Drambuie toasts American sales rise

THE revival in the popularity of cocktails in America and the growth of flavoured whiskeys such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey have helped Drambuie to “turn a corner” in its American sales, according to its chief executive.

Michael Kennedy said the Scottish whisky liqueur had made its name in the United States thanks to its inclusion in the “rusty nail”, a cocktail favoured by the “Rat Pack” group of actors.

Television series based in the 1950s, such as Mad Men, have helped to increase the popularity of cocktails, he added, a trend noticed in sales of Drambuie, which is made using whisky, honey and a combination of herbs and spices passed down from Bonnie Prince Charlie.

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Kennedy added: “Our sales will rise by about 2 per cent in the United States this year. That marks a turning point because we were down about 3 per cent last year.”

He expects turnover and profits to be up year-on-year when Glasgow-based Drambuie brings its financial year to a close on 30 June, despite sales being buffeted by the Eurozone debt crisis in key markets such as Greece, Spain and Portugal.

As well as the growth in its North American business, Drambuie is pushing into emerging markets including Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Vietnam. The firm is also expanding in Australia.

Closer to home, Drambuie plans to roll out its “taste of the extraordinary” advertising campaign, which ran in London last winter, across Scotland, as well as working with Stefan King’s G1 Group of bars to promote the drink.