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.
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.