By Triana O'Keefe, editor Australian Hotelier

In the current state of shift towards premiumisation driven by consumers demanding a higher quality offering, pubs and hotels can no longer ignore the need to raise the bar with their cocktail offerings.

The secret to creating a perfect seasonal cocktail list quite simply lies with your customers. A successful list will be fun and enticing, but most importantly it will be relatable to your patron’s flavour profiles. An approachable and weather-appropriate list will assist hotel operators looking to strengthen their offering while not alienating existing clientele.

Hayley Morison of Club Suntory suggests there is nothing more satisfying than a roaring fire and a glass of something comforting during winter.

“Designing a cocktail list that reflects the consumer’s feelings and emotions of winter will assist in making revenue for the venue, and keeping customers satisfied,” she said.

“Most winter lists will opt for a change from zesty, lighter style refreshing cocktails to more robust, warming elixirs,” Morison said.

“Suggestions would be to select darker spirits such as rum, whisk(e)y, or cognac mixed with spiced with seasonal flavours. Flavours that remind people of occasions in winter, such as, chestnuts, vanilla, raisins, mulled wine, poached pears, rhubarb, and coffee to name a few.”

Keeping a cocktail menu current, on trend and reflective of the season and customer’s preferences are some of the essential considerations Solotel’s group bar manager Jeremy Shipley makes when updating The Clock Hotel, Surry Hills, Sydney.

“Summer is all about white spirits whereas winter sees more of your heavy whisk(e)y and mulled wines feature,” Shipley told Australian Hotelier.

“But that doesn’t mean customers won’t enjoy an expresso martini in summer or a margarita in winter. So it’s important to have a mixture of cocktails that are recognisable so customers have a sense of comfort, as well as some that challenge what you know and like. As the year continues, I think we’ll see more whisky, bourbon, aged rum, sake and sherry featuring in cocktails across Australia, including The Clock,” he said.

For the complete article on how to create the perfect winter cocktail offering see the April edition of Australian Hotelier.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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