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A cordial holiday season: effective merchandising of cordials and liqueurs can provide a sales surge for the upcoming holiday season.


With the holiday shopping season on the horizon, the cordials and liqueurs Liqueurs are high-alcohol, high-sugar beverages with added flavorings usually derived from herbs, fruits, or nuts.

Liqueurs are distinct from flavored liquors, fruit brandy and eau de vie which contain no sugar.

Most liqueurs range between 15 and 70 percent alcohol by volume.
 category continues to provide a great opportunity for retail stores to add on incremental sales. With interesting product introductions, new flavors New Flavors - An object-oriented Lisp from Symbolics, the successor to Flavors, it led to CLOS.

["Reference Guide to Symbolics-Lisp", Symbolics, March 1985].
, and innovative approaches to creating scores of exciting cocktails and other drink recipes using their products, cordial suppliers are giving retailers the ammunition they need to spur consumer interest.

With an 11.7% share of the overall U.S. spirits market in 2007, cordials and liqueurs have a large following of consumers seeking new flavor profiles and a willingness to experiment.

"Cordials and liqueurs cover a wide range of products, with flavor components such as herbs, fruit, mint, anise anise (ăn`ĭs), annual plant (Pimpinella anisum) of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), native to the Mediterranean region but long cultivated elsewhere for its aromatic and medicinal qualities. , chocolate, nuts, berries," said Bill Applegate, product manager for the Idaho State Liquor Dispensary The Idaho State Liquor Dispensary is an agency of the government of the state of Idaho that maintains a monopoly on the sale of all alcoholic beverages that exceed 16% alcohol by volume.

The current superintendent of the Dispensary is James M.
. "You name a flavor we probably have a cordial to match the flavor."

New Kids on the Block

While many brands have opted to continue developing already established products, others are adding new flavors before wrapping up 2008.

Take Cointreau, which just introduced Cointreau Noir, a blend of Cointreau's sweet and bitter orange bitter orange,
n an essential oil, expressed from the fruit of the bitter orange
(Citrus aurantium), useful for treating colds and flu, constipation and flatulence, gum conditions, sluggish digestion, and stress.
 flavor with Remy Martin cognac. In a departure from many liqueurs in the category, Noir is meant to be consumed without adding other flavor profiles. "Cointreau Noir can be appreciated either neat or on the rocks and offers the ideal solution for those who find cognac a bit strong and liqueurs too sweet," said Dana Nicholas, U.S. brand director.

While the bottle itself harkens to the recognizable shape of Cointreau, Noir's opaque golden tint separates it from other brands sitting on the shelves. Its flavor profile follows suit, offering a distinct taste combination of fruits, wood and vanilla when served neat and on ice.

For the No. 2 imported cordial, Baileys Irish Cream Baileys Irish Cream (the registered trade mark omits the apostrophe), is an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur, made by R. A. Bailey & Co. of Dublin, Ireland. The trademark is currently owned by Diageo. It has a declared alcohol content of 17% alcohol by volume. , having three flavors to select from wasn't enough. Bailers with a hint of Coffee is arrives this fall to join Baileys Original, Baileys with a hint of Mint Chocolate Mint chocolate, also known as Chocolate mint, is a popular variety of flavored chocolate. It is created when mint flavoring, such as peppermint, spearmint, or creme de menthe, is added to plain chocolate.  and Baileys with a hint of Creme Caramel crème car·a·mel  
A custard that is baked in a caramel-lined mold and served chilled with the caramel side up. Also called flan.

[French : crème, cream + caramel,
. Among the control states, Baileys saw a sales increase in 2007, up 2.8%, second to the leading Jagermeister.


Following in the footsteps of its limited release Pumpkin Spice in 2007, Hiram Walker Hiram Walker (4 July 1816 – 12 January 1899) was an American grocer and distiller, and the eponym of the famous distillery in Windsor, Ontario, Canada directly across from Detroit, Michigan. Walker founded the distillery in 1858 in what was then Walkerville, Ontario.  Liqueurs unveils Gingerbread gingerbread

In architecture and design, elaborately detailed embellishment, either lavish or superfluous. Though the term is occasionally applied to such highly detailed and decorative styles as the Rococo, it usually refers to the hand-carved and -sawn wood ornamentation of
 this holiday season for its one time bottling. Cort Kinker, marketing director for Hiram Walker Liqueurs, explained that when deciding on flavors for this year, eggnog was a possibility, but gingerbread won after it became obvious it could blend itself to several pairings.

