the world. He believes consumers are going to get a kick out of how well the heat of the Ghost Peppers pair so well with the honey. “When you take a shot, you get the forward flavor sweetness and citrus of American Honey on your tongue first, followed by the Ghost Pepper that has a subtle heat to it,” says Russell.
“With the introduction of Sting, the brand is continuing its legacy as an innovator. Whereas American Honey was originally created in the 1970’s to help Bourbon reach a wider audience, with Sting we’re speaking to a generation of Bourbon-loving legal drinking age Millennials, both men and women, who are looking for new flavors and more spice,” says Andrew Floor, Campari America Senior Marketing Director, Dark Spirits.
Other Distilleries are getting in on the flavored spirits bandwagon
Iconic Kentucky bourbon brand Jim Beam has launched Maple, Honey, Red Stag (Hardcore Cider, Black Cherry and Spiced Cinnamon) and Kentucky Fire. Added to store shelves in early October, Kentucky Fire is the most recent addition the Jim Beam brand. The base is Jim Beam’s famed bourbon with the addition of red hot cinnamon liqueur. “We’ve led the catagor in flavor innovation in recent years with Red Stag by Jim Beam, Jim Beam Maple and Jim Beam Honey, but our latest flavor certainly heats it up,” says Chris Bauder, General Manager of Whiskies at Beam Suntory.
Patrón XO Cafe Incendio: a spicy and sweet liqueur that combines fiery Mexican arbol chile, the decadence of Criollo chocolate and the crisp, smooth taste of Patrón Silver tequila for a drink with a devilish nature that is ideal for the colder months.
Other notable distilleries making offering flavored spirits include: Dewar’s Highlander Honey and Knob Creek Smoked Maple.