More than ever, consumers expect an experience from hospitality and leisure venues and, crucially, they are willing to pay for it. So, in the context of drinks, we are most encouraged by data and real-life on-trade experience clearly showing cocktails replacing beer and wine in the sales mix.
However, consumers also want fast service and good-quality drinks every time, so preparation is absolutely essential with cocktails so that you aren’t trading extra margin for a slower speed of serve. Taking this into consideration, a pre-batched cocktail system is just as quick to serve as any other drink, while allowing you to maximise wet sales.
On the flipside, the service sector staff shortage is very real, so while there is a huge demand for exciting new food and drink options, operators are facing a serious struggle to deliver this innovation. With our bespoke pre-batch cocktail solution, World of Zing’s ability to provide interesting new drinks options alongside operational simplicity has allowed us to increase our on-trade customer base.
Indeed, we supply more than 250 venues around the country, with a snapshot of clients ranging from Hippo Inns and Bill’s to Everyman Cinemas.
With the benefit of such a wide a varied customer base, we are able to ensure a seasonally changing menu of cocktails that tap into the latest cocktail trends.
Looking forward to spring/summer 2022, here are my hot tips:
● Margarita – Cointreau saw huge retail sales during Covid, with much of this volume going towards Margarita making at home
● Passionfruit – driven almost entirely by the popularity of the Pornstar Martini, we have seen a similar popularity for other passionfruit-flavoured cocktails
● Cosmopolitan – and just like that, the return of Sex and the City sees a return to popularity of the darling of the 1990s cocktail scene
● Spritz Style – Prosecco makes everything better, if the birthday cards are to be believed. While Aperol has almost single-handedly created this category, we see the real driver being any cocktail served in a balloon glass and topped with Prosecco
● Highballs – more than just a spirit and soda, the key to a great highball is good-quality ice and lots of it. Tequila and whiskey are particularly suited to Highballs and they are also a great way to shift some slow-selling spirits stock. Try pairing with lower sugar flavoured sodas so you can also tick-off the low-cal box
● Whiskey Sour – nothing draws interest to your drinks menu more than the inimitable sound of a cocktail shaker so it’s no surprise that we are seeing huge growth with this style of cocktail, particularly since we launched our Yuzu Sour. With its refreshing citrus backbone paired with ever popular Bourbon and a silky foam head, the Whiskey Sour is the perfect alternative to a cold pint on a hot day
● Low and no options – it goes without saying that venues need choices in this area. However, instead of opting for pricy non-alcoholic spirits, I would recommend beers because their development is far more evolved. Additionally, Kombucha can also provide all the complexity and refreshment of a cold beer or gin & tonic
● Shandies – typically a 50:50 mix of beer and fruity soft drink, Shandies are a great way to create your own twist on sessionable beers and fun flavour profiles. Take a look at the Cawston range of sparkling sodas, including the ginger beer that pairs perfectly with Asahi or rhubarb soda with a Camden Hells.