PR%F the Magazine August/September Summer issue 2023

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Magazine PR%F the 9 788024715148 > ISBN 9788024715148 ISBN 80-247-1514-7 spirits. wine. potations and libations. beverage industry news. ISSUE 2 Volume 03. Aug/Sept 2023
Sunshine Punch

PR%F the Magazine

Michael Politz Publisher

Michele Tell Founder, Executive Director

Jennifer English Editor-At-Large

Debbie Hall Editor-in-Chief

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

Terry Hart Director of Competitions

Colleen Banks Director of Business Development


Jena Domingue

George Manska

Kara Trim

Contributing Photographers: Contact the Team at

Derrick Hornyan – D Rock Imaging Pennington Studios

2 the team
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.
3 in this issue Magazine PR%F the Magazine
PR%F the


Dear Readers,

We welcome Sunshine Punch as our cover story for this issue as a fun and refreshing drink.

It is unbelievable how quickly this year has flown by. We are just three months from the 2023 PR%F Awards 2023, and this is my final letter before the competition to get you all to enter your emerging new brands and established favorites into the competition. You can enter now at

I want first to thank our incredible family of partners, including Delta Sky Club®, Palms Las Vegas, Food and Beverage Magazine, PR%F Live! with Jennifer English, the NEAT Glass and Bootleggers Distributing in Las Vegas.

We are the spirits/wine competition that believes in more than giving your brand a medal. Each of our judges is a beverage buyer, a decision maker looking for refreshing new brands to make it to their shelves. At PR%F Awards, it’s all about building awareness of new, emerging brands and ensuring our existing brands are still at the forefront of the marketplace.

Each judge is a beverage buyer for a casino, resort, airline, restaurant, bar, nightclub, liquor store, distributor, online distributor, retail chain, and more. Nearly 100 judges will engage in our competition this year with their wisdom, experience, and desire to find the newest brand, define the trends for tomorrow, and help push our industry into the next phase. This year, we are elated to announce that Walmart (East Coast and West Coast) will join our lineup.

Our dual competition platform continues. Enter one time, and your SKU gets entered into two separate competitions. PR%F Awards-Masked! is the coveted double-blind competition where our judges with impeccable palates rate and honor your brand with accolades based upon all senses of taste, smell, color, finish, and flavor. The next day, the judges return for The “unmasked” competition, The Total Package Award. Our judges want to taste your unique brands while viewing your logo, bottle shape and size, price point, origin, and more. This unique competition allows the judges to know the brands more intimately. Each entry gets a chance to win two medals.

This year, we are thrilled to announce that all companies that enter six brands will be automatically entered into Distillery of the Year or Producer of the Year.

The private judges-only PR%F Awards Spirits, Wine & Beverage competition is set to be held in Las Vegas on Nov. 8-9, and entries are due October 1. Check out our site for information and our easy entry portal at

Cheers & Namaste!

5 Magazine PR%F the from the desk of Michele D. Tell

Sip, Savor, and Socialize

A Guide to Curating a Successful Nonalcoholic Bar Program

8 sip, savor, and socialize

Step into an enchanting space where laughter fills the air and friendships blossom, all without alcohol. Welcome to the world of the nonalcoholic bar, where the true essence of social connection thrives. Here, we'll unveil the secrets to curating a nonalcoholic bar that sparks wonder, inspiration, and, most importantly, a genuine sense of belonging. So, raise a glass of revitalizing elixir, and let us discover the art of stocking a bar that celebrates life's cherished moments without the need for spirits.

In our last article, we dived into the savvy business reasons behind having non-alcoholic drinks on your menu. Now, whether you're ready to kickstart a nonalcoholic bar program or take your existing one to the next level, get ready to create a lineup that'll have your guests cheering and your rivals turning green with envy!

Brunch-o-Holics Unite!

Brunch is the superstar of weekends, where laughter, scrumptious eats, and a few sips are shared. But wait, who said the party had to revolve around alcohol? Let's shake things up with a non or low-alcohol brunch! It's the perfect transition point from the weekend fun to the workweek. Try whipping up a delightful nonalcoholic Mimosa or Bellini using Thompson & Scott's Noughty Sparkling Chardonnay. Get your hands on Athletic Brewing Company's Upside Dawn Golden Ale for an out-of-this-world Beer Bloody Mary. Remember to reach out to your local sober social group for some buzzworthy ideas!

9 Magazine PR%F the sip, savor, and socialize

Cans: Small but Mighty!

Do you need more time to be ready for a full-blown nonalcoholic spirits extravaganza? Compact, convenient, and ecofriendly, they're perfect for offering a variety of nonalcoholic cocktails and wines.

Sip Wine, Not Whine!

We get it; you might've heard the "it's just grape juice" jokes, but we're here to tell you that nonalcoholic wine is legit! These wonders start with alcoholic wine and then undergo a process that removes the alcohol while preserving the exquisite flavors. Let it breathe before you sip! If it's not quite there, a dash of bitters works wonders. Try All the Bitter's stellar lineup of alcohol-free bitters. Ready to pour some impressive wine options? How about Thompson and Scott's Noughty Rouge, Wander & Found Rosé, and Giesen Sauvignon Blanc? Sip and savor the goodness!

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sip, savor, and socialize

NA Cocktails: Unleashing the Creative Mocktail Revolution!

Let's face it. It's easy to fall into the trap of serving juice-based drinks or a plain margarita sans tequila and labeling them as "mocktails." It might seem like a quick fix, ticking the box for non-drinkers, but hold on! It's actually a missed opportunity to craft something extraordinary that will leave your guests amazed and

beguiled. Trust us; you don't want your guest feeling like they're sipping a kiddie drink like a Shirley Temple! They're sophisticated adults whose taste buds remain vibrant, even if they've decided to pause or stop their alcohol consumption. Times are changing, and your menu should mirror the shift!

