October 16, 2006

(Mostly) Booze-Related Blogs We Read Every Day

Drinking and ReadingEver noticed how drinking booze inflates someone's self-importance and makes them feel like they're the center of the universe? That's how we feel every day, and our Editor in Chief in particular spends his time strutting around like a peacock and quoting himself out loud. We can't spend all of our time reading our own website, however, as much as we'd like to. So, we've rounded up a list of our booze-related required reading so you can check them out and remember why you love us best. Did we really say that? Scandalous!

Strictly Booze - These are the other fellas who are out there grinding their livers into cheesecloth and blogging furiously about booze and booze alone.

Martini Lounge - As of this writing Rick is taking a 2 week break, but when he's on he's way on, with clever and insightful things to say about getting blotto.

Days That End in "Y" - Another boozer in the Boston area, Mike can give you a reason to drink any day of the week...and he's even made a Google widget to support it.

The Scotch Blog - Not a dilettante generalist like us, Kevin writes about Scotch and he does it well. If you ask us, he wrote the book on getting people interested in uisge beatha.

Cocktail Chronicles - This is a new one (as in new to us) we've started checking out recently, but we're impressed with the fact that Paul is much classier than us. Plus, check out his postings on Mixology Mondays for cocktail recipe ideas.

Luxist Spirits - These guys are on the higher end of the spectrum, focusing on the chi chi aspects of drinking. Bully for them.

(Men's) Lifestyle - The lifestyle blogs are the guys who are writing about everything dude, from style to attitude. Luckily, dude is often full of booze.

The Sporting Life - These guys are trying to help chronicle the makings of a "classic life in a disposable age." They also like to drink.

Dethroner - Another new kid we recently discovered, Dethroner touts itself as a field guide for the modern man, and features more-than-occasional posts about drinking, along with fighting, picking up chicks and getting dressed.

Urban Monarch - We knew we were going to forget someone, and we totally did. These guys give all sorts of advice, from booze to relationships to gadgets, all aimed at the "modern gentleman." Guess that leaves us out.

Gadgeteers - These are the blogs that look strictly at gadgets, and while they're not always terribly related to what we do, sometimes we're lucky enough to find gadgets that get us drunk quicker. Our usual suspects include Uncrate, Product Dose, Coolest Gadgets and Coolbuzz.

Oh, and it's not exactly a blog since it's a monthly publication, but if you're not reading Modern Drunkard Magazine with regularity you're doing yourself a disservice.

Are there any booze blogs out there that should be added to our daily diet? If so, please let us know by emailing us at news [at] liquorsnob [dot] com.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at October 16, 2006 7:06 AM
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FrostShot owner eyes market in S. Florida
A Coconut Grove entrepreneur who concocted a frozen alcoholic shot is selling his product abroad.
Juan Echeverri thought he had a hot idea for a cool drink: a frozen alcoholic popsicle.

So he invented the FrostShot, a stickless popsicle with a punch: 10 percent alcohol. Rum, vodka and tequila are mixed with the six flavors: cherry, citrus, raspberry, lime, passion fruit and pineapple.

The product is for sale in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago. Echeverri, a seasoned entrepreneur at age 23, hopes to test the shots in South Florida's bars and clubs this summer before he fully enters the U.S. market.

The Coconut Grove resident's concept was a gold finalist in last year's Business Plan Challenge.

''When I entered the Business Plan Challenge, I didn't have a formula. The idea was there,'' he said.

Since the challenge, Echeverri has developed the formula, marketed the product, begun production and launched distribution in January in South America. He hopes to sell 1 million popsicles by June. He has 10 people on his payroll and expects to break even within the next year on his initial investment in machinery of about $550,000.

Beverage industry consultants say new alcohol ventures can have a tough time in the United States. Big-name players such as Bacardi dominate the business, and smaller ventures, even if successful, tend to get bought out by the giants, said Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark, a California firm that advises in the food and beverage industries.


The ''X-factor,'' Pirko said, is how much money owners can invest in marketing, which requires a substantial amount of capital.

''There are two levers, and you push them at the same time. One is money, and the other is good luck,'' he added. ``No matter how much hard work and diligence, you've got to hit it right.''

Echeverri started in business at age 14, when he bought gumball machines at businesses from Key Largo to Fort Lauderdale. He sold the machines in 2001 at age 18 and took over a bankrupt aircraft supply parts company in Miami, now Apollo ASG.

After spending a year in Colombia in 2004, he started a nonprofit organization for single mothers. They sell one of his products, a frozen, nonalcoholic popsicle called Frost Bite, to children in schools, which share the profits.

He got the idea for FrostShot in June 2005, when he saw somebody use a popsicle as a mixer in an alcoholic drink. He met with two freelance engineers, who discovered how to modify and freeze the molecules. They also had to raise the percentage of alcohol so it could compete with other beverages, like beer, sold in bars.

By last August, Echeverri had received approvals from all the countries he's now working with.

Since then, he's been modifying the packaging, focusing on brand recognition, targeting more countries for distribution and trying to design a tube-shaped display freezer for the FrostShots.

Dale DeGroff, a consultant for the food and beverage industries, said the idea of frozen alcohol isn't new; he saw frozen alcoholic ice cream at a Madrid food festival about three years ago.


Echeverri said his frozen pop uses liquor, not the malt alcohol in similar treats, and has three times the amount of alcohol. Yet he remains worried about how the FrostShot will fit into the already drenched national alcohol market.

''I want to make sure I'm 100 percent ready to conquer such a big market,'' he said.

Still, he said he's received a lot of interest in FrostShot. He hopes to sell his product in the United States for $1 a piece because ``I don't think I can compete any higher than that.''

''I want it for mass consumption,'' he said. ``I'd rather have mass sales and a small profit margin versus small sales and a large profit margin.''

Think you have a cool idea? Entries for this year's Business Plan Challenge must be postmarked by Friday or e-mailed by midnight Saturday.

Posted by: Paul Esco at April 10, 2007 10:20 AM

Check out www.drinkoftheweek.com, Lot's of recipes, tips and cocktail fun. Even a new drink each week to try out.


Posted by: Barkeep at October 16, 2006 7:59 PM

Cheers! *hic*

Posted by: The Sporting Life at October 16, 2006 7:42 AM
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