Quality is top of festive wish list

Drinks giant is supporting great cocktail offers this winter

Pernod Ricard christmas drinksMARTINIS, hot serves and gin are expected to be some of the big on-trade trends this festive season, according to drinks giant Pernod Ricard.

The company, which counts Absolut, Beefeater, Chivas and The Glenlivet among its portfolio, has launched a festive marketing campaign to support its brands this Christmas, with activity including advertising and in-outlet support for licensees.

The core of the on-trade campaign is highlighting five trends the drinks company believes will be big in bars this festive season, supported by suggested serves and glassware.

James Bremner, on-trade channel director at Pernod Ricard, said: “2018 was a good year for the on-trade, however, we anticipate outlets will need to work harder this year to maintain sales and value growth.

“Our mission is to support our customers in offering a quality premium drinks experience that will encourage people to come back to their outlet, stay longer and spend more.”

Citing CGA data, the firm said it expects consumers to spend a third more on better quality drinks this Christmas.

The burgeoning popularity of Martinis is expected to be one of the big opportunities for licensees, according to the company.

The UK’s most ordered cocktail, the Porn Star Martini, and longtime favourite the Espresso Martini are said to be ‘must-haves’ on cocktail lists this festive season; Pernod Ricard said that offering festive twists on menus can also help outlets stand out from their competitors, with options such as the Chocolate Orange Martini or Chai Latte Martini (see suggested serves: right).

Pernod Ricard also reckons hot serves are becoming increasingly popular with the general public, with one in five consumers said to have tried a hot alcoholic cocktail in the course of 2018.

To meet this demand the company will be giving away 40,000 enamel cups and 300 urns to operators who wish to offer hot alcoholic drinks, with a range of supporting serves from its portfolio, including drinks made with rum, whisky and gin.

Gin, unsurprisingly, is predicted to be a hit across the board this Christmas after another year of growth for the spirit. In fact, Pernod Ricard reports that the average outlet now stocks eight different gins: two standard gins, three premium gins and three super-premium.

To capitalise on this the company has introduced a range of festive glassware and serves to help ensure the category stands out on the bar as well as on drinks lists.

Christmas is always an important time of year for low and no-alcohol serves, but the brand owner stated that this will be an even bigger opportunity this festive season, with three out of ten people said to be reducing their alcohol intake.

Suggested low and no-alcohol serves include a Ceder’s non-alcoholic gin and Tonic or a Lillet Winter Spritz.

And with consumers always on the lookout for ‘instagrammable’ cocktail serves, the company is distributing 126,000 festive vessels, including snow globes, which the firm said could encourage consumers to choose interesting serves at a higher price.

Aside from the in-outlet activity, Pernod Ricard will be hosting three ‘bartender dinners’ across the UK on Christmas Day to allow those who work in the industry, but whose families may be abroad, to enjoy the day with fellow workers in the on-trade. Bartenders are able to nominate themselves or a colleague to be a guest at one of the dinners.


Suggested serves

Chocolate Orange Martini

30ml Absolut Original
15ml Grand Marnier
30ml Kahlúa
5ml sugar syrup
25ml espresso

– Pernod Ricard.

La Dame Blanche

15ml St-Germain
25ml Patrón Reposado
10ml Monin Hazelnut syrup
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
Top with Champagne
White chocolate rim


Chai Latte Martini

40ml Absolut Vanilia
20ml Kahlúa
35ml chai tea
25ml whole milk
10ml sugar syrup

– Pernod Ricard.

Sweet Manhattan

50ml Buffalo Trace
25ml Antica Formula
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters


Lillet Winter Spritz

50ml Lillet Blanc
75ml premium tonic

– Pernod Ricard.

Brockmans French 75

50ml Brockmans Gin
25ml lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
Top with Champagne

Brockmans Gin.