What We’re Reading: Lillet Rosé for Mother’s Day, Maker’s Mark Seal is Protected and more

May 10th, 2012 — 11:01am

A Blossom That Mom Can Sip – New York Times
Lillet, the elegant wine-based aperitif made in southwest France for the last 140 years, is best known in its original pale version: white wine flavored with citrus and a touch of quinine. Lillet Blanc was joined by red Lillet Rouge in 1962. This spring the drink has blossomed in pink. Lillet Rosé is essentially the blanc with some added red fruit liqueurs and a little of the Rouge for color — a medley that is refreshing, a little fruity and excellent for a Mother’s Day toast. READ MORE

Sixth Circuit: Wax Seal on Maker’s Mark Bourbon Is Protected – Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has found that the red wax seal on the Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey is protected trade dress. The ruling gave Judge Boyce Martin Jr. an opportunity to talk at length about the history of bourbon — an opportunity he clearly relished.

Judge Martin’s opinion begins,

Justice Hugo Black once wrote, “I was brought up to believe that Scotch whisky would need a tax preference to survive in competition with Kentucky bourbon.” While there may be some truth to Justice Black’s statement that paints Kentucky bourbon as such an economic force that its competitors need government protection or preference to compete with it, it does not mean a Kentucky bourbon distiller may not also avail itself of our laws to protect its assets. This brings us to the question before us today: whether the bourbon producer Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc.’s registered trademark consisting of its signature trade dress element—a red dripping wax seal—is due protection, in the form of an injunction, from a similar trade dress element on Casa Cuervo, S.A. de C.V.’s Reserva de la Familiatequila bottles. We hold that it is. The judgments of the district court in this trademark infringement case are AFFIRMED.

What makes bourbon bourbon? Corn-based mash and aging in charred oak barrels. The name itself can be traced to one of the original nine counties of Kentucky — Bourbon County – named in honor of the French royal family. As Judge Martin points out, bourbon distillers began to brand their spirits to capitalize on the differences between good Kentucky bourbon and the rest.

The Samuels family, founder of the Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto, Ky., has produced whiskey since the eighteenth century, but the recipe for the Maker’s Mark bourbon we’re familiar with dates to 1953, according to the ruling. Bill Samuels Sr. was the man behind it, and his wife, Margie, came up with the red dripping wax seal. She used the family deep fryer to perfect the process of applying it, apparently. The company has the seal on its bourbon bottles since 1958.

In 1995, Jose Cuervo introduced a premium tequila, “Reserva de la Familia,” in a bottle that bore a wax seal sans the drips. But by 2001, Cuervo had begun selling this tequila in the U.S. with a drippy wax seal that resembled that of Marker’s Mark. Maker’s Mark sued in 2003, and sometime thereafter Cuervo reverted back to the straight-edged wax seal. A federal district judge ruled that Cuervo’s dripping wax seal infringed Maker’s Mark’s trademark and forbade Cuervo from using it. The judge denied Maker’s Mark’s claim for damages but awarded some of the company’s legal costs. The Sixth Circuit adopted the lower court’s finding that the bourbon-maker’s trademark was “extremely strong.”

Budweiser Bottle Goes Red, White & Blue, First Design Change In Years – Huffington Post
Last August, Budweiser redesigned its can in an effort to revive weak U.S. sales. Now, its the bottle’s turn. For a limited time, the bottle (and can) are getting a red, white and blue makeover.

The new design is part of a summer initiative with Budweiser and the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of military personnel killed or disabled while serving. A portion of all sales from May 20 to July 7 — up to $2.5 million — will be donated to the organization. READ MORE

Buddy System: Is Bud Light Lime the new bartender’s handshake? – Tasting Table
Craft cocktails and mass-produced, flavored beer are on different planets of the drinking galaxy. Except when it comes to Bud Light Lime, which is currently an obsession of the fine bartenders of Boston.

At Trina’s Starlite Lounge, a rotating menu of four to six Bud Light Lime cocktails is offered, alongside classic drinks made with artisanal bitters. The bar’s take on the Collins, called the Jackie’s Packie, uses the beer in place of soda water. Garnished with a house-made bourbon cherry, it’s irony in a glass. READ MORE

Spirit Guide: Cole’s May Cocktails

May 9th, 2012 — 6:03pm

Our cocktails for mid-May till mid-June celebrate Spring and all it has to offer to the fullest. The Red Car Bar is bringing back requested & popular Manhattan & Old-Fashioned styles that were created by its talented bartenders.

For our Old-Fashioned style we are bringing back “Strawberry Fields” created by Leandro DiMonriva. This is a beautiful Old-Fashioned consisting of Plymouth Gin, angostura bitters, and a house-made strawberry lemon balm syrup.

For our Manhattan style we will be bring back Adi Kancharla’s “Irish Spring.” This March-inspired cocktail contains Jameson, Lillet Red, Licor 43, Bitterman’s Boston Bitters, Peychaud Bitters, and a Creme de Violet rinse.

Lastly our 1930′s style is Cole’s Mint Julep. This Julep is inspired by Cole’s bar menu from the 1930′s which added Rum to the Mint Julep. Our 1930′s creation is created by Brent Falco, and is a mix of Bourbon & Barcard, Fresh Mint, & a brown sugar cube served in a Mint Julep cup.

Come down and visit and ask your bartenders about our creations and how we were inspired.

Brent Falco, Cole’s Red Car Bar, Manager

Mix This: The Disco Mariachi with Las Perlas GM Raul Yrastorza

May 8th, 2012 — 4:21pm

It’s spring time and that means its time to bring back our popular spring cocktail the “Disco Mariachi”

The Disco Mariachi
- 2oz Single Village Mezcal
- 1oz Green Chartreuse
- 3/4oz House-made Orgeat
- 3/4oz Pineapple Juice
- 1/2oz Fresh squeezed Lime Juice
- Dry shake
- Pour over crushed ice
- Swizzle
- Top with an aromatic bitters such as angostura

Kick off your work shoes and sit back on the patio at Las Perlas….your amongst friends!

Raul Yrastorza, Las Perlas, General Manager