Get festive: capitalise on the Christmas spirit

In these last few weeks of the year, thousands across the UK will be heading out to celebrate the festive season. The majority of food outlets will be offering special Christmas food menus - but should they be offering a festive drinks list too?

In short, yes. 50% of consumers actively look for seasonal drinks in the outlets they visit at Christmas, making it one of the easiest ways to tap into festive spending. And spirits outperform all other categories at Christmas, so it's cocktails all the way! Better still, ensure that your Christmas drinks list includes premium spirits, and you're also encouraging visitors to spend a little more on themselves (which a solid third admit they're willing to do over the festive period). What could be better for their enjoyment - and your bottom line?

Don't reinvent the wheel - reinvigorate it

There's no need to spend days hammering out an entirely new list, training staff and stockpiling ingredients that will gather dust on your back bar until Christmas 2020. Classics with a Christmas twist are recognisable enough to pique interest, familiar enough for bar staff to take them in their stride, and festive enough to loosen those purse strings.

Our favourite festive twists on classic cocktails

Tanqueray 10 Gingerbread Collins

Based on: Tom Collins

Gin and gingerbread was the first ever recorded food and alcohol pairing, dating back to the 1600s. With just one extra ingredient, this simple twist on a bar classic is easy on staff and the wallet alike.

50ml Tanqueray No. 10

25ml fresh lemon juice

15ml gingerbread syrup

Soda water

Lemon wedge (garnish)

Fill a highball glass with cubed ice. Add all ingredients and stir well, before garnishing with a lemon wedge.

Baileys Flat White Martini

Based on: Espresso Martini

Baileys has been synonymous with Christmas since its creation. We've mixed a little of its festive cheer into an espresso martini, perfect for rejuvenating the body and soul after weeks of Christmas parties.

50ml Baileys

25ml Ketel One vodka 

25ml cold brew coffee 

3 coffee beans (garnish)

Pre-chill a martini glass. Shake all ingredients with cubed ice, before double straining into the chilled glass. Garnish with three coffee beans. 

Don Julio Cinnamon Margarita

Based on: Margarita

Margaritas aren't just for summer. The cinnamon and lime pairing will appeal to experimenters in the consumer market, while the tequila base is synonymous with the festive party spirit. 

50ml Don Julio Blanco

25ml fresh lime juice

15ml cinnamon syrup

Cinnamon (for garnish)

Sugar (for garnish)

Lime wheel (for garnish)

Mix the cinnamon and sugar garnishes together on a flat plate. Rim the edge of a tumbler glass with the cinnamon and sugar mix and fill with cubed ice. Shake all ingredients together with ice before straining into the tumbler. 

*All statistics from CGA Christmas Report OPMS Data 2018

Feeling inspired?

Check out Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders' breakdown of Christmas spirits here.

Having spent childhood summers trekking through Italian vineyards, Elisa’s love of wine started at a young age. After a few stints working in pubs across the UK, she realised she could try far more samples working in a wine company, and landed at Bibendum two years ago. Now, she spends her days looking after digital marketing: writing, posting on social media, and everything in between.

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