Picture this a Dark & Stormy made with Seir Hill Biscane instead of dark alcoholic rum. Zesty ginger meets the bite of lime without the alcohol. A smoky symphony of flavors with the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, paired with a mesmerizing aroma that takes mocktails to new heights! Nonalcoholic cocktails are designed to challenge the norm, captivate the senses, and celebrate the spirit of the non-drinking movement. Your guests deserve more than an afterthought on the menu; they deserve a showcase of delectable delights reflecting their sophisticated tastes and desire for a holistic and inclusive experience.

Kara Trim is the CEO and founder of Choice & Co, a direct-to-consumer and wholesale non-alcoholic bottle shop specializing in irresistible nonalcoholic beverages for all drinkers.

So, there you have it—a delightful array of nonalcoholic wonders that'll transform your bar program into an absolute sensation. Embrace the magic of the nonalcoholic world and let the fun-filled, flavorful journey begin. Cheers to a boozefree bonanza!

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Thank you to our partners:
PR%F Awards 2023
of our judges are beverage buyers from across the US
one time, get into two copetitions - PR%F Awards
& PR%F Awards
• Enter today at

Experience the Baja in a Bottle!

Bajarriba Tequila blends fun, excitement, and excellent tequila.

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Photos by Derrick Hornyan – D Rock Imaging in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Tres Cabo Amigos (Mark Nuessle, Rico Austin and Jay Nance) are excited to share their love for the Baja in a bottle with Bajarriba Tequila. This brand represents many good times among three friends with Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in common and a passion for some of the most exquisite tequila available worldwide. The term “Caboholic” resonates with those who appreciate what it’s like to bounce around on the Baja roads visiting some of the most popular beach locations designated on its front label. Whether a fisherman, an off-road racer, a traveler of dirt roads, a sailor, a surfer, or a fan of great tequila, this exceptional tequila embodies this lifestyle.

Its 100 percent Blue Weber Agave tequila comes from the highlands region of Jalisco, Mexico. Juan Eduardo Nunez, a third-generation Tequilero from the famed distillery El Viejito, founded in 1937, works his craft. The bottling plant is in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and the distillery is in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. El Viejito enjoys a legacy of tradition with more than 85 years of experience in the art of extracting the essence of their land and making it the world’s favorite drink.

“I am an author and have 10 published books, my best sellers being ‘My Bad Tequila’ and ‘BAJA LOCO, 4 Racing Days & Tequila Nights on the NORRA Mexican 1000.’ My famous quote line from ‘My Bad Tequila’ is ‘You'll see the true reflection of me when the tequila bottle is empty!’ My other favorite line is ‘The roar of my Harley calmed and the calm of Cortez' sea roared,’ says Rico. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife Connie who designed the Bajarriba bottle. She is a graphic artist who has created every cover of Sundance Magazine for Robert Redford during the last 24 years.

Jay is an avid boater and has his 40-foot Carver yacht on Canyon Lake, north of Apache Junction in Arizona. He named his boat Bajarriba after their tequila and had lived in Cabo for five years.

“Jay owned a bar called Cabo Lounge, which is where I met him when I held a ‘My Bad Tequila’ book signing at his bar,” says Rico.

Tres Cabo Amigos believe that tequila is much more than just a drink or libation: it’s about the moments and time spent with friends and loved ones while creating experiences that last and fulfill for a lifetime. Bajarriba Tequila is not about folklore but about bringing authentic, epic stories and the treasured history of Mexico and the Baja to life.

“A daily drink of good tequila, taken responsibly, brings forth contentment, health, and one big smile,” says Rico.

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A daily drink of good tequila, taken responsibly, brings forth contentment, health, and one big smile.”
Rico Austin

Jay and his wife Marinette met in Las Vegas while they both lived there and now make their home in Mesa, Arizona. Marinette is in the medical industry and they have a daughter and grandson who still live in Las Vegas.

Mark is a big game hunter and has lived in Arizona most of his life. He has a drywall construction business and a second home on the beach in Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) at the mouth of the Sea of Cortez. Mark and his wife Beverly (50 years) live in Cave Creek, Arizona.

Tres Cabo Amigos and Bajarriba Tequila are proud supporters of many organizations in Baja, Mexico, that help orphaned and abandoned children with continued education while housing and feeding the less fortunate.

“One thing that Tres Cabo Amigos and Bajarriba are proud of is our participation and donations to many charities which help orphaned, underprivileged and children with special needs or illnesses. These organizations and Wounded Warriors we have given back to are listed on our website ( giving-back),” says Rico.

They are also committed to helping preserve the environment by using only recycled glass in its manufacturing processes.

Bajarriba Tequila is available in retail spaces, restaurants and bars in Arizona, Nevada, and California and online. An Añejo expression of Bajarriba aged 20 months will be available later this year. For more info, visit and follow on Facebook and Instagram @ BajarribaTequila.

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Bajarriba Plata and Reposado (750ml)

• 100 percent Additive Free (NO artificial taste, smell, or coloring) sipping tequila.

• Third-generation Master Distiller (85 years of family experience growing agaves and distilling tequila).

• 100 percent Blue Weber fully matured agave from the rich, fertile volcanic soil in the Highlands (7,000 feet) of Jalisco, Mexico.

• Old World, a time-tested cooking method using pure deep well water, copper/stainless steel pots, and slow roasting in “Hornos” (brick ovens) for ultimate flavor.

