Open Up Your Afternoons

The time between lunch and dinner service is no longer the no-man’s-land of service it used to be. Smart operators use targeted offers to win additional spend because they understand consumer behaviour has evolved. Here are four ideas to get those creative juices flowing:


       La Ina Fino Sherry with glass on table

Cocktails at any time

Cocktails have never been more popular and this trend is showing no sign of slowing down. Sales have grown consistently over the last few years and despite the rise in popularity of bitter cocktails like the Negroni, the nation’s favourite is still the Mojito. As our Taste Test survey results also show, consumers are on the hunt for something sweet.

There are countless ways to make your mark with a sweet, afternoon aperetif. We suggest using The Wingfield - a British gin aperetif that makes a tasty spritz. Or why not shake things up a little with some cider cocktails? Cidre le Brun's ciders make delicious, refreshing cocktails perfect for a mid-afternoon tipple.

The evolution of afternoon tea

On top of the usual fizz, there are a host of options to entice consumers to treat themselves. Umeshu or Yuzushu sake can add an eastern twist to this most British of dining events.

Similar to fruit liqueurs, these styles of sake are a revelation when paired with sweet dishes. Umeshu, a Japanese plum, is steeped in sake to produce a drink with fruity, almond notes. Over ice, it’s a great match for Bakewell tarts.

Yuzushu sake brings out the best of the Japanese citrus fruit, capturing the unique flavour that is somewhere between lemon and tangerine. This sake is an inspired match for light pastries or creamy cheesecake.

Wine and small plates

For the millennial generation, the three- course dining experience can seem at odds with how they spend money on food and drink. They have grown up with tapas and cicchetti as a matter of course and are very comfortable with recommendations for accompanying wines, offering lots of scope for selling more unusual grape varieties.

If you can't keep your kitchen open all day, it's worth looking at a short bar menu that can be assembled in a small space.

Quo Vadis, in Soho, has a bar menu which is a thing of beauty – the perfect sausage roll and beautifully tender roast beef sandwiches – good-quality ingredients served in a simple way.

Sherry is back

With plenty of savoury character unique to the style, Sherry has always been a beloved of the trade. But change is now afoot within a broader market...

With more and more UK consumers opting for Sherry in the On Trade, how about adding a Sherry Cobbler to your cockatil list? This simple cocktail is a combination of Sherry, citrus and sugar served over ice.

Thought to have originated in the 1830s, the Sherry Cobbler has a mention in Dickens' 1840s novel, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit and is also thought to have popularized the straw. Bring on the Sherry!

12th August 2016

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Drink Aware - know the facts