The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2010

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Page 102 of 104

three Venues, One Shot “It’s HaRlem takeS HOld IN deNtON, teXaS by Anthony Head / photos by Kirk Weddle different from everything out there. The quality is built in, so the customer is really going to like it—and I think we can get behind it and maybe come up with some kind of signature drink for all three places. That would be pretty unique.” That’s Martin Bruno, partner at Cool Beans, talking about HARLEM Kruiden Liqueur, the new herbal shot from Nolet Spirits USA. While HARLEM is a fairly recent arrival in Denton, Texas, just north of Fort Worth, it’s beginning to take off in this college town. One reason is that Cool Beans works closely with two other bars on the same block, Riprocks and Lucky Lou’s, and this power-of-three relationship is good news for any brand the trio grows fond of. Like HARLEM. It’s a singular product— complex and citrusy with an appealing cinnamon sizzle. Enjoyed often on its own, HARLEM’s fl avor profi le also lends itself to the clever “bomb” category and other shot combinations. “Getting behind the brand was easy because of the quality,” says Gayla Hooten, partner at Riprocks, who has noticed HARLEM’s growing popularity at all three clubs. “It’s a competitive relationship, where the businesses feed off each other. We’re a very cohesive group, so we pick up on outside infl uences and try to take them to the next level.” Lou Delaney, managing partner at Lucky Lou’s, agrees: “It’s customer-driven. If a customer has a great experience with HARLEM here, she may go over to Riprocks and tell their bartender about it. I like that.” Currently, the bawdy but good-natured Dutch Slut shot (peach schnapps, HARLEM, cranberry juice), named in honor of the brand’s roots in Holland, is making the rounds at all three locations. Lucky Lou’s is also popularizing the Drive-By (drop a shot of HARLEM in a glass of energy drink, add a splash of pineapple juice, fi nish with grenadine), which is now bound to be requested elsewhere too. HARLEM Kruiden Liqueur on the bar at Cool Beans in Denton, Texas. 102 / the tasting panel / august 2010 “I think customers get a new HARLEM recipe and help it transfer from bar to bar,” says Delaney. “And we’re all paying attention. We listen to our bartenders just like the customers do.”

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