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Long shot: Drambuie puts faith in young pretender

 
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Johnny
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:11 am    Post subject: Long shot: Drambuie puts faith in young pretender Reply with quote

Long shot: Drambuie puts faith in young pretender

JEREMY WATSON
jwatson@scotlandonsunday.com

BONNIE Prince Charlie might want his recipe back. The whisky liqueur he bequeathed to his Highland saviours more than 250 years ago is to be turned into a fashionable long drink for trendy bar-goers.

Drambuie was once the after-dinner drink of choice for discerning diners, based on a secret formula handed down through generations of the MacKinnon family.

But after several years of heavy losses, the Drambuie company is now trying to reinvent the iconic Scottish drink - a blend of whisky, heather honey and herbs concocted by the prince's apothecary - as a refreshing long cocktail served with soda and a twist of lime.

The new combination was "road tested" in nightclubs in New York and Los Angeles last autumn when 3,000 young Americans were invited to sample the new combination.

The tasting will continue in more than 50 upmarket British bars this spring - in cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and London - as part of a 1.2m promotional campaign.

This will be accompanied by adverts in the printed media with the theme: 'Drambuie has been left on the shelf for years; now it has a new partner.'

The inaugural Drambuie Pursuit - in which teams compete in a gruelling athletic challenge, involving hill-running and white-water rafting, tracing the route the prince took to Skye after defeat at Culloden in 1746 - will also be held in April.

Phil Parnell, the company's new chief executive, admitted that despite its history, Drambuie was becoming "irrelevant" to a new generation of drinkers. "Drambuie was the drink that the over-50s would pull out at the end of a dinner party, but that market is dropping away. They may love it, but trying to cling on to a falling market was only heading towards the graveyard," he said.

"People in their mid-20s to mid-30s hardly know it at all, so if we are going to give Drambuie a future then we have to make them aware of it.

"We want it to be the drink they choose when they go out on a Friday night. My guess is that if the prince was around now he would heartily approve because it means that in every way his spirit lives on."

Traditionalists may not have liked it, but as part of the new campaign, bartenders across the globe were asked to experiment with Drambuie and a mixer to turn it from a short into a long drink.

The verdict was that it was best served with soda and a dash of fresh lime juice. Stirring is very important as the heavy spirit tends otherwise to sit at the bottom of the glass.

"Soda adds the refreshment and the lime adds the citrus twist to counterbalance the honey sweetness," Parnell said. "We believe that if you like gin and tonic or vodka and tonic you will like this."

Company legend has it that the recipe for the drink was handed personally to Captain John MacKinnon by Prince Charlie in return for helping him escape from Scotland following the battle in which Jacobite forces were defeated by a government army.

For 260 years, it has remained a jealously guarded secret and the mystique has helped make Drambuie a household name. The MacKinnon family grew wealthy on the proceeds of a thriving company, which also owns a multi- million-pound Scottish art collection - to be auctioned this month - and a valuable collection of original Jacobean artefacts.

Drambuie's popularity soared in the 1950s, particularly in the US, when 'Rat Pack' actors such as Frank Sinatra began drinking Rusty Nail, a combination of Scotch, Drambuie and lemon, and its reputation as an after-dinner liqueur survived the 1970s.

In its heyday it was selling 700,000 cases a year, but that figure has now halved amid declining sales.

The company recorded a series of multi-million-pound losses - 3m in 2003 - and the family has now relinquished management control of Drambuie while retaining complete ownership.

Under Parnell, who has reduced staffing by half and sold off assets such as the old Edinburgh headquarters, the company returned a modest 270,000 profit last year.

Drinks industry analysts agreed that Drambuie had to take action to help save the famous brand, but disagreed on the tactics.

Alan Gray, of brokers Charles Stanley Sutherlands, said it was a well-recognised brand that had been in decline for many years.

"There is still a niche for a traditional liqueur, but the new strategy makes a lot of sense. If they wanted to attract a younger generation then they had to come up with something new."

But a sour note was sounded by a senior industry executive who said he would prefer Drambuie to stick to its traditional strengths.

"Drambuie is a digestif that aids digestion in an after-dinner setting," said the executive, who declined to be named. "In my opinion it does not mix well and trying to turn it into a long drink is too far away from the nature of the beast."


This article:

http://www.scotsman.com/?id=68272006
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Geoff
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drambuie puke_r
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talisker25
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geoff wrote:
Drambuie puke_r



And Glayvar puke_r
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Johnny
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

talisker25 wrote:
Geoff wrote:
Drambuie puke_r



And Glayvar puke_r


puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r Like cherry cough medicine Sad
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