DISCUS President Touts Industry Recovery at NCB Show

Dr. Peter Cressy, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), delivered a keynote address at the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, held March 12-14 in Las Vegas, focusing on accelerating recovery and overcoming obstacles in the beverage market. According to Cressy, the beverage and hospitality industries have reason to be cautiously optimistic. Spirits volume also was on the rise in 2011, up 2.9% (in terms of 9-liter case shipments). These increases in volume led directly to an upswing in spirits revenues of 6.3%, which translated to $20.3 billion. In 2011, the industry enjoyed a return to pre-recession levels, reaching on-premise spirits sales of $36.3 billion. For more details on the beverage-industry recovery, click here.

Peter Cressy

Earlier this month, Campari announced the first-ever "Best Aperitivo" Cocktail Competition, a national contest held in partnership with the U.S. Bartenders' Guild to find the best drinks made with the Italian aperitif. Regional mix-offs are being held across the United States from March 15 to April 15, with finalists earning a trip to New York City to compete at the final competition during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in May.

As reported by the Phoenix New Times, Casablanca Lounge in Scottsdale, Ariz., played host to the bartenders competing for the chance to represent Arizona. Judging was intense: Former GQ bartender of the year Jason Asher sat directly across from the bartenders to judge technique in measuring, pouring and handling bottles, glasses and themselves. Working within a time limit, bartenders crafted three identical cocktails, which were then brought to a separate room where judges rated them appearance, aroma and flavor.

Top honors went to Tony Tuttle, bar manager at Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center, who only recently began refocusing on serving drinks after spending time in a managerial position.

"I missed the bar so much that I started getting into learning more cocktails and classic recipes," Tuttle says. "I've been reading a lot of books, making my own tinctures."

Diageo World Class, an international bartender program, is premiering in the United States. Launching in conjunction with the U.S. Bartenders' Guild, World Class US will give one bartender the opportunity to become the first-ever U.S. representative to participate in the Global World Class final in Brazil this July. Interested participants can visit www.DiageoWorldClassUSA.com, which will serve as the central hub for the program. Here, interested parties can access three World Class training modules and check out all of the details behind the program, which will culminate on June 19. The World Class US Finale in New York City will bring together 20 of the nation's top bartending talents to be judged by cocktail luminaries Tony Abou-Ganim, Jim Meehan, Julie Reiner and Steve Olson.

Unleash your inner tattoo artist and submit a temporary tattoo design for a chance to get it produced and applied at Flavorpill’s Pop-up Tattoo Parlor at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic opening night Gala at The New York Public Library on May 11. Not only will the winner’s tattoo designs grace the knuckles, biceps, shoulder blades and lower backs of our most distinguished Gala attendees, he or she will receive two free tickets to the sold-out Gala and an interview plus promotion on Flavorwire. Submissions can be made here. All submissions must be entered by April 13.

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