• Intense but smooth baked agave flavor and aroma, complemented by a notable white pepper explosion mid-palate and finishing with a hint of clean citrus zest and sweet floral notes.

• Reposado and Anejo rested in American white oak whiskey barrels while Plata went straight into the bottle.

• Massive (almost 15 inches tall and weighing 4.4 pounds), Baja peninsula shaped, handcrafted, 100% painted, artisan, collector bottle. This bottle is a creative work of art!

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experience the baja in a bottle

What Our Winners have to say...

“PR%F Awards o er amazing exposure for emerging and established brands. Their organization is comprised of some of the most in uential, respected, & connected leader-in uencers in the alcoholic beverage industry. Since we received the Century Award on the Middle West Spirits Sherry Finished Bourbon, I believe we’ve elded calls from every in uential distributor, chain and on-premise account inquiring about it’s availability in the marketplace! If your brand is not working with The PR%F Awards, you should strongly consider it, Middle West is ”living PR%F” of their in uence and reach.


Steeped in Opulence : The Emergence of Luxury Tea Events

Inthe ever-evolving world of luxury hospitality, a new beverage trend is emerging, one with legacy and history, yet blooming with innovation, transforming the modest tea leaf into a sip of modern opulence. Leading this innovative wave is Jenwey Tea, a company that has revolutionized the tea experience by launching private Luxury Tea Events, a unique blend of rare teas, private chef cuisine, bespoke cocktails and extravagant decor.

Jenwey Tea, under the expert guidance of its owner and tea master, Lisa Marie, has always viewed tea as more than just a beverage. It is a medium for connection, a catalyst for conversation, and a canvas for culinary creativity. This vision has inspired the creation of an experience that transcends the traditional tea party, merging the elegance of rare teas with the opulence of high-end dining and decor.

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Held in the most exclusive private residences, estates, and resorts across the nation, these Luxury Tea Events are not your average tea parties. They are grand soirees, where guests, ranging from 25 to 1,000, are indulged with a display of rare teas, private chef-catered food, the most expensive caviar, champagne, and lavish decor. The price per guest begins at $300 and has reached $3,000, mirroring the rarity of the tea offerings, the quality of the champagne, and the sophistication of the chef's food pairings.

Lisa Marie, the Tea Master at Jenwey, personally curates a selection of rare and exotic teas from around the globe for each event. Handpicked from the most prestigious tea gardens and aged to perfection, these teas are the epitome of luxury. Each tea is paired with a selection of gourmet dishes meticulously crafted by private chefs to complement the unique flavors of the tea.

Food is not merely an accompaniment but an integral part of the experience. From the most expensive caviar to the freshest local produce, each ingredient is chosen with care to create a symphony of flavors that dance with the tea in a harmonious ballet of taste.

Guests often indulge in truffles, puerhs, silver needles, saffron, and edible golddipped flowers.

Adding to the uniqueness of these events, Lisa Marie, also a blending master, and her team design signature cocktails and mocktails for each event. Her creations are not just beverages; they are works of art that add another layer of sophistication to the experience. A key component of these creations is Prima Pavé, a zero-proof rosé, which Lisa Marie and the senior brand ambassador, Yuna Asriyan, have been pairing up on these events to provide an elevated zero-proof option.

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steeped in opulence

steeped in opulence

The champagne, too, is carefully selected to enhance the tea experience. The effervescence of the champagne, the subtle notes of fruit and yeast, the crisp finishall these elements come together to create a sensory experience that is truly unparalleled.

The experience extends beyond the tea, the food, or the champagne. It encompasses the decor, ambiance, and service. Each event is a sensory feast with lavish decor that transports guests to a world of elegance and sophistication.

Jenwey's team of professionals caters to every need, ensuring that every detail is perfect, from the tea's temperature to the napkins' placement. This level of service, combined with exquisite food, rare teas, and luxurious decor, creates an experience that is truly out of this world.

Luxury Tea Events are not just about tea; they are about creating an experience that is as unifying as it is unique, bespoke and satisfying as it is luxurious. They are about celebrating the art of tea in a truly extraordinary way. Most importantly, Luxury Tea Experiences are about creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Everyone that knows me knows that I love tea because it is the only beverage that unites all mankind. Tea is meant for sharing, connecting, and at Jenwey Tea, every cup elevates and is a symbol of elegance, an authentic celebration of the finer things in life. Today, Jenwey’s Luxury Tea Events invite guests from around the world to join in sharing more than the finest teas money can buy, all are invited to share in the experience of a truly exalted cup. If you have never tried the Puerh (my personal favorite) I urge you to start there and imagine the rich, silky luxury for yourself.


Introducing ™



This Rum-Based Drink is NOSTALGIA in a Bottle.

26 introducing sunshine punch

introducing sunshine punch

Inspired by a favorite frozen orange treat, Sunshine Punch, a ready-to-serve orange, creme, and rum cocktail, has burst onto shelves. This nostalgic, adult twist on this popular frozen indulgence brightens up any gathering with its summer-ready, matte orange bottle design and smooth, citrus taste. Shareable among friends, the sun never sets on summer with Sunshine Punch.

Beat the heat by sipping Sunshine Punch over ice, mixed into a favorite cocktail, sipped in a slushy, or enjoyed as a chilled shot.

Beyond the bottle, Sunshine Punch is rooted in friendship. What began as the go-to drink of their campfire jam sessions in North Carolina went through years of taste testing among friends to get the flavor profile just right. Founders Brian Thomason and Matt Hemmings are lifelong friends who bonded over a shared interest in creative pursuits, adventures, and a love of music. Inspired by sound and sun, the classmates who met in college 25 years ago teamed up with a band of friends to develop a unique drink designed to be savored. Today, Sunshine Punch is proudly blended and bottled in their home state of North Carolina, bringing sweet summer memories.

