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Winter Flavors: Preparing Your Bar for the Season

by Reed Stevens on November 17

Cars that need to be started 10 minutes before departure, snow days, wind-chill advisories … it’s all coming. With all the winter season brings, it’s important you meet it head on – and that’s with a prepared bar offering winter flavors to match the weather. Here are some surefire ways for you to prepare for the winter and the changing demand your patrons have.


Winter Means More than Dark Beers on Tap

We shared with you the top seasonal beers Bernick’s is exited about this winter, but that’s not where your bar preparations should end. Research shows 23% of consumers drink craft beer so that leaves a large segment of consumers who are looking for other beverages to enjoy. Creating specialized winter warmer-type drink menus with winter flavors is a way to appeal to a large swath of people. At this time of year, patrons are already clamoring for all things seasonal, and favoring traditional flavors like pumpkin spice, apple, cinnamon, Irish cream, peppermint, and chocolate.

While catering to those seeking the warmth and comfort of a steaming mug, make sure you include some offerings that aren’t served at boiling point. There are plenty of ways to create a winter drink menu offering standard cocktails, but with a seasonal twist. Some ideas include:

Offering Warm Winter Flavors

You have a few more weeks to capitalize on the pumpkin spice craze before winter flavors take over. Pumpkin spice cappuccino mix just needs hot water; you can add a shot of bourbon, cinnamon cream liqueur, or keep it non-alcoholic. Garnish with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. Once Thanksgiving comes and goes, prepare for requests that are a little more holiday-ish in nature. Irish cream coffee can be prepared much the same way, adding the powered mix to hot coffee, an ounce of Irish cream liqueur, topped with whipped cream. Alpine Spiced Cider mix is always good with a shot of whiskey.

If your patrons are interested in the dessert menu, play off the warm, decadent richness those selections offer by creating similarly show-stopping drinkable desserts in barware. Make an Almond Joy-inspired macchiato by combining coffee, chocolate liqueur, Coco Real Cream of Coconut, amaretto, and again, piles of whipped cream. Or, consider a food and beverage pairing, offering a spiked peppermint hot chocolate laced with peppermint schnapps and served along side a warm and oozing chocolate lava cake or brownie sundae. Other winter flavors of hot beverages to offer include:

  • White chocolate caramel
  • English toffee
  • Mocha charger
  • Peppermint stick

Distributor Partnership

What makes the food and beverage industry so interesting? It’s always changing, even season-to-season as consumers’ palates change to match the time of year. It can be a lot to handle on top of what you’re already managing - marketing and promotions, quality of food, beverage, staffing, payroll, training, inventory, menu updating … your list goes on and on. That’s why a distributor partner is so essential to your bottom line.

A great distributor will act as sixth man on your roster, keeping you up-to-date on market offerings, industry trends, and what patrons are seeking and demanding season after season. Imagine being handed all the tools and being equipped with that knowledge without having to do the research or track it all yourself. That’s where we come in. We eat, breathe, and sleep food and beverage. Our service is unparalleled. We care greatly about the communities we serve – which means we want your bar or restaurant to be a place for community members to count on, support, and promote on your behalf. We can help you, even if it’s -40°.


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Topics: Products, Hot Beverages

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