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Merry Mixing: festive serves for those up-tempo occasions

Xmas Blogs (1)

Christmas is all about the big celebrations!

This year, more people are seeking memorable experiences when they visit the on-trade and are happy to pay a little extra for the perfect serve. According to CGA, 42% of consumers are willing to spend more on a better-quality drink.

We’ve scoured our range for the best selection of drinks to appeal to customers looking for a fun night out. Read on for our advice on making the most of the silly season with a range of premium spirits, sparkling wine, and fun, easy cocktails.

Simple, Speedy and Scrumptious

Up-tempo occasions bring big crowds and that means speed is of the essence for bartenders run off their feet making cocktail after cocktail. Make their lives easier with pre-prepared cocktail mixes that will delight your customers in a fraction of the time.

We’ve all been there. You serve one Espresso Martini on a busy night and eyes light up around the room. Suddenly, everybody wants one and the tickets are piling up. There’s a simpler way to cater for the coffee-loving crowd with Fever-Tree's new Espresso Martini Mixer. It’s a delicious blend of the finest Kenyan coffee extracts with notes of vanilla. Perfect for speedy service without compromising on taste, simply pair with Absolut Original Vodka for a rich and smooth Espresso Martini.

Passionfruit Martinis have taken the cocktail world by storm in the last few
years to become one of the most in demand drinks across the UK. The Fever-Tree Passionfruit Martini cocktail mix is perfect for large parties and makes a delicious cocktail when paired with a flavoured vodka, like Absolut Vanilia for a fruity, festive serve.

No matter the weather, the spritz is a crowd favourite when spirits are high and the excitement is building for a great night out. For an elevated spritz experience, Chandon Garden Spritz combines Chandon sparkling wine with bitter liqueur made from natural orange peel extract, carefully selected spices and locally sourced Valencia oranges. The perfect party-starter, add a festive twist by garnishing with a dried orange wheel and sprig of rosemary.

With the revel in full swing, a ready to-serve cocktail is what’s needed for those bulk orders. Lockdown Liquor & Co. have remained loyal to the classic Espresso Martini and kept the focus on using the finest cold brew coffee blend alongside award-winning vodka, simple syrup and coffee liqueur.

In the premium spirit

Elevate your customers' drinking experience by spotlighting your premium spirits through staff recommendations, menu nods, or specially created cocktails.

56% of those who prefer a mixed drink say they are very likely to pay more for a better-quality spirit and mixer when they are out

Vodka continues to be one of the most popular requests from
partygoers. CÎROC Blue Dot Vodka is bright and crisp with hints of fresh citrus and sweet honey. How about serving in a 'Blue Dot X Grapefruit'? 
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add 50ml CÎROC Blue Dot, top with 150ml Grapefruit soda. Stir and garnish with a fresh grapefruit wedge.

Distilled in small batches with the four original botanicals of London Dry and the addition of fresh whole grapefruits, oranges, limes and chamomile flowers, Tanqueray No.10 Gin brings an explosion of fresh citrus with every sip.

Excite and delight treat-minded customers. Highlight premium serves on your drinks list and incorporate into staff training on seasonal festive serves.

Spontaneous festive parties deserve a cut of dash, and the spectacular Hendrick's French 75 is without doubt the most dashing of celebratory sips.

Add Add 30ml Hendrick's Original, 10ml sugar syrup, 10ml lemon juice & ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake & fine strain into a flute. Top with champagne. 

Part of a customers’ elevated drinking experience is when their drink has a story behind. Whitley Neill Distiller’s Cut London Dry Gin has been created by Johnny Neill, a direct descendant of 8 generations of distillers who can trace their family distilling history back to 1762. With an invigorating blend of botanicals and premium ingredients, the profile is rounded with the earthy spice and bitter-sweet balance taking centre stage.

Rum fun

Rum, versatile and spicy, is the perfect base for a range of festive serves.

CGA data found that there has been a sharp increase in interest in premium rums over the last year, which helped grow total rum sales by 85%.    

As the ultimate escapist drink, mix up a spiced variation of the Piña Colada made with Bacardi Caribbean Spiced - adding a little more complexity and layers of Caribbean flavour, ending with a gentle touch of warm cinnamon for that Christmas twist.

For a taste of the exotic, Bumbu rum is a delicious, spiced rum that is masterfully blended by hand from Caribbean Island rums and native spices chosen from across the West Indies. Delicious in a refreshing Mojito!

Bring on the bubbles 

What would a Christmas party be without some bubbles? Pop the cork and get the drinks flowing!

For those glitzy celebrations, Taittinger’s Prestige Brut Rosé is a lively pink Champagne that has crushed wild raspberry and cherry notes, with a creamy texture and subtle toasty flavours on the finish.

If your customers are seeking something just a little bit exuberant and flirtatious, Graham Beck Brut Rosé is a fizz with flair. Made from the traditional Méthode Cap Classique, it has a fine, lively mousse on the palate, showing hints of oyster shell, fresh lavender and subtle hints of berry and cherry.

Lambrini has become a staple serve for a range of occasions in recent
times, for some it will bring back nostalgic memories of happy carefree days gone by.

Top tip: Suggest food pairing options to encourage customers to trade up and try something new.

Familiar favourites 

A Christmas party doesn’t all need to be about sparkling wines and cocktails.

Rosé continues to soar in popularity, even in the colder months. The world-famous Gérard Bertrand’s Gris Blanc rosé is fresh in the mouth and brings the fruity notes out. Perfect for those who are craving a refreshing and elegant sip.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is an unmistakably vibrant Blended Scotch Whisky. For an immediately delicious yet simple sip, serve a Johnnie & Lemonade.

Pour 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label over ice in a highball glass. Top with lemonade. Garnish with lemon zest and orange wedge. 

Whether your customers prefer something sweet or a little stronger, where would a festive night out be without a few shots? Made using a selection of 56 botanicals, herbal liqueur Jägermeister is a fan favourite. Best served as an ice cold shot from the freezer.

And where would our festive fiestas be without some deliciously quenching beers and ciders?

Easy and fast to serve, people will enjoy some familiar favourites, such as Magners Original – best served over ice, of course.

71% of revellers like to see seasonal drinks offered at Christmas, with 18% keen to enjoy a mulled cider.

With memorable experiences top of mind for customers, bring a taste of the Alps to your tables with Menabrea Italian Alpine Birra. Well-balanced, with a full and refined taste, Menabrea Bionda is perfect for enjoying with friends during the festive season.

Those forgoing alcohol needn’t miss out on the festivities. Make sure to spotlight your low and no alcohol offer with Menabrea 0.0% - with all the flavour and rich colour of Menabrea Bionda, just minus the alcohol!

92% of Brits are planning to be out in their favourite pubs and bars this Christmas, that's 1 million more adults than last year. Get your bar stocked for the festive season Matthew Clark. Browse our full range and exclusive promotions online at Matthew Clark Live


About the author

Mary McCarron

Mary looks after the majority of Matthew Clark's digital marketing comms. After a couple of years working in tech, she found her way back to the hospitality industry and can now be found talking all things cocktails, spirits, beer, softs and more across our website, social media, and other digital channels.