When I first heard about the Nutcracker, I was completely intrigued, but when I got home to do some proper research, I felt the heartburn just thinking about it.
The conversation came up when I saw these bottles at a shop in Queens. Turns out the owner of the shop also owned the label, so of course I had to find out more.
Apparently,the Nutcracker is a cocktail sold on the streets and in bodegas (illegally) in Washington Heights and Harlem. It’s basically a mix of anything cheap, sweet, and alcoholic. Now do you feel the heartburn? You can read up more here: NY Times. Bizarre.
I went to a Remy Martin tasting last week after a colleague forwarded me the invite. Prior, The only dedicated alcoholic pop-up marketing projects I had gone to were House of Walker and a private tasting of Balvenie.
It was a pretty warehousey area all the way on the west side of 34th St, but it was a pleasant surprise seeing the posh temporary space upstairs. They called the event the Remy Martin Heart of Cognac Experience. We walked in and grabbed some “Remy and Ginger” (ale) and cognacs straight.
After a drink in the bar, some gorgeous women brought us back to a giant lab table covered with mini alchemy sets of 4-, 8-, and 14- year old cognac. Everyone in the group competed to construct a VSOP based purely on aroma and of course my team won (by a lucky guess?).
It was an all around fun event for young drinkers. After the mixing they took us around themed rooms, even one with a “straight-from-the-cask” gimic (…I mean excellent marketing). Too bad the brand ambassador had already told us they were retired casks AKA they just threw some cognac into a dusty cask. Gross?
I definitely recommend this event to people who want to learn more about cognac, but I wouldn’t expect too much. We didn’t really learn about the intricacies of production aside from one major point they drove home: there are a bagillion production batches that go into one blend. Ok, this can definitely go both ways. If it were Scotch you could be the Johnnie Walker with massive blends, or you could be a single malt or single barrel. I’m pretty sure the presentation was dumbed down considering that Remy Martin in reality does have a very comprehensive line of cognac to ultra ultra premium Louis XIII for a bagillion dollars.