As we round out the holiday season, Christmas and Hanukkah are upon us. Is spiked eggnog your go-to drink? Or perhaps hot chocolate with marshmallows and Jameson is what calls your name. Maybe you want to impress your co-workers at the annual office party with a Christmas punch that also kicks!
Regardless of your style, this last month of the year is important for businesses that sell spirits. Alcohol purchases increase exponentially during this time every year. In fact, 56% of Americans experience more alcohol served at holiday gatherings than other social events throughout the year. For many families, this will be the first Christmas together since the 2020 pandemic and everyone wants to celebrate reuniting in a big way!
“Consumers reexamined their relationship with alcohol during 2020. While some consumers cut back, many decided to explore new alcoholic beverages they’d never thought to try before. Craft beverages, seltzers, meads, canned cocktails, and more all saw massive demand, as did wines and even non-alcoholic beverages. 2021 alcohol trends lean toward more growth and exploration—especially as consumers prepare for the return of social gatherings for November and December holiday parties” AYTM
First, let’s take a look at three delectable holiday cocktails that are sure to add flavor to your holiday season. Then we’ll discuss label requirements for alcoholic beverages – what to include during the holidays and for product sales year round. Lastly, we’ll dive into some custom spirit labeling tips that will make your adult beverages practically jump off the shelves and into carts…
M&R Label’s Holiday Guide to Specialty Spirit Labels + 3 Cocktail Recipes for Winter
Holiday Cocktail Recipes
These three seasonal adult drink recipes are sure to keep the holiday spirit alive all winter long…
Cocktail Recipe #1: Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is a holiday staple. With only six ingredients you’ll have the perfect drink for your holiday party in no time. This combination of wine and spices and hints of fruit is bursting with flavor. This garnet colored greatness will warm your home and fill your cups.
- Bottle Red Wine (750 ml)
- 2 Oranges
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 5 Star Anise
- 10 Whole Cloves
- ¾ Brown Sugar
- Place all ingredients except the oranges into a medium sized pot.
- Using a sharp knife or peeler, peel half of one orange. Avoid peeling as much pith (white part) as possible, as it has a bitter taste.
- Juice the oranges and add to the pot along with the orange peel.
- Over medium heat, warm the mixture until it’s just steaming. Reduce the heath to a low simmer. Heat for 30 minutes to let the spices infuse.
- Strain the wine and serve into heat-proof cups.
Cocktail Recipe #2: Christmas Punch
Planning a holiday party for your big family? Make a Christmas Punch that packs a punch. This recipe is easy to make and even easier to double. Between the Vitamin C in the pomegranate seeds, orange slices, and orange juice, this Christmas Punch is packed with plenty of health benefits.
- 8 oz pomegranate seeds
- 2 oranges
- 16 oz pomegranate juice
- 16 oz 100% cranberry juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 20 oz Prosecco sparkling wine
- 6 oz rum or vodka
- Slice oranges into thin slices and cut the slices in half.
- Combine orange slices, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, and vanilla together in a punch bowl or pitcher. Mix and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Add rum at the same time as fruit and juices.
- Add Prosecco right before servings.
Cocktail Recipe #3: The Grinch Cocktail
The Grinch Cocktail is an easy holiday cocktail to serve up at your next Christmas party. With fruity flavors like melon, lemon-lime, and cherry, this cocktail is flavorful and eye-catching.
- 1 and ½ oz midori liqueur
- 1 oz clear rum or triple sec
- 5 oz Lemon Line side
- 1 maraschino cherry
- Fill a lowball glass with ice.
- Add minor liqueur and rum.
- Top with lemon lime soda and stir gently to combine.
- Top with a maraschino cherry and enjoy.
Don’t Break the Laws of Liquor Labeling!
Before we jump into a few fun design tips for liquor labels, let’s cover the basics of alcoholic beverage labels first. There are requirements that exist for every bottle of liquor sold and distributed. These requirements are determined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
It’s important to make sure you work with a label partner who’s well versed in label regulations for your industry. Protect your business by making sure these aspects appear on all of your liquor labels:
- Brand Name
- A brand name is the name under which distilled spirits products, or a line of distilled spirits products, are sold.
- Age Statement
- Age is the period during which, after distillation and before bottling, distilled spirits have been stored in oak containers
- Color Ingredient Disclosures
- For distilled spirits that contain color additives to create colors that are not natural to the product, this information must be disclosed
- Commodity Statement
- A statement disclosing the percentage of neutral spirits and the commodity from which the neutral spirits were distilled.
- Health Warning Statement
- By the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act (ABLA) of 1988, all alcoholic beverages must have the following warning:
- GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
- Name and Address
- The name and address statement provides the name and address of the importer or the bottler of the distilled spirits, as applicable.
- Net Contents
- The net contents statement indicates the volume of distilled spirits in the container (bottle) on which the label appears, expressed in Liters and milliliters (mL).
- Country of Origin (imports only)
- Every article of foreign origin entering the United States must be legibly marked with the English name of the country of origin unless an exception from marking is provided for in the law.
- Alcohol Content
- The alcohol content statement is a numerical statement on a distilled spirits label that indicates the alcohol content of the distilled spirits in terms of percentage of alcohol by volume.
- Class or Type Designation
- Class – The broad category “distilled spirits” is divided, under standards of identity, into a number of general but defined classes, e.g., “Neutral Spirits of Alcohol,” “Whisky”
- Type – under most of the general classes are specific defined types of distilled spirits, e.g., “Vodka” is a specific type of “Neutral Spirits or Alcohol;” “Straight Bourbon Whisky” is a specific type of “Whisky”
Specialty Spirit Label Design Tips
Whether your business sells wine, beer, or spirits, it’s important to make sure your product marketing stays current by using the latest label design trends for your industry. Your label serves as a first impression to potential customers, here’s how to make it a good one…
- Use impactful, vibrant colors: Don’t be bland, use colors that pop! Don’t let your customers scroll past your product so easily. Incorporate a flash of red and green for the Christmas winter wine, or glitter and gold for New Year’s champagne toasts!
- Experiment with different label cuts: Die cut labels are laser cut completely through the backing of the sticker, leaving only the custom design. Kiss cut labels leave a slightly visible backing. Try out different cuts to see what works best with your brand aesthetic.
- Barcode best practices: Leave space in your design for the label’s barcode. This is called a “quiet zone.” You don’t text to be too close to the bar code and disrupt the scan. Use a simple color scheme. Don’t get too festive with the bar code. It’s okay Keep the standard black text on a white box for the bar code.
- Comply with federal adult beverage laws: As we previously mentioned, it is important to be in compliance with all laws regarding labels. You don’t want your business to be on Uncle Sam’s naughty list!
- Partner with M&R Label for your spirit labeling needs: We’re ready to give your beverage labels a fresh look! Let’s work together to design and print cost effective, superior labels made from the highest quality materials. With over 30 years of label design and printing experience, you can trust the M&R Label team this holiday season.