Diageo is opening its innovation center to a group of bartenders, who are competing to create a new spirit to be sold in Western Europe as part of their luxury brands. Since the bartenders are closer to the consumer, Diageo is hoping to tap into their insight on popular drinks and trending liquors.
The company received more than two hundred ideas from bartenders about what kind of spirits might attract affluent drinkers. Four were chosen to be developed and tested under lab conditions this week.
The one that comes out on top will be further researched before going into commercial production, and could soon be on the shelves next to Diageo’s other drinks like Johnnie Walker and Baileys.
The Telegraph reports that the contenders includ a spicy spirit distilled from Sake, an English whiskey blended with vanilla and blackberry juice, a spirit made from tea leaves, and a new take on Dutch gin. Ravi Jakhodia, marketing manager for Diageo’s innovation business in Europe, told them:
We wanted to tap into the insight from bartenders. They could be coming up with innovations that we might not have seen because they are closer to the consumer.