I will visit Chicago this September 14, both to see all your cocktail bars and also to give a talk representing the industry group The Spirit of Italy.
Here are some new spirits and liqueurs launching lately.
This limoncello is not like the others. A trip to the tiny island distillery where Limoncello Di Capri is made.
Molinari Sambuca is an anise liqueur originally created in Civitavecchia, a port city north of Rome. Much like Schiedam in the Netherlands where the spices that came on ships ended up in local spirits (juniper for genever and other ingredients for liqueurs in that case), star anise reaching Civitavecchia wound up in in local spirits and gave birth to the category of sambuca.
Last fall I visited the growing, drying, and production facilities for Ancho Reyes chile liqueur near Puebla, Mexico. I learned a lot about chilies.
A bunch of new spirits hit the market before the end of the year.
This week's New Booze is a random selection of flavored ingredients, from barrel-aged bitters to vanilla-flavored bourbon to coffee flavored sambuca.
There has been a large-yet-slow-moving trend towards fuller-flavored spirits and cocktails. We've seen a rise in smoky Islay whiskies and mezcals; dark sipping rums; vodkas and tequilas with character; and gins booming with botanicals. In mixers we see the rise of spicy ginger beer, and in cocktails we've seen drinkers embracing boozier and bitter cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Negroni.