Happy Labor Day, everyone! This federal holiday is a celebration of the economic and social accomplishments of American workers. It also marks the unofficial end of summer which means this is the perfect time to go all out on summertime celebrating.
Summer months are all about BBQ, beer, lemonade and rosé wine. Labor Day adds the tradition of parades to the mix. The first thing to consider in terms of promotions that will attract guests is barbecued foods. Secondly, consider enticing guests early on in the day, firing up the grills in your kitchen or outside on your patio or in the parking lot to get their mouths watering. This is particularly effective if your bar is located on or near a parade route. If you don’t have the ability to barbecue inside or outside of your venue, look into teaming up with local food trucks. Finally, Labor Day may traditionally be a three-day weekend, think about starting your promotions on Thursday to get a jump on the competition.
Specials on buckets of beer are a no-brainer during Labor Day festivities. However, putting a beertail or two on your menu is a surefire way to pique the interest of your guests, beer drinkers and cocktail imbibers alike. Beer cocktails are refreshing, flavorful and a great way to grab the attention of those who don’t normally drink beer. The End Zone and El Ayudacal are unique beertails while the Mike’s Full Moon and Light Apple beer cocktails are refreshing and simple to produce.
Flavors such as watermelon and grapefruit pair incredibly well with barbecue. Not only that, they offer interesting and oftentimes complex but approachable flavor profiles to all sorts of cocktails. Adding drinks like the Fresh Watermelon Margarita, Sandia Smash and Elin Nordegren aka The Trophy Wife to your Labor Day promotions menu is a fantastic way to offer flavorful counterpoints to rich, smoky foods and increase customer spend.
Finally, don’t forget the wine drinkers. Summer and rosé season go hand in hand. While some wine producers offer rosé throughout the year, most wine drinkers are after seasonal bottles. Rosé is crisp, refreshing and pairs well with barbecued foods. It also lends itself to the creation of wine-based cocktails. Another wine that goes well with barbecue is red zinfandel. The rich flavors and mouthfeel compliment the flavors of smoky meats. Just be mindful of overconsumption as red zinfandels can be higher in alcohol content than other red wines.
The End Zone: Combine 36 ounces of light beer, 12 ounces of Basil Hayden's bourbon and 12 ounces of frozen lemonade into a pitcher and stir. Garnish each serving with a twist of lemon. This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.
Fresh Watermelon Margarita: Muddle a slice of watermelon and 1/4 ounce of agave syrup in a shaker. Add 1.5 ounces of Don Julio Blanco tequila and one-half ounce lime juice to shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a watermelon slice.
Elin Nordegren aka The Trophy Wife: Combine 1.5 ounces of Belvedere Grapefruit vodka, 3/4 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice and 1/4 ounce simple syrup in a shaker. Shake and strain into a wine glass filled with ice. Top with champagne. Garnish with grapefruit shavings.