PR%F the Magazine September 2022 issue

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PRMagazine %F the 9 788024715148 > ISBN 9788024715148ISBN 80-247-1514-7 spirits. wine. potations and libations. beverage industry ISSUEnews.5Volume 02. Sept 2022 CHACO FLACO Chuck Moore and Steve Cislaw

Director of Business

Terry Hart Director of ColleenCompetitionsBanks

PR%F the Magazine is owned and published electronically by The Original Brand, LLC. Copyright 2019 PR%F Awards and distinctive logo are trademarks and owned by The Original Brand, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this electronic magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of PR%F the Magazine. Requests for permission should be directed to: The information contained has been provided by such individual, even organizers or organizations. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author, organization or public relation firm.

Creative Director, PR%F Awards & PR%F the Magazine

Stephanie Blitz Daniel "DD" de Anda Fast Jena Domingue Jerry Hammaker

George Manska Hayley Maxwell Renée Korbel Quinn Kaveriis Smith Ecaterina Tanase JerryTaylorHammakerKopelAdamJaime Zan


2 the team PR%F the Magazine




What Our Winners

Cutler CEO/President Snowy River SnowyRiverCocktails.comCocktails have to say... “PR%F Awards provides up-and-coming brands the opportunity to be seen and tested by industry peers and leaders. This awareness & the contacts it brings opens new doors to build sustainable business relationships for years to come.” MEDALSPR%F


5 PRMagazine %F the from the desk of Michele D. Tell Cheers & Namaste! Michele D. Tell Executive Director, PR%F the Magazine Founder, PR%F Awards


Dear Readers,

Stephanie Blitz indulges with non-alcoholic beverages, one of our big categories. George Manska, CSO, CR&D of Arsilica, Inc., sensory researcher, inventor, and entrepreneur dispel more myths about nosing spirits. Renée Korbel Quinn explores inspired vodka from Florida. Jerry Hammaker enthuses sparkling wines and mimosas. Jena Domingue splashes around with the founder and winemaker of Mermosa Wines, Desiree Noisette.

PR%F Awards Bar Essentials & Gadgets bar gear and gadgets reviewers, Hayley Maxwell and Daniel “DD” de Anda Fast, are seasoned hospitality experts, buyers, and innovators in the beverage and hospitality industries. They review the latest “musthaves” behind the bar. There are more than 50 different categories to enter: barware, gadgets, wine accessories, and even more. Our entire judging staff will review all bar gadgets—beverage buyers from across the United States. Enter your bar, beverage, and wine accessory at www. PR%FAwards are heating up, and the date to submit has been extended to accommodate top buyers. Proof Awards 2022 will be held in November, and all samples must be in by October 1.

We are thrilled to feature Chaco Flaco with co-founder, CEO, and head mixologist Chuck Moore and co-founder and COO Steve Cislaw. Chaco Flaco sparkling craft canned cocktails, mixers, and cero (mocktails) personify party! At the pool, beach, music festivals, or at home, Chaco Flaco can be summed up in one word: Fun. Our November issue of PR%F the Magazine will highlight incredible brands that give back to a cause of their choice. If you give to a special cause or highlight a special organization as a recipient of some of your proceeds, we want to hear about you. Drop me a note at

Don’t lose the opportunity of getting your brand in front of our many judges, all beverage buyers from across the US. Enter your SKU, and you automatically go into two separate competitions—PR%F Awards Masked, the coveted double-blind tasting competition, and PR%F Awards Unmasked, the total package, where our judges taste and rate your product while evaluating your bottle, price point, look, feel and taste to see if it will be a perfect fit for their shelves. Enter today at

7 PRMagazine %F the PR%F AF New categories are created for the PR%F Awards alcohol-freefordrinks

8 PR%F AF In the past, those looking for an alcohol-free alternative were out of luck. However, thanks to a new market with over 300 startups worldwide producing new alcohol-free options for the adult palate, that is no longer the case. So many choices are available for those who want to drink less alcohol but still enjoy a cocktail. As there are more great options, PR%F Awards wants to celebrate that choice with more categories for alcoholfree spirits, wines, mixers, and beer.

Alcohol-free beverages have been around for nearly a decade but weren’t nearly as high quality or mainstream as they are today. There are many reasons for a non-alcoholic segment to exist within the larger spirits industry. Whether it has to do with one’s culture, health, medication, pregnancy, or designated driver status—no one should have to feel like they are missing out. It may be a common thought that these products are targeted at the sober community. Still, statistics show that around 80% of online consumers of these products are people who do consume alcohol. So for many folks, it’s not about eliminating drinking; it’s about drinking in moderation. “When I first got involved in the alcohol-free market, we would look at exporting products made in the U.S. to places like India or Turkey where there was a cultural reason not to drink,” said Jennifer English, PR%F Editor at Large for PR%F Magazine. Today that has completely changed as factors leading people to choose alcohol-free continue to be discovered, including health and moderation.

It is clear that the category of no and low alcohol wine, spirits, and RTD is growing at an impressive rate.Infact, alcohol-free spirits are now 3.5 percent of the volume share of the industry, according to the IWSR drinking markets analysis. Consumers are making a conscious decision to opt for the alcohol-free alternative and have led no and low alcohol products to become an almost $10 billion market.Additionally, the socialization component is changing. Young people are embracing alcoholfree spirits as a way to enjoy an outing for a longer duration while still getting a sense of community and connection without the potential hangovers or consequences. Before these alternatives, individuals looking for an alcohol-free gathering would have to sacrifice cool vibes or satisfying taste—not anymore. Now there are places like Ocean Beach Cafe, owned and operated by Joshua James. This renowned bar and bottle shop serves over 60 thoughtfully curated alcohol-free selections! James is just getting started by offering the most comprehensive representation of the alcoholfree category on the West Coast at his flagship location. His immediate plans to open multiple non-alcoholic lounges throughout the U.S. indicate the substantial and national trend the alcohol-free market represents.

9PR%F AF PRMagazine %F the High on Earth Serves 1 Ingredients • 1 ounce Wilderton Earthen • 1 ½ ounces Three Spirit Livener • 2 full droppers All The Bitter New Orleans • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice • 1 ounce Aquafaba Instructions Build all ingredients including Aquafaba in a tin and dry shake for 5 seconds. Add ice and shake hard for 7 seconds and double strain. Use All the Bitter dropper tip to draw art on top.

