It was already the end of September when I landed in Matsumoto City to meet the bartender who would help us for the Matsumoto Craft Festival in October. The person in charge from the City of Commerce joined me at the gentleman's bar. I'd already sent the rum to his bar, so as soon as we finished introducing each other, he made a cocktail for us using Antelope Island Rum. It's a pink sweet cocktail made from Matsumoto apple juice Del Monte cranberry juice. The color was pretty and it tasted good, and not too strong, so seems perfect for outdoor event. Getting his help was a great idea! Now we need a name for this cocktail but we still have some time.
The bartender told us that he had established a craft beer company in Matsumoto City this April and had a nice wooden draft beer serving counter already made, that he used for an outdoor event just this past summer. He said we could use this counter. He also asked us if it would be all right if we serve his new craft beer at this event. If we let him sell his beer there then he could take care of everything we would need at the event, such as plastic cups, ice, straws and so on. Wow! Seriously? Isn't this what we were trying to achieve? I mean economic exchange between two sister cities? And I don't have to worry about any of the accessories we'd need for exhibition? Like ice, cups, straws ? That's a win-win situation for both of us! Super! Now we have a good concept how to run the show.
Half a month later, on a sunny October day, we were able to set up a super cool booth with support from Matsumoto. We sold 5 bottles of rum and 50L of draft beer! Other craft spirits I had hoped to import and sell at the festival were not ready to import by October, but we displayed samples of them for people to look at. With the help of our friends in Matsumoto City our booth was pretty outstanding and was even lucky enough to be chosen by the local TV station to kick off the noon hour news show with 'Superstar' and their live opening! Things could not have gotten any better. Our efforts totally paid off and we made a tone of friends.
Oh, the name of the cocktail is Salt Lake Breeze. It was named after Matsumoto Breeze, a local cocktail using vodka instead of rum. Salt Lake Breeze is available at bars in Matsumoto City. Ask for it, and please try one if you get a chance.