The holiday season is especially stressful and demanding for retailers. The pressure is definitely on. Most companies—brick and mortar, ecommerce, or any combination of omni-channel retailers—generate most of their volume in the final sixty days of the year, and from 35 percent to as much as 100 percent of their operating profit in the fourth quarter. Although the holiday season can feel like a business pressure-cooker, it’s also a great time for company parties and get-togethers. Whatever your reason for imbibing, below are a few retail specific concoctions designed to be enjoyed this time of year.
You have to get this one right. Not too high or you’ll lose sales, and not too low or you’ll lose profit. (See the Fourth Law of Retail*, “It’s the Retail Price, Not The Cost”). Getting the markup right is as much an art as it is a mathematical formula, but when you get it just right, it’s a beautiful thing.
1 measure dry vermouth
½ measure gin
½ measure cherry brandy
Place ice cubes into a mixing glass. Add all the ingredients and shake well, and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and a lime rind.
The Floor Plan
Perfect after a 12-hour workday (but maybe not before the next 12-hour day). And be careful so it’s not you on the floor.
3 measures of gin
1 measure of cherry brandy
juice of ½ lemon
cherry garnish (optional)
Pour gin, brandy, and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake until frothy and then pour into a hurricane glass. Garnish with cherry if so desired.
The Assortment Plan
“It’s Always the Product” is the Third Law of Retail*. What will you offer the customer, a little of this and a little of that? Or a focused, targeted assortment of products? This refreshment is a little complicated, but you will soon see the advantages of it.
1 measure of brandy
2 measures of Cointreau
2 measures of grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon of grenadine
chilled Champagne to top it off
Pour the Cointreau, grapefruit juice, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake well and then strain into a highball glass. Top it off with Champagne or other sparkling dry white wine.
Every store or website has featured items. Those are the ones up front. You know, slippers for Mother’s Day, designer chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and of course, anything with turkeys on it for Thanksgiving. Here’s a feature I know you’ll enjoy.
½ measure of white rum
½ measure of premium vodka (like Grey Goose)
½ measure of lemon juice
1 dash of passion fruit juice
slice of lemon for garnish (optional)
Combine the rum, vodka, lemon juice, and passion fruit into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until a frost forms on the outside, and then pour into an old-fashion glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon if you like.
So after the store is closed, the last shopper has left, and you take that big sigh of relieve, go ahead and enjoy one of these retail cocktails. Just do so in moderation as you’ll probably have to get up before dawn and do it all over again.
I’ll share one more batch of retail cocktails before the end of the year. By the time the holidays are over, we can certainly count on “Black Friday,” “Overtime,” and “After Christmas Sale” among others. What mixed beverages would you like to see on the menu?
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*See the Contents page on the website for more information.