< Back to news 03 January, 2009

Cheers to Christmas

As Christmas approaches, cocktails can help to add a little seasonal cheer to any bar or restaurant
beacon, the UK`s largest purchasing consortium for the independent hospitality trade and the procurement arm of Best Western Hotels, asked some of its members to suggest the perfect combination for Christmas cocktails 2007 and here are the pick of their recipes.

"Everyone wants to enjoy themselves and have a bit of fun at Christmas," says Claire Bennett of beacon, "so a signature cocktail or tailored drinks menu can be a nice way to get punters in the festive spirit. Cocktails have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years and have definitely become chic again, so a well thought out offering can also enhance your image."

Patrick Nelson of Waverlet TBS, one of beacon`s nominated drinks suppliers advises: "One of the popular choices in cocktails is experimentation with brown spirits - in addition to the ever popular favourites of gin and vodka. Heavier flavours such as Bourbon and Scotch can be more challenging and need to be mixed carefully to enhance and bring out the flavours rather than trying to disguise them. Golden Rum is also seeing an increased usage as a premium alternative to white rums.

"Using flavours associated with Christmas such as cranberries, cinnamon or gooseberries is a good idea whilst strawberry and raspberry flavours will always be popular. Spirits such as whisky, bourbon and cognac work particularly well in winter cocktails because of their rich, warming quality.

"Colour and presentation are also really important as an inviting looking cocktail will also encourage others to try new drinks. Warm tones of red, brown and amber tend to look more appealing for winter drinks rather than bright, summery colours.

"In terms of the range of cocktails available, shooter or `sharing` cocktails will go down well with the party crowdbut it`s also important to include non-alcoholic cocktails so that non-drinkers / drivers feel that they are as much part of the party as everyone else!"

beacon has been working closely with nominated suppliers Bacardi, Coca Cola, Britvic Soft Drinks, Scottish & Newcastle UK, InBev UK, Matthew Clark and Waverley TBS, to bring members some fantastic offers this Christmas on a great selection of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.

To find out more about beacon`s Christmas deals call 01904 695405 or visit www.beaconpurchasing.co.uk.

Sleigh Ride
1 measure Grenadine
1 measure Green Chartreuse
1 measure White Tequila

Method: Float the shots on top of each other in a shot glass starting with the grenadine and finishing with the white tequila to form a layered drink.

Cinnamon Breeze
25ml Vodka
25ml Cinnamon Schnapps or Goldschlagger
Pineapple Juice
Cranberry Juice

Method: Fill a 250ml large, rounded wine glass with crushed ice. Pour over 25ml vodka and 25ml Cinnamon schnapps or Goldschlager and top up with half and half pineapple and cranberry juice.

Christmas Rum Punch
25ml Morgan`s spiced rum
25ml Bacardi
50ml Fresh orange juice
25ml Cranberry juice
2 dashes Angostura

Method: Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Jolly Holly Juice
1 measure Vodka
1 measure Cherry Brandy
Cranberry Bacardi Breezer

Method: Combine vodka and cherry brandy into a tall glass and top up with Bacardi Breezer.

Cocktail suggestions courtesy of Beacon members: Premier Beardmore Conference Hotel, Glasgow: Best Western Keavil House Hotel, Dunfermiline: Best Western Winnock Hotel, Loch Lomond.