“There’s nothing like the feeling of reminiscing on the good times,” said Brian. “With Sunshine Punch, we’re proud to pour something that transports you to your sunniest memories.”

“Sunshine Punch is inspired by the mood, the moments that you’re always chasing and would like to push pause on when they occur,” added Matt.

“Ultimately, we wanted to throw ourselves into something that we and the entire team could be genuinely passionate about and have a lot of fun with. We’re excited to hear of all the ways and places you enjoy Sunshine Punch.”

A North Carolina native, Brian is a self-proclaimed recovering finance nerd. He began his career in mergers and acquisitions and corporate financial planning roles for large publicly traded companies. Brian then leaped out of the corporate world to start a technology firm focused on healthcare logistics.

With the successful exit of the software company, Brian began a boutique venture capital fund focusing on early-stage biotech, carbon-neutral solutions, and his favorite space of spirits. Brian now owns The Montana Whiskey Company, Sunshine Punch and Bartenders, Artists, and Renegades (BAR). The common theme for all of Brian’s approaches in spirits is creating a world-class brand that is unique and disruptive to the category they enter.

While always keeping creative pursuits in view, including culinary arts and music, Matt’s career developed throughout the business sector of home improvement retail. With progressive leadership

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“There’s nothing like the feeling of reminiscing on the good times. With Sunshine Punch, we’re proud to pour something that transports you to your sunniest memories.”

introducing sunshine punch

roles focused on sales, marketing, and operations; Matt worked for or represented notable brands such as Bosch, Dremel, Skil, Rubbermaid, Coleman, and OXO/ Good Grips, among others. He was also instrumental in the line design and go-to-market strategy for several private label programs, including Kobalt & Allen + Roth within Lowe’s Home Improvement. After selling his stake in a successful rep firm, Matt aimed to pursue an opportunity that more closely merged creative passions with professional experience. The creation and launch of Sunshine Punch have fulfilled that passion.

Sunshine Punch (18% ABV) is rolling out now in 750ml bottles with an SRP of $24.95 at retail stores in the following states: NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, MI, OH, LA, TX, AL, MS, with additional states to come later this year. To learn more about Sunshine Punch, visit and follow Sunshine Punch on Instagram @ sunshinepunchofficial.



The Sunburn


• 2 oz Sunshine Punch

• 2 oz pineapple juice

• 1⁄2 oz flavored rum

Combine, Shake, Pour

• 1⁄2 oz flavored rum as floater

Sprinkle with Nutmeg. Garnish with orange slice.

Funshine Punch


• 3 oz Sunshine Punch

• 1 1⁄2 oz blood orange vodka

• 1 oz orange juice

• 1 oz lemon-lime soda of choice

Shake and pour over ice. Garnish with blood orange slices.

The Sunbolt


• 2 oz Sunshine Punch

• 1 oz local or preferred vodka

• 1oz coffee flavored liqueur

Combine & Shake w/ Ice. Serve as Shooter.

29 Magazine PR%F the introducing
sunshine punch
Funshine Punch

What Our Winners

have to say...


“As a recent winner of the prestigious PR%F Awards, I raise a glass lled with Despacio Mezcal to toast the unwavering spirit, quality, and craftsmanship that have brought us this far. I am con dent that this is just the beginning of our journey and I look forward to many more successful ventures in partnership with the remarkable team at PR%F. Cheers!”

Glassware for Serious Whiskey Drinkers

Part 3:

Modern Science Changes the Way the World Drinks

One of these things is not like the others...

33 the science of spirits Magazine PR%F the THE

Science Addresses Problems Using Tulips:

The tulip has required much adaptation in drinking procedures (see Part 1) to avoid pungent, nosenumbing ethanol. These procedures are taught by industry executives, brand ambassadors, expert credential certification, and hospitality college curriculum courses. A scientific rebuttal follows the procedure:

1. Don’t swirl. Swirling is the “engine” that powers evaporation. Swirling breaks the surface tension and releases aromas; that’s exactly why wine drinkers swirl. Narrow bowls restrict swirling, narrow rims restrict larger mass molecules from reaching the rim for detection. Wide rims, short height, and fat bowls mean better swirling.

2. Breathe through mouth and nose simultaneously. Mouth intake is air only, with no spirit aromas; the nose detects aromas. Lower inhale velocities result in lower nose ethanol and fewer aromas. If ethanol wasn’t present, inhaling through the nose only with (mouth closed) maximizes olfactory aroma exposure. Close the mouth, and use a glass that does not concentrate ethanol at the nose to get the best experience.

3. Add a little water. Most common spirits are 40% ABV (ethanol alcohol by volume). Water and character molecules make up 60% of the spirit volume. Ethanol is the most volatile component and evaporates the quickest. Water has a higher surface tension and shuts down all aroma evaporation, giving a false impression that it “opened up” the spirit because the pungency is gone. Further complicating the issue, blenders add a lot of water (more than 1 ounce of water to 1 ounce of spirit) to prevent nose numbing and avoid distracting pungency. That high ratio changes the spirit’s aroma profile. All because no one will search for a better glass.

4. Don’t smell orthonasally. Although many avoid ortho-nasal to escape pungency with tulips, it does alleviate anxiety by confirming the sample is safe to ingest and also sets expectations for the palate tasting.

5. Repeatedly waft aromas toward the nose as glass approaches the nose to acclimate. Wafting or “shaking hands” gradual introduction may acclimate to pungency but does not decrease ethanol olfactory effects, and the sense of smell stealthily degrades with every sniff from tulips without warning.

