MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
Hotel bars typically do not have great personality. So when IHG was planning a signature lounge space in the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, the idea was to put some soul into it, said Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray, IHG’s Vice President of Food & Beverage for the Americas.
It was his first project as VP, and he decided to conceptualize the bar around a single spirit. After some research and consideration of the market, the choice was cognac. Today the hotel’s XO bar offers more than 60 different labels of cognac, which Etcheberrigaray said makes it the largest cognac bar in the United States, by selection.
“We have very affordable cognac to very unaffordable cognac — a $500 shot or a $10,000 bottle,” he said.
With that, the signature spirit bar was born. “We try to put a soul and a spirit, no pun intended, something that creates an environment, a proprietary something,” Etcheberrigaray said. “You try to connect the dots with the signature and personality and culture. Also, it gives our business many possibilities and ways to do cocktails.”