Saturday, July 13, 2024

Meet USA Today’s Top New Alcohol Brands to Watch for in 2023

Just last week, USA Today broke an exciting story on the most anticipated new market players to look out for in the liquor space entering the new year.

Please meet today’s new bartender favorites- ALB Vodka, MurLarkey, Canpagne Wine Co, Dos Hombres, 818 Tequila, Proper Twelve, & DE-NADA- and see why they’re really worth sampling on your next night out. 

Number 1: ALB Vodka

Affectionately dubbed, “your favorite bartender’s favorite vodka,” ALB (/ā’el’bē/) Vodka is made in Albany, NY, but for the people. Taking NYC by storm last summer, ALB Vodka has dramatically grown its reach across the country this past year. The premium handmade gluten-free vodka is the fastest-growing spirit in the US as it’s garnered favor with industry decision-makers, cultural tastemakers, and the everyday consumer. People are resonating with ALB’s corn-based vodka not only because of its signature smooth taste, achieved by an innovative charcoal filtration regimen — and the famous NY water — but also because of its allure and affordability. Despite its lack of marketing, ALB Vodka has been authentically stamped by both celebrities and bartenders without any insincere promotions. ALB Vodka can be seen on the shelves of 5-star hotels like the St. Regis, Michelin-starred restaurants like Le Bernardin, top-rated bars like Refinery Rooftop, IYKYK speakeasies, and the most exclusive private clubs like Casa Cipriani as it draws a crowd. As vodka itself is enjoying a renaissance, ALB Vodka is the go-to vodka for the drink of the moment, the espresso martini – replacing Tito’s. ALB Vodka is the perfect spirit to introduce, or gift, to friends and family before the rest of the world catches on this upcoming year, and without breaking the bank. We expect ALB Vodka to be the most disruptive spirit of 2023.

Number 2: MurLarkey

Established in 2014, MurLarkey is an award-winning spirit brand boasting 100% all-natural gin, whiskey, bourbon, and vodka products all of which are hand-crafted in the USA. Among the 40+ awards bestowed on MurLarkey’s spirits, the Virginia-based brand was honored as the 4th best distillery in the US in 2021 by Travel and Leisure. As a pioneer in sustainably sourced ingredients, MurLarkey’s innovative Farm to Flask initiative is as impactful as it is clever; MurLarkey only uses raw grains and corn sourced from local Virginia farmers and never uses artificial ingredients. MurLarkey’s ImaGINation™ Gin won gold at the 2020 New York Intl Spirits Competition for its proprietary blend of 12 All-Natural Botanicals. MurLarkey’s Smokehouse® Whiskey won the gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its mouth-watering smoked BBQ nose followed by a silky smooth finish. Among many great all-naturally flavored whiskeys, MurLarkey’s Salsa Borracha Whiskey won the gold medal at the 2022 ADI International Spirits Competition for its unique ‘mezcla de’ tomatillos, ancho chilies, cumin, coriander, poblanos, jalapenos, scallions, cilantro, fresh corn, red onion, shallots, limes, oranges, green bell peppers, tomatoes, and whiskey. With a wide array of additional spirits to try in 2023 from the Birthright Bourbon (2022 New York International Spirits Competition Double Gold Medal Winner) to the Divine Clarity Vodka (2x International Gold Medal Winner), we are excited to see what the new year has in store for MurLarkey and its newlyexpanded 25,000-square-foot distillery and tasting room. 

Number 3: Canpagne Wine Co.

Canpange Wine Co is an exciting new brand flipping the wine industry on its head while maintaining the class the drink is typically associated with. The brand was founded by wine industry veterans with a combined 30 years plus of experience between the two of them. David DesForges and Ovid Battat are capturing consumer attention with the brand’s pithy name as well as premium Bubbly Rose and Mimosa products. The Bubbly Rose has notes of fresh ripe strawberries and tropical fruits with much more carbonation than other canned sparkling wines due to a proprietary canning technique. All of their products are certified kosher, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free. The Peach Mimosa is refreshingly light with plenty of bubbles and not overly sweet like many other canned cocktails and uses only premium wine and fresh fruit juice. Three more mimosa cocktails are set to be released in the spring with Passion Fruit, Blood Orange, and Wild Berry flavors rounding out the lineup. Canpagne Wine Co. products are not only great tasting, but they are the most convenient way to enjoy sparkling wine on the go. Canpagne Wine Co. does not use added sugar or artificial flavors and is committed to using grapes sourced in the USA from sustainably farmed and family-owned vineyards. 2023 is sure to be a big year for Canpagne Wine Co.

