Posts Tagged ‘recession’
Monday, September 7th, 2009
It’s more likely than you think! According to a recent article at The Telegraph, there will be severely discounted prices on French Champagne come the end of the year. This stems from a 30%-45% decrease in sales from Europe to Asia through the first half of this year, creating a major supply glut. One must figure that this is due to the Global Recession that has been playing out over the past year, diminishing the number of people with disposable income.
Experts in England are predicting that by Christmas time, there will be such a discrepency in supply and demand, a bottle of lesser-known brand Champagne will drop in price to £10(GBP). For us American folk, that equates to about $16.35. It is yet to be said if the price drop will also make its way into American markets, but since we here at Culture of Spirits have had Mimosas and Poinsettias on the brain for the past several days, we’re hoping that it does. While we’re not likely to see Dom Perignon take a major price dip, it will be nice to grab up a couple of discounted bottles of the French royal beverage, and pop the corks on New Year’s Eve.
If this does indeed come to pass, expect to see me crossing the French 75 and Death in the Afternoon of my list. Speaking of which, Milk Punch has been crossed off. That now leaves 82.
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
The Raleigh News and Observer reported yesterday that top-shelf liquor prices in North Carolina will begin to fall drastically as of August 1, 2009, as the depression crunch continues forcing consumers to opt against buying high-quality liquors. In order to boost sales, brands like Grey Goose are slashing prices competitively as incentives for buyers.
“High-end booze has been taking a sales hit as consumers have increasingly turned to bargain-priced liquor,” wrote journalist Mark Johnson. “Distillers of the good stuff are chopping their prices to hang on to recession-weary customers.”
In reality, “free market in action” may not be the best way to describe this instance of sudden price drops, since the prices of the various available brands themselves aren’t the only factors working against consumers of quality spirits. With economic constraints greatly limiting expendable income, regular consumers and frequent buyers are literally being forced to trade quality for quantity. Therefore, long term effects resulting from prices falling, especially in this case, may not look so good in terms of state revenue.
Friday, February 27th, 2009
If you aren’t in a chair already, you may want to sit down before reading this; present American budget deficit numbers, projected at a whopping $1.8 trillion for 2009 and $1.2 trillion for 2010, both represent levels not seen since World War II.
But here’s the good news:some sources advise that this may be a good excuse to drink to your health (since we know drinking to prosperity is out of the question, for now). According to the Web site American Progress, “If a Martini is your drink, skip the Vermouth. If Whiskey’s your poison, take it straight. If you’re a teetotaler, make an exception. And if you really, really shouldn’t drink, close your eyes and take a deep breath. But, under no circumstances should you look at President Obama’s budget blueprint for the next ten years without fortification.” Whoops, if you’re seeing these numbers here for the first time, it may be too late. Sincerest apologies (at least I asked if you were sitting)!
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
Look out, ya’ll: it appears that Kid Rock is hoping to stimulate the poor economy with a Michigan-based beer brand of his own design. Conrad Doucette of Maxim Magazine tells us “The beer will be ‘an American lager’ and will be suitable for parties, Pistons games, and BBQs all summer long. Snobby sots need not apply!” What this translates to is “Kid Rock plans to bottle a Budweiser-clone in the center of the failing auto industry capital of the world.”
There are both good and bad elements here. The good has to do with the help this may provide in the way of jobs in the Michigan area. The down side: it’s questionable whether any amount of rejoicing that dozens of Michiganders will be getting these jobs will outweigh the tears many of us will cry in our craft brews at the notion of a “Kid Rock brand beer.”
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Yesterday the New York Times featured a recipe for a cleverly-named cocktail, which they call “The Market Crash”. As much as alcohol and its particular relation to the present economic situation the world-over is discussed on this Web site, I felt that this one must be added to the cavalcade of crash-cocktails we’ll no doubt continue to enjoy for the next several months (at least). That being said, do you have a recession-themed beverage that you would like to recommend to Culture of Spirits? If so, email it to us by clicking here.
And now, on to that recipe…
Monday, February 16th, 2009
Today the Associated Press reports that liquor laws, especially those which prohibit sale of spirits on Sundays, may be repealed in an effort to boost individual state economies.
