The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2010

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Page 94 of 96

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the H-Bomb by Jim Kharouf / photos by Tori Soper If only Dr. Strangelove were around for this. HARLEM Kruiden Liqueur, introduced primarily to bars and clubs in September 2009 as a new chilled, dark digestif spirit, has quickly grabbed a foothold in the shots category. Created by the Nolet family, who make Ketel One vodka, HARLEM has found a home in Chicago at bars like McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon. Adam Garvanian, General Manager of McFadden’s, says the Irish pub hit a home run six months ago when his staff developed the H-Bomb, a combination of HARLEM and Red Bull Energy Drink. “Bombs are kind of the latest fad, and McFadden’s was the first to come up with the H-Bomb,” Garvanian says. “After that, it took off.” Now it’s their signature shot every Wednesday when H-Bombs account for 50 to 60 percent of the shots purchased at McFadden’s, located just around the corner from Chicago’s bar-o-palooza on Rush Street. McFadden’s Director of Marketing and Events, Elizabeth Smith, plays bartender and pours HARLEM shots. Garvanian says the new bomb is the result of two things—his staff learning about HARLEM, and then passing along that knowledge to its customer-base, made up largely of young professionals in their lower 20s to upper 30s. “The staff is where all of this stems from, because we put a lot of education into it,” Garvanian says. “If people ask questions, you don’t want to say ‘Well, it’s a new prod- uct.’ Our bartenders and servers have a lot more information behind it. Once people get a taste of it, they are going to come back for more. It’s the product that sells itself.” HARLEM is often compared to dark digestive spirits from Germany, Hungary, Denmark and other European nations. Yet Nolet’s complex liqueur, which features a finishing taste of orange zest, has found a strong following at establishments such as McFadden’s. Mike Mallory, Regional Sales Manager, Central Division for Nolet Spirits U.S.A., says the Dutch-made HARLEM has grown to more than 300 accounts in the Chicago area in its first nine months. “Just knowing that it comes from the Nolet family, which makes Ketel One, gives it its quality stamp,” Mallory says. Garvanian says that his staff continues to develop new HARLEM-based recipes each month, but “We’ll never get rid of the H-Bomb.” 94 / the tasting panel / july 2010 HARLEM SHOT OF THE MONTH

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