The Shelf (September 2009)

Xanté Liqueur

Xanté, a premium liqueur that combines pears, vanilla and French limousine oak, launched in New York, Miami and Boston early in 2009 and is rolling out in major cities across the U.S. It has been on the market in Europe for more than 10 years and is the second-most popular liqueur in Scandanavia. Xanté is best enjoyed on the rocks or in a cocktail.

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Van Gogh Blue Vodka

After two years of development, Triple Wheat Van Gogh Blue Vodka is now available in select U.S. markets. It is the first ultra-premium vodka made from three international sources: from Central France, Southern Germany and Zeeland, Holland. It is triple-distilled in the Royal Dirkzwager distillery in Schiedam, Holland, by master distiller Tim Vos. The 80 proof vodka is best enjoyed straight up, chilled or garnished with blue cheese stuffed olives.

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Bakon Vodka

Bakon Vodka, the first commercially available bacon-flavored vodka, is created from Idaho potatoes and is column-distilled using a single heating process that doesn’t “bruise” the alcohol. The delicate balance of flavors leaves drinkers with the essence of a crisp slice of peppered bacon. Bakon Vodka is available in limited quantities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

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Zero-Calorie Skinny Mixes

A new zero-calorie, zero-sugar line of cocktail mixes is now available. Skinny Mixes is a line comprised of The Skinny Margarita, The Skinny Cosmopolitan and The Skinny Appletini. Mixes for The Skinny Mojito, The Skinny Strawberry Daiquiri and The Skinny Piña Colada are in development. The alcohol-free cocktail mixes are sweetened with sucralose and allow consumers to save up to 300 calories per cocktail.

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Herradura Blue Agave Nectar

Herradura Blue Agave Nectar, from the makers of Tequila Herradura, is a natural sweetener that can be used as a replacement for simple syrup. Its long shelf life and lower glycemic index make it a strong, safe alternative to sugar. The nectar is made by cooking and filtering the sap from the heart of the blue agave plant. Its taste is similar to honey but less viscous, so it can be used to sweeten cold drinks.

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James River Plantation Sweet Tea Vodka

A. Hardy USA Ltd. and Tom Maas, president of Agave Loco Imports, released James River Plantation Sweet Tea Vodka. Made from brewed tea and blended with five-time distilled American vodka, the beverage is 100 percent natural and is bottled by hand. James River Plantation Sweet Tea Vodka is available in a 750 ml and a 1.75 ml cork-finished bottle.

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