Outlets make hay while the sun shines

Fruit flavours, cocktails and chilled beers prove popular on brighter days

• Rekorderlig, Magners and cocktails such as the Mojito and Caipirinha have been popular at the Record Factory in Glasgow.

FRUIT flavours and chilled serves have been the order of the day in Scottish premises in the last couple of weeks as customers and licensees made the most of the good weather.

While Scotland’s summer weather tends to be unpredictable to say the least, the country enjoyed a settled warm and sunny spell late last month.
And operators told SLTN that these welcome rays had a big impact, both in terms of footfall and the drinks that were proving most popular with their customers.
At Loch Lomond, the sun has helped fill the outdoor area at Duck Bay Marina, and increase sales of Daiquiri and Mojito cocktails, as well as pitchers of drinks such as Pimm’s and lemonade and Sangria.
In fact, such was the success of the cocktails that the venue, which is part of Cawley Hotels’ portfolio, has increased the range of Daiquiris and Mojitos it offers.

Not everyone turns to fruit flavours and spirits; bottled beer sales are also up.

“We normally only have a strawberry Daiquiri on the cocktail list, but we’ve widened the selection because it [the weather] has been so nice,” said bar and restaurant manager Scott Beaton.
“So we’re doing a lemon and lime Daiquiri, an orange Daiquiri and a coconut Daiquiri, and they’re selling really well. We’re also doing specials on Mojitos as well. Not everybody likes a Cuban Mojito, so we’re doing a spiced pineapple Mojito and a raspberry Mojito.
“It gives a bit of variance and gives the customers something a wee bit different than we’ve done in previous years.”
Mojitos have also been selling well at Glasgow bar the Record Factory on Byres Road.
Supervisor Ashley Kenny said the Mojito, along with Brazilian cocktail the Caipirinha, have been “very popular” in the warmer weather, overtaking the usually-popular White Russian.
Fruit ciders have also performed well at the outlet, which stocks a range of Rekorderlig flavours and recently added Magners Original, Pear and Berry after they were requested by customers.
And while some customers know exactly what they want, staff recommendations can play a greater role in a lot of drinks purchases when the sun’s out, said Ashley.
Last month’s sunnier days saw her steering customers towards fruit-flavoured drinks such as Crabbie’s Raspberry and Jeremiah Weed.
“I think when it’s warmer people generally don’t know what they want,” she said.
“If people go straight out to the beer garden and haven’t come and looked at the fridges they’re more inclined to be like ‘just get me something that’s nice’, and that’s when you end up giving people recommendations.”
Ginger flavours have also been popular at Edinburgh outlet The Peartree.
“One thing that has just flown out, other than Kopparberg which we sell absolute tons of, is Ginger Grouse, which is one of our biggest sellers now,” said general manager George Fyvie. “It’s just flying out the door, which is brilliant.
“We’ve had it for just over a year now, but there’s been a massive increase in the trade of it.”
George attributed the recent boom in Ginger Grouse sales to the brand’s sponsorship of Scottish Rugby, which he reckons has helped raise the profile of the product and encouraged rugby fans to embrace it.
And it’s not just the Grouse brand that’s been selling well at The Peartree.

I think when it’s warmer people generally don’t know what they want.

The bar has also embraced a new serve for German herbal liqueur Jagermeister.
“We’re actually doing a long drink at the moment, which is Jagermeister with ginger beer and a bit of cucumber, and that’s going really well,” said George.
“It’s called the Jager Ginger. It was on their [Jagermeister’s] website. We gave it a try and it did really well.
“We don’t generally do cocktails, so it’s something a bit different for people.”
Not everyone turns to fruit flavours and spirits in warmer weather, however, and George said bottled beer sales have also increased in recent weeks.
“We sell beers from the Alechemy Brewery and we’re doing a power of their IPA at the moment,” he said.
“We chill it down to the same temperature as a bottle of standard lager and it’s very easy drinking.”
Regardless of which drink is ordered at the bar, the common link is the temperature: the colder the better.
While drinks such as Kopparberg and Ginger Grouse are served with ice as standard, customers at The Peartree have taken to ordering pints of lager with a pint of ice on the side, using the ice to keep the beer cool.
“Without a doubt everyone seems to go with anything over ice,” said George.

• Duck Bay Marina has increased the number of Daiquiris on its cocktail list this summer.