Stateways Nov-Dec 2013

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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PARTICULARLY DURING THE HOLIDAY SELLING SEASON, SUPERPREMIUM SPIRITS ARE DRIVERS ARE OVERALL PROFITS. HERE'S A SHORT GUIDE ON HOW TO INCREASE THOSE SALES. By Robert Plotkin O ffering your clientele a fresh array of spirits on your shelves encourages experimentation and is a proven tactic for bolstering sales. It is especially true now. There are more handmade, so-called boutique spirits on the market from which to choose— products such as organic tequilas, single barrel whiskeys, pot-distilled vodkas, fresh-pressed rums and small batch gins. As far as the superpremium spirits are concerned, these are the best of times. What is it that distinguishes these hip, artisanal spirits from their more pedestrian counterparts? The fact of the matter is that not all spirits are created equally. Small differences in how they're made often have a huge impact on what inside the bottle. There are six quality factors that you should know about when you're evaluating any spirit. Knowing how these factors ultimately affect the finished product can benefit your selling efforts. StateWays I I November/December 2013 • Base Ingredients. As is true for beer and wine, using high-grade raw ingredients in production goes a long way to ensuring the highest quality finished product. Distillers today have embraced this self-evident truth. High-end spirits are often made from locally cultivated grains, potatoes, sugar cane and vine-ripened varietal grapes. Increasingly, more tequilas are being produced from organic blue agaves and gins from indigenous juniper berries, aromatics and botanicals. Certainly, relying on premium raw ingredients is more expensive. The same is true about going to your local food co-op and buying organic products. The decisionmaking process is the same. So step one, find out what ROBERT PLOTKIN is a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and author of 16 books on bartending and beverage management including Secrets Revealed of America's Greatest Cocktails. He can be reached at or by e-mail at 21

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