The company will once again offer Pumpkin Spice to consumers while pairing it with Gingerbread on point-of-sale pieces. Sales of these products have worked for the brand because the limited release has consumers and merchandisers looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 it early, knowing that it's going to run out, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.


A Packaged Deal

When DeKuyper added new flavors to its arsenal in 2007, it already had plans for more in 2008 as it aimed to remain the leader among domestic cordials. From March's introduction of new packaging to recognize the brand's organization of flavors into five product families--Luscious, Burst, Pucker puck·er  
v. puck·ered, puck·er·ing, puck·ers
To gather into small wrinkles or folds: puckered my lips; puckered the curtains.

, Signature and Flavored Brandies--to a refreshed web site showcasing these families, DeKuyper makes a concerted effort to add organization to the oftentimes confusing cordials category. For consumers this means simplifying shopping based around product use, and for retailers it becomes easier to sell and display products, said Chris Mahoney, DeKuyper's senior director.


"It will be interesting to see if the new brighter packaging strategy and product segmentation being employed for the DeKuyper cordial line will help distinguish products and generate additional sales," Idaho's Applegate said.

But beyond new packaging and categories, flavors that pack a punch and simplify mixing drinks come into the market for the latter half of the year. Burst Bar Shots fall into the Burst family created by DeKuyper, but unlike other Bursts that are mixed to create a variety of cocktails, Bar Shots come pre-mixed in unique flavors of Red Headed Burst, Kamikaze kamikaze (kä'məkä`zē) [Jap.,=divine wind], the typhoon that destroyed Kublai Khan's fleet, foiling his invasion of Japan in 1281.  Burst and Washington Apple Burst. In this case, consumers no longer need to worry about recipe accuracy--it's done for them.

Shelf space at the store needs to keep packaging in mind although in a different sense. Retail stores in Idaho maintain a separate section devoted to cordials--with similar products or flavors typically grouped together--and carefully monitor the selection process of products offered in the section. "Cordials make up 9% of the total number of products, yet produce only 6% of bottle sales volume, so care needs to be given when products are selected," Applegate said. "Adding more cordials products doesn't necessarily increase sales or service opportunities."

All in the Display

Eye-catching, appealing, oddly drawing in your attention, two of the leading cordials use their displays as the focal point focal point
See focus.
. Both Jagermeister and Southern Comfort--No. 1 and No. 3 respectively--opted to showcase special displays during the holiday season as opposed to creating new gift packs.


Jagermeister returns with its tap machine for consumers, albeit the latest model was redesigned for 2008 delivery. While it's now only 15 inches deep, the new model is lighter, more energy efficient, 10 degrees cooler, cools up to 50 ounces of product at one time, creates less noise, and uses a gravity-fed system, LED backlight back·light  
A type of spotlight, used in photography, that illuminates a subject from behind.

tr.v. back·light·ed or back·lit , back·light·ing, back·lights
 and working tap.

Southern Comfort aims to grab attention with a mass display unit featuring a house characteristic of the holidays, both Halloween-themed and winter-themed. The house display can be set atop cases of SoCo or stand alone nearby with its blinking lights above the windows and on snowflakes snowflakes

small patches of gray or white hair acquired after birth. Skin color is unchanged. See also achromotrichia, vitiligo.
 to draw attention for purchasers. For Halloween, the house, reminiscent of the plantation house on SoCo's label, goes haunted.

It's floor displays like these that find their way into control state stores during the holidays. Rick Gerrish, New Hampshire's Spirits Marketing Specialist, explained, "Stores are given direction to feature the better selling cordials with floor displays during October, November and December." In the past this has also included cross promotions between brands, such as displays with both Grand Marnier Grand Marnier: see liqueur.  and Champagne Moet, or combining the Bacardi products Drambuie, DiSaronno and B&B in a single cordial display.

