April showers bring May flowers...but what do May flowers bring?
Pilgrims! (sorry…couldn’t resist!)
With summer fast-approaching, you can probably already feel the sand between your toes… the cool ocean breeze on your face… the condensation of a chilled drink slowly slinking down your glass as you sip…
But don’t lose yourself in island living just yet, because here on the mainland, the bustle of the booze business never slows… and you don’t want to get left behind, do you? Keep reading to find out what you might have missed while you’ve been taking in those ocean views in our May industry news.
After a year of reduced drinking worldwide in 2016, the practice (or shall we say “skill?”) was on the up and up again in 2017 — thanks in large part to cider. Last year, the world’s drinkers went wild for beer’s fruity, flavorful cousin, buying 2.5 percent more than they had previously. That’s a difference of 6.3 million 9-liter cases, with only wine selling better! (And that’s mostly because of renewed interest in Prosecco and sparkling beverages.) Together, cider and wine helped increase total global alcohol consumption by 3.5 million cases, according to reporting from The Drinks Business, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the summer season. Members of the millennial generation have recently turned toward cider as a drink of choice, a decision which brewers like Strongbow and Angry Orchard have leapt to accommodate. Angry Orchard, for example, is currently reaping the fruits of its labor in developing a mild pink rosé cider — 2018’s drink of the summer.
Where there’s cheese, there’s whey, the watery leftovers that result from milk beginning to form curds. And while you might think that sounds… well… gross, you could be seeing it in your Moscow mule sometime soon, and it’s all because some domestic creameries are looking to reduce their environmental impact. According to reporting from an Oregon NBC affiliate, 90 percent of the milk that goes into making cheese comes out as whey, which can be expensive to dispose of and may harm the environment. Luckily, a potential answer comes in the form of a good old college staple — vodka. By partnering with local distilleries, Oregon State professor Lisbeth Goddik told the KTVZ station, “there is a significant reduction of greenhouse gases, and the creameries have the potential to also boost their revenue.” While some companies are already fermenting the whey, researchers are still experimenting with how the resulting spirits might taste.
Want to have your boozy cake and eat it, too? A Mechanicsville, Virginia, baker made famous for her alcohol-infused desserts is getting ready to open a new space — and with that may come a whole host of frisky new flavors. Per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Rachel Bolling and husband Matt have been baking booze into creative cupcakes (orange-vodka buttercream, anyone?) since 2016, when their business started partnering with a number of local VA breweries and distilleries. The result? Twelve signature cakes and more than 60 special orders and remixes based off individual alcohol suppliers. All of the cupcakes contain less than .5 percent alcohol (though recently passed legislation will allow that number to climb as high as 5 percent), and classic flavor profiles include Blue Moon (made with Blue Moon beer, orange juice, and topped with triple sec and an orange-vodka buttercream), Godiva Hennessy (cake made with chocolate liqueur and Hennessy-infused vanilla frosting), Mudslide, Peach Bellini, Limoncello, and so many more. With that new legislation in mind, there’s no telling how many more spirited snacks we may see next.