What time is it? 

As the mobile gadgets market evolves, beverage companies have to find ways to keep up with the new platforms. Alcohol delivery app Swill jumped on the Apple Watch initiative by becoming a day-one partner of the smartwatch and one of the first alcohol-delivery apps on the platform, the company says. Swill connects users with local alcohol vendors to order beer, wine, spirits and mixers for delivery in 60 minutes or less, the company says. The app also includes tasting notes and recommendations to help consumers learn more about different products. Swill is available for Apple product users of legal drinking age for current or
soon-to-be-available alcohol delivery in New York City; Buffalo, N.Y.; New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; Austin; Miami; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Diego; and San Francisco. It also plans to launch a version for Android users in the near future.  


A first taste 

Beringer now is allowing consumers to try their wine before they buy it — without even taking a sip. In April, the wine label started a new sampling initiative in Kroger stores in 20 states that presents consumers with flavor strips for the label’s three most-popular wines: Chardonnay, White Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The flavor strips’ test station is mounted to the wine shelf for easy use and dispenses the individually wrapped, non-alcohol flavor strips that allow for consumer trial at any hour of the day, the brand says. The taste stations also are equipped with cutouts for the discarded packaging, reducing clutter in the store, it says. The company anticipates the program will be adopted by multiple retailers in the coming months.


The real deal

 Following an April Fools’ Day prank about a special-edition Scotch whisky named for “Entourage” character Johnny Drama, Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky brand released a real marketing campaign featuring the character. In its new short film, “Johnny for Johnnie,” the brand extends the TV show and soon-to-be movie character’s storyline, showing that, when you pursue a passion with over-the-top optimism, persistence and a little bit of “layering,” you can achieve victory, the brand says. The brand chose to center on this particular character because of his dedication to Johnnie Walker Blue Label and his “dream large, live larger” spirit that led him to keep working to pursue his dreams, much like the Johnnie Walker Keep Walking campaign strives to do. Fans can follow the Johnnie Walker and Johnny Drama journey on the Johnnie Walker YouTube channel and by following the hashtag #KeepWalking.


Shining in the sky

Onyx Spirits Co. is sending its moonshine into the
wild blue yonder. A team of scientists spent two
years constructing “Onyx 1,” a custom-built, weather-balloon-powered apparatus engineered to carry a 750-ml bottle of Onyx Moonshine along with a rocks glass, both mounted on a silver platter, 22 miles up into the sky. The platform also has been fitted with GoPro cameras, GPS, a radar deflector, a deployable parachute and a protective foam casing that will safeguard the bottle upon its projected landing in the Long Island Sound after its journey into the skies above.


When cucumbers fly

Hendrick’s Gin, a whimsical brand promoting all things odd and unusual, is exploring marketing in the sky with the launch of its Hendrick’s Airship in April. The 130-foot-long, 44-foot-tall flying apparatus has been christened The Flying Cucumber and is adorned with a giant “eye in the sky,” which will exude the brand’s whimsy and dashing sense of purpose, the brand says. The Flying Cucumber will make a coast-to-coast voyage from April through August. In addition, the aircraft will grant expeditionary flights to fellow unusualists in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Austin; Dallas; south Florida; New Jersey; New York; Philadelphia; Boston; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Indianapolis; and Chicago. To follow the misadventures and triumphs of Hendrick’s Air, visit


The perfect cup

Keeping with tradition, Woodford Reserve released its annual designer $1,000 Mint Julep Cup at the Kentucky Derby again this year. For this year’s Mint Julep Cup, Fashion Designer Billy Reid and Mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer collaborated to design a cup and cocktail that are distinctly modern, the brand says. The Vault, a Louisville, Ky.-based jeweler, handcrafted the cups that pays tribute to past derbies while at the same time looks to the future of the iconic event, it says. This year’s Mint Julep inside the cup represents a new take on the classic cocktail, it adds. Using the finest ingredients, the recipe honors the history behind the cocktail while also appealing to contemporary julep drinkers, it says.


On stage

Eurofusion’s Aquaçai water will hydrate attendees, staffers and performers of City Park Foundation’s 30th annual SummerStage event series as the exclusive season-long sponsor. The event hosts musicians, dancers and other performers throughout the summer in New York. In addition, Aquaçai will host special activation nights at SummerStage 2015, during which it will host special guests. For example, Aquaçai will host VP Records’ 35th anniversary celebration with Maxi Priest, Gyptian, Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons, and Massive B this month; National Public Radio and New York public radio station, WNYC’s Ask MeAnother in July; the SummerStage 30th Anniversary Celebration with Afrika Babaataa,
Gilles Peterson and Quantic in August; and Walk the Moon in September.


Legends making legend

Cheerwine is on a mission to spotlight local legends worthy of nationwide acclaim. The Local Legends, National Treasures campaign aims to recognize the “gems” in communities large and small across the country, the company says. Consumers can visit www.cheerwine.com/locallegends to nominate individuals, institutions and traditions cherished in their towns or cities and vote for those deserving of “legend” status, it says. Nominations also can be posted to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #cheerwinelocallegend. As part of the campaign, Cheerwine also is introducing its first-ever face of the brand: “a real down-to-earth guy” named Bo Stevenson. Stevenson, also known as “The Legend Hunter,” will tour the country in search of amazing local people and places and will share his discoveries in a series of webisodes on social and digital media.