Seminars Promote Heritage and Holiday Cocktail Traditions

Washington, D.C. — The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) today announced a series of export promotion activities and whiskey and cocktail seminars in Hong Kong and Southern China, beginning with hosting an American Spirits Pavilion at the Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Expo for local beverage trade and media.  The three-day show, November 8-10, marks the first of four events in Hong Kong and Guangzhou to celebrate American spirits, particularly whiskeys, and holiday cocktails for Chinese taste-maker audiences.

The Council events will feature premium U.S. distilled spirits products from large producers such as Brown-Forman (Jack Daniel’s) and Jim Beam, as well as nine small craft distillers including Asheville Distilling Company (NC), Death’s Door Distillery (WI), Few Spirits (IL), House Spirits Distillery (OR), Kōloa Rum Company (HI), Michter’s Distillery (KY), Osocalis Distillery (CA), Philadelphia Distilling (PA) and Tuthilltown Spirits (NY).  A highlight of the seminars will be the participation of famed Washington, D.C. mixologist and cocktail authority Derek Brown, who will showcase classic and modern mixology with premium American Spirits during the seminars.

The activities in China will include:

  • American Spirits Pavilion at the Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Expofrom November 8-10, 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention Center, which will feature three days of  tastings for nearly 12,000 members of the media and beverage trade and an American Cocktail seminar with Derek Brown.
  • American Whiskey and Cocktail Seminar, hosted in conjunction with the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (USDA), for 100 members of the media and beverage trade at The French Window in Hong Kong on November 9, 2012.
  • Traditional Thanksgiving Feast Featuring American Whiskey Pairings and Cocktails, an invite-only event with Ms. Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, U.S. Consul General in Guangzhou, China at the private residence of the regional Agricultural Trade Office Director (USDA) for Southern China on November 12, 2012.  The six-course traditional Thanksgiving dinner will feature a tasting of American Whiskeysand classic American Cocktail pairings created by Derek Brown.
  • American Whiskey and Cocktail Seminar,hosted in conjunction with the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (USDA), for 60 members of the media and beverage trade at the Marriott China Hotel in Guangzhou on November 13, 2012.

In addition to Brown’s mixology demonstration, the events will include a discussion of the history of spirits and the distilling process, as well as a tasting of American Whiskeys presented by Council Senior Vice President Frank Coleman.  Guests will have the opportunity to sample and learn about the complex flavors and unique aging process of American Whiskeys.

“We are honored to be here in China to showcase the heritage and flavors of American Whiskeys and to share the traditions of American Thanksgiving,” said Coleman.  “Premium Bourbons and Tennessee Whiskeys are experiencing significant growth in global markets because of their authentic heritage, their distinctive flavors and their versatility in cocktails, and we are excited to be able to share them with media and the trade in Hong Kong and China.  Also, we are particularly grateful to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Consulate for their support of these export promotion activities.”

Brown added, “Whether served straight, over ice, or in simple, creative cocktails, these drinks are perfect for our Thanksgiving celebrations at home but can also be served every day.  My goal is to educate the beverage trade in China on the benefits of including American Whiskeys in their cocktail programs.”


  • Whiskeys accounted for 76% of the $6.1 million in U.S. spirits exports to China in 2011 (supplier sales)
  • U.S. distilled spirits exports to China are up 518% since 2000
  • Up 33.5% year-to-date (through August 2012) Data source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission



For more information, please contact:

In China:

Eddie Cheung

WineSpace Ltd.

Phone: 020 – 8516 7803

E-mail: [email protected]


In the United States:

Alexandra Sklansky, Director of Public Relations
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Phone: 516-428-7210

E-mail: [email protected]