Extra Value

Gift packages remain a mainstay among several cordials, although it should be noted that some brands decided not to offer special holiday packages this year to focus on other efforts. In addition to holiday-themed recipes, Starbucks Coffee and Cream Liqueurs offers a Starbucks Coffee Company mug paired with its 750 ml bottle of coffee liqueur.

Similarly, other brands offer pairings with popular bottle sizes. Tuaca pairs its 750 ml bottle with two shot glasses in a holiday pack that will be available nationwide.

For Chambord, its Black Raspberry Liqueur liqueur (lĭkûr`), strong alcoholic beverage made of almost neutral spirits, flavored with herb mixtures, fruits, or other materials, and usually sweetened. The name derives from the Latin word to melt.  is the highlight of the '08 holiday season. With a 750 ml or 375 ml bottle paired with two champagne flutes, this gift pack can be purchased in 39 states including Washington, D.C. Some control states such as Idaho, Ohio and Wyoming have opted to offer the set while others like Iowa and Michigan will not be offering it.

Be on the watch for a late September or early October release of the gift pack from Agavero. Each pack features a 12-ounce hand-crafted, hand-painted cocktail glass based on a design by artist Debbie Arbizzani. The design mimics Agavero's bottle design and reminds consumers of Agavero's roots with its damiana damiana (däˑ·mē·ä·n  flowers and blue agave plants.

Navan rolls with a vanilla theme with its new holiday gift pack. The set includes a 750 ml bottle of Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur along with two stemless Martini glasses and a selection of recipes for vanilla-inspired cocktails. Also look for a holiday sparkling cocktail currently in the works involving champagne and Navan.

With a heavy focus on off-premise promotion, Alize plans the return of gift packs for all five flavors five flavors,
n in the dietary component of Chinese medicine, the five basic tastes into which foods are divided, each of which has different physiologic actions.
. Each pack is paired with a 750 ml bottle and two Martini glasses appropriately colored to match the flavor: red, gold, pink, blue and orange. The gift packs are designed to drive retail merchandising in addition to in-store sampling across the country.

For the leading amaretto am·a·ret·to  
n. pl. am·a·ret·tos
An Italian liqueur flavored with almond.

[Italian, diminutive of amaro, bitter, from Latin am
 brand in the U.S., DiSaronno welcomes a unique package in time for the holidays. With the option of a 375 ml or 750 ml bottle, the package includes a hand-blown Venetian glass ice bucket.

Meanwhile the leading coffee liqueur, Kahlua offers a few special packages. One includes a 750 ml bottle with coffee mug, and another adds three flavors in 50 ml sample sizes to the mix. Or for those purchasing a bottle, it can be wrapped and toted away in a velvety vel·vet·y  
adj. vel·vet·i·er, vel·vet·i·est
1. Suggestive of the texture of velvet; soft and smooth: velvety skin.

 gift bag with an embroidered em·broi·der  
v. em·broi·dered, em·broi·der·ing, em·broi·ders
1. To ornament with needlework: embroider a pillow cover.

 Kahlua logo and gold tassel.

Celebrating 70 years of existence earlier in the year, B&B continues its momentum of special features straight through the holidays. Offering two unique co-packs, B&B forges into 70 more years. One package features a 750 ml bottle of the liqueur with a stainless steel stainless steel: see steel.
stainless steel

Any of a family of alloy steels usually containing 10–30% chromium. The presence of chromium, together with low carbon content, gives remarkable resistance to corrosion and heat.
 thermos, while the other features a 375 ml liqueur bottle paired with two snifters.

While several brands experiment with new flavor profiles, Frangelico fits into the mix by staying with the tried and true. The brand continues to showcase its hazelnut flavor and has created a recognizable brand by using the monk-shaped bottle. Frangelico goes unique with its uses--recipes not only include cocktail mixtures but ways the consumer can incorporate the liqueur into savory food selections. The company asserts that it educates bartenders about the liqueur's versatility across the cocktail spectrum and that it offers hands-on training to show that liqueurs are needed in cocktails.

For the holidays Frangelico features a value-added package that calls to its iconic packaging. The boxed set focuses on the bottle with the addition of two drink glasses emblazoned with the Frangelico name.