34 the science of spirits THE SCIENCE OF SPIRITS
Glass shape controls olfactory perception and may affect social attitudes. The spirits industry still ignores at least 20 years of sensory science. Application of sensory, physical, and chemical sciences definitely improves spirits drinking enjoyment, consumer perception and has the potential to improve quality.

These “crutches” to avoid ethanol pungency would never exist had tulip suitability been questioned early on, but what were the alternatives? Worse than tulips, snifters are the ideal glass for “huffing” ethanol for a quick “high.” The centuries-old openrim Scottish quaich (pronounced quake) and the Oaxaca gourd cuppa dissipated ethanol well, as do martini and cocktail glasses. Within traditional glass shapes, a large, widemouth tumbler is best and swirls well. The only scientifically engineered shape is NEAT, specifically designed to divert ethanol and enhance aroma detection, identification, and discrimination.

NEAT (Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology) Science:

NEAT employs Graham’s Law of Gaseous Diffusion to separate pungent, low-mass ethanol from high-mass flavor aromas. Passing aromas through an orifice (neck) increases ethanol separation and dispersion. Yellow (ethanol) is bad on the nose, and Orange is good. Other benefits include:

• Wide bowl, engineered to produce better swirling and aroma release

• Rim size places nostrils at the rim plane center with lips on the rim, avoiding ethanol. No more tiny rim/nose bumps.

• Short height gets the nose closer to the source of evaporation.

• The orifice “neck” forces aromas closer together to create dispersal and separation.

• Large, flared rim controls ethanol dissipation to the rim, greatly reducing pungency and displaying more intense, ethanol-free flavor/character aromas for critical evaluation and identification. No more pungency or nose burn.

• Blenders no longer have to alter the aroma profile to avoid pungency.

• The elite version includes a heavy base heat sink for improved temperature control and handling.

35 Magazine PR%F the the science of spirits


The necessary “hump” in the glass coupled with the wide rim flare can dribble if not mastered (similar to martini glass), a small price to pay for the greater benefit of enjoying neat spirits without pungent, nosenumbing ethanol. Spirits buyers seldom detect subtle differences in tulip glasses. With NEAT, aged, rare, and cask-strength spirits are at their best. NEAT is the official judging Glass of over 40 International spirits judging competitions annually. Since 2013, over 200,000 spirits have been judged, and 80,000 quality medals have been awarded.


The NEAT glass exposes the character and quality (good or bad) of all spirits, contributes to a more knowledgeable consumer and improves gender equity, for the benefit of the industry and consume

Time for a cool change. Being a club member has its advantages, and serious whiskey drinkers need the best diagnostic glass. Serious whiskey drinkers can be both.

36 the science of spirits
George F Manska, CR&D, Arsilica, Inc., is a published sensory science researcher, and entrepreneur. BSME, NEAT glass coinventors with a mission to replace myths and misinformation with scientific truth through consumer education. Contact George: 702.332.7305. Visit for more info.
George F Manska

PR%F AWARDS judges are key buyers and decision makers in the spirits/wine industries and come from different facts of the industry: distributors, retail, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, resorts, airlines, liquor stores, box chains, and online distrubtors.

Enter your SKU and automatically be entered 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.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get your brand in front of our many judges - all beverage buyers from across the US.

What Our Winners

have to say...


"Competing in the PR%F Awards has been one of the best business decisions I have made. The judging panel is made up of leaders in this industry, so having the chance to showcase our craft spirits & RTD was a game changer. Being the owner of a small distillery in Northern Michigan, it can be hard to be noticed. Winning multiple Double Gold Medals gave us the notoriety we needed to expand the reach of our brand. It helped us get into chains like Meijer and pick up new distributors. I will forever thankful for the PR%F Awards and their recognition that helped my distillery skyrocket to one of the top distilleries in the MidWest."

The Color of Wine by

40 the color of wine by urbanvino

Summer vibes bring out the best in UrbanVino.

What an epic summer it's been! We're all about celebrating the coolest wine brands; this time, we're thrilled to introduce the game-changing UrbanVino Grand Cuvée. Crafting this gem took nearly a year, which was worth the wait! Who knew we needed sparkling wine for celebrations, Sunday sips, and poolside chilling all day?

Our commitment was simple: this wine had to rock and be a total crowd-pleaser. Teaming up with our brilliant winemaker, we sourced the finest California fruit and added a dash of surprise dosage, resulting in a phenomenal blend. The nose is a fruity dance that playfully teases your senses with juicy vibes, while the taste is just the right level of "not too sweet, but ohso-pleasing," thanks to the South African Muscat grape in our blend. UrbanVino is the sparkling superstar to keep the fun flowing year-round. We kicked things off with a bang, launching it right in my hometown on the 4th of July, and the response was off the charts! Now, we're expanding within California and soon to Nevada.

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41 the

But the real wine adventure kicked in at the Aspen Food and Wine Festival in Colorado! Picture this: Hotel Jerome, an Auberge property, hosted the mindblowing Epicurean Passport Weekend. It was a full culinary extravaganza with activations and immersive experiences from the likes of McCallan Whiskey, superstar winemakers, and chefs. Chef Tim Hollingsworth and a band of Sommeliers from French Laundry treated us to an unforgettable dinner and wine selection filled with laughter and stories from the back of the house. The Black on Black Dinner

Hosted by Dlynn Proctor and Wine Unify was all about wine legends like D. Wade, Carmelo Anthony, E-40 (Earl Stevens’ Selections), CJ McCullum, and champagne by B. Stuyvesant and Andre Mack wines. We shared unforgettable moments of brotherhood, connection, and awe at the strides our industry has made while acknowledging the shared challenges wine creators of color face.

