Cocktails and drinks: Get your guests talking


Many of the guests that you will welcome at your B&B will be on holiday, so it’s likely that they will expect to be able to wind down with an alcoholic drink. If you’re going to be serving evening meals, offering alcoholic drinks is particularly important – although you’ll need a licence in order to serve alcohol. With cocktails being the fashionable tipple of the moment, we take a look at how you can use these popular pick-me-ups in this guide, as well as other classic alcoholic drinks, to leave a lasting impression on your customers.

Quality over quantity

Cocktail-making is an art that can be particularly difficult to master. With this in mind, it might be worth attending a course, if you want to brush up on your skills and successfully imitate Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Doing so will enable you to serve a large variety of fancy drinks and prepare them to a consistently high standard. Alternatively, you could make use of the many resources out there on the internet and teach yourself how to make a small, select number of crowd-pleasing cocktails.

The first sip is with the eye                             

Presentation is undoubtedly one of the most important factors when it comes to preparing and serving cocktails. The garnish you choose to give your cocktails that all-important finishing touch plays a large part in this. Some of the most popular garnishes include edible flowers, a sprig of herb or a wedge of fruit. However, the one you choose is largely dependent upon the type of cocktail you’re making.

Make it your own!

To set your guesthouse apart from the competition, why not experiment and create your own signature cocktail? A unique cocktail may not only earn you a reputation, it could well become the next big thing. That said, you’d also be wise to include a handful of classic cocktails that are instantly recognisable. These could include firm favourites, such as Tequila Sunrise, Pina Colada and Sex on the Beach.

Festive treats

At certain periods throughout the year, you could also consider adding an extra dimension to your menu by offering seasonal drinks. Come Christmastime, beverages such as mulled wine and Winter Pimms will add a festive feel to your menu, while you might want to experiment with some bright and garishly-coloured drinks at Halloween.

High quality ingredients

While it may be tempting to keep costs as low as possible, it’s worthwhile using branded spirits as opposed to supermarket own brand varieties. When you’re looking at mixers and fruit, quality always has to be paramount! This may seem like this is costing you more in the short-term, but it is little touches like these that can have a positive impact upon your reputation, and ultimately persuade more customers to come through the door.


It goes without saying that wine is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks, so you should invest some time into choosing a white, red and rosé wine for your guesthouse.  If you’re planning on serving evening meals, stocking a selection of white, red and rosé wines of varying qualities and prices that complement the dishes you offer is highly recommended. For example, if you’re planning on serving cuisine from a particular country or area of the world, we’d recommend stocking at least one type of wine from that very same place.


Depending of the size of your guesthouse, you might want to consider offering beer and lager either on draught or in bottles. If you’re a small establishment, opt for one or two beers by popular brands, while larger guesthouses could benefit from offering a more varied selection. This could include both light and dark beers from different countries, as well as ales from the local area.

Surprise and delight

One of the best ways to ensure that your guests have a great stay and are eager to book again is by treating them to a complimentary drink. This could be a pre-dinner drink, a glass of sparkly on arrival, or even a whole bottle of fizzy if they’re celebrating a special occasion.

Cocktails and drinks: Get your guests talking

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