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Posts Tagged ‘Vodka’

Smirnoff Launches Launches New “Welcome Home” Campaign, Supporting Inclusivity and Equality for All

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 5, 2019

Today, the world’s No. 1 vodka and longstanding ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, is launching its new “Welcome Home” campaign to roll out the welcome mat for the millions of LGBTQIA+ community members and allies expected to travel to New York for Pride celebrations.

“Smirnoff is enjoyed around the world by the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. In the spirit of our brand’s international footprint and building off decades of support, we are continuing to push for global equality through our new ‘Welcome Home’ campaign and our continued commitment to HRC,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff, DIAGEO North America.

“While 85% of LGBTQIA+ consumers want their community represented in brand campaigns, only 12.6% of marketers actually include them in their annual media planning. As the No. 1 vodka brand in the world, we have taken a stance to support this community year-round, as evidenced through our work with Laverne, Jonathan and Alyssa across both Pride and non-Pride campaigns.”

For Smirnoff, inclusivity and pushing for LGBTQIA+ equality is part of their brand’s DNA, and the brand is proud to have been a supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community for nearly half a century. The Smirnoff “Welcome Home” campaign will come to life through a digital video series starring actress and LGBTQIA+ activist Laverne Cox, a “House of Pride,” event where Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness will make a special appearance as the host for one night and popular drag-icon Alyssa Edwards will join the brand for the NYC Pride March on June 30.

To make this year bigger than ever before, the brand is releasing not one – but two – limited-edition Smirnoff No. 21 vodka Pride bottles (see above).

  • The Smirnoff “Love Wins” bottles were launched in June 2017 and feature an iridescent rainbow aesthetic and photographs of real couples and real love. For every bottle made, Smirnoff has pledged to donate $1 to HRC totaling nearly $1.5 million by 2021. These bottles are available for retail purchase nationally.
  • The NEW Smirnoff “Welcome” bottles are launching for Pride 2019 and are meant to support the brand’s “Welcome Home” campaign, welcoming the global LGBTQIA+ community to New York for Pride. There are six versions of this bottle, and on each one the iconic Smirnoff label is replaced with “Welcome” spelled out in a different language – English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin – to honor the LGBTQIA+ community globally. While these bottles are not available for retail purchase, they are being created in limited quantities to spread messages of inclusivity and diversity and will be available at Smirnoff’s Pride events.

This year, New York is hosting the largest global Pride celebration in the world, spanning all of June and marking the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Smirnoff, which is made in America but enjoyed in over 130 countries globally, will welcome love in all its forms home to New York through its “Welcome Home” campaign. It will strive to honor and celebrate the strides made towards LGBTQIA+ liberation over the last five decades, as well as those still to come.

Here are a few words from Smirnoff partner Jonathan Van Ness,

“What I love most about the gorgeous new Smirnoff ‘Welcome Home’ campaign is that she shines a light in on how Pride is more than just a party; it’s truly a home to our LGBTQIA+ brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings around the world. I cannot wait to celebrate Pride with Smirnoff later this month, and to personally welcome all of these beautiful people to my home of New York.”

and Brand partner and LGBTQIA+ advocate Laverne Cox

“When Smirnoff asked me if I would be a part of their ‘Welcome Home’ campaign, I immediately said yes. Their beautiful message is all about welcoming our community home to New York where the famous Stonewall Uprising took place 50 years ago. I hope our work celebrates not just the LGBTQIA+ community here in New York but also recognizes those across the globe, celebrating in their own way. Hopefully with a delicious vodka cocktail in-hand, of course!”

The Smirnoff “Welcome Home” campaign will come to life in multiple ways:

  • “Welcome Home” Videos with Laverne Cox: Smirnoff is launching a video series starring Laverne Cox, which welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community to New York for the global Pride celebrations. The videos debuted today on the brand’s social channels and will also be broadcast at New York City area airports – LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark International Airport – to greet the millions of people traveling to New York for Pride all in the spirit of “Welcome Home.”
  • House of Pride with Jonathan Van Ness: Smirnoff is creating a unique pop-up experience for media, influencers and consumers 21+ in downtown Manhattan filled with fun, global-themed Pride cocktails. The space will be inspired by a home, featuring six Insta-worthy rooms where Smirnoff will pay homage to – and celebrate – the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as its future. The pop-up will take place Wednesday, June 26 through Friday, June 283, during which time Jonathan Van Ness will make a special appearance as the host.
  • Smirnoff Limited-Edition Pride Bottles: Smirnoff will continue its annual traditional of limited-edition Pride bottles with its latest iteration, the Smirnoff No. 21 “Welcome” bottles. These new bottles feature the award-winning Smirnoff No. 21 vodka on the inside, and on the outside, the brand label is replaced with “Welcome” in six languages4 – English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin – to welcome the global LGBTQIA+ community to New York for Pride and to remind everyone that Pride is a home where everyone is welcome. While these bottles are not available for retail purchase, they are being created in limited quantities to spread messages of inclusivity and diversity. In addition, Smirnoff will also re-release its Smirnoff No. 21 “Love Wins” bottles, which feature an iridescent rainbow aesthetic and photographs of real couples and real love. These bottles are available for retail purchase, and the brand has pledged to donate $1 for every bottle made to HRC, totaling nearly $1.5 million by 2021.
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Commitment: Smirnoff, and its parent company DIAGEO, are one of HRC’s longest-standing partners and biggest advocates and have been early and active supporters of LGBTQIA+ equal rights. In addition to the commitment of nearly $1.5 million to HRC by 2021 through the Smirnoff “Love Wins” bottles, for the last 11 years Smirnoff and DIAGEO have received a perfect 100% score on HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for LGBTQIA+ workplace equality and in February 2018 were honored with the prestigious HRC Corporate Equality Award.
  • NYC Pride March with Alyssa Edwards: Smirnoff is proud to continue its longstanding tradition of participating in the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 30. In partnership with popular drag icon Alyssa Edwards, the brand is creating a fabulous New York City themed float in the spirit of the Smirnoff ‘Welcome Home” campaign, with Alyssa as the star, dressed as “Lady Liberty.” The bold and inspiring Smirnoff float will be supported by 300 marchers, both members of the community and allies.

For Pride month, Smirnoff has created six global cocktails inspired by the international LGBTQIA+ community.

Smirnoff LGBTini Signature Cocktail
Celebrate Pride by mixing up a delicious signature cocktail:

  • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka or Smirnoff “Love Wins” Vodka
  • 0.25 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 5 Green Olives (dipped in rainbow edible glitter)

Combine Smirnoff and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
Shake then strain into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with olives that have been dipped in edible rainbow glitter
Sip and enjoy responsibly!

About SMIRNOFF
The SMIRNOFF brand that boasts the world’s number-one selling premium spirit and the top-selling line of flavors in North America, traces its heritage back to 19th century Russia. As the most awarded vodka brand in the world in the last 10 years, SMIRNOFF has always been known for quality and is enjoyed responsibly in 130 countries around the world. For more information, log on to www.smirnoff.com.

 

 

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Review: Dixon’s Silver Creek Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2019

Dixon’s Distilled Spirits is located in Guelph Ontario. This small distillery produces two brands of Vodka (Silvercreek and Flaming Caesar), two styles of Wicked Gin (a Licorice Botanical Blend and a Citrus Botanical Blend), as well as a ready to drink mix called Gin Fusion.

According to Dixon’s website, Dixon’s Silver Creek Vodka is:

Distilled from Canadian corn and hand-bottled with pride. Carbon filtered for a pure, smooth taste with delicate notes of citrus and pear and with a bready undertone. Perfect on its own, on the rocks or in a martini.

I spent a couple afternoons with Silver Creek Vodka and my resulting review can be found by clicking on the following link:

Review: Dixon’s Silver Creek Vodka

“… When I brought the chilled glass to my nose, I found the aroma was clean with only very light scents of starch flour and grain spice. However, when I took a small sip I was taken aback by a light but firm metallic taste and an unfortunate vegetal quality. I could also taste a mild sweetness, some grainy spice and an impression of mojito mint …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two cocktail suggestions, the Sliver Creek Gimlet, and the Sloe and Comfortable Silver Creek Screw.

Chimo!

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Review: Dixon’s Flaming Caesar Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 23, 2019

Flaming Casar Vodka

Dixon’s Distilled Spirits is located in Guelph Ontario. This small distillery produces two brands of Vodka (Silvercreek and Flaming Caesar), two styles of Wicked Gin (a Licorice Botanical Blend and a Citrus Botanical Blend), as well as a ready to drink mix called Gin Fusion.

According to Dixon’s website

We heard the call for a better Caesar, and we answered! Made with Silvercreek Vodka infused with handpicked ingredients, it’s packed with flavour and heat. Just mix with your favourite brand of clam and tomato cocktail for a perfect Caesar.

Dixon’s Silver Creek Vodka is spiced with garlic, horseradish, dill, celery seed, scotch bonnets and red chili peppers. It is filtered clear and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Dixon’s Flaming Casar Vodka

“… When I took my first taste, it was with a friend of mine who is particularly keen on Caesar Cocktails. We were both quite exited as the Flaming Caesar Spirit, (although not flaming) seemed to hold great promise. We both loved the pungent earthiness of the spice blend in particular the balance between the horseradish, the garlic and the chili pepper …”

I hope you enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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2018 Ends on a Bitter(s) Note

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2019

The calendar has turned and more than a few people have been wondering what happened to the Rum Howler at the end of the year that was 2018. He was nearing the end of his Fall and Christmas Cocktail Bazaar and was about to publish his annual lists of top Rums and Canadian Whiskies, when suddenly The Rum Howler Blog went silent on December 12, 2018.

What happened?

The best explanation I can give you is that a perfect storm of circumstance caused the year to end on a Bitter note. (And strangely enough, that is not all bad.)

The beginnings of the 2018 disaster had its roots in a decision made 18 months previous when my Wife and I, decided it was time to build a new house which featured wheelchair accessibility for my youngest son as we were finding it increasingly difficult to meet his needs in what was then our current home (a two-story with no bath or bedrooms on the main level).  So we hired a builder, I helped to design the house, and we built it over the 18 months with a move in date scheduled for December 1 (ish) 2018.

Six weeks prior to the scheduled move, we contacted our telephone/television/internet provider (Telus) asking them to have the services moved over by December 11th.  At the end of November, I was nervous as Telus hadn’t contacted us or given any indication as to when the services were to be moved. So I called them, several times, and each time was given a promise that an Escalation Manager would contact me promptly to let me know the status of the install.

Making a long story somewhat shorter, I was finally contacted in mid December and told that services could not be moved until Springtime when the ground was thawed. It had something to do with the new area I had moved to being a fibre optic only neighbourhood. You would have thought Telus could have told me that in October, not after our move-in date.

The Rum Howler during happier times in Guyana

I think you figured it out. On December 11th, which was when my wife and I moved to our new house we were without that vital link to the blogosphere, the internet. I was able to post one more recipe in my Cocktail Bazaar which had been previous uploaded, but all of my remaining work was on my home computer, and with the Christmas Season in full swing at my retail store, I was not able to post from work either. The Rum Howler Blog unfortunately was silenced.

Enjoying Rum at my previous digs

However, all was not lost. I contacted Shaw Cable on December 12th, and they were able to schedule a hook-up for December 24th. Issues with the cable line caused the install to be delayed until December 31st and even today (January 3rd), our phones are still not working right. But I do finally have internet. So the reviews and cocktail recipes can finally be reignited.

There was a silver lining to all of this. My wonderful wife, Maureen, made a troubling Christmas Season better by presenting me with a Bitter Advent Calendar on December 1st. Each day from the 1st to the 24th I was given a small gift to unwrap and inside was a small bottle of bitters.

So during the coming year, I plan to review each of those small bottles giving you my thoughts and recommendations for each of the bitter flavours. With bitters becoming increasingly popular, the bitter reviews should be a welcome addition to my website.

So Happy New Year Everyone!

Sorry for the rather bitter ending to 2018, hopefully those bitter feelings will converted into something more positive this year.

 

 

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Fall Cocktail Bazaar: Autumn Harvest Punch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2018

With American Thanksgiving just around the corner (up here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October rather than late November), I thought I would share a nice ‘punch style’ recipe suitable for large gatherings of friends and family. The serving is courtesy of Megan Marlowe (Strawberry Blondie Kitchen), and it was sent to me by the USA media team responsible for Smirnoff Vodka.

Autumn Harvest Punch combines the seasonal flavours of Autumn fruit (apples and pears) and Autumnal spices (cinnamon, rosemary, and star anise) with a little bite of tropical citrus (lemon juice). A combination of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, Apple Cider and Ginger Ale provide the liquid refreshment.

When I mixed a small batch for myself, I found the serving quite tasty, although perhaps it goes down just a little too easily. Make sure when you share this recipe with your friends that advise them to enjoy responsibly and choose a designated driver ahead of time for the ride home.

Autumn Harvest Punch
(Makes 16 servings)

3 cups Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
2 Apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 Pears, cored and thinly sliced
1 Lemon thinly sliced
6 cups Apple Cider
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice
4 Cinnamon Sticks
4 pods Star Anise
Rosemary Sprigs
4 cups Ginger Ale

Add sliced Apples, Pears and Lemon into a large punch bowl
Pour in Apple Cider, Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka and Lemon Juice
Garnish with Cinnamon Sticks, Clove and fresh Rosemary Sprigs
Stir to combine and chill until ready to serve
Before serving, add Ginger Ale and stir gently

Of Course, Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Smirnoff No. 21 is a triple distilled spirit, produced on a large multi-column still from North American prairie grain and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. And just in time for the holiday season, Smirnoff No. 21 is now non-GMO (non genetically modified).

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