AP writer Brock Vergakis writes, “In Utah, and across the country, governors and lawmakers faced with budget deficits are advocating loosening laws that restrict alcohol consumption in the hopes of boosting tax revenues.” Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota and Texas all plan to end present bans on Sunday liquor sales with hopes of boosting revenue with the day’s worth of sales added to weekly figures.
State governments choosing to capitalize on alcohol sales may never have picked a better time, in spite of the recession, as liquor sales are on the rise just about everywhere. Across the US during the year of 2008, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) reports that sales rose 2.8 percent from 2007 to $18.7 billion in 2008, according to revenues reported by liquor suppliers. For instance, in Perham, Minnesota, the local municipal liquor store saw an increase in sales by nearly a half million dollars during this period; nearly a 33% gain.
Sunday, February 15th, 2009
Yet again, we see that another portion of the United States is reporting liquor sales on the rise, in spite of the looming recession:
Liquor Sales up in Idaho
According to Idaho resident and restaurant owner Dan Willie, “In a recession or in a so-called recession people tend to drink more, and that’s been historically true in the great depression… I don’t know if they are drinking to drown their sorrows or just spending more time in bars and restaurants.” Willie says the bar in his restaurant picked up sales in December, and has maintained steadily ever since.
Yet again, it appears that the business of wine, beer, and spirits may be the ultimate “recession-proof” industry.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
In an attempt to preserve the look and feel of a classic cocktail (martini) glass, but cut back on spills related to the long stem and wide lip, inventor Renee Williams has inadvertently created an enhancement for clumsy drinkers which makes the otherwise-elegant martini glass look almost like a UFO (click here to see image).
“Sipatiniz maintain the standard shape of a martini glass but feature a curved rim and a straw to prevent spills,” noted the Dallas, Texas based Star community newspaper. “With Sipatiniz, party goers may walk across the room at ease without fear of sloshing their favorite drink out of the glass.”
After designing the initial concept for a sort of “spill-guard” combined with a martini glass, Williams found a manufacturer to produce the “Sipatiniz” for her, and entered her invention into a Dallas-area “Next Big Thing” contest. In December, Williams’ design was one of three finalists selected by judges in the event, landing her a $10,000 prize package. Presently, the Sipatiniz are available at a variety of gift stores and other retail locations in and around Dallas.
Sunday, February 8th, 2009
The general consensus among true drink connoisseurs is (and always has been) that a fine cocktail beverage is a proper blend of a few flavors, not a muddling mixture of too many. Thus, according to such lore from the annals of fine mixology, many weekend barflies may be surprised to learn that one of today’s most popular beverages certainly wouldn’t be considered a “fine cocktail”; the drink in question is none other than the Long Island Iced Tea.
This beverage, since its creation in 1976, has grown to a position of immense popularity, especially among college-age drinkers traditionally around the time of spring break. Modern Drunkard magazine cites it as a beverage which “no matter how old you are, at some level, you’re still afraid your parents are going to catch you drinking,” due to its ability to mask that a cocktail is being consumed at all with its convenient resemblance to non-alcoholic iced tea. But be warned; however much it may look like iced tea, be reminded that it surely isn’t. Sporting a recipe that includes equal parts vodka, gin, tequila, rum and triple sec, the drink is typically higher in alcohol concentration that most beverages (around 28%), and thus has the effect of ridding one of their sobriety more quickly.
Friday, February 6th, 2009
It’s Friday… and many Americans will be going out to enjoy a few beverages this evening. Of this massive number of socialites who will be hitting the bars, at least a good portion of them may be hitting the floor also… that’s right, not everyone can be convinced that excess isn’t always best! This being the case, the unpleasant after effects of drinking too much can rear their ugly heads in the form of a hangover.
A hangover (the technical name for which is veisalgia) is the combination of ailments that follow the heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. Most commonly reported characteristics of hangovers include nausea, headaches, sensitivity to light and noise, thirst resulting from dehydration, and even mood swings that often favor sadness and displeasure. No doubt, since man first discovered spirits and their uplifting, intoxicating effects, he has similarly sought to find a remedy for the unpleasant mornings that follow any such evening of drunken euphoria.