A night to remember


Premium products suited to Valentine’s

WHETHER you consider it to be the most romantic night of the year or just another ‘greeting card holiday’, Valentine’s Day could present an opportunity to increase margins through premium brands and serves.
Drinks firms say the occasion is perfectly suited to more indulgent cocktails as couples treat themselves to a night out in the trade.
And this year, with Valentine’s Day landing on a Saturday, could be better than most.
“Valentine’s Day is key for on-trade operators, due to the increase in consumer interest,” said Simon Green, marketing director of Global Brands, the firm behind the Jungfrau, Corky’s and Thornton’s Chocolate Liqueur brands.
“And with Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it definitely lends the opportunity for operators to extend promotions and celebrations for the whole weekend; Friday evening, and throughout Saturday and Sunday.”
Green advised operators to “make sure they are stocked up with premium cocktail ingredients” in order to make the most of the occasion.
“Customers are more likely to trade up at this time of year, so think luxury, visually appealing cocktails to reflect the glamour of the season,” he said.
A little creativity on the drinks list can go a long way to helping outlets differentiate themselves from their rivals, according to Will Holt, a director at Pinkster gin.
Holt said Valentine’s Day “unfailingly presents a great opportunity to theme cocktails and offer something a little different and perhaps a little racier”.
“People are out to impress and that invariably means trading up and spending more,” said Holt.
Pinkster is promoting several Valentine’s Day cocktails this year, which were created in conjunction with Glasgow mixologist Andy Gemmell, including the Valentini, with sweet vermouth and orange bitters; and the Cherry Delightful, with cherry brandy and orange juice.
Cocktail mixer brand Funkin is also promoting several ‘romantic serves’ around Valentine’s Day.
“Valentine’s Day is an occasion when consumers are looking for that extra special cocktail that not only tastes great, but is a step up from something they would order on an ordinary night out,” said Funkin chief executive Andrew King.
“This often involves Prosecco or Champagne or exotic flavours like pomegranate or passion fruit.
“We have some fantastic Valentine’s Day cocktails including Funkin Love, made with Funkin Brazilian, ginger and Prosecco; and the Miami Vice, a twist on the Pina Colada made with rum and Funkin Strawberry Daiquiri to give this cocktail a pink hue.”
While the switch to more premium serves is perhaps more noticeable around special occasions, it reflects a wider trend of customers becoming more discerning in their drinks choices, according to Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, the firm behind Chambord.
“Much like the ‘foodie’ culture, drinkers are becoming more discerning and looking for new experiences and serves to suit different occasions,” said a spokeswoman for the company.
“Fuelled by a new pedigree of bartender we have seen an explosion of experimentation, which has added a new lease of life to cocktail menus across the country.
“Bartenders looking to tap into this trend should again be sure to tailor their cocktail offering to their customer base.
“Expertly-crafted cocktails using premium brands need to be imbibed in a fitting atmosphere, whilst simpler serves will suit a more everyday clientele.”


Pinkster’s Loving Fizz

50ml Pinkster gin
Five fresh raspberries
Five fresh mint leaves
25ml fresh lime juice
25ml sugar syrup
Shake and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig.

Supplied by Pinkster


Lover’s Colada

25ml Malibu rum
25ml cherry liqueur
100ml Funkin Pina Colada
10ml Funkin Grenadine Syrup
Shake and strain over fresh ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf and a cocktail cherry.

Supplied by Funkin