Yours truly got to host the swanky VIP lounge, a chic hideaway where tastemakers gathered for interviews, chats, and plenty of delicious libations all weekend long. On Sunday, we wrapped things up with a soulful brunch at the glamorous Aspen

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wine by urbanvino

Resort, owned by none other than the fabulous Salamander Hotels and Sheila Johnson. We indulged in sips from McBride Sisters and Flo Wines (courtesy of the talented jazz musician Marcus Johnson) while savoring delectable bites from award winning and television personality chef JJ Johnson, and many other culinary geniuses. It's a thrill to

witness the wine world becoming more colorful, inclusive, and diverse, with seats at the table for everyone.

Summer's far from over—it is just getting started! The adventures, flavors, and good times are flowing, and we can't wait to share more of the joy UrbanVino brings! Raise your glasses and toast to the coolest summer wine! Cheers! 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.

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.

UrbanVino Grand Cuvee is available at

Magazine PR%F the 43 the color of wine by urbanvino

Don’t miss the opportunity to get your brand in front of our many judges - all beverage buyers from across the US.

Enter today at

PR%F AWARDS judges are key buyers and decision makers in the spirits/wine industries and come from different facts of the industry: distributors, retail, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, resorts, airlines, liquor stores, box chains, and online distrubtors.

Enter your SKU and automatically be entered 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.

PR%F AWARDS judges are key buyers and decision makers in the spirits/wine industries and come from different facts of the industry: distributors, retail, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, resorts, airlines, liquor stores, box chains, and online distrubtors.

Enter your SKU and automatically be entered 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.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get your brand in front of our many judges - all beverage buyers from across the US.

What Our Winners

have to say...

“With our having received so many awards from the team at PR%F, it’s obvious this panel of experts are true spirit a cionados.

Highclere Castle Gin is well on its way to becoming the most awarded gin in the world due to PR%F’s commitment to recognizing authentic, well produced brands.”


The Ordinary Fellow Wine brings a unique taste without the snobbery

48 wine for everyone

Mostwine enthusiasts had only tasted The Ordinary Fellow Wine in their tasting room located in Palisade, Colorado before a virtual tasting was held earlier this year. This is not about wine snobbery but founder and winemaker Ben Parsons sharing his genuine love of his wine.

He has also been a disrupter in the wine industry, opening Infinite Monkey Theorem as an urban winery in Denver and putting wine in kegs and cans. While living and enjoying living in a metropolitan area, Ben would leave in 2019.

Now a family man, Ben decided to move to Palisade, located on the western slope of Colorado, as a place to raise his family as well as create his wine, The Ordinary Fellow. There are several ironies in that this is where he first began when he first relocated to the United States right before 9/11 and then moved before the pandemic in 2020.

“The western slope is desert and sparsely populated, so we moved to one the best parts of the country during this period. I found this old peach-packing facility that was used in the early 20th century and converted it into a winery. I took over a vineyard in southwest Colorado in Cortez, about 200 miles southwest of Palisade. It was in disrepair, and I brought it back to life,” says Ben.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Ben started his career in the wine industry first in the UK after graduating college. He would continue his studies in wine and winemaking, moving to Australia to pursue his graduate degree in Oenology (also known as Enology) from The University of Adelaide.

While finishing a harvest in New Zealand, Ben would read about a job opening for a winemaker in Palisade, Colorado.

“I didn’t know there were wineries in Colorado,” he explained. Looking for new opportunities, Ben applied and was offered the job three days later; no interview was needed. He moved from London to Grand Junction, Colorado, on Sept. 9, 2001, facing even more challenges.

49 Magazine PR%F the wine for everyone

“Now there are 14 acres growing grapes for cabernet, chardonnay, and sauvignon at 6,200 feet looking over Mesa Verde and sits on the foothills of the Sleeping Ute Mountains in the national Yucca House monument.”

The vineyard features pottery shards and unexcavated areas adding magic to its harvest. “This was an opportunity to get back into the vineyard and control every part of the process instead of buying grapes from growers and converting them into my own wine.”

The Ordinary Fellow was first launched in October 2021, named after a favorite old English pub that Ben would enjoy with his father in Kent. “It was a comfortable place to hang out and have a few beers after work. We would chat, and everything would be alright. I was reminded of the place when I looked at my wall, and I had framed the pub cards that my father had collected in the 1960s. I had such fond memories and decided to call my brand The Ordinary Fellow.”

As a trendsetter, he also made certain the packaging was unique. The outer sleeve rotates, and the opening invites the customer to peer into the mind of The Ordinary Fellow. The images highlight Ben’s childhood, background, hobbies, travel, and life. There is a story on the under-label about Ben’s camping and meeting a bear. Another label then highlights the tasting notes.

The summer months are the busiest, with many travelers choosing the area as a vacation destination and experience its wine. Located on the historic United Fruit Growers COOP peach packing shed site, enthusiasts come to the transformed The Ordinary Fellow Winery & Tasting Room.

Ben also kept his process and now offers others to Adopt A Barrel of Wine. Customers can work with a winemaker to hand-select a barrel of their choosing. They can periodically stop in to taste the wine as it ages and participate in bottling and labeling, and each barrel contains 24 cases of wine.

Wines are available online at theordinarywine. com and follow on Facebook @ TheOrdinaryFellow and Instagram @ ordinaryfellowwines.

