Premium flavoured vodka shots are one of the key attractions of the 7 Saints in Prestwick, Ayrshire, and a very profitable line for Star Pubs & Bars licensee Nick Livingstone.
“We decided to offer vodka shots as we wanted to offer customers the shot experience but also to be different from other high street bars offering tequila shots,” Nick explains. “These types of shot are expensive to buy but need to be cheap to sell in volume. Our vodkas retail at £2 and cost just 9p to make.
“We buy in premium vodka and mix it with Monin syrup flavours we get from a wholesaler – they’re the same flavours used for flavouring coffees. We then dilute them with water bringing the alcohol content down from 37% to around 18%, making the vodka more enjoyable and preventing people from getting drunk too quickly.
“We have 20 to 25 flavours and our best sellers are Bubble Gum, Parma Violet and Salty Caramel – throwback flavours which reconnect people with their childhoods. We’ve also got Black Forest Gateau, Honeycomb and white chocolate and create seasonal flavours like cinnamon at Christmas and an Easter egg cocktail.
“We sell on average 300 vodka shots a week and are seeing a steady 10 % week-on-week growth. It’s not just how they taste that makes them appealing, we make the whole experience quirky, serving the vodkas in a shot gun shell. People see others drinking them and want to try them. We also sell a few cocktails – which we’re renowned for – with a vodka shot on side.
“We market the vodkas through social media and customers sharing photos of themselves drinking from shot gun shells. We also Incorporate it into a few cocktails – with shot on side.”