10 PR%F AF Stephanie Blitz was born and raised in Milwaukee and currently resides in Las Vegas with her husband and two children. She is a proud #boymom and the founder of Architect Of Words. Stephanie is a freelance writer and marketing maven who believes in the power of coffee, values experiences over things and recognizes the ability words have to connect people. From cocktails to straight pours, these nonalcoholic spirits showcase the ways in which this category has evolved and become more sophisticated in its capabilities over the years. Big players like Tanqueray Zero, Gordons 0.0 Gin, and Guinness 0.0 are getting in on it, too. Perhaps the strongest non-alcoholic products in the marketplace are coming from the world of craft beer and wine. They are doing some of the most exciting and dynamic work in this space and taste better than ever. Some brands like Al’s Europeanstyle beer are so good that you wouldn’t even know it was alcohol-free. Speaking of brands that deserve recognition, Lyre’s Italian Orange became the first non-alcoholic spirit to win the World’s best new cocktail ingredient at the 2022 New Orleans Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Awards. “As one of the most prestigious awards in the world for new spirit brands, this victory represents a whole new level of validation for the alcohol-free category,” stated English.Creating the PR%F AF Awards is a direct response and reflection of the dynamic changes taking place in the spirits industry. This is an open invitation to brands and products in this space to step up and get recognized. PR%F Alcohol Free Categories: 1. Vodka 2. Gin 3. Rum 4. Whiskey and Bourbon 5. Tequila 6. Functional Elixirs 7. Distillates 8. Composites 9. Wine 10. Beer 11. Aperitif and Amaro 12. Ready To Drink 13. Liqueurs 14. Cannabis

Ritual Zero Proof

Ingredients Serves 1 • 2 ounces Ritual Tequila Alternative • 1 ounce orange juice • 1 ounce fresh lime juice • ½ ounce. simple syrup • Lime slice or wedge Instructions Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake. Pour into a cocktail glass, garnish with a lime slice or wedge.

Ritual Zero Proof includes Ritual Rum Alternative, Ritual Gin Alternative, Ritual Whiskey Alternative, and Ritual Tequila Alternative. Ritual Zero Proof was created and developed because the owners, GG, Marcus and David love to drink, eat, and have adventures. Their goal wasn't to replace liquor— bite your tongue—but to add a new tool to a cocktail kit and another way to mark a moment. It took more than a year and hundreds of iterations to perfect our recipes. They learned how to blend jambu and prickly ash, how to extract the essence of blue agave, reduce the oil in juniper and heighten the perfume of pine. They tastetested vanilla from Madagascar against vanilla from China. They sought guidance from master chefs and held tasting sessions for Chicago's best bartenders. They weren’t satisfied until it tasted and smelled and felt like the real thing—a new way to make an old favorite (or an Old Fashioned.) The flavors are all-natural with no allergens and packaging and shipping minimize waste.

All Day Margarita Its virgin margarita is the undisputed champ of tequila cocktails in its most classic form. This version is made with orange juice instead of triple sec, or leave the triple sec for a low abv marg. Make it frozen, on the rocks, standard or spicy. Throw in some fresh herbs if the mood strikes.

Hayley Maxwell works in the hospitality industry and really understands the bar business. People love gadgets, with new ones being invented, manufactured, and marketed every day for those in the food and beverage industry. Hayley is one of the experts who will share her unique perspective on gadgets.

Bar Gear, Gadgets and Beyond

Daniel “DD” de Anda Fast offers more than two decades of hospitality experience having opened more than 30 venues during that time including bars, restaurants, pool experiences, nightclubs and more. Daniel has created craft cocktail menus on the Las Vegas Strip, worked as corporate mixologist for American Beverage Ventures (ABV) and is one of a select group of lead judges for PR%F Awards.

Hayley Maxwell, General Manager at a Local Gaming Bar in Las Vegas; Marketing, Sales, and Buying Daniel “DD” de Anda Fast, Bar & Nightlife Consultant

Photo by Taylor Kopel

Our experts share some of the best ones found.

12 bar gear, gadgets and beyond

13bar gear, gadgets and beyond PRMagazine %F the Snowy River Cocktails

Cocktails Edible Confetti For Cocktails

DD: I noticed that the confetti is heavier than just salt or sugar to rim a cocktail glass, so what did you do about

DD: You tried out the “pink star” and the “salt flakes silver mix” from Snowy River Cocktails for the party, right?

SmokerVonfameCocktail Kit

Hayley: Yes. So it was nice to try the candy sugary pink star bottle and then have the salt flakes to try on margaritas. We had the salt flakes on a Spicy Jalapeño Margarita cocktail, which was awesome.

Hayley: Absolutely. The Snowy River Cocktails product was heavier than just salt or sugar, so we used honey and then a frosting to dip the rim of the cocktail glass and add the confetti. The frosting worked very well and helped the pieces onto the glass. Customers loved it. So decorative and fun.

What our experts have to say:

Hayley: Yes, we did. Thank you. It was a wonderful anniversary party for my bar. We had some specialty drinks on which we used the Snowy River Cocktails edible confetti.

Hayley: I agree, and it’s so easy to store for any occasion. I think Sunday brunch with a mimosa and one of these Snowy River Cocktails confetti rims would be a hit.

What our experts have to say:

Visit for more info.

DD: So Hayley, I know you had the 10-year anniversary party this weekend for your bar being open. How was that? Did you try out that Snowy River Cocktails edible confetti on any of the drinks you had at the celebration?

DD: I know for me, just the presentation is such a conversation piece for a special event like you had over the weekend. It’s nice for specialty drinks on a menu or for these celebrations.

DD: Now, this is a tool I am excited about.

Hayley: Oh yeah? Tell me about it. Vonfame

Visit for more info.


14 bar gear, gadgets and beyond

DD: The Vonfame smoker kit is a great starter kit if you are new to smoked cocktails.

Hayley: Yum. What a great idea to use it on drinks with seeds.


Kilpatrick Fine Strainer Visit for more info.

Hayley: That’s great. I know that sometimes I have to double strain to try and get all the pulp out and make the cocktail smoother.

DD: With this fine strainer by Kilpatrick, you won’t need to do that; it does the job.

DD: Of course, the lemon drop, but I also did a delicious lavender lemon drop. I make a strawberry jalapeño margarita in a very popular martini glass, and I loved how the fine stainer caught all the strawberry pulp and jalapeño seeds.

DD: I loved it. It works very well with lemon drops, with anything with a pulp you want to strain. The wire is so tight that nothing gets through, so there are no seeds or pulp.

Hayley: DD, you are the expert on making infused cocktails and innovative new drinks. Tell me what you think about the fine strainer.

DD: To make a smoked cocktail, you would put a cap over the top of your already made cocktail, some kits have the wood chips right on top, and then you light the wood, and the smoke will filter down onto the cocktail making a nice smooth Smokey flavor and essence.

