Cocktails stoking the liqueur fire

Firms say category ‘boom’ is being driven by growth in mixed drinks

The cocktail boom continues to fuel demand for liqueurs in Scotland’s on-trade, according to drinks firms.

They claim increased sales of liqueurs can be attributed to consumers drinking cocktails more regularly, as well taking a greater interest in premium products.

Grand Marnier Centenaire & Tea Perfect Serve

Anthony Bannier, Diageo Reserve brand ambassador for Grand Marnier, said: “Liqueurs continue to grow in popularity in the on-trade as consumers become increasingly knowledgeable about drinks categories and the search for special serves endures.

“As such a versatile category, used in cocktails, long drinks and served on their own, the market for liqueurs is huge with many different demographic groups enjoying them.”

Bannier claimed a trend towards more premium drinks offered a valuable opportunity for licensees and he recommended providing “a wide range” of liqueurs.

He said: “A liqueurs range should be broad and cover as many consumer interest and price points as possible.

“Key liqueurs for use in cocktails should be stocked, as well as a few mainstream favourites.

“Don’t forget that the trend towards luxury products continues, so ensure you are offering something truly premium.”

Dan Bolton, managing director of distributor Hi-Spirits, said the provenance of liqueurs is becoming increasingly important.

“The story behind a brand is an essential part of its appeal,” he said.

“We work closely with operators to train staff, so that as well as serving drinks well, they can communicate the heritage and provenance of a brand.

“Along with knowledgeable and well-trained staff, drinks menus, chalkboards, back-bar displays and other marketing support can help to ‘sell the story’ of liqueur and speciality spirit brands to customers.”

Simon Green, marketing director at Global Brands, said the versatility of liqueurs makes them ideal for inclusion in a wide range of drinks, from healthier ‘skinny’ cocktails to after-dinner ‘dessert’ drinks.

Pairing cocktails with food and encouraging some creativity from customers can also help to grow sales, said Green.

“Publicans can boost sales earlier in the evening by inspiring consumers to create their own drinks through our ‘build-your-own-cocktail’ promotion,” he said.

“Suggesting cocktails and shotails to pair with food can complement dishes and create a new flavour experience for consumers.”