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Four Appalling Things I Saw At the NY Bar Show

Yesterday, I attended the New York Bar & Wine Show, an annual trade event aimed at bar and restaurant owners. I return every year because I usually pick up great intel about new products – this year, for example, I tried some amazing mezcals and piscos.

But I’m also drawn back in by the entertainment value. I am utterly flabbergasted by the array of bizarre, puzzling, and sometimes troubling products and marketing techniques showcased at this event.  Here’s a sampling. Enjoy.

Light Up Vodka Bottles

There’s an LED chip at the bottom of these bottles that illuminates in one of several flashing colors, and the kind folks at the booth gave me a shot glass with the same technology. So how’s the vodka? It was not the firewater I feared, and was smooth if unremarkable. But with a bottle that lights up, who cares?

Adult Chocolate Milk

Tastes like Yoo-hoo, and goes down just as easy. This was getting lots and lots of traffic at the show, so expect to see some at a bar near you soon.

Alcoholic Whipped Cream

Another booth with buzz. Everyone seemed to enjoy this product, which clocks in at 30 proof – less than most spirits, more than most wines. I tried the chocolate whipped cream, and as much as I’m a bit horrified by the idea, it was admittedly rather tasty. Foam in any format seemed to get lots of attention, including a non-alcoholic fruit-based foam a couple of aisles over.

Ice Luge

This is not a product, but to sell a particular line, one company arranged for an entire bar to be constructed from ice including a luge for shots. Classy, and oh-so-hygienic.

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