Number 4: Dos Hombres

Dos Hombres is the popular mezcal brand founded by Brian Cranston and Aaron Paul. The two celebrities and ex co-stars are following in the footsteps of other celebrities endorsing or founding spirit brands. Similar to vodka, although not quite to the same extent, mezcal is a popular drink of choice in the cultural zeitgeist at the moment. Handcrafted in the hillsides of a small village of Oaxaca, Mexico, Cranston and Paul leverage their star power to help bring the authentic Dos Hombres mezcal to the market. Dos Hombres is currently resonating with the highly active mezcal community, as well as creating mezcal converts, with its Espadin, a 6-year-old Espadin agave, and its limited-edition Tobala, a 25-year-old Tobala agave, products. Dos Hombres follows a very particular and authentic harvesting, cooking, milling, fermenting, and distilling process that leverages the knowledge of multiple generations of mezcal producers, or mezcaleros, utilizing the nutrient-rich soil of the Sun Luis del Rio region of Oaxaca. We expect Cranston and Paul to take this great-tasting traditional mezcal to new heights in 2023.

Number 5: 818 Tequila

With a commitment to sustainability and a few key celebrity endorsements – as well as an incredible taste – 818 Tequila is one of the most popular tequilas in the country right now. Produced in Jalisco, Mexico on a distillery that runs on biomass and solar power, 818 offers award-winning Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo tequilas. Additionally, 818 is capturing consumer, and celebrity, attention with its premium reserve product. Eight Reserve is a masterful blend of Añejo and Extra Añejo tequila aged up to 8 years in French and American barrels. Beyond its award-winning taste, Eight Reserve’s highly unique bottle, beautifully crafted in the shape of an ‘8’ or infinity symbol, is making waves throughout the culture as people are saving the bottle and want to be photographed with it similar to Clase Azul’s bottles. Consistent with the brand’s strong sense of responsibility and pride regarding its positive impact on the community and environment, 818 Tequila’s popular Eight Reserve ceramic decanter bottle is handmade by local artisans in Pachuca, Mexico. As more people become aware of the brand, we are excited to see what 2023 has in store for 818 Tequila.

Number 6: Proper Twelve

As our only whisky on the list, you may have heard about Proper Twelve because of its association with famous MMA fighter Connor McGregor, but it caught our attention because of its classic taste. McGregor is certainly helping the brand gain visibility, but the Irish superstar is a perfect brand representative for the traditional Irish whiskey company. Proper Twelve’s triple-distilled, fine-grain, single-malt whiskey is resonating with both sides of the pond for its smooth taste featuring hints of vanilla, honey, and toasted wood. Proper Twelve is the perfect melange of celebrity endorsement and authentic Irish milling, masking, fermenting, and distilling. With a far-reaching social media presence and popular merch, Proper Twelve is threading the needle with a coherent brand vision, featuring signature cocktails like the ‘Proper Caic’ and the ‘Proper Shirley.’ We expect Proper Twelve to continue growing in 2023.

Number 7: DE-NADA

Founded by Danny Neeson and Adam Millman, DE-NADA Tequila partners with 5th-generation distillers in Jalisco Mexico to produce their Blanco and Reposado tequila products. DE-NADA is one of only 65 Tequila brands that are currently Confirmed Additive Free. With its name punning on “of nothing,” DE-NADA is committed to offering only pure tequila. Further, it has achieved CarbonNeutral® product certification in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. DE-NADA is crafted, from field to bottle, at The Vivanco Estate in the Highlands of Jalisco. Millman and Neeson — once New Orleans-based college friends — started their dream project of creating delicious tequila in 2017. They began tasting and traveling, and eventually, their palates led them to NOM 1414, the Vivanco family’s artisan distillery ‘Mi Ranchito.’ The Vivanco family and company share the founders’ values of quality, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. With major plans for growth, 2023 is set to be a big year for DE-NADA.

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