50 wine for everyone

2022 Pinot Noir

Alcohol 13.6%

pH 3.4

Titratable Acid 6.5gl

Bottling Date 6/1/2022

Interwoven with cranberry, strawberry, and darker berry undertones, with a tart, savory edge of black tea and forest floor. The oak is prominent and spiced, adding hints of toffee and richness.

2021 Riesling

Alcohol 12.6%

pH 3.01

Titratable Acid 8.5gl

Bottling Date 2/1/22

Citrus, green apple, lemon peel, and anise on the nose. Mouthwatering acidity with an appealing quince flavor that persists through the long finish.

2020 Syrah Rosé

Alcohol 12.8%

pH 3.4

Titratable Acid 6.5

Bottling Date 9/1/21

Pretty pale pink in color. Aromas of watermelon, strawberry, and wet stone. This wine is crisp and tangy with great natural acidity.

2020 Sparkling Rosé

Alcohol 12.3%

pH 3.05

Titratable Acid 8.1

Bottling Date 5/4/21

A traditional method of sparkling wine is the color of a ballerina’s slippers. It opens with delicate aromas of fresh strawberry and dried rose petals backed by richer ones like baker’s yeast. The palate is wonderfully refreshing, with bubbles that prickle and bounce over the whole tongue.

2021 Chardonnay

Alcohol 13.2%

pH 3.4

Titratable Acid 6.7

Bottling Date 6/2/2022

White peach and Meyer lemon on the nose, this Chardonnay is lean and focused with a mineral core and great natural acidity.

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol 13.6%

pH 3.48

Titratable Acid 6.2

Bottling Date 2/1/22

On the nose, bright red cherry, green bell pepper, iron, leather, and clove. On the palate, tannins are chalky, grippy, and firm.

Magazine PR%F the wine for everyone 51


Nearly 200 Exhibitors, 50 Education Seminars, and the Most Extensive Global Representation in the Show's History

Bar Convent Brooklyn, the premier trade show for the beverage industry, celebrated its highly anticipated two-day event on June 13 and 14, marking another extraordinary year of innovation, networking, and inspiration. Returning to Brooklyn’s Industry City, the event proved to be an unparalleled platform for participants to discover the latest industry trends, gain invaluable sights, and forge meaningful connections within the thriving beverage community.

Enjoyed by more than 4,500 industry professionals, this year’s Bar Convent Brooklyn proved to be the most significant event to date. The fully soldout show floor featured 198 brands from 51 countries, and 46 domestic states, 121 speakers for 55 education sessions, and 475,000 drinks and spirits sampled poured over the course of the event. Bar Convent Brooklyn offered a comprehensive overview of the ever-evolving beverage landscape, from craft spirits and artisanal wines to cutting-edge bar

equipment and sustainable packaging solutions.

“Bar Convent Brooklyn continues to raise the bar with each passing year,” said Jackie Williams, Event Director for Bar Convent Brooklyn. “The event offers an essential platform for professionals to come together, share knowledge, and shape the future of our industry. We were excited to welcome everyone back to Industry City, as it once again provided the perfect location to host this dynamic group of exhibitors, attendees, and speakers. ”

Each year, Bar Convent Brooklyn’s revolving education committee cultivates an inspiring roster of sessions for attendees, focusing on the latest trends, classic spirits and cocktails, new and exciting brands, and much more. The 2023 event was collaboratively led by Bar Convent Brooklyn’s Head of Education, Lynnette Marrero, Co-Founder of Speed Rack, Master Class host, and

award-winning bartender, Liquid Creative Director Aplós, and Partner and Chief Mixologist, Delola. The talented and diverse array of industry professionals make up the education committee and featured 52 percent more programming, resulting in 55 total sessions, all of which were incredibly well attended.

A common theme during this year’s show was rum and the Caribbean. “Caribbean Drink Culture Medicine, Myths & Music,” hosted by Kiowa Bryan, Alexander Kong, and Sly Augustin, explored how alcohol, and rum specifically, is used as a form of escapism and to foster community, while Ian Burrell’s “Should Rum Fall Victim to Cancel Culture,” took a deep dive into the controversial past of the rum industry. Despite previous transgressions, the rum industry creates millions of jobs in the Caribbean and is valued at $2.5 billion, with expectations only to continue growing.

54 bar convent brooklyn 2023
55 Magazine PR%F the bar convent brooklyn 2023
56 the team bar convent brooklyn 2023

Workplace well-being and safety were other essential topics. Amie Ward’s “Creating Safe Hospitality Spaces” discussed several tangible and accessible ways to help lower sexual assault statistics. “Sustainability and Workplace Wellbeing: The Role and Importance of Meaning Making,“ led by Jessica Pomerantz and Laura Louise Green, focused on the importance of investing in employees through human sustainability. Staff that works in spaces that engage in programs rooted in mental health, social justice missions, and values are recorded to have improved well-being, resulting in an estimated increased value of $3,000 per employee.

The Liquid Lounges introduced guests to several new and lesser-known spirits.

• Dan Nicolescu’s “Which Cognacs for Which Cocktails,”

• Don Lee’s “Sweet As Sugar: Koji in Spirits and Cocktails,”

• Jean-Francois Bonnete’s and Pierre Martin Neuhaus’ “Terroirs de France: Calvados, Armanac & Rhum Agricole de la Martinique!”

• “WTF is Singani: Bringing the Newest Spirit Category to the United States,” hosted by Steven Soderbergh, Ivy Mix and Luis Pablo Granier.

Bar Convent Brooklyn 2023 received overwhelming praise from participants and exhibitors alike. “I had such a great time this year at Bar Convent Brooklyn. It surpassed every expectation I had! This year was the best year yet and the energy was at an all-time high. I discovered so many exciting new brands and enjoyed being able to see all of my old favorites. Really looking forward to next year already,” said freelance writer Jared Ranahan.

