Archive for June, 2011
By now, almost everyone has seen and had a chance to partake of the many cold-activated beer cans. Here is something a little different — a cold-activated spirits bottle.
Box 19 of the approval for Metropolis says: “Labels contain thermochromatic ink – the cityscape will change when temperatures increase/decrease.” The label goes a bit further, to say “Chill your bottle to light up the night. Label changes when chilled.” Metropolis also has approvals for gin and vodka.
Chromatic Technologies, Inc. explains that such inks change color as their temperature changes. “Our thermochromic inks all work the same way … below the activation temperature they are colored and above the activation temperature they are clear or lightly colored. As the ink cools, the original color returns.”
B&H Colour Change Ltd. also claims to be a world leader in thermochromic printing and further explains:
The whole label or a small part will change colour at a selected temperature to show when the beverage is the correct temperature for serving/drinking. Bottle shrink sleeves can be preprinted with thermochromic inks prior to sleeving. Board packaging for take-home multipacks can be printed with thermochromic ink, to encourage consumers to chill them in the fridge.
Just last week we showed various chocolate wines, to underscore the movement toward “The Dessertification of Beverages.” Nathan added a comment, asking how long until a convergence between spirits and ice cream. Within the same week, TTB approved a line of ice cream products, with about as much alcohol content as a light beer. snoBaR is made by Brothers International Desserts, of Irvine, California. Brothers seems to be mainly an ice cream company, more than a spirits company. So far, Brothers has approvals for Pink Squirrel (with brandy and amaretto, as above), Grasshopper (with brandy and creme de menthe), and Brandy Alexander (with brandy and creme de cocoa). All of them are about 4% alc./vol. — a fair amount more than the rum raisin ice creams of an earlier era. Baskin-Robbins tends to suggest that their Rum Raisin is made with little if any rum, while Häagen-Dazs suggests that at least a little rum is used.
Congratulations to Clever Imports for propelling ChocoVine into one of the biggest trends across wine and spirits in recent years. The brand seems to be growing at well over 100% per year, and at about 1 million cases per year, may just be getting going, in view of the recent deal with The Wine Group. ChocoVine is wine with chocolate and cream; it is produced in Holland by DeKuyper.
At first, many people spoke snidely of ChocoVine, suggesting that grape wine is not the best match with chocolate flavors. But, to a large extent, this condescension has been overshadowed by admiration, purchasing, and emulators. Chocolais is one example of a chocolate flavored wine that has hastened down the path cleared by Steve Katz at Clever. But there are well more than a handful of other, substantially similar examples, such as this one. TTB approved the first ChocoVine label in 2007. Three years later, TTB approved the first Chocolais label and the first Choco Noir label, both in November of 2010.
A bit further afield from ChocoVine, hundreds of other examples continue to accrue, further showing tremendous momentum behind a trend toward the dessertification of beverages. Here we have Pineapple Upside Down Cake Liqueur, various alcohol infused whipped creams, and cupcake flavored vodka. Let us know of other examples and what you think.
I can find plenty of alcohol beverages made in Romania, for example, from the above lookup at TTB’s website. But I can’t find anything from Saudi Arabia.
Oh yes, it’s easy to say that Saudi Arabia is a major, majority-Muslim country and so I should not expect to find a single drop of alcohol beverages flowing out from or in to that country. Wikipedia says no less than 100% of the population is Muslim.
On the other hand, Turkey has far more Muslims, at 99% of the population — and no less than 370 label approvals in the TTB database. A recent wine approval is here.
Indonesia has more Muslims than any other country and also has about 25 label approvals in the database. Here is Panther Beer.
Rounding out the top 14 Muslim countries, the following countries (in addition to Saudi Arabia) do not even have a TTB lookup code: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sudan. Some of these countries are so strict that not even soy sauce or vanilla extract is tolerated.