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5 seasonal drink trends to feature on your menu

Drink | 15 December 2021 | Matt Towe

After last year’s challenging Christmas, celebrating with family and friends has become even more important for consumers this festive period.

Given the recent emergence of new variants, these celebrations will have to proceed with caution and consumers will want something special if they are going to venture out of home.

To ensure your drinks offering provides that special touch, take a look at these 5 seasonal drink trends that customers are loving at the moment.

 

1. A touch of lux

Consumers are seeking little indulgences that give them a touch of luxury this festive season. Indulgent drinks such as champagne and champagne cocktails will provide this for customers.

However, in true 2021 style, there is currently an industry wide champagne shortage. So why not seek alternatives close to home, such as English sparkling wine?

Not only is English sparkling wine a delicious alternative, utilising some of our home grown wines reduces air miles and customers love a local product.

 

2. Festive twists on classic cocktails

These are a perfect way to create a truly seasonal menu.

Swapping a passionfruit mojito for cranberry mojito, to give it a festive red colour, or offering a dark chocolate espresso martini sprinkled with edible gold dust for the month of December, are simple and easy twists that will bring a sprinkling of Christmas joy to your menu.

 

3. Gin O’clock

Flavoured gins are becoming increasingly popular and there are so many now to choose from, providing amazing flavour bases for your winter cocktail menus or just simply with a tonic.

With so many options these days, try to stock brands that are local to you that will catch your customers eyes on a menu, along with the tried and tested classics.

 

4. Low and no alcohol

There is continuing rise in demand for low and no alcohol alternatives, with plenty of these spirit options taking over the supermarket shelves.

Some of the best examples are produced as a full-strength drink with alcohol, which is then removed in the secondary process – like Clean Co; a range of full-flavoured low alcohol spirits including rum and gin, with no sugar or sweeteners, and at only 10-15 calories per serve.

It is recommended that operators’ menus should be around 70% alcoholic drinks, and 30% no or low alcohol options.

Long gone are the days when a simple coke would suffice, it is now time to be creative!

Avoid simply offering a mocktail version of alcoholic cocktails – come up with flavours that are individual to themselves, quirky and give your menu a point of difference, such as citrus spritz, mint and lime shakes, or dark fruit bombs.

 

5. Immerse your customers

There is a continued rise in consumers seeking immersive drinking experiences, making the theatre of cocktail serves also key this year.

Whether that’s adding dry ice to create a smoky effect, a ball of candy floss on top of a carnival themed drink, or even a long-necked science-inspired test tube to pour from, these all help create an elevated and premium experience for the consumer.

 

For even more information on our range of wines, beers and spirits head to our Unity page where you’ll find plenty of useful information from drinks training to our champion suppliers and how to get the most up to date market insights from our team.

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