- Associated Press - Friday, November 4, 2016

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - The craft cocktail movement is being partly credited with lifting liquor sales in eastern Virginia.

Sales revenue from spirits at state stores in Hampton Roads jumped 5.1 percent over the last fiscal year, the Daily Press reports (http://bit.ly/2fI2OlJ). That means $210 million was spent on liquor, up $10 million from the previous year.

Eddie Wirt, a spokesman for Virginia’s ABC stores, said the state typically follows national trends and that flavored vodkas and whiskeys remain popular. But local bartenders say Tidewater residents also are seeking out artisan cocktails.

Verdie Mae Meyers, general manager of The Deadrise waterfront restaurant in Hampton, said people want to try something new. For instance, the Deadrise will muddle cucumber or basil in simple syrups, or sugar water, to create hard-to-replicate cocktails.

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Information from: Daily Press, http://www.dailypress.com/

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