Bar Business August 2019

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August 2019




Fall cocktail recipes to usher in the season.





What’s new and trending.




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Contents August

How Tos


Building Up Your Bevware


Avoiding a Legal Hangover


What’s new and trending in the world of beverageware. Who is regulating bar advertisements on social media?

Tuning Up: 5 Ways to Improve Your Music Today Is your music branding striking the right chord?



From the Editor


Behind The Bar


A letter from our Editor Ashley Bray. In-depth analysis of beer, wine, and spirits.


Important dates for the month.


Bar Tour





Pass & Stow, a new indoor/outdoor entertainment space, is a homerun. Featured product releases.


ON TAP New games to keep guests entertained and an alternative to barrel aging.

Ivan Vasquez, Owner, Madre, Torrance, California



Seasonal Cocktails: Appetizing Autumn

Warm, crisp flavors mix with low-ABV spirits for the perfect fall recipes.


Optimal Operations

Two bars revamp operations to increase profits and customer retention. Cover Photo: Shutterstock/ Elena Veselova Contents Photo: Shutterstock/Atmosphere1

August 2019

Bar Business Magazine





What was your most memorable moment at the 2019 Tales of the Cocktail?

Vol. 12

No. 8

Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004

subscription department 800-895-4389

executive offices President Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Publisher Art Sutley 212-620-7247


Editor Ashley Bray 212-620-7220 Contributing Writers Emily Eckart, Rich Fama & Dean Porter, Wyatt Magnum

“Getting a sneak peek at the Sazerac House and its interactive exhibits on the storied cocktail and New Orleans culture. And of course, spending time with the industry over frozen coffees at the Erin Rose.”


Art Director Nicole D’Antona Graphic Designer Hillary Coleman “Sipping my way through a variety of tasting rooms. Craft spirits are definitely having a moment, and I loved meeting a variety of new brands.”


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers Digital Ad Operations Associate Kevin Fuhrmann


Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

advertising sales

ap rec to l l n u a f , tur ForTalesge 4. pa of

Art Sutley 212-620-7247

Bar Business Magazine (Print ISSN 1944-7531, Digital ISSN 2161-5071) (USPS#000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, and December. January, March, May, July, September, and November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad St. 26th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices. Pricing, Qualified U.S. Bar Owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions printed or digital version: 1 year US $45.00; Canada $90.00; foreign $189.00; foreign, air mail $289.00. 2 years US $75.00; Canada $120.00; foreign $300.00; foreign, air mail $500.00. BOTH Print & Digital Versions: 1 year US $68.00; Canada $135.00; foreign $284.00; foreign, air mail $384.00. 2 years US $113.00; Canada $180.00; foreign $450.00; foreign, air mail $650.00. Single Copies are $10.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. COPYRIGHT © SimmonsBoardman Publishing Corporation 2019. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: Art Sutley, Phone (212) 620-7247, or For Subscriptions, & address changes, Please call (US Only) 1-800-553-8878 (CANADA/INTL) 1-319-364-6167, Fax 1-319-364-4278, e-mail or write to: Bar Business Magazine, Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled craftspeople with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all readers to exercise care when engaging in any of the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein.


Bar Business Magazine

August 2019

from the editor

From The Editor

We are blown away by this year’s growth for Tales of the Cocktail. - Caroline Rosen, President, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation


ot flooding, nor heat, nor Hurricane Barry could stop the 17th annual Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans last month. And according to the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF), it was a milestone year. Growth across the board was evident with over 100 new offsite events, nearly 200 sponsors, 6,000 more attendees from last year, and another $100,000 in grants added to the Grants Program. Tales added 17 seminars this year for a total of 78 individual education seminars, with many at over 80% capacity. There were also more seminars than ever before on health and wellness, and many of these were thanks to the expanded Beyond the Bar program, which featured over 50 hours of free programming as well as seminars on sustainability, harassment, mental health, and more. Tales was full of surprises, new and tried-and-true spirits, and appearances at pop-ups by the best in the industry. Here are some highlights. Garden of Elyx The three-day event from Absolut Elyx featured a vibrant oasis with its own beauty salon, a pool, and cocktails made with Absolut Elyx served by the world’s bartending elite (visit for recipes). A handcrafting station inspired by centuries-old Swedish tradition allowed guests to make a different object each day, including hats, bracelets, and flower crowns. Copper miniature pony drinking vessels, eclectic inflatables, and a mirrored Instagram booth rounded out the event.


Bar Business Magazine

Ohio is Popping Up Ohio has a growing cocktail culture, and VASO and Watershed Distillery (along with partner Campari) popped up at Justine to spread the word. Rebecca Monday of VASO and Joshua Gandee of Watershed Kitchen & Bar offered up three cocktails each for attendees to sