Summer Drinks are Hot Items

After a sweltering day laboring at the office or languishing in the afternoon heat on the freeway, your parched clientele will be looking to you for icy cold relief. To be truly successful though, your icy cold relief needs to be appreciably better than what the other guys are selling.

Summer is a season rife with marketing opportunities. Flex your creative muscle and devise summer drink specialties that reflect the individuality of your establishment. Here are some hot tips that’ll leave the competition out in the cold.

Summer Sparklers — When it comes to promotable summer concoctions, few can match the appeal of Champagne-laced drinks. Among the genuinely memorable are the classic Ritz Fizz (Amaretto, Blue Curaçao, sweet ‘n’ sour and Champagne) and the What’s Your Honey Dew (Midori, light rum, lemonade and Champagne). Two other standouts are the Ed Sullivan and the Savoy Champagne Cocktail, a delicious blend of Grand Marnier, cognac and Champagne.

Tiki Madness — Tapping into the exotic flavors of the tropics is an inspired way to invigorate your drinks this summer. Case in point, tiki drinks are tall, hip and unpretentious. Popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, Tiki drinks are making a furious comeback in the U.S. The trend has precipitated an influx of tropical produce, alien-looking fruit such as acai, yuzu, dragon fruit, Cape gooseberry, verjus, fresh carambola, guava nectar, lychee and guanabana (sweet sop).

Even everyday drinks become inspired when enhanced with a splash of such relatively exotic flavors as papaya juice, mango or kiwi juice. Acai is particularly enjoyable in cocktails because of its complexity and smoky notes on the finish.

Iced Cappuccinos — Cappuccinos are piping hot, especially during summer when the thing to do is to drink them over ice. They’re made by pouring 8-ounces of cold milk and 2, freshly brewed demitasses of espresso into an iced mixing glass. Shake the contents vigorously and then serve in an iced, 16-ounce specialty glass. Garnish the drink with whipped cream and a sprinkle of shaved chocolate.

For an indulgent variation, substitute two scoops of vanilla ice cream for the milk in the cappuccino. Blend in some Chambord and Starbucks Coffee Liqueur and watch what happens. While you’re at it, why not feature Kahlúa-spiked root beer floats or ice cream Colorado Bulldogs.

After all, not everyone’s watching their waistlines.

The Refreshinator

4 slices of peeled cumber
1/2 of a lemon, sliced
1 1/2 oz. Ciroc Vodka
Float 1 oz. Midori

Salt-rimmed double rocks glass, ice. Combine ingredients into an empty mixing glass. Muddle ingredients and add ice, shake contents vigorously and strain. Garnish with a cumber peel twist.


The Dragon Tea

1 1/2 oz. Zen Green Tea Liqueur
1 1/2 oz. Wasabi Sake-Infused Vodka
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Cocktail glass chilled. Pour ingredients into iced mixing glass. Shake contents vigorously and strain. Garnish with a lime wedge.


Ed Sullivan

3⁄4 oz. Light Rum
3⁄4 oz. Disaronno Amaretto
1/2 cup strawberries
1⁄2 oz. half & half cream
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. lemon sour mix

House specialty glass chilled. Pour ingredients into an iced blender canister. Blend thoroughly with ice and pour into glass. Fill with Champagne. Garnish with fresh strawberry.


Rock Mountain Bulldog

1 oz. Absolut Vanil Vodka
1 oz. Kahlúa
1/2 fill with milk
1/2 fill with cola

House specialty glass, ice. Build in glass. Garnish with dollop of whipped cream. Drizzle Kahlúa over whipped cream.

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