Pics and Thoughts from Bar Convent Berlin
October 16, 2018
I'm recently back from Bar Convent Berlin and thought I'd type up some quick thoughts and observations.
Gin: There was so much gin at BCB, with every booth having about 6 flavors, that I was overwhelmed and didn't try very many. While the pink (colored) gin trend is just getting to the US, it's going full bore in Europe. I think there are a several rhubarb gins now, like the below. There were also even more tonic water brands than usual.
The Zwack booth was cool.
We're going to be so sick of "non-alcoholic spirits" soon. I only saw this one this year, but every liquor company and small distiller is probably in the process of developing one now in the wake of Seedlip.
Rum from Madeira? Cool.
Vermouth: I thought I was going to see a ton of rose' vermouth but as usual I'm too far ahead of the trends :) Drapo was one. I just read that there were over 30 brands of vermouth present this year so I probably missed a couple.
The base wine for Maidenii is made like port, where you stop fermentation by adding alcohol so that there is residual sweetness in the wine. It is not sweetened further.
A Greek vermouth brand, Vermood, is sweetened with Greek Honey.
Like fortified wines with quinine, gentian, and/or wormwood, this brand Junique is a fortified wine with juniper. Interesting.
Ice balls from Boilerman Bar in Hamburg. I think these are made with a Hoshizaki machine that I've heard is not legal in the US due to it not being energy efficient compliant.
I went to a low versus high alcohol seminar starring Simone Caporale, formerly of Artesian. It's interesting when you do the math how much alcohol drinks really have. The Long Island Iced Tea has less alcohol than a Negroni!
An excellent math shortcut of sorts to calculate ABV in cocktails from the same seminar.
I went to a great water seminar by Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholdt of Tin Roof Drink Community. It was about thinking of all the places where we use water behind the bar and where the most waste is. They say they'll share their presentation online soon.
It takes between .9L and 2L of water to make a Margarita at a bar, not including the water used in production and delivery of the ingredients.
Is your Mai Tai killing the earth? Kinda!
I also attended a social media (Instagram, really) seminar by Beautiful Booze. They know what they're talking about, and you should probably hire them to train your brand ambassadors.
Well, that's it for my report, beyond the report of all the talks I did. Have a super day.
That water cycle graphic is alarming, although #3, #6 and #7 are describing the same water.
I eventually got gin fatigue at BCB. We've really hit peak gin, and I didn't think most of them had anything new or interesting to say.
I tried another alcohol-free product from Italy called MeMento that I thought was pretty decent. Still, it's worth a blind taste-test with and without the alcohol-free distillate to see how much it impacts the final product. I still haven't had one I *loved* that didn't completely taste like the other ingredients.
Posted by: Ian Tuck | October 17, 2018 at 10:16 AM
Yep the water talk addressed dirty dumping as alternatives to using the fresh ice in 3,6,7; and that I think Punch did a taste test of various Margarita recipes and found Bobby Heugel's dirty dump one to be best tasting: https://punchdrink.com/articles/mastering-margarita-cocktail-recipe-with-bobby-heugel-anvil-houston-the-pastry-war/
So I guess it's worth giving that method a try when testing recipes rather than blindly dumping over new ice without thinking.
Posted by: Camper English | October 17, 2018 at 10:31 AM