15 June, 2007

Scunthorpe takes it ≠lying down

Lovers of Scunthorpe, look away now if you don't want to see the results of an analysis of your favourite town by John Baines, senior trading controller of the Today's wholesale group.

At last week's Drinksummit conference, Baines was keen to extol the - er - virtues of his company's head office location. After listing one of its main industries as handbag theft and explaining that local women wore mattresses on their back "in case they meet someone they know", Baines told the audience: "If you want to know what Scunthorpe looked like in the 1970s ... go there tomorrow."

No power to the people

A man doing a robot impression with a power drill in a WKD ad has brought the wrath of the TV viewing population down on Beverage Brands. Four viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Agency, saying it was dangerous to link alcohol with power tools. One of them rapped the ad for showing an unsafe practice, because the men were using a drill without wearing eye protection. Another complained that it could encourage young children to mimic the actions using a power drill. We at OLN absolutely agree with the ASA's decision not to uphold the complaints - and anyway, if these people are so worried about it, they should stop giving their kids power tools.

Bath wine

If any OLN readers find yourselves with wine you don't want to drink, don't tip it away - take a leaf out of Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher's book and pour it into your bathwater. Hatcher told Hollywood gossip website Tittle Tattle: "When you're alone you open a bottle of wine and then it's not really good after four or five days. This make-up ≠chemist that I know was talking about all the good properties in wine - antioxidants and stuff, exfoliating qualities - and she said, 'Never throw it out, dump it in your bath.'"

Italian attractions

The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting on June 27 should be a rather exciting event. Not only will there be heaps (lakes?) of Italian wines, but apparently the producers are pretty hot as well. Natura Amore's Ricardo Antonella has promised a bit of eye candy to go with new wines Maskaria and Iris. "The very attractive founders will be attending at the fair," he told OLN. "All buyers can take a picture with them." Don't forget your cameras!

Chef bucks trend with sorbet

Despite its exalted heritage in a Benedictine monastery in Devon, Buckfast Tonic Wine has tended to be seen less on the dinner tables of the rich and famous and more as a superstrength pre-load for Scottish teenagers. But not any more. Chefs at luxury Balbirnie House Hotel, north of Edinburgh, have introduced Buckfast sorbet as part of a new gourmet ice cream range, according to Scotland's Mail on Sunday, and are marketing it as "a traditional Scottish pick-me-up with a kick". Chef Ian MacDonald, who came up with the dessert, said: "I had never tasted Buckfast before I started working on the sorbet recipe. I must say it's an acquired taste but the sorbet is very refreshing."

Prince of pleasure

He might not have been jauntily patting his bottom with joy, but Prince William has been spotted in Asda buying £850-worth of alcohol. With thirsty soldiers waiting for him back at barracks, the prince cleared the shop in Weymouth, Dorset, of its entire stock of Pimm's - packing 15 bottles of the drink into his trolley, along with bottles of vodka, rum and snacks. Dressed in jeans, blue T-shirt and a baseball cap, William jumped on to the back of a trolley and free-wheeled through the store straight for the drinks aisle, according to store manager Darren Rideout.

Fancy going Dutch?

Dutch students already have a certain reputation and this has been sealed with the invention of powdered alcohol by four classmates at the Helicon Vocational Institute near Amsterdam. Booz2Go comes in 20g packets which, when added to water, produce a lime-flavoured drink with an alcohol kick of 3 per cent. The product has "advantages" other than pure convenience: according to the inventors, it will be able to be sold legally to under-16s because the alcohol is not in liquid form. The Daily Mail will be most impressed.

For Smash, get Mash

How utterly annoying. It turns out that the chief executive of Thresher's new owner, Vision Capital, is not called Julian Smash (as reported on various websites this week) but Julian Mash. All very appropriate for a beer retailer but not nearly as much fun in headlines.

Here, kitty, kitty

Heard about the crisp new energy drink with all-natural ingredients, including milk thistle, ginseng, fruit juice and a range of herbs? It was in development for two years and has been given a "stylish and premium" packaging. Sounds great, doesn't it? OK, you go and order one in a London bar. Its brand name? Pussy.

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