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HOT OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLD-WEATHER COCKTAILS

WARM UP YOUR PROFIT POTENTIAL

With chilly temperatures and sweater weather comes the demand for warming, comforting cocktails. And because mixed drinks are the most profitable beverage you can sell, a winter-weather bar strategy can make a real difference to your bottom line. Traditional temptations like coffee drinks and hot toddies are always popular with guests, but your winter drink offerings shouldn’t stop there. With a little inspiration, you can expand your hot-cocktail menu in deliciously delightful ways. This article has some ideas to get you get started.

APPEAL TO THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON

Hot cocktails seem to have an almost magical ability to set a cozy mood and evoke happy memories. Ciders, winter fruits and other fragrant flavors of the season trigger nostalgia in holiday-minded consumers of all ages. By incorporating these ingredients and warming elements like cinnamon and nutmeg in your hot cocktails, you can easily set a comfortable, celebratory tone.

A QUICK TIP FOR HOT DRINKS

Before we get to the drinks, let's discuss glassware. Specifically, the temperature of the mug you will be serving them in. Hot cocktails are meant to be served warm – if not piping. Pouring them in an ice-cold glass or mug will quickly cool the contents as the drink makes its way from your bar to your customer. You can keep hot drinks hot longer by pre-heating the glass. It's very easy, takes just a minute and there are a few ways to go about it.

CARIBBEAN RUM PACKS A SPICY PUNCH

With its subtle notes of vanilla and caramel, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is a natural place to begin your hot cocktail exploratory. It pairs beautifully with seasonal spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and can be easily incorporated into a variety of hot libations. Here are two tasty combinations to try.

BEAT THE CHILL THE RUSSIAN WAY

Like Canadians, Russians have a lot of experience with icy winters and frigid cold. For them, vodka helps beat the chill. Founded in 1864 by Piotr Arseneevich (P.A.) Smirnov, Smirnoff is a triple-distilled, award-winning vodka most often served in martinis or summer cocktails. But the recipes below prove it can also hold its own in the hot-drink category.

For a large-format batch, simmer Smirnoff, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and hot apple cider in a pot. Serve in tempered mugs and garnish with clove-studded lemon slices.

GLOBAL WARMING: HOT SPIRITS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

There’s no shortage of sensational spirits that can be used in hot drinks to deal warm things up in winter months. Whether you’re a fan of Scotch Whisky, Kentucky Bourbon, Mexican Tequila or London Dry Gin, there’s a hot drink recipe to please your palate. Experiment with both coffee and tea and be sure to incorporate dashes and splashes of warming flavor notes. Here are some tasty options to inspire you.

WARM HOSPITALITY MAKES FOR HAPPIER GUESTS

As we move toward a long, chilly winter, hot drinks are an easy way to add a festive flair to your menu and make your customers feel special. They’re also a satisfying and popular alternative to dessert. And because of their relatively high sales margin, it makes good business sense to promote your hot cocktails as much as possible – in the bar, restaurant and especially on your social media channels!