Holiday Trends

For Heaven Hill Distilleries, its Hpnotiq and Pama brands pair point-of-sale pieces with gift sets for the holidays. Hpnotiq's gift set includes a bottle matched in color with two glasses, while Pama's gift set pairs a bottle with a smartly designed and shaped cocktail glass.

To draw attention to the brands, Heaven Hill created a pomegranate pomegranate (pŏm`grănĭt, pŏm`ə–), handsome deciduous and somewhat thorny large shrub or small tree (Punica granatum  as a Christmas tree Christmas tree

Evergreen tree, usually decorated with lights and ornaments, to celebrate the Christmas season. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands as symbols of eternal life was common among the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews.
 ornament. That's just part of Pama's use of its flavor in shelf talkers and case cards. Need a red drink for a holiday party? Recipes include pairings with champagne and rum as well as a sparkling cocktail.

Enlarge a Christmas tree ornament and encase en·case  
tr.v. en·cased, en·cas·ing, en·cas·es
To enclose in or as if in a case.

en·casement n.
 a bottle of Hpnotiq and you have a unique topper Topper

house he purchases is haunted by the young couple who owned it previously and their dog. [Am. Lit., Cin., TV: Topper in Halliwell, 718]

See : Ghost


Hopalong Cassidy’s faithful horse.
 for store displays. Hpnotiq's motion pole topper revolves above floor displays. Paired with the mesmerizing mes·mer·ize  
tr.v. mes·mer·ized, mes·mer·iz·ing, mes·mer·iz·es
1. To spellbind; enthrall: "He could mesmerize an audience by the sheer force of his presence" 
 shimmer of the case cards and shelf talkers and merchandisers have an easy way to attract attention to the brand.

Kahlua boasts king-sized sales increases specifically during the holidays. At off-premise sites, Nielsen research shows spiked increases in 2007 around Thanksgiving and again from December through New Year's. The brand has sales success by utilizing both features and displays, where it sees a 191.6% increase. And this holiday the brand can promote the mocha Mocha (mō`kə), town (1990 est. pop. 2,000), S Yemen, a port on the Red Sea. It was noted for the export of the coffee to which it gave its name but declined as a trading port in the late 19th cent. with the rise of Hodeida and Aden.  flavor, released earlier in the year.

With a focus on flavor, both Domaine de Canton and Ty Ku concentrate on unique tastes.

Ty Ku's Asian Citrus Liqueur features a lighter profile that's not sweet and syrupy. Made of all-natural ingredients like mangosteen mangosteen (mang`gəstēn'), the edible fruit of Garcinia mangostana, of the family Clusiaceae (Guttiferae), an evergreen tree native to SE Asia. The purple fruit is similar to an orange in size, thickness of the rind, and segmentation. , yuzu, honeydew, goji berry, ginseng ginseng (jĭn`sĕng), common name for the Araliaceae, a family of tropical herbs, shrubs, and trees that are often prickly and sometimes grow as climbing forms.  and damiana, it also include the antioxidants Antioxidants
Substances that reduce the damage of the highly reactive free radicals that are the byproducts of the cells.

Mentioned in: Aging, Nutritional Supplements

 of green and oolong oo·long  
A dark Chinese tea that has been partially fermented before drying.

[Chinese (Mandarin) w
 tea and yerba mate.

After only hitting national distribution this summer, Domaine de Canton embraces a new flavor among liqueurs and experts are recognizing it. Domaine de Canton infuses cognac with baby ginger to create the first superpremium ginger liqueur. Not only does the flavor garner attention, but the bottle captures the eyes with a pagoda pagoda (pəgō`də), name given in the East to a variety of buildings of tower form that are usually part of a temple or monastery group and serve as shrines.  shape and satin-like glass playing into the French Asian flavor characteristics.

While Cafe Boheme entered the marketplace last September, it added some competition among the coffee-flavored liqueurs, yet also called out to a new audience. The brand is perfect for those seeking a smooth flavor combining coffee, creme, vodka and a hint of vanilla.

Still, whatever the brand or flavor, there are plenty of opportunities for retail outlets to highlight these products during the holidays. Special displays, value-added packaging and a plethora of holiday drink recipes to spur consumer interest are certain to make your holiday bottom line bright.