DD: Yes, perfect size to also bring to impress your friends at a lovely dinner party. Smoked cocktails that I recommend using the Vonfame smoker would be a Manhattan or old fashioned. You could make a great cocktail with vodka and a smoked pineapple to get the smokey flavor. You could also use tequila. Drinks with spice are great smoked. Try it out and try out different flavor wood chips to add to your favorite cocktails.

Hayley: I enjoy the show too. I mean, it’s almost like at a restaurant when fajitas come out, and everyone looks.

Hayley: Ok, let’s talk about what a smoked cocktail is. Smoking a cocktail allows the flavors to blend and makes the cocktail very smooth; I’ve had a smoked old fashioned, and by smoking it, it adds an entirely different flavor, which can change based on the flavored/ scented wood they use or at home with a kit.

Photo by Adam Jaime

Hayley: I could see these replacing traditional strainers in the future.

Hayley: DD, tell me about some more drinks you tried this strainer on.

DD: It makes the specialty cocktails velvety but removes the pulp and seeds very efficiently. It’s funny because a strainer at a bar is such a common tool that sometimes you forget about it, but the Kilpatrick company has upped the game by making the strainer more of a tight metal net to filter out even the smallest of seeds.

DD: It is quite a show, that’s for sure. Everyone looks and asks questions and then wants a smoked cocktail.

What our experts have to say:

Hayley: I think the Vonfame smoker is the perfect size for home or at a bar or restaurant with limited space because it doesn’t take up a lot of room.


Clean Functional Ingredients Only 9 grams Organic Cane Sugar No Artificial Sweeteners Added Proof Awards - double blind taste test 3X WINNER!


Enjoy a Mimosa from around the world

by Jerry Hammaker

Mimosa Recipe 1 PART 1 PART+ orangebubblyjuice,

a little more bubbly

19 the classic mimosa is perfect for any time you want a refreshing adult beverage. I have heard the “What makes the best mimosa?” question as often as any other wine-related question. So, let’s put it to the test. This mimosa recipe is simple: 1 part bubbly to 1 part orange juice. That’s all you need for our classic Themimosa.sparkling wines for this comparison are from four different regions of the world, including the United States, Spain, Italy, and France. Many wine lists describe this as a split bottle making three to four normal-sized mimosas from one of these little bottles. The screw tops make it easy to save the bubbles for another day. In the glass—all are a brilliant pale platinum color with tiny bubbles rising to the top.

Photo by Jerry Hammaker Hakuna Mimosa. A little bubbly, a little orange juice, a little more bubbly...

Bubbly is also methode traditionnelle with sec ond fermentation in the bottle and aged for 18 months. Cava is Spain’s traditional sparkling from the Macabeu (Macabeo, Viura) grape with some Xarello for acidity and Parellada for a fruitier flavor. On the nose, expect lime, orange, apricot, and almond. On the palate, experience a burst of creamy bubbles with apple, citrus of lemon and orange, and spice with high acidity, brut dryness, and 11.5% ABV. Price is $4.49.

First up, Chandon Brut Sparkling Wine from California. A traditional method of bubbly, basically meaning the second fermentation (the bubble maker), took place in the bottle. According to the website, it is “made from primarily Chardonnay with Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes blended in as well” as a classic blend. On the nose, expect ripe peach, green apple, and toasty brioche. Experi ence flavors follow the aromas of lemon and citrus on the palate with classic high acidity, brut level dryness, and 12% ABV. The price for this little bottle is $6.29.


20 a little more bubbly


Photo by Ecaterina Tanase

Next up is Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava from Spain. The Black Bottle

The third tasting is Mionetto DOC Treviso Brut Prosecco from Italy, the bright orange label prosecco. Typically, prosecco is made using the Glera grape in the Charmat tank method of second ferment ing in a large tank rather than the individual bottle. Nothing wrong with that—same basic bubbly effect and tends to be less expensive. Expect ripe pear, honeydew melon, and white flowers on the nose. On the palate, experience the flavors following the nose, plus a creamy mousse quality of bubbles with medium to high acidity, a touch sweeter on the brut scale, and 11% ABV. Price is $5.49.

The Saint-Reine Blanc de Blancs from France brings a lot of zing to a mimosa. Pair with a nice quiche for a perfect morning after brunch. Mimosas for everyone! Sometimes, I like a little orange juice in my bubbly.

The Mionetto Prosecco has less pressure and frothier bubbles, so it might seem comparably flat when OJ is added. It has great flavor, so pair it with fette biscottate for a nice Italian breakfast.

21a little more bubbly FRANCEITALY

Jerry Hammaker, Owner Certain Aged www.CertainAged.comVenturesWineConsultant,PR%FAwards

Last, but not least is Saint-Reine Blanc de Blancs Brut Cremant from Bour gogne, France. Also, a traditional method spar kler, as a Blanc de Blancs, uses only Chardon nay grapes (white from white). As a cremant, it is the same basic style of winemaking as its (pricey) cousin from Champagne. On the nose, expect citrus, green apple, and buttered toast. Again, the flavors follow the aromas on the palate, along with white cherry and a nut ty almond note. This bubbly has high acidity, is very dry on the brut scale, and has 11.5 ABV. The price is $5.99.

The Chandon Brut from the US is the classic Champagne blend of grapes that makes this taste most like a mimosa made with actual Champagne. Bright and toasty, pair with Croque madame for a bangin’ brunch.

The Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava from Spain brings a bright acidity and a creamy texture to the mimosa. Pair with a baguette with Iberic ham for a classic brunch.

23the science of spirits PRMagazine %F the SPIRITSOFSCIENCETHE


By George Manska, CSO, CR&D, Arsilica, Inc., sensory researcher, inventor, entrepreneur Did you ever wonder how stems came to be? It was definitely not for style, until they became fashionable throughout England and its colonies, Europe, and Russia.

glass was first created in Syria, Mes opotamia, and/or Egypt, probably around 3600 years BCE, in the form of beads fashioned from sodium carbonate. Glassmaking technology flourished in the bronze age (3300-1200 BCE), and the popular manufacturing method was wrapping a molten, ductile cord of glass around a preformed sand shape. Later, the preferred shape was ground from a cold hunk or glob of glass into its desired shape. Manufacturing techniques and formulas for glass were guarded secrets of the ancients, with Syria and Cyprus the origin of colorless glass around the 9th century BCE. Later civilizations saw the drinking vessel as a seriously expressive art form combined with a useful purpose, and style and decoration became an important part of glass manufacturing. Early Egyptians discovered that quartz could be crushed into a fine powder, mixed with plant ash, and cast into ingots for future melting and shaping by experienced artisans.

