Festive campaign for Courvoisier

Drinks company Maxxium UK is supporting on-trade outlets during the Christmas season by rolling out point-of-sale kits to drive sales of Courvoisier cognac.

The first kit is designed for contemporary stylish bars, featuring engraved copper punch bowls and ladles as well as recipes to create a selection of serves such as a Courvoisier Punch, made with Courvoisier VS, lemonade and Angostura Bitters, garnished with orange and lemon wheels.

The kit also features festive serves, including the Smoking Bishop which complements the warming notes naturally found in cognac and is inspired by a drink enjoyed by Scrooge and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. See below for the recipe.

The second kit, aimed at mainstream pubs and bars includes branded glasses, Optics, tent cards and posters to promote classic Courvoisier serves: Courvoisier and ginger ale, Courvoisier and tonic and Courvoisier and lemonade.

It also carries a consumer promotion to win a tailor-made luxury trip to France, where four winners will be treated to “money-can’t-buy” experiences within their chosen theme of fashion, gastronomy, music or art. The competition is part of the Courvoisier Cocktails on a Grand Scale campaign, which focuses on “revolutionising cognac via mixability”.

Maxxium UK’s marketing controller for luxury brands, Chris Anderson, said: “Christmas is the biggest time of year for premium spirits and a crucial time to engage consumers in outlet.

“The mainstream pub kits will keep Courvoisier and the classic serves front of mind with consumers, enhancing its reputation as a luxury spirit and directly helping to drive sales.

“The engraved punchbowls and ladles equip outlets with the tools they need to create the popular punch serve, which can be sold at a margin-enhancing premium.”

Courvoisier’s share of the cognac category increased to over 77 per cent last Christmas, according to figures from CGA, which contributed to total sales worth £45.4million to the on-trade.

The Courvoisier Smoking Bishop, which was promoted by Maxxium UK in the run-up to Christmas last year, is inspired by a traditional warm punch that features in the final scene of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol where Scrooge reconciles himself with Bob Cratchit.

The newly converted Scrooge says: “I’ll raise your salary and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon over a Christmas bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!” The book’s final illustration by John Leech shows Ebenezer and Bob enjoying some Smoking Bishop in front of a hot stove on Christmas Day.

Courvoisier Smoking Bishop

25ml Courvoisier VS/VSOP
50ml Light red wine
25ml Ruby port
10ml Gomme syrup
40ml Blood orange juice
25ml Pink grapefruit juice
2 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
1/3 Seville oranges (sliced)
1/3 pink grapefruits (sliced)
Sprinkle of ground nutmeg

Put the cloves, Seville oranges and pink grapefruit slices into a small saucepan. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the cognac and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, being careful not to boil, stirring in the Courvoisier cognac as you go. Serve in a mug or cup with an orange slice and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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