Liquid goodness – how to make dessert pay

Macarons in wine glassDessert is an important part of the dining experience, but often an overlooked opportunity to sell drinks. The UK seems to have a growing sweet tooth – NPD group insights show that for the year ending September 2015, diners ate a record 1.5 billion servings of items in the ‘sweet bakery’ and ‘dessert’ categories. The group believes that the Great British Bake-Off may be part of the reason, with 780 million sweet bakery dishes served up, compared to 76 million five years ago when the show started.

This also extends to the drinks industry and 16% of UK drinkers prefer a ‘sweet’ flavour profile when it comes to wine - there is clearly a demand for something sweet. How can the drinks industry capitalise on this trend to further increase profits?

A craze for cocktails

Statistics show that restaurants are now just as popular a choice for cocktail drinkers as bars, especially among younger consumers. Cocktails are sold in about a quarter of all On Trade outlets in the UK – up by 2.3% in the last six months.

Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan Hanway Place, London, adapted their menu to combine these two trends, now offering a Dim Sum Sundays menu, with cocktails created to pair with each of their desserts. “These drinks have been specifically chosen to be enjoyed with each dessert and work particularly well at the end of a meal,” says Eder de Oliveira Fonseca, Hakkasan’s senior bar manager. “The response from our customers has been really positive, with cocktails becoming very popular, and more and more guests requesting pairings.”

A Hakkasan favourite dessert and cocktail pairing: Selection of Macarons with Fitzrovia Plum cocktail

The Fitzrovia Plum cocktail is made with Hakushu Japanese whisky, plum sake, limoncello, lemon and gingerbread syrup. The crispness of this sweet and sour drink perfectly balances the sweetness of the macarons.

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14th July 2016

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