12 January, 2017

Drinks International’s annual picks from 2016 of intriguing, exciting, fun and fantastic products and events


IT IS A TRADITION here at Drinks International to review the year and showcase what caught our eyes. This is no robust ‘best of’ dissection of what occurred over the past 12 months or so. It is more something whimsical that amused or intrigued us. It can be a case of ‘thinking outside the box’ or a launch that is ahead of its time, or a great new idea with a prosperous future.

So here we go...



The Danish Christmas aquavit, Aalborg Jule (Jule, pronounced “Jula”, is Danish for Christmas) Akvavit is the world’s best spirit, according to this year’s International Spirits Challenge.

The recipe for this luxury aquavit has been the same since its launch in 1982, but both bottle and packaging vary each year. It is produced with distillate of caraway and dill seeds and coriander and has a robust character of caraway with subtle notes of dill, fennel, cinnamon and orange.

This is the first time an aquavit/akvavit has won the ISC’s supreme award.

Arcus Denmark’s Aalborg category manager Claus Toftkjær commented: “This is a clear indication the rest of the world is opening up to the unique qualities and distinctive flavours of aquavit. Some of the best bartenders are starting to work with Nordic aquavits too, so it adds up pretty well.”

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Tess Posthumus

Staffing crisis could open opportunities

The pandemic has thrown many challenges at bar owners over the past couple of years and the ones that survived the various lockdowns and restrictions deserve a pat on the back. However, while revenues are returning and bars are beginning to recruit once more, we’ve come up against a whole new set of problems, one of which is a global starring crisis.