LCBO focuses on outdoor entertaining with easy, crowd-pleasing cocktails



    TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - LCBO is showcasing the latest in summer
cocktails and outdoor entertaining with the launch of Mix, Blend, Enjoy, a
month-long promotion in all 605 stores across Ontario.
    From June 22nd to July 19th, consumers will be introduced to four new
LCBO Signature Cocktails, developed exclusively for this promotion. These new
drinks are easy to prepare and are served in pitchers for larger groups - the
ideal solution for hosts who would rather spend more time mingling with
guests.
    "Customers have shown a keen interest in convenient drinks that are
refreshing and inventive for summer entertaining," says Bob Downey, LCBO
Senior VP Sales and Marketing. "This summer, we are offering an expanded
selection of spirits that are part of emerging cocktail trends."
    The use of fresh and exotic ingredients, like savoury herbs or goji berry
juice (similar to cranberry juice for sweetness and tanginess), as well as hot
flavour profiles such as maple or Açai, more natural colour hues,
pitcher-sized recipes and premium spirits are featured throughout the
promotion.
    Mix, Blend, Enjoy also includes a 65-page cocktail guide, available free
in LCBO stores with the purchase of any spirit product while quantities last.
The guide features 26 new pitcher-sized cocktail recipes and a mocktail
(non-alcoholic cocktail) at the front. It also includes tips on how to plan
the perfect outdoor soirée, whether it be at the cottage, on a patio or in a
backyard. Web podcasts and a series of tasting events are also being held at
select stores across the province each weekend during the promotion.
    Three of the new LCBO Signature Cocktails found in the guide - Tropical
Punch, Summer Sunset and Misty Morning - along with a fourth, The Lakeview,
have been developed with current cocktail trends in mind.
    Tropical Punch is ideal for warm, lazy days in the backyard, combining
coconut rum, melon liqueur, lime and pineapple juices. Summer Sunset takes
tequila-based cocktails to a new level by adding Açai tequila to limeade.
Misty Morning pairs maple-infused vodka with cranberry and fresh apple juices.
The Lakeview combines rum with white grape juice and lemon.
    "A popular base for summer cocktails, tequila is the fasting growing
spirit category at LCBO, with sales up 12.3 per cent in fiscal 2007-08," says
Michael Riley, LCBO Director, Spirits. "In fact, we sell more tequila in the
summer than during the holiday period in November and December."
    Almost 20 per cent of all tequila is sold by LCBO in July and August.
Exciting new tequila products being introduced during this promotion include
Sauza Açai and Mango tequilas.
    The resurgence of cocktails in recent years has also increased vodka's
popularity. Vodka is LCBO's second largest spirit category and is on pace to
overtake Canadian whisky this year. Sales were up 8.9 per cent or almost
$30 million in 2007-08. Leading this growth are deluxe and flavoured vodkas.
This trend is expected to continue with the introduction of four new flavours
this summer - Absolut Mango, Smirnoff Blueberry and Polar Ice Arctic Berry and
Maple.
    For the promotion, LCBO has also created an entertaining podcast series
featuring four online videos that demonstrate how to make the signature
cocktails and highlighting new recipes and spirits. "This is a new way for us
to connect with customers, share our expertise and inspire them at home," adds
Downey.
    The Mix, Blend, Enjoy podcast series will be available for free download
online at www.lcbo.com and on iTunes during the promotion. The Martini Club,
who worked with LCBO to create these new cocktails, hosts the two-minute
podcast episodes.
    All of the recipes, including non-alcoholic mocktails, are also available
on the LCBO website. Customers can taste the signature cocktails for
themselves at more than 1,500 tastings and other special events planned during
the promotion.
    For more information about LCBO's Mix, Blend, Enjoy in-store promotion,
featured products, and recipes, call the toll-free LCBO Infoline at
1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226). In Toronto, call (416) 365-5900 or visit your
nearest LCBO store. The TTY number for the deaf and hearing impaired is 416
864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291. Consumers can also access the LCBO website at
www.lcbo.com.
    LCBO reminds consumers to please drink responsibly and to never consume
alcohol when driving or boating. Don't forget to bring a reusable bag when
shopping at the LCBO and please remember to take your empty containers to The
Beer Store for a full deposit refund.
    Note: Recipes and corresponding images are available upon request.





For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Trina Hendry, Media Relations
Consultant, Marketing and Customer Insights, Tel. (416) 864-6803, Email:
trina.hendry@lcbo.com


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