The Greeks, however, relied on pottery as their drinking vessel material of choice, and these first pieces were shaped as a very wide, shallow bowl with a pedestal base to keep from spilling the contents. Many shape-names such as Komast, Krater, and Siana “cups” exhibited bases, the first appearance of that appendage later called a stem.


24 the science of spirits Drinking vessels devised by humans are many thousands of years old, fashioned of cupped hands, folded leaves, coconut shells, animal skulls, seashells, bamboo, carved wood, gourds, animal horns, bark and pitch, or any number of common, natural materials that could hold liquid. There are many online sources regarding the development and evolution of drinking vessels. Still, glass is the material most commonly used today, and we believe there is a not-so-apparent reason that stems became popular in wine and spirits Man-madeglasses.

Human Skull Cup Greek Krater Greek Wine Cup

Murano Cristallo

The middle and business classes were added as buyers of affordable leaded crystal, and George Ravenscroft is credited as the inventor of Georgian glass, which refers to the beautiful, long-stemmed, ornately decorated glass of the late 17th century to the end of the 18th century, Persian Glass

Meanwhile, back in merry Olde England, George Ravenscroft (1632-1683), who built a trade in Venetian glass, started his own glass factory using the little-used Italian technique of adding lead oxide to glass and resolving its crinkling effect. Patented by King Charles in 1674, leaded crystal allowed lower glass melting temperatures using local coal instead of costly, imported European hard coal. Also, leaded crystal has the high refractive index necessary to create prismatic rainbows, and the working time is greatly increased, allowing intricate shaping, design, decoration, and of course, longer, more ornate stems.

25 PRMagazine

%F the the science of spirits

In the 13th century AD, Venice, particularly the island of Murano, became the center for fine glassware for the royal houses of Europe. Natural crystal pebbles were gathered from two rivers, the Ticino and Adige, and examined for high clarity, vein-free, and ability to “spark” when struck. This glass required higher melting temperatures and had to be formed quickly to its desired shape. Peaking in the 15th and 16th centuries, Murano cristallo artisans lengthened pedestals to allow a grip of at least a thumb and two fingers and maybe a few bumps or ribs to improve grip resembling the stemmed glassware in use today. Very expensive and costprohibitive to the masses, Murano glass was the choice of royal tables throughout Europe and ImagineRussia.large candle-lit halls with long dining room tables able to sit 60-plus guests for dinner. Lighting was by candle, and in addition to large overhead chandeliers, huge candelabras were placed at specific intervals all along the table, as well as mirrors and candle sconces on the walls to brighten the room. Soon it became apparent that fine wines and spirits could further enhance ambiance if stems were taller to catch more candlelight. At the same time, with a little care in handling, greasy fingerprints could be confined to the stem, contributing to the beauty of a filled glass. Murano glass sparkles with tiny rainbows at the edge of each facet when cut and highly polished, as it has a very high index of refraction, bending light rays like a prism to create tiny rainbows and sparkling stars. Stemmed Murano glassware was the sign of a very rich household, as successful businessmen and government officials purchased Murano glass to emulate the royals.

Leaded crystal was extremely affordable, with little difference in appearance from Venetian glass (to those not so close to the industry).


NEAT Glass

26 the science of spirits named for Kings George I, II, and III. Today, in modern lighting conditions, stems still exude a certain elegance and conveniently still keep fingerprint smears from the bowl, preserving the pristine appearance of a fine vintage claret in a beautiful vessel at the evening gala.


Mission: Replace misinformation with scientific truth through consumer education. Contact Information: Phone: 702.332.7305 Email: Business mailing address: 452 Silverado Ranch Blvd, Ste #222, Las Vegas, NV, 89183.

George F Manska Chief of Research and Development, Arsilica, Inc., engineer, inventor of the NEAT glass, and sensory science researcher.

In summary, the discoveries of leaded crystal made the coveted stemmed designs preferred by royalty and the wealthy a common, affordable style of glassware for all, cementing the stem as a preferred style among today’s wine and spirits drinkers. At Arsilica, Inc., home of the NEAT glass, we love and prioritize science, invention, art, and history in that order and strive to understand and relate the truths in all. In science, form follows function, invention springs from needs, art is the materialization of the creative mind, and unfortunately, history is usually written by the winners. 1676

Leaded glass popularity didn’t last, and many countries have banned its use (including the United States) due to lead poisoning, as lead leaches out of decanters and glassware to find its way into the body causing all sorts of ailments. However, German and eastern European glass manufacturers (Riedel, Spiegelau, SchottZweissel, Stolzle, Rona, and many others) have distinguished themselves with strengthening additives, unique stem-pulling techniques, and other improvements to ensure the tradition of the stem continues. Will it ever die? Certainly not in the near future.

What Our Winners Anna Scott Owner/Founder Anna’s Kitchen annaskitchenshrub.comShrub have to say... “The PR%F Awards is a true competition designed to elevate worthy brands. The professionalism of the organizers and the extensive exposure of my brand has far exceeded my expectations.” MEDALSPR%F


Over the past few weeks, I sat down with Victor G. Harvey, owner of Victor George Spirits, at some of our favorite South Florida bars to learn about his brands and upcoming projects. Along the way, I sipped delicious handcrafted cocktails and learned a bit more about Victor's passion.

The concept of making a spirit is really a creative outlet, liquid art in a bottle. How did you create your concept?

Owner of Victor George Spirits

VictorMeet G. Harvey

Victor G. Harvey: We want brands that tell stories of history, past, and present. Our first brand Victor George "VG" Vodka, bearing my name, was the first. Every story needs a storyteller, and that is me (hence the name of the vodka).  Our second brand to launch was Fort Mosé 1738 Bourbon, named after the first town in America that Black people could live free.

PRMagazine %F the 29spirited inspiration


Written and Photos by: Renée Korbel Quinn @SpiritedSFL Local Sips photographed at : No Man's Land @nomanslandftl Eddie V's @eddievs_

Victor G. Harvey: This forgivable loan, Fort Lauderdale CRA $2,450,000 funding, will be used to help construct the Victory Building. The total cost will be between 5-6 million dollars, with the balance coming from bank financing and my own funds.

Tell us your plans for utilizing your 18,000-square-foot facility located on historic Sistrunk Boulevard.

Harvey: We are investing in a large amount of inventory, not knowing for sure if anyone would buy it.

spirited inspiration30 Subsequent brands will have stories that are part of history tied to their names. We are constructing The Victory Building on historic Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, named after the old Victory Theatre, which was the only theatre in Broward county Black people could go to before the end of segregation. The building will house our new distillery, Old Sistrunk Distillery. Tell us more about your brands.

What's the biggest risk you've ever Victortaken?G.

Victor G. Harvey: Victor George "VG" Vodka is an award-winning 6-times distilled corn-based vodka. It is currently distributed in 45 states across the U.S. and carried by most major retailers. Fort Mosé's 1738 Bourbon was initially released online and sold all over the country. We released it to distributors and retailers shortly after, and distributors in other states quickly picked it up.

Victor G. Harvey: My muddler. I like to make cocktails with different natural fruits, herbs, and spices. What music complements your drinking Victorstyle?

Who are your role models or mentors?

Victor G. Harvey: I have many different bourbons, whiskeys, and, of course, VG Vodka. What is your essential bar tool?

What's in your home bar?

Renée Korbel Quinn Spirited South Florida

What's the craft spirit trend that's going to move us forward?

31spirited inspiration PRMagazine %F the

G. Harvey: I mostly like laid back music like R&B and jazz or some not-toocrazy rap with good lyrics. This time next year, you'll be drinking?

Victor G. Harvey: I used to be a rap star by the name of Tai-Pan. I had a hit record in 1996 called The Rise The Fall The Rise, which was a true testament to my life. Who would have known?

Victor G. Harvey: My father would be my biggest role model. He was a single father raising four kids and always made sure we had food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our head, although we didn't have much money. He showed me the definition of handwork and commitment. My biggest mentors would be some of my closest friends. They are all successful and smart with different and unique points of view. I learn something different from each of them.

Victor G. Harvey: Single barrels of Fort Mosé, our upcoming rye whiskey, Pullman Porters, and our new Tequila, Olmec Tequilla.

Victor G. Harvey: They are allowing distilleries to sell drinks onpremise. This is big because people can taste the products first and are more likely to purchase some bottles. What would readers be surprised to know about you?

When I met Desiree at a wine event earlier this year, I was drawn to her gorgeous white bottles with rose gold and pink dancing around, backed up by her flowing locks and a huge smile. I knew right away there was magic in these bottles and had to try her “Mermosa.” Mermosa is her ready-to-drink wine cocktail. It’s a light sparkling white wine with a touch of pure orange and pineapple juice added. At 8 percent alcohol, it serves as the perfect light poolside sip. There are three additional varietals, Celestine Rosé, Noisette Rosé, and M ay all your childhood fantasies come true this month.

By Jena Domingue Creator and CEO of UrbanVino House of Brands

34 the color of wine by urbanvino

I had so much fun with the founder and winemaker of this wine brand. I recently spent time splashing around with the founder and winemaker of Mermosa Wines, Desiree Noisette. The combination of wine, mermaids, mimosas, and a bad-ass attorney turned bikini shop owner, turned winemaker is as good as it gets for me.

Photo: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

The Color of Wine by UrbanVino

35the color of wine by urbanvino a blanc de blanc bubbles called Mersecco. Each one holds its fresh take on the classics and embodies all that Mermosa represents, a strong, unstoppable spirit embracing the beauty and power of your inner mermaid. PRMagazine %F The story of the siren dates back to the 1700s. Desiree’s family history is rich, and you can find multiple monuments in the Antebellum area, South Carolina, set aside to honor the Noisette family history. As the story has it, Ms. Celestine hailed from Haiti, while Mr. Noisette was a Frenchman with roots in agriculture. They fell in love, married and started a family in Haiti. When they moved to Charleston, Mr. Noisette's wife and children were at risk of being sold into slavery. He did everything he could to petition for their freedom, but it was Ms. Celestine’s strength and diligence after his passing that finally freed her family and made them land owners. The Noisette family now collects and keeps tight records on the family progression and found many family gems, like how Celestine Noisette produced one of the first hot sauces brought to the Americas from Haiti. Desiree’s background is in construction law, and she feels a direct connection to her heritage through understanding the land, the produce, and how to work with the land while honoring its inherent power. With all the fun, let me assure you that these are not lightweight wines. While the brand has roots in Florida, the wines are made in Oregon thanks to the mentorship of well-known winemaker Joe Dobbes. He taught Desiree how to do formulations and she is involved in every aspect of winemaking and the design of her bottles and brand. Desiree and her husband are planning to put down roots and invest in the Oregon community by opening a Mermosa tasting room in the next 12 months.

36 the color of wine by urbanvino

Jena Domingue is the creator and CEO of UrbanVino House of Brands and Senior Vice President of Sales and Talent and Culture at WineDirect. She is also US Ambassador (California) for Liquid Icons, a global agency working with ultra-premium wine brands worldwide, offering scholarships and apprenticeships specifically geared to promote diversity and inclusion in wine education and hospitality. When you pick up a bottle of Mermosa, be sure to note the beautiful Celestine represent ed by a mermaid, also held by a crested moon, this takes center stage on every bottle. Defi nitely take the time to find a bottle at your lo cal Sam’s Club or Target, or visit their website and order a sample pack. These wines are per fect for gifting, sipping alone, or with the girls. Kudos to Desiree for making a big splash in the wine industry. For more info, visit Follow on Facebook @ MermosaWines and Instagram @ mermosawines. Visit or Apple Podcasts to listen to the UrbanVino Podcast, and visit YouTube for the video version. Connect with Jena on LinkedIn @ Jena Domingue and Instagram @ urbanvino.


The ingredients making up Ginterior are responsibly created by selected suppliers and plant nurseries, preserving the biodiversity of the Regional environment.


GINTERIOR is the Old Tom Gin Made in FVG, which emphasizes FVG’s interiority by highlighting the quite unique quality, nature and purity of the FVG Region. GINTERIOR is the vintage soul spirit which reflects the Victorian tradition: its delicacy gets a modern key review thanks to the skillful mixing of various natural botanicals with some excellences of our territory, such as the Fiumicello City’s Peaches, “Crambe Tataria‘s” seeds, as present in the Pordenone‘s Area dry grasslands «I Magredi», Marasca’s Cherry Honey of the Karst Area, the Dandelion Infusion, typical of the Carnic Valleys.GINTERIOR is an all generis drink: a unique blend, dry and pervasive, as an harmonious perceptive symphony of elements never combined together before.


Embracing the

the Lifestyle

home and brought them to the bar he tended for over 12 years.  “I would serve these margaritas to the patrons out of empty milk jugs that I would fill with fresh ingredients right from my kitchen. One day three girls from ASU [Arizona State University] kept ordering them, and a guy asked me what they were downing. My nick name has been Chaco (Spanish for Chuck) since my early 20s, and I made the mixers specifically to off set how unhealthy the premade mixers are, so since Flaco means ‘skinny’ in Spanish, I blurted out ‘Chaco

40 embracing the lifestyle C haco Flaco sparkling craft canned cocktails, mixers, and cero (mocktails) personify party! At the pool, beach, music festivals, or at home, Chaco Flaco can be summed up in one word: Fun. The global award-winning, all-natural beverage company lives by its mantra: FLAVOR FIRST. Chaco Flaco has no added high fructose corn syrups artificialoringredients and features lower calories, sodium, and sugar. It is made with real fruit and vegetable juices as a distilled spirits-based cocktail, NOT a MALT or mixersmargaritaclean,neurentrepreMoore.ogistheadCEOArizonabegancocktailstureThisSELTZER.adven-incannedinwithandmixol-ChuckThecreatednaturalfrom

Enjoy parties, sports, music, and adventure with Chaco Flaco sparkling craft canned cocktails

Chuck Moore and Steve Cislaw

Embracing the Lifestyle

Photos by Kaveriis Smith

By Debbie Hall

PRMagazine %F the

"My nickname has been Chaco (Spanish for Chuck) since my early 20s, and I made the Spanish,tospecificallymixersoffsethowunhealthythepremademixersare,sosinceFlacomeans‘skinny’inIblurtedout‘ChacoFlaco’anditstuck.”

between us in business was amazing, which turned into an incredible friendship,” says Steve. With his business acu men and sales expertise, Steve became a co-founder and COO of Chaco Flaco, helping develop the mixers into canned cocktails. Their first road show together was at the original Costco in San Diego, eventually traveling and conducting over 80 road shows in 2½ years from California to Texas.

Chuck invested his 401k, savings, and raised a little money from friends and family to get his mixer bottled as a drink locally. Then a year later, a guy walked in inquiring about specials. Chuck offered him his margarita mix, and it turns out he worked for the Arizona forager for Whole Foods. This led to the distribution of the brand in Whole Foods grocery chain, AJ’s Fine Foods, and Bashas’. Now with the brand in full motion, distribution in Costco was pre sented. Enter Steve Cislaw. Steve was neighbors with a close friend of Chuck’s, worked in the financial services industry for many years as an institution al bond trader, and owned and operated a luxury magazine in Newport Beach, California. The friend would introduce the two of them, and Steve offered to help with distribution in Mexico using his “Thecontacts.synergy

“We throw beach balls, hand out cozies, and have fun,” says Steve. “No matter how good the product is, if it is just sitting on the shelf, there will be no traction and no sales. We get our customers en gaged with our entertaining brand. We love being around our consumers, and we are open to feed back. We take advantage of every opportunity to be in front of people, and we love doing it.”  Since Chuck and Steve participate in so many events and sports, there is a possibility that readers will catch them in a reality show by the end of the year, broadcasting and streaming to 52 countries.  They also appreciate what they have achieved and are launching the nonprofit foundation, Drop The Can (, as a play on the phrase “drop the mic.” The organization will focus on clean water initiatives since everyone deserves clean water. Chuck and Steve are also involved with different charities focusing on the military, including Wounded Warriors and For the Fallen. They’ll help build some homes for veterans through the Tunnels to Towers Foundation. Autism has a 42 embracing the lifestyle

Be on the lookout for the Skeleton Crew, a refer ence to their Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) branding and the street team’s name, handing out swag and goodies at each festival.

“This was a precursor and our test market to ex pand our line to canned cocktails. This was before the explosion of hard seltzers and spirit-based RTDs,” says Chuck.  They immersed themselves into the ready-todrink world, and, while it took over two years, the perfect Chaco Flaco cocktail was created. Their reach continues to expand, winning over 35 global awards. As winners of Best of Show for the 2021 Bar & Restaurant Expo, Chuck and Steve met the publishers of PR%F Magazine and the PR%F Awards and are looking forward to participating in the 2022 PR%F Awards.

The company is now in the growth phase, encom passing the lifestyle of Chuck and Steve. They love and sponsor many music festivals, especially rock reggae, and will be part of Life is Beautiful, the three-day music, arts, and culture festival trans forming downtown Las Vegas with an expected attendance of over 200,000 people. Chaco Fla co will be served at Peyote, located in Fergusons Downtown. They also sponsor Nascar and are getting behind Christian Brooks, the next Indy Car phenom. The pair will also be looking to sponsor Herb N Life, an emerging band from Arizona with national aspirations.

significant presence within the Chaco family. The charity will be getting behind the cause, which is near and dear to their hearts.  “We are very excited to get moving this year and in the years to come. We are so blessed and want to give back. After all is said and done, we can’t take it with us,” says Steve. With a robust marketing plan and a great sales team with energetic owners, Chaco Flaco is working on its crowdfunding to raise capital with WeFunder, which launched in early August and will continue for two more months unless fulfilled sooner.  Chaco Flaco is distributed in Arizona, Colorado, Ne vada, and Southern California, with availability in the Texas soon. In addition, they are working on moving into Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, and the Midwest, with plans to be in 20 states by the end of 2023. For more info, visit, and follow on Facebook @ chacoflacodrinks, Instagram @ chacoflacodrinks, and LinkedIn @ chacoflacodrinksllc.

PRMagazine %F

Carbonated Water, Rum, Sugar, Erythritol, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Fruit, and Vegetable Juice for Color. Mango Margarita Smoked Agave Tequila with Mango, Pineapple, & a hint of Habanero flavors. 6% ALC/VOL., 12 fluid ounces per can. Sparkling Craft RTD Cocktail. Spirits Based. Gluten-Free. Not ServingMalt.size 1 Can (355 ml)

Carbonated Water, Vodka, Sugar, Erythritol, Blueberry Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid. Chaco Flaco All Natural Mixers

Strawberry Daiquiri Coconut Rum, Strawberry, Pineapple, Coconut & Lime flavors. 6% ALC/VOL., 12 fluid ounces per can. Sparkling Craft RTD Cocktail. Spirits Based. Gluten-Free. Not Malt. Serving size 1 Can (355 ml)

Calories INGREDIENTS:190

Carbonated Water, Tequila, Sugar, Pineap ple Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Fruit, and Vegetable Juice for Color. Vodka Berry Mule Vodka Ginger Brew, with Berries, Mint & Cucumber flavors. 6% ALC/VOL., 12 fluid ounces per can. Sparkling Craft RTD Cocktail. Spirits Based. Gluten-Free. Not Malt. Serving size 1 Can (355 ml) Calories INGREDIENTS:170

Calories INGREDIENTS:190

• Bloody Maria • Verde Maria • Michelada – Coming Soon - All natural, gluten-free, non-GMO- Fire roasted veggies- First ever green Bloody Mary in a bottle- Check out the award-winning recipes on the label -

Bronze Award Our Bronze award recognizes these brands to be fair, well-crafted, attractive to nose, taste, and nish—worthy of recognition. Enter your brand today.

