the forum

25 June, 2010

Q Are beer cocktails the next big thing? If so, how are they made and how can I promote them in-store???A Next big thing? What about light ale and bitter – that’s been around for donkey’s years. Or brown and mild? Or bitter top, or indeed shandy? Maybe some of these concoctions have gone out of fashion but they were once staple drinks in saloon bars up and down the land. These days one assumes that sticking a wedge of lime in the bottle neck is the nearest thing that most beer drinkers will get to a real “beer cocktail” experience.

Stanley, Worksop??A Personal favourites of mine include the Black & Tan (stout and lager combined); Dark & Smooth (Guinness combined with port); Black Velvet (Guinness and Champagne); and Ruddy Mary (beer with tomato juice and Tabasco). In various countries I’m told that beer and cola is a popular mixture but I can’t get my head around that one.

HJ, Wiltshire??Q What do they put in drinks like RTDs to give them colour? Does it naturally occur on earth???A I can’t recall seeing anything in nature which is quite that colour – and I’ve visited the Sellafield area.

Johnnie, Cambridgeshire??A Food colouring, just like you see on birthday cake icing and all kinds of sweets. All certified by the appropriate European regulations and nothing to worry about.

Charles, Essex??Q If I donate some bottles of wine to charity, should I declare this in my accounts or is it simpler just to write off the stock??CG, London??Q I’ve lost my refusals book. There are local concerns about under-age drinking but I’ve never failed a test purchase. Should I own up to the police now, or attempt to recreate it from memory, or simply start a fresh book??Name and address supplied?

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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