What do your guests want to sip this summer? Chances are it’s something refreshingly cool and delicious, with a twist, and out of the ordinary.
Keeping cocktail beverage menus fresh can be challenging, but during the summer months there are so many simple and interesting ingredients, techniques, and solutions that will have your guests gravitating to, and ordering more than one ‘out of the ordinary’ summer cocktail.
To keep profit margins (and your creativity cred) up, look to add new, interesting combinations of ingredients such as fresh produce, like organic cucumber, cantaloupe, honeydew or another seasonal melon) to a clear spirit or liquor to make a lovely new flavorful base. Consider mixing Limoncello into cocktails, muddling fresh berries with the flavors of mint or ginger; or even offering a distinctive basil cocktail with added sweet elements (strawberries or blackberries for example) for something different and refreshing.
The goal for maximizing the summer cocktail season is to offer a varied, yet cohesive menu of tempting drinks; one that’s in-sync with the summer vibe and your restaurant’s strengths and branding. For example, if your distinction is small plates or Tapas, then create white/red wine infused twists on sangrias and sparkling wine concepts featuring fresh flavors mixed with wine from the plethora of great Spanish selections from the regions of Rioja, Valencia, Requena, and more. If you’re serving an American menu of classics and ‘comfort’ foods, consider classic cocktails like martinis, (NOT frou-frou!), bourbon drinks, and maybe even some beer-based cocktails.
Keep to the classics guests love; yet mix in some modern innovation that they wouldn’t normally make at home to keep them coming back for more.
- Get the word out re: your fab summer cocktails with some marketing. Maybe setting a specified time for guests to come in & try slightly discounted items (say from 4-6pm mon-thurs, before the dinner rush) or offering modest giveaways that work within the realm of a theme (i.e. swizzle sticks for rum punches, etc.), think about fun, enticing, and different programs to get guests sipping your cocktail selections this summer
- As with any new offering, taking note of what works & what doesn’t this season offers you the luxury of varying & tweaking selections/creations next summer to reflect guest’s top picks and trending cocktails. Keep some documentation (even if it’s just on social media) so you’ll have some fresh ideas and perspective for next year