Premium and super-premium spirits open up an exciting realm of possibilities for on-trade venues to boost their profit margins. The current premiumisation trend has shown that customers are more likely than ever to splash out more on premium-priced, top-shelf spirits to enjoy a measure of prestige, luxury and exclusivity.
There are so many premium spirits to consider adding to your back bar. From single malt whiskies to artisan gins, innovative vodkas and aged añejo tequilas, there’s something to please all palates and price ranges. In this guide to premium spirits, we cover the benefits of offering premium spirits and recommend some choice tipples for your customers to sip in style.
What Makes A Spirit "Premium" And How Does It Differ From Regular Spirits?
Not all spirits are created equal, and when it comes to the crème de la crème of back bar offerings, premium and super-premium spirits reign supreme. So what makes them “premium” or “super-premium,” exactly?
It’s a range of factors, including the quality of their ingredients, intricate production processes, distinct and full-bodied flavour profiles, age, sippability and – in the case of prestige super-premium tipples – rarity.
All those qualities combined make for a seriously elevated drinking experience.
Are Premium Spirits Worth The Extra Cost, And What Sets Them Apart From Cheaper Alternatives?
It’s definitely worth stocking your back bar with premium spirits, especially if you’re looking to boost your margins by tapping into the premiumisation trend that the nation has well and truly taken to its heart in recent years.
In tough times, such as a pandemic or cost of living crisis, consumers tend to row back on big purchases like foreign holidays and new cars. Instead they’ll treat themselves to smaller, more affordable luxuries, like premium spirits. This is the crux of premiumisation, and so there has never been a better time to stock up on top-shelf spirits.
As for what sets premium spirits apart from your more everyday spirit selection, premium spirits are typically made with higher levels of craftsmanship (think traditional distillation methods, hand-crafted casks and signature ageing techniques, for example) that often results in complex flavours and subtle notes. This often leads to a more rounded sip, which ultimately elevates a drinking experience.
Should I Use Premium Spirits To Elevate Cocktails?
The question of whether to use premium spirits to elevate cocktails or not is a hotly debated topic in bartending circles. In the main, a cost-value decision needs to be made. For instance, many stirred whisky cocktails will benefit from upgrading to a premium single malt. However, clear spirits such as vodka, which by their nature are distilled to be smooth and unobtrusive, rarely warrant the use of premium or super-premium spirits.
Of course, circling back to the idea of premiumisation, some customers may actually prefer to elevate their Tom Collins or classic G&T with Tanqueray London Dry Gin, for example, for the added prestige of going premium.
Therefore, you might find that this is ultimately a customer-led decision in many cases.
How Should I Store Premium Spirits To Maintain Their Quality?
You should aim to store premium spirits much the same way as you would regular spirits. In other words, in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Of course, even in the best conditions, premium spirits will eventually age and lose some of their quality. So they should be enjoyed within 2-3 years of their bottling date.
Where Can I Find And Purchase Premium Spirits?
By stocking your back bar with interesting premium spirits, you can elevate your customers’ drinking experience in style. From tasting to storage, there’s a lot more to premium spirits and their unique qualities than just a premium price tag. So, let your curiosity guide you and you’re sure to find some real gems that can add more than a little dash of intrigue and prestige to your spirits selection, which ultimately translates to higher profit margins.
You can find a huge range of premium and super-premium spirits here at Matthew Clark, including an amazing array of top-shelf gin, vodka, whisky, rum, tequila and brandy. You can find the products featured here and more on Matthew Clark Live. For more information, feel free to contact us on 0844 822 3901 to talk to our experts.