Diageo has launched German vermouth brand Belsazar into its Reserve portfolio with an eye to upping the vermouth range’s presence in the on-trade.
The spirits giant acquired Belsazar from Distill Ventures, the Diageo-funded ‘spirits accelerator’, earlier this year. Belsazar’s founders, Max Wagner and Sebastian Brack have retained their involvement in the company.
|The Winter Spritz
By The Devil’s DarlingGlass: Wine glass
Garnish: Grapefruit twist
Method: Combine all ingredients in the glass, top with cubed ice and stir.
75ml Belsazar Rosé 50ml prosecco
By The Devil’s DarlingGlass: Wine glass or highball glass
Garnish: Lime twist
Method: Combine all ingredients in the glass, add ice and stir gently.
50ml Belsazar White
Hackney bar Devil’s Darling played host to Diageo’s official launch event for Belsazar, developing a new Belsazar-focused holiday menu with drinks such as the Winter Spritz and the Snowball.
‘With the launch of Belsazar [to the Diageo portfolio]we hope to excite bartenders with this innovative product that will add value and help shape quality drinking experiences for consumers when spending time in the on-trade,’ said head of Diageo Reserve GB Richard Larkin.
The Belsazar range currently comprises five vermouths: a white, a red, a rosé, a dry and a limited-edition Riesling. However, the brand has plans to expand its offerings with bartenders in mind.
‘For bartenders, we’re working on a Sauvignon Blanc vermouth, partnering with high-end wineries with a good reputation to create something with more complexity that might not be as approachable for consumers,’ Brack told Imbibe.
‘We also want to age our vermouths. It was a process we didn’t do in the past because we wanted the whole range to be fresh, but now we have the chance to get casks from [Diageo-owned whisky brand] Port Ellen, for example, and we’re considering cask ageing to really highlight the wine. For 2019, we plan to launch a product for bartenders and something more consumer-friendly.’
Want more Belsazar? Imbibe spoke with founder Max Wagner about the massive growth in the vermouth market – get his insights here.