Nightclub & Bar Show 2016
The Nightclub & Bar Show made its annual stop in Las Vegas and brought more than 39,000 nightclub, bar, beverage and hospitality professionals to the LVCC. One of the largest industry conventions in the world, and one of the larger shows in Las Vegas, more than 200,000 establishments were represented.
Quite a bit of the fun could be found at the Trade Show and I was on the lookout for some beverage related innovations that would pique my interest. I was not disappointed.
Being a lover of all things spicy, I was happily surprised to find a wine spiked with pepper. Made by Potter Wines in Boise, ID, not only is Jalapeno Wine useful as an ingredient for margaritas and dishes such as chipotle garlic with sautéed mushrooms, but tasting it by itself I found it to be a delightful unique tasting sensation that delivered plenty of heat. Also available is Jalapeno Wine Lemonade, which is a slightly toned down version of heat.
We’re all familiar with aged whisky and bourbon, but aged rum is not on everyone’s radar. In addition, Angostura is well known for its ubiquitous bitters, but not as well for its rum. I was impressed with the smooth quality of the Angostura 1919 a blend of award-winning rums and Angostura 1824 aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 12 years and then hand blended and re-casked.
Lovers of fine whiskey and bourbon who don’t love to spend the big bucks to buy them should be interested in Whiskey Elements. Manufactured in Portland, OR, this device when placed in whiskey for 24-72 hours develops a smoother fuller flavor. Made of laser cut cured oak, its use removes toxins, accelerates aging and draw existing flavor characteristics and rich caramel color from natural sugars within the oak, which also bring subtle notes of maple and vanilla that occur naturally during the barrel-aging process. I tried the experiment myself and can attest I found noticeable results as advertised.
If you like Irish Cream you’ll probably be interested in Almondaire. The first dairy-free almond crème liqueur, it’s vegan, 13.9% ABV, made with gluten-free corn based neutral grain spirits and has only 83 calories and 1.2 grams of fat per 1.5 oz serving. It is a blend of chocolate and vanilla flavors with a subtle nuttiness and hint of whiskey character in the finish and it happens to be delicious.
The iconic Guinness Stout is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet, but I discovered some of its lesser known products. Guinness is now importing to the US some blasts from the distant past. Its West Indies Porter is a 6% porter with a toffee sweetness, inspired by “an 1801 diary entry for the first Guinness purposely brewed to maintain its freshness from one end of the world to another,” devised by Guinness brewers back in 1801; Dublin Porter was created from a recipe found “in a 1796 entry in Guinness brewers’ diaries” that is sweet and smooth, with malt and dark caramel notes; and Nitro IPA—a balanced English-style IPA that unlike American IPAs is much lighter in the hops and a truer representative of how IPAs were made back in the 18th century. It’s worth noting that Guinness has always made multiple beers, but in recent years has decided to share more of them with their US friends.