Mint Chocolatini

2 oz. Baileys with a hint of Mint Chocolate
1/2 oz. Smirnoff Vanilla Flavored Vodka

Shake with ice and strain into a martini
glass. Garnish with fresh mint and
chocolate sticks.


2 parts Starbucks Cream Liqueur
1 part DeKuyper Buttershots Schnapps

Splash of DeKuyper Hot Damn! Schnapps
Shake with ice, strain into a Martini glass,
garnish with a light sprinkle of nutmeg

Eggnog Martini

1 oz. Southern Comfort--100 proof
3 oz. eggnog

Combine chilled ingredients in a shaker (no
ice). Shake well. Strain into a chilled
martini glass. Dust with nutmeg.


2 oz. Finlandia vodka
1 oz. white creme de cacao
1/2 oz. Chambord
1 oz. heavy cream

Shake first three ingredients vigorously with
ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Float cream on top by pouring over back of
spoon. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
For those Southerners who enjoy a good
chocolate bourbon ball, Woodford Reserve
bourbon, white creme de cacao and a
splash of hazelnut liqueur melts candy
goodness straight into your glass.


10 parts Kahlua Mocha
5 parts Absolut Vanilla
20 parts eggnog

Combine all ingredients in a punchbowl
with a floating ice block. Serve by pouring
into punch cups and garnishing with frozen
coffee beans.


1 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. Don Julio Anejo Tequila
3 oz. hot chocolate

Layer of fresh cream

Combine Grand Marnier, tequila and
hot chocolate in either an Irish
coffee or small wine glass. Layer
hand-whipped cream over the top.


Stir 1 1/2 oz. Frangelico into your
favorite hot coffee. For a decadent
treat, top with whipped cream.

Pear Tree Martini

2 oz. of Pear Vodka
1 1/2 oz. St-Germain

Top with Champagne

Add first two ingredients to ice-filled
shaker and shake vigorously.

Pour contents into chilled Martini
glass and top with champagne.

Garnish with thin pear slice and
cinnamon stick.

Optional: Frost the rim of the glass
with sugar

Snowflake Martini

2 oz. Hpnotiq
1 oz. superpremium citrus vodka

Splash of white cranberry juice

Shake with ice; strain into a coconut-rimmed
Martini glass.

Molecular Mixology mix·ol·o·gy  
The study or skill of preparing mixed drinks.

mix·olo·gist n.

Just in time for the indulgent season and special splurges when it comes to sweet treats, Grand Marnier teams up with international pastry stars Francois Payard and Nicolas Boussin for the creation of cocktail macaroons. These macaroons that are cocktails will be available in September in four flavors inspired by Grand Marnier cocktails: Grand Cosmo, Grand Margarita, Grand Mojito and Orange Crush. These flavors can be purchased exclusively through Payard Patisserie pa·tis·se·rie  
A bakery specializing in French pastry.

[French pâtisserie, from Old French pastiserie, from pasticier, to make pastry, from *pastitz,
 & Bistro in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 or online at

Cointreau is also experimenting with molecular mixology with the help of Fernando Castellon. With the introduction of Cointreau Caviar, liquid Cointreau has been turned into solid pearls and can be added to an array of cocktails for a flavor punch. One such double whammy can be found with Cointreau's Strawberry & Pearls developed by Xavier Herit, head bartender at Daniel, and featuring a strawberry margarita served with strawberry-infused Cointreau Caviar Pearls.



Drambuie and Licor 43 have tried to keep the buzz going throughout the year by combining brand identity with travel contests, in July and August, Licor 43 harkened its Spanish ties by running a sweepstakes where the winner and three friends win a trip to Ibiza, Spain, for the World DJ Awards.

To recognize the brand's history and spirit of adventure in its origins, Drambuie continues to develop its Pursuit contest. First introduced last summer for an April 2008 expedition, the campaign returns with a dedicated Web site and by-invitation den events in U.S. cities where competitors can register for the chance to be selected for the 2009 Drambuie Pursuit, a 100-mile all-expenses-paid adventure race in the Scottish Highlands retracing the escape of Scotland's Bonnie Prince Charles.
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Author:Strandness, Kate
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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