The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2016

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Page 90 of 148

90  /  the tasting panel  /  january-february 2016 DEPARTMENT HEADER U nless you've been mixing your Martinis in a sub under the polar icecap, you know that artisanal spirits and craft cocktails are the order of the day. The era of one-size-fits-all well drinks made with run-of-the-mill liquor is as over as yesterday's news cycle. Long Island–based importer Palm Bay International—well-known for a diverse portfolio of international wines and spirits that spans the gamut, literally, from A to Z—has kept a firm finger on the racing pulse of today's crafts spirits movement, supplying artisanal spirits that present savvy mixologists with superb cocktail opportunities and retailers with return customers. And this year, Palm Bay is raising the bar even higher with innovative new introductions that, given the three-generation importer's track record, will become as de rigueur as swizzle sticks on backbars across the country. Retail consumer interest, too, should be sparked by these products' fascinating backstories and class-leading shelf presence. Thanks to Palm Bay's deep knowledge of the marketplace, relation- ships and history of building brands (see our sidebar company profile with President and CEO Marc Taub), the current globe-spanning portfolio includes Alexander Grappa from Italy, Boulard Calvados from France, Darnley's View London Dry Gin and Wemyss Scotch Malt from the U.K., Dry Sack Sherry from Spain and Los Amantes Mezcal from Mexico. The revolutionary French whisky Bastille 1789 defines a whole new category of brown spirits, while luxurious Bauchant Orange Liqueur is based on fine aged brandies from Cognac. Double-aged rum Dos Maderas is produced in the Caribbean and aged in Jerez, Spain. And don't forget the iconic vermouths Cinzano and Boissière. In other words, Palm Bay offers craft spirit lovers an entire world of possibilities. But the best may be yet to come. Indeed, 2016 promises to be a banner year for Palm Bay, with the scheduled introduction of an array of new craft spirits that squarely put the art in artisanal. Here's a look at four of them, all of which will roll out on February 1. At Tanner Smith's in New York City, mixologist Kevin Doherty uses Palm Bay International's Los Amantes Mezcal in his South of the Border cocktail. Cra Cra Work PALM BAY INTERNATIONAL UPS THE ANTE FOR ARTISANAL SPIRITS by David Gadd PHOTO: EVAN SUNG

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