A $200.000 cocktail

In the mid-2000s The Local, an Irish bar in Minnesota, attempted to boost Irish whiskey sales. The developed a drink called “Big Ginger”. Ingredients: Jameson® Irish whiskey, ginger ale, lemon and lime.

This whiskey cocktail became such a tremendous hit, that The Local became the No. 1 on-premise seller of Jameson in the world between 2006 and 2011. How’s that for marketing!

The owner of the Irish pub was smart enough to trademark “Big Ginger”, the name he invented for the popular cocktail. Pernod-Ricard, owner of Jameson® Irish whiskey, offered to buy the trademark – for obvious reasons – for $200,000.

The owner of The Local rejected the offer and instead went on to develop and import his own Irish whiskey, which he put in Big Ginger, replacing Jameson altogether.

Pernod-Ricard “avenged” by providing other Minnesota restaurants with promotional material for the “Big Jameson Ginger”. The Local was not amused by this; this was a clear attempt to benefit from the fame of the “Big Ginger” and to boost sales in the weeks before St. Patrick’s Day, obviously a great day for whiskey sales.

Before any court decision – legal proceedings had started already – Pernod-Ricard and The Local reached a settlement. Although no settlement terms were disclosed, it must have been a positive outcome for The Local.

If any of you see “Big Jameson Ginger” on upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, e-mail us a photo!

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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