Raise your hand if you’ve not even started your Christmas shopping yet! We’ll be raising our hands too, don’t worry. But at least we’ll all get to enjoy that satisfying drink at the end of it!
It seemed like the festive season started particularly early this year and that’s no bad thing. Early Christmas shopping in October put retail sales 6.3% above spending in October 2019.
Christmas shopping is often a hectic affair, requiring focus and determination to battle through the crowds, carry the bags and not forget anything. But hospitality venues, from pubs to restaurants, can be just what’s needed to soothe those weary shoppers who are seeking a welcome break. There is a perfect opportunity for operators to capture these shopping crowds, inviting them in for some respite away from the chaos, and bring in some extra profit at the same time!
We’ve picked our 5 favourite drinks that we think will be just what those Christmas shoppers need after a busy day.
1. Mexpresso Martini
Demand for ready-to-drink (RTD) products continues to grow amongst customers, with the category expected to account for 8% of total beverage alcohol by 2025!
Ready-to-drink cocktails are going to be a sure-fire hit with those tired shoppers who are looking for an immediately satisfying drink. Aquariva’s pre-made cocktails deliver something a little different and are not something customers can easily get at home. Twists on two classic cocktails, the Mexpresso Martini and Tommy Margarita are made with their Aquariva 100% Reposado Tequila, so customers can be sure they’re getting a high-quality serve that just so happens to be ready-to-drink!
2. Twisted Negroni
Founded in April 2020, Lockdown Liquor & Co are still fairly new to the market, but the brand has grown exponentially since launching. They offer small-batch, premium blended cocktails, which speak perfectly to customers heading back out to trade who are seeking quality drinks, with only the best ingredients, that they can enjoy with friends.
Lockdown Liquor & Co’s vibrant collection of cocktails will delight those weary shoppers and bring a touch of sophistication to any occasion. From classics such as the Espresso Martini, to fun twists like the Torino – a twist on the classic Negroni, where gin is replaced by vodka and juniper water - there’s something for everyone!
What could be better than a refreshing glass of prosecco after a hard day shopping? We imagine there’s not much else that brings that sense of instant gratification. Earlier this year, world-famous popstar Kylie Minogue released her range of wine and it’s been a roaring success. Treat customers to some of that glitz and glam with Kylie’s Rosé Prosecco that’s ultra-refreshing with a delicious citrus finish – just what’s needed after a long day shopping!
3. Plum Sour
You can’t really go wrong with a gin and tonic. Satisfying and refreshing, it’s sure to hit the spot. Why not take it a step further with Didsbury Gin's delightful collection of flavoured gins, that works beautifully in some festive gin and tonics or creative cocktails.
While we find it hard to pick our favourite, we think that their limited-edition Plum & Rosehip gin will be a hit with the Christmas crowds – Didsbury London Dry Gin is blended with the distinct flavour of fresh British plums and floral notes of subtly sweet rosehip. It’s perfect for unique cocktails, such as the Plum Sour.
5. Raspberry Crush Royale
Flavoured vodka now has an 8% share of total vodka*. The category lends itself perfectly for venues looking to experiment with some creative serves over the Christmas period.
Smirnoff’s new ‘Raspberry Crush’ is one that we’re sure will delight customers, particularly those who are looking to treat themselves after a hard day shopping. For a Raspberry Crush Royale (great for any celebratory occasion) simply add Smirnoff Raspberry Crush to a champagne flute, top with prosecco and garnish with raspberry. Simple but fun!
With Christmas being one of the busiest times of the year, it can be easy to focus all energy on those larger bookings. But identifying these windows of opportunity with smaller groups can help venues benefit with some quick wins to really maximise their profits during the festive season.
*Diageo On-Trade Market Report P9