Perfect pairing this Christmas

Spirits giant helps licensees to match food and drink

Apple cocktail
Pernod Ricard’s new initiative encourages operators to focus on their festive cocktail offer

OPERATORS seeking to make the most of Christmas this year have been encouraged to drive sales by pairing cocktails with food over the festive season.

Drinks firm Pernod Ricard’s Food Glorious Food initiative suggests festive cocktails made with its biggest brands, and the best food to pair them with in the run up to Christmas.

Aiming to grow sales of cocktails and spirit-based drinks right through meals rather than simply before or after, Pernod Ricard claims to have conducted scientific research to discover the aromas in seven of its best-selling spirits brands – Absolut, Jameson, Beefeater, Beefeater Pink, Plymouth Gin, Monkey 47 and Havana Club – and matching them to ingredients that share the dominant aroma in each spirit.

The information is provided on a flavour wheel with advice for operators on creative festive food and drink menus, such as pairing Jameson whiskey with pork and apple and vodka Absolut with coconut and manchego cheese.

Consumers are becoming more demanding and discerning when it comes to cocktail choices.

The wheel also provides suggested classic ‘hero’ and ‘twist’ cocktail serves, as the drinks company encourages outlets to increase their cocktail offer by focusing on both core ranges and innovative drinks this winter.

Mark Harris, on-trade channel director for Pernod Ricard UK, said: “Outlets have the opportunity to capitalise on a 40% uplift on premium spirits in the month leading up to Christmas but consumers are becoming more demanding and discerning when it comes to cocktail choices.

“Whilst two thirds of consumers expect to see the classics on the menu, and we expect the Porn Star Martini to overtake the Mojito as the best-selling cocktail this year, it is important for outlets to also offer unique serves that provide an incentive for consumers to return.

“We are looking forward to working with outlets to find the perfect serves for the festive period and bringing Food Glorious Food to life.”

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Pernod Ricard’s food pairing principles


Taste profile

• Match sweet drinks with sweet foods.

• Match sour foods with acidity in a drink.

• Contrast sweet drinks with salty foods.

• Use acid or astringency to cut through fat.

• Match bitter drinks with salty or sweet foods.


Style of drink

• Match body in food with body in drinks – so think richer foods with high ABV drinks and lighter foods with sparkling cocktails.


Importance of cooking methods

• Dishes with gentle cooking methods should be paired with more delicate cocktails.

• Dishes that have been fried should be paired with light and acidic cocktails.

• Dishes that involve barbecuing/roasting/stewing/grilling should be served with full-bodied cocktails.