INFUSING COCKTAILS WITH AUTUMN INSPIRATION
THE CASE FOR SEASONAL COCKTAILS
With cocktails being the most profitable beverage you can sell, it makes sense to promote them prominently throughout the year. But while many restaurants regularly offer seasonal updates to their cuisine, they miss a great opportunity to do the same with their cocktail menus.
Beverages can be just as experiential, enjoyable and attractive to customers as food. In fact, studies show that In both fine dining and lounge, 71% of people want to pair food with their drink order and are seeking colorful, crisp and comforting accompaniments to their appetizers and entrees. By offering seasonal beverages made with the same attention and craftsmanship provided to food dishes, you can easily set yourself apart from competitors.
AUTUMN FLAVORS PLEASE THE PALATE
Traditionally associated with Octoberfest, the fall season is now ripe with opportunities to add spirits to popular autumn drinks like Boilermakers, ciders, low ABV cocktails, fall punches and trending beer-based cocktails.
Autumn is also the perfect time to offer a refreshing respite from the super-sweet cocktails of summer with drinks infused with more earthy, botanical flavors. Guests will appreciate the change of flavor and less sugar has added appeal for health-conscious consumers.
Ketel One Botanical Vodkas are a great place to start. Distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences, they are naturally free of sugar, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors. Fresh, clean and crisp, they play exceptionally well with soda and tea and can be artfully enhanced with fall-flavor elements like cinnamon and ginger beer.
ADDING TEA TO THE MIX
Tea of all varieties is on trend and tastes incredible with Ketel One Botanical flavors. Try mixing Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint Vodka with White, Green, or Black tea topped with a mint sprig. For a fruitier option, you can offer Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom Vodka with Black or Rooibos tea, served with an orange slice. And for a tasty tart temptation, combine Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose Vodka with Chamomile or Green tea, garnished with a grapefruit twist. All can be served on the rocks in a wine glass.
AVOIDING FLAVOR OVERWHELM
Unlike a lot of popular coffee drinks, the key to capitalizing on autumn flavors in cocktails is subtlety. When creating your drink menu, think in terms of dashes and splashes of warming elements like ginger beer, bitters and nutmeg. Ketel One Botanical Vodkas can be deliciously enhanced with cinnamon syrup and balanced with lemon or lime juice in traditional sour-style cocktails.
Here are some other ideas to try:
ATTRACTING ATTENTION AND APPLAUSE
Updating your cocktail menu with the seasons is a wonderful way to engage your staff by inviting them to use new ingredients, experiment with preparation techniques and let their talents shine.
Cocktails are meant to be fun and creative and switching things up a bit with seasonal selections will excite the imagination of bartenders, servers and patrons. When executed correctly, it can also be a profitable business strategy – intriguing potential guests and delighting your regular customer base. And with the power of social media, you can leverage this passion exponentially! The truth is, it’s never been easier to highlight your autumn cocktail menu to attract new customers and rave reviews.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Oktoberfest began as a celebration of a royal Bavarian marriage in the 1800s but has been adopted across the world as a time of social and communal enjoyment.
- The celebration is traditionally centered around beer, but as culture has evolved so has the season; these days spirits play a larger role in the celebration, as a complement to Boilermakers, ciders, seasonal punches and trending beer-based cocktails.
- With the ten best festivals stretching from California to Pennsylvania, bars all across the U.S. have the opportunity to participate.