Temperatures have plunged and so it seems has beer consumption as people are now looking to warm themselves up with spirits and other beverage. The thought of holding an ice cold beer while also trying to beat the cold winter breeze sounds like self-imposed torture.
Although he would not share sales figures to support his case KBL’s Mokoro Ketsitlile admitted the company’s beer sales do drop significantly during winter season. “It’s understandable that people would choose not to have cold beverages in winter,” he says. “Even soft drink sales do drop during the season.”
Immanuel Phokwe, a barman at Gaborone Sun hotel and casino resort shares Ketsitlile’s observation. “Most of our customers prefer wine, whiskey and cocktails during winter,” he says. He says they do witness a drop in beer sales during this period.
I am a novice when it comes to cocktails and I need suggestions for a good winter drink because my favourite beer does not fit well with especially very low night temperatures. What does Phokwe recommend?
“Most popular cocktails here include Long Island and Sex on the Beach,” he says.
“It’s a tricky one,” says The Grand Palm’s Food and Beverage Manager, Gary Cartwright. “Our customers are inclined to prefer other beverages other than beer in the winter.” He says they usually go for spirits. “An increase in spirit sales is inevitable for an establishment like ours.” He says although wine is popular all year round there is a reasonable increase in sales during winter.
So, what does Cartwright recommend for a cold winter drink? “These days it depends on your budget,” he says.
“If you are on a low budget, gin maybe the appropriate drink for you. But of course there are some cheaper whiskeys available.” He calls them budget beaters. He says cognac is not a bad idea either. For those with a bigger wallet Cartwright says premium whiskeys and brandy would do the magic.
“You can’t do with a cheap brandy.”
Odirile’s alcoholic beverage of choice is beer but the low temperatures have forced him to reconsider. “I have ordered a few whiskeys from South Africa,” says. Since the introduction of the alcohol levy a lot of locals have resorted to importing expensive spirits from South Africa where the drinks are much cheaper.
“Well, I agree with you about seasonality. During the summer, I gravitate towards beer but in winter I prefer warner drinks like gin and tonic or whiskey. The best thing about cocktails is that you can customise according to what you feel goes better with what. You can also make them lighter if you choose to. So as it stands, I will only go back to my beer in the summer,” says one Moilwa. So as alcohol consumers here ditch the foaming pints of beer to beat the low winter temperatures with the hot stuff it seems our brewers here are dragging their feet to the bank as they impatiently wait for the dreaded winter season to pass. In the meantime, I might have to settle for Sex on the Beach.