Drinks All Around

I had lunch today with a member of the liquor industry, and we talked about flavored vodka. By his count, he came up with 117 (excluding variations in chocolate, etc.). Some are concerned, of course, that with the advent of flavors such as PB & J, cotton candy, and cake, the marketing will target … the children. Will our youth be drawn to flavored vodka, equating it to candy, which, as we know, they all love? In fact, about 80 percent of candy, according to my friend’s research, is consumed by adults—especially those in their 20s and 30s.

It was a rather appropriate discussion considering today is National Vodka Day (hat tip: Sonny Bunch). Not appropriate on National Vodka Day were the Hendrick’s martinis with bleu cheese-stuffed olives I had with my meal, although they were so easily drinkable (probably because I like them classic, not dry).

In other news, beer sales are up, meaning the economy is improving. The Wall Street Journal reports that “beer shipments in the U.S. rose 1.9 percent to 141.4 million barrels in the first eight months of 2012 after falling three straight years, according to the Beer Institute, an industry group. Beer sales had fallen 1.5 percent in 2011.” Not surprising is the link between beer sales and blue-collar work.

Writes Journal reporter Mike Esterl (content restricted):

[L]ook at beer sales in North Dakota, where an energy-sector boom is fueling lots of blue-collar jobs. The state’s overall unemployment rate is 3 percent, the lowest in the country. Beer shipments in North Dakota are up 18 percent through August.


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