Following the tremendous success of this year's event, the organizers are already gearing up for an even more remarkable Bar Convent Brooklyn in 2024. The next edition is scheduled for June 11-12, 2024, and promises to introduce fresh concepts, immersive experiences, and unparalleled opportunities for industry professionals.

For more information and to stay updated on the latest news and developments, visit the official Bar Convent Brooklyn website at www. and follow along on social at @barconventbrooklyn.

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities, and organizations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products, and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about positively impacting society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

• 198 exhibitors from 51 countries and 46 domestic states

• 55 education sessions with 121 speakers

• 475,000 drinks and spirits samples poured over two days

• 4,500 attendees

57 Magazine PR%F the bar convent brooklyn 2023

What Our Winners

have to say...


"22 Salute™ Spirits & Co ee ‘With a Purpose’™ sincerely appreciates the opportunities and support provided by the PR%F Awards and the esteemed individuals involved. Winning two silver medals within our rst 60 days was an incredible honor for us. The recognition has allowed us to build valuable connections and make a positive impact on the lives of Veterans and First Responders. We can’t wait to participate in the 2023 PR%F Awards later this year!"

22 Salute™ Spirits & Coffee 'With a Purpose'™

handcrafted, apple-based spirits: upstate vodka


Upstate Vodka, kosher and gluten-free certified, produces a unique spirit.

Upstate Vodka is very traditional and unique for handcrafted, apple-based spirits. The final product is not “flavored,” but the apple base does lend a wonderful mouthfeel and a nice hint of fruit on the back end of the palate. It is also kosher and gluten-free certified for an extraordinary spirit.

The fruits of their labor can be tasted in every bottle of Upstate Vodka. Part science, part art, using locally-grown apples; they take the time and a hands-on approach to make the finest quality vodka every time. It is with pride that Sauvage Distillery produces a small batch of truly handcrafted agricultural products.

The Catskill watershed is only the source of high-quality local water used in Upstate Vodka. In the county where Upstate Vodka is produced, the Schoharie Reservoir was added to the Catskill system in 1926. This adds to the flavor and freshness of the spirit.

Sauvage was originally an apple cider company. In 2018, Ken Wortz, the head distiller, and his son Kyle Wortz (currently one of the distillers at High West Distillery) joined

59 Magazine PR%F the

the Sauvage team and worked on the Upstate Vodka to come up with quality vodka with a smooth finish.

Originally, Sauvage started in Oneonta, New York, in a 2,000-square-foot building space with only 460 square feet allocated for vodka production, where they produced the spirit in a small 150-gallon single-column still. In 2020, Sauvage Distillery acquired the distillery from Kymar Farm Distillery in Charlotteville, New York, where Upstate Vodka is fermented, distilled, and bottled under one roof.

“We wanted to bring innovation to the market by producing vodka from apples while maintaining the unflavored profile. This way it can be used for a wide variety of cocktails and can be enjoyed straight,” explains Ken.

New York is the second biggest appleproducing state, also known as “the Big

Apple.” Upstate Vodka is made from what the state and region are known for which are apples. Sauvage is proud to support local agriculture and farms.

As for being kosher, it is important for his company to produce kosher products because of its close ties to the kosher community. Their first accounts were kosher liquor stores, and currently, they have a big presence in the kosher market. They are distributed in New York and New Jersey by one of the biggest kosher distributors, Royal Wine Corp. Sauvage also produces an Upstate Vodka special batch for Passover, which is one of the fastest-growing Passover spirits in the United States.

Upstate Vodka is currently distributed in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, and Illinois. They are working to expand the distribution footprint to create wider access to Upstate Vodka. They also ship to most of the United States if the purchase is made on their website. For more info, visit and Follow on Facebook @ Upstate Vodka and Instagram @ upstatevodka.

handcrafted, apple-based spirits: upstate vodka

handcrafted, apple-based spirits: upstate vodka


• Product name: Upstate Vodka

• Distillery Name: Sauvage Distillery

• Distillery type: Farm Distillery

• Category: Vodka

• Origin: Schoharie County, New York

• Distiller: Ken Wortz, whose background is in whiskey and brandy.

• Certifications: Kosher by OK, Gluten-Free by GFCO

• Category: Craft

• Bottle size available: 375ml and 750ml

• Designer: Stranger & Stranger

• Flavor/Odor: Flavorless/Odorless

• Tasting note: Slightly sweet pre-taste with a hint of an apple.

• Main points: around 75 apples in each bottle of 750ml. Award-winning.

• Fermentation of juice: 4-6 weeks (several times longer than grain-based vodka).

What Our Winners

have to say...

“Mr. Tequila”

Juan Bonilla, CEO

Juan Bonilla Imports


“I care about having high quality products and it's inspiring to me when experts recognize them. Thanks to PR%F Awards for being professionals and true experts passionate about spirits, you are a great and empowering competition.”

What Our Winners

have to say...

“I was thrilled to learn of our Century award from PR%F, but when I found out that 70+ of the 80 judges who are experts scored us 100 points I was truly blown away. Wow, not sure I can put in words how that makes us feel about entering this business. Pair that with the honor of being interviewed by Jennifer English. Martha and I can’t express how proud this recognition from PR%F makes us feel.”



The PR%F Awards

Great spirits flowed together in camaraderie and unique tastings when spirit industry leaders gathered to judge the PR%F Awards 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019. Officially named the world’s largest spirits and wine competition in the US, PR%F Awards 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 four years of incredible tastings, new partnerships and the fun of Las Vegas with more to come.


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