Perfect. To receive a Century Award is to be de ned as perfect. It is a 100-point perfect score, unanimously, from all judges present at the awards tasting program. Unanimous. Only a selection of these brands makes it to the prestigious level. It is the ultimate accolade and the utmost level of achievement in a spirits and wine brand. Unparalleled. Double Gold Award Outstanding. Spirits and wine awarded a Double Gold are beyond industry standards and celebrated with prominent elegance in their respected categories. These brands de ne nesse and make a palate dance with superiority. When you achieve this award, your brand de es gravity.

UNMASKED The total package competition MASKED The coveted double-blind tasting competition Two Competitions. One Price.Century Award

Gold Award

Great and distinguished with high praise and worthy of celebration. Our Gold award is a high merit of achievement. These are the brands that set the bar beyond standard heights and reach it — at all costs and are classi ed as some of the best brands in the arena. Hue, Taste, Texture, Power, Length, and Echo all balance to create a superb avor and moment. Silver Award Rated as good and recommended for the public, our Silver award recipients demonstrate a noticeable well-balanced presence between avor and complexity, taste and nish. Many of our Silver recipients can be found nationally in stores, restaurants, bars, and online.


Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. rises above the competition through ingenuity and expertise.

Photo of Sammy by Zan Passante


ammy Hagar’s desire for adventure permeates his exploration as he creates new spirits as part of his empire of beverages, restaurants, bars, and retail. Now Hagar’s award-winning Puerto Rico-made Beach Bar Rum steeps island flavor into his new Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. top-shelf sparkling rum RTD cocktails. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and spirits entrepreneur rocks great spirits along with food and music as he The RDT (ready-to-drink) market exploded during the pandemic when consumers couldn’t or wouldn’t go to the bar and wanted to drink

48 spirits trailblazer sammy hagar

“When I first started this project in the ready-to-drink market, no one was canning spirits, only malt- and winesugar-based drinks. I personal ly didn’t like these drinks and wanted to create a great spir it RTD,” Sammy explains. “I decided to use my Puerto Rico-made rum and devel op a fuzzy, sparkling rum Sammy spoke with sev eral key people that dis tributed spirits who advised him that the RTD cocktails using spirits would be expen sive to produce. Sammy loves drinking margaritas made with tequila and mixed vodka drinks and knew that rum blended with soda or juices makes delicious

He would visit distilleries and meet with farmers, viewing acres of the agave plant being grown. With his partner for Cabo Wabo, Sammy was treated to exceptional tequila produced just for friends and family by the farmers. Sammy would play his guitar

“I decided to work with flavors such as pineapple and cherry cola and started experimenting. By the time I finished all my research and development, which I do all myself, the cost to produce was afford able, and I could be competitive.”  Playful twists on four classic flavors tantalize with Tangerine Dream, Pineapple Splash, Island Pop, and Cherry Kola Chill. Made with all-natural ingredients and sweetened with agave, each flavor is 5.5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV), under 130 calories, and five grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. The explosion continued with the launch of several brands of RTDs with spirit-based cocktails. While it might appear that Sammy is entering the RTD mar ket a little late, he is actually head of the curve with his upscale, premium product.  “To my advantage, I am a rock ‘n’ roll artist, so I tour and make my money that way. I was very successful with Cabo Wabo with crazy money and many other businesses, so I don’t need to hit a profit margin. I do what I want to do, and that is to make the best qual ity product I can possibly make to my taste, which is how I am different from others. I know many try to produce products that appeal to everyone, but I want to create products that I like and sell them for a competitive price,” he explains. The spirits industry brings him love and joy that he wants to share with others. Sammy’s reward is creat ing and developing his products. When Sammy first wanted to launch a tequila product, it became an adventure of a lifetime for him. He was an explorer, traveling to Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. “I almost understood what the explorers felt like when they sailed and discovered the new world,” Sammy laughs. “I get goosebumps when I think about how amazing I could join the escapades of these explorers.”

Photo by Zan Passante

Photo by Ray Alamo

49 PRMagazine %F the spirits trailblazer sammy hagar

Sammy is very hands-on in creating his spirits em pire, finding the proper bottles and cans, and work ing with the production team. He has been known to load cases into trucks ready for distribution. “I am that kind of a guy,” he laughs. “So is Guy and we are completely hands-on every step of the way with Santo Tequila Blanco. I just don’t put my name on the product and walk away. Sometimes, this is just as exciting for me as rock ‘n’ roll.”  Sammy put in the same care with his Beach Bar Cocktails. “Early on when I first wanted to make rum, I traveled to Hawaii for the finest sugarcane and made pure cane rum originally. But that became way too expensive for the market so I moved the produc tion to Puerto Rico.”

Photo by Zan Passante

The Beach Bar Cocktails are available in four packs and sold in restaurants, bars, grocery, and liquor stores in California, Texas, Nevada, Florida, with dis tribution in more states coming soon. The Beach Bar Cocktails can also be purchased online nationwide at sammysbbcco, Instagram @ sbbcco, and Twitter @ sbbcco. and sing songs and was blown away by the tequila he was drinking. They used the ripest and largest plants to produce about 20 cases annually of their personal stash of tequila. He would make a deal to have them produce the same tequila for his brand, Cabo Wabo.

50 spirits trailblazer sammy hagar walking into a store and seeing your booze on the shelf or a bottle in a bar is like turning on the radio and hearing my music. That is so exciting for me.”

In 2017, Sammy created Santo Mezquila, the first te quila and mezcal hybrid blend. He would then join forces with longtime friend, Emmy Award-winning chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri, to expand the San to brand with the launch of Santo Tequila Blanco, a premium old-world style tequila.

Everything Sammy does is quality, including his spir its line, music, and other businesses.

“One of the best sounds I can hear is when some one pops the can of my RTD cocktails, hearing that swoop, take a sip and tell everyone how good it tastes. This is a big reward for me,” he states. “Just

“I like it sweet, with some Jalapeño heat!”


51spirits trailblazer sammy hagar PRMagazine %F the

A refreshing blend of tangerine and vanilla cream; the classic Creamsicle.

“There’s nothing better than a Creamsicle.”


The fruity flavors of cherry, pineapple, and citrus, pack a Hawaiian punch. “That classic Hawaiian style punch!”



The slight sweetness of pineapple, followed by the kick of jalapeño.


That classic soda fountain flavor of cherry cola with a hint of spice.

“My take on that classic Cherry Cola vibe.” FLAVOR PROFILES, AS SAMMY EXPLAINS, INCLUDE:


Setting a new standard of excellence in the industry!

Our handcrafted small batch mix made from a unique blend of natural ingredients providing World Class Taste! A bold, thick full- avored mix that won’t water down in your glass. No MSG or high fructose corn syrup.

54 nykur organic vodka Nykur Organic Vodka Wins Another Industrial Design Award

PR%F Awards 2020 Gold Medal Winner showcases talent. Danish and Nordic design is extremely popular in the United States as prov en by Danish Nykur Premium Organic Vodka. The vodka producer was awarded a gold medal for design distinction at the Proof Awards 2020 and recently won a second design award for the beautiful label on the company's bottles of organic vodka. “We are incredibly proud to win this great award as the only ones of several hundred partici pants, get double gold for our design is far more than we dared to hope for,” says Mattias Lon gaa, CEO of Nykur Vodka. But it is no coincidence that Nykur Vodka wins an award for the design of the label on the bot tle. The company has put a lot of work into de signing just the right label. “If we, as a small vodka producer, are to have a chance on the international market, we have to offer something extraordinary. It is not enough to make a really good organic vodka. We need to give the customers a unique experience when they purchase one of our bottles. Nykur Vodka must seduce and satisfy all the senses: the taste, the look and the feeling. That is why we have, among other things, chosen to spend money on having an exclusive label made with relief printing in metal. The label not only looks incredible, it simply feels incredible,” Longaa PR%Fexplains.Awards 2022 will continue its tradition of creating a double-blind tasting competition with buyers from across the US rating spirits, wines, and beverages in a 100-point rating sys tem. After tasting points are accumulated, the distinguished panel of judges (all buyers) will evaluate each brand unmasked, showing their naked contents. Judges will see and feel the bottle, can, or product, read the ingredients and see the overall marketing package (look, feel, and approach) the brands want to convey to the patron. The PR%F Awards are heating up and to accommodate top buyers, the date to submit has been extended. Proof Awards 2022 will be held in November and all samples must be in by October 1, 2022. Enter today at

SMOOTH IS NOT A FLAVOR THE WATER IS SMOOTH VODKA is usually 40% ABV and 60% water. Using anything less than pristine flavor-neutral water will adversely and significantly affect the vodka’s taste and smoothness. We found nature’s purest water buried 1.5 km deep within the Kirvi volcanic mountain range. Since its discovery when tunneling through the mountains in 1988, the locals have loved the water.

TASTING NOTES Clear color. Aromas and flavors of lemon mousse and hints of turmeric with a satiny, crisp, dry light body and an effortless, interesting, medium-length finish with nuances of almond milk. A richly textured, delicately nuanced Vodka for martinis and beyond.


THE At the heart of NYKUR VODKA is the combination of two ingredients — the superior organic grains from the sun-kissed region of Northern Italy and the water from the depths of the Kirvi volcanic mountain of the Faroe Islands. The magic is in the grains, and the spell is the Fromwater.the very beginning, our philosophy was to create a premium organic vodka that is smooth, unlike anything on the market. it is our in-depth expertise on the anatomy of vodka and its processes that have influenced Nykur Vodka as it is today.



Nico will share tips on how to best serve the Thomas Ashbourne port folio with an expert mixologist’s take on the high proof, high quality cock tails. With a renown cocktail expert, a stacked team of celebrity taste making founding partners like Sar ah Jessica Parker, John Cena and Vanessa Hudgens, and a lineup of classic cocktails with a modern twist, Thomas Ashbourne is primed to start shaking up the spirits world.

homas Ashbourne Craft Spirits proudly announces that renown, award-winning mixologist, Nico de Soto, has joined the team as cre ative director. Nico will bring his ex tensive expertise to the ready-to drink, premium cocktail brand which launched earlier this summer.

An Expert's Touch Award-winning mixologist, Nico de Soto joins Thomas Ashbourne Craft Spirits


Parisian born and raised, Nico first began bartending in Paris in 2005 where he was trained in the art of classic cocktails. Nico crafted the art of perfecting libations in Aus tralia, before joining Paris’s most respected cocktail bars, the Ex perimental Cocktail Club and Cu rio Parlor. In 2010 Nico joined the opening teams at Dram and PKNY (former Painkiller) in New York and then became the head mixologist of the Experimental Group, opening the Experimental Cocktail Club in London and New York, respectively nominated 3rd best bar in Europe 2012 at Cocktail Spirits Awards and

%F the top 4 finalists World’s Best New Bar in 2013 at Tales of Cocktails and 26th best cocktail bar in the world by Drinks International. In 2013, Nico worked at the awarded 69 Cole brooke Row and Happiness Forgets in Lon don, names respectively Best Bar in the World at Tales of the Cocktails and 6th Best Bar in the World by Drinks International 2013. In 2015, he opened his first cocktail bar Mace in East Village in New York ranked 28th best bar in the World at Drinks International World’s Top 50 Best Bars, for the fourth year in a row. In 2016, he opened in Paris Danico, in the heart of the Italian trattoria Daroco, with his two restaurateur friends Julien Ross and Alexan dre Giesbert. In 2018, he opened Kaido in the Design District of Miami with James Beard’s awards multi-nominated chef Brad Kilgore, a Japanese influenced cocktail lounge. Thomas Ashbourne raises the bar in the world of ready-to-sip craft cocktails with rich fla vors curated by iconic partners who know their way around a top shelf cocktail. Every batch is sustainably handcrafted in the U.S. using all-natural, Kosher ingredients and crafted in small batches and tailored to the palates of esteemed partners. They use less water, agricultural land and CO2 than others in in field. For more info, visit and follow on: Facebook @ ThomasAshbourne, Instagram @ thomasashbourne, and Twitter @ thomasashbourne.

The Classic Old FashionedThe Margalicious MargaritaThe HardscattoThe Perfect Cosmo by SJP

57an expert's touch PRMagazine

G reat spirits flowed together in camaraderie and unique tastings when spirit industry leaders gathered to judge the PR%F Awards 2021, 2020, and 2019. Officially named the world’s largest spirits and wine competition in the US, PR%F Awards 2021 encompassed innovation with judging. PR%F Awards 2021 launched a new dual adult beverage competition format including two competitions in one—PR%F Awards-Masked, The DoubleBlind Tasting, and PR%F Awards-Unmasked, The Total Package. It has been three years of incredible tastings, new partnerships and the fun of Las Vegas with more to come.



The PR%F Awards

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