The word diet – potentially the most horrible word in the English dictionary. Let’s be honest, most of us hate it! Has anyone ever been ecstatic about being on a diet? How many of you have already fallen off your ‘New Year New Me’ resolutions because you’ve attempted an unrealistic diet? A lot of us do and then beat ourselves up for not being committed to the over-ambitious targets we set ourselves. Instead, what I like to do is delete the word ‘diet’ from my vocab and instead focus on healthy living.
For me, healthy living is not about depriving myself from the things I love but instead making better choices. This lifestyle choice absolutely does not have to be boring. You can still head out for dinner or drinks with friends and enjoy an alcoholic beverage without feeling guilty.
My favourite ‘out out’ drink is Gin & Tonic. My preference is either Muff Gin or Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger with slim line tonic, in a balloon glass, packed with ice and delicious fruits. (I’ve a massive sweet tooth and it’s basically 1 of your 5-a-day, right?!). A typical G&T (with slim line tonic) is in and around 97 calories per serving – Dreams really do come true! I have to laugh at how extra we all have become when ordering a G&T. I’ve witnessed my friend hand back their drink because it wasn’t presented in a balloon glass with a scented flower. The gin craze really has turned us all a bit mad!
The Whitley Neill brand continues to grow from strength to strength resulting in the Rhubarb and Ginger variety alone being a £22.5M brand as well as being #1 player in the premium flavoured gin market with over 67% share of this segment. Amazing results! (Nielsen)
Having a busy social life, like the hectic Christmas period, does not have to be alcohol fuelled. To juggle my social life with work and exercise I sometimes choose a non-alcoholic option and my favourite has to be Heineken 0.0 – 0% alcohol and only 69 calories per bottle, which is perfect for those nights that alcohol isn’t an option
For any beer-lovers who fancy no alcohol without sacrificing taste, this product is a revelation and smashes the idea that alcohol free beer is unenjoyable!
They say a picture paints a thousand words, but I think my picture just screams ‘Show me the Prosecco’. Prosecco is the drink I have most regularly (because life’s too short not to enjoy all the bubbles!). Freixenet Prosecco DOC is one of my favourite in the market. The premium bottle design makes it perfect to present to dining customers and it is not let down by the high quality liquid inside; and at a fantastic price quality ratio – amen! At approximately 80 calories per glass (125ml) Freixenet ticks all the boxes and for those counting units too, Freixenet have launched 0% alcohol sparkling wine that is only 187 calories per bottle! (Yes that’s right, I did say bottle!)
We all have that one vegan and (undiagnosed) gluten intolerant friend who find it a little awkward finding a drink that suits. You can avoid this by including some gluten and vegan friendly options on drinks menus that make the experience a breeze for everyone & attract new customers towards your outlet. Marques De La Concordia have a superb range of high quality wines & cava’s that are all gluten free and vegan certified. MDLC Tempranillo is my go to bottle of red and as I am not part of the vegan/GF intolerant minority, I love to enjoy this on a Sunday evening with some lamb followed by my ultimate favourite treat – a cheese board! (And maybe some dark chocolate too if the Sunday blues have kicked in). Inclusivity is king in 2019 so diversify your menu for all drinkers.
According to recent survey results carried out by Exterion Media in NI, low and no alcoholic beverages are on the rise with over 50% of respondents stating reasons for this as being more health conscious about the amount of units they’re consuming as well as trying to lose or maintain weight. This is something we should all be mindful of when creating drinks lists. In order to continue to grow our business (and yours) it is vital we adapt to the local consumer and mirror their consumption patterns.
I believe a great contribution to drinks menus is to include a ‘healthier’ section, clearly stating what healthier options are available. Why not put your mixologists to the test also and get creating some lower calorie cocktails/mocktails too! Expanding your 0% alcohol range will also create margin! It steers designated drivers away from soft drinks and onto alcohol free beer or wine which we all know creates greater profit margins.
I couldn’t possibly close my blog without mentioning the next coming big weeks in trade – Valentines. This is an excuse for all you romantics to push the boat out a little in terms of premium food, drink and of course calories. Jump on the band wagon, order in some additional premium Champagnes and enjoy the higher profit margins. We also have some great Valentines inspired cocktail recipes on our website and will be posting regularly some #inspo on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
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