There has been a lot of talk in recent years about responsibility and drinking in the industry, but William Grant & Sons is taking putting their party where their mouth is with an unexpected move. The company will be throwing the first ever booze free Portfolio Party at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans this July. As Tales is under new ownership, we all expect this year to feel a bit different and although this is an extremely well-intended move, it certainly sounds a bit risky to pull off. Of course, there will be other opportunities throughout the festival to taste the delightfully quirky portfolio’s “juice”
William Grant & Sons Director of Brand Advocacy, Charlotte Voisey, answered a few of our questions about the surprising event:
Firstly, the obvious, why?
It is really just as simple as proving that we can come together as an industry and network, enjoy each other’s company, have a good time and present our brands to bartenders without needing to serve and drink alcohol. We believe in the need for balance and responsible consumption and are pleased to have this opportunity to lead with it on our biggest stage.
What type of activations / activities will be taking place at the Portfolio Party this year since there will not be cocktails and tastings?
Each year, the William Grant & Sons Opening Party at Tales has a theme, and this year is no different. 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the cult movie ‘Cocktail’ so we have decided to celebrate that with activations by brand that highlight scenes from the movie, from the bars in New York City over to the beaches in Jamaica. There will be some interactive elements dotted around the party, to be revealed on the night, that tie in with either the movie or one of our brands, or sometimes both. The Mardi Gras World space affords us activities both inside and outside and each half of the party will have a DJ playing familiar tunes and setting the vibe.
How will each brand’s “magic” be highlighted at the event?
We are lucky to have a rich portfolio of brands with great provenance, stories and character all of which will be on full display at the party. But the real magic will be brought to life through the hospitality of our Brand Ambassador team. These twenty-five rare characters will host the party and ensure everyone is meeting and mingling and generally having a great time – regardless of what they are drinking.
Who is creating these drinks for each brand in the portfolio?
And for the drinks this year, we have brought on rising star Julia Momose, from Chicago, who has made a name for herself in the world of ‘spirit-free’ cocktails. Julia will be working alongside our Ambassador team to come up with interesting cocktails and serves that inspire our bartender audience to appreciate new flavors, see interesting techniques and think outside of the box. A true beverage professional should master not only alcoholic cocktails, but all kinds of quality drinks.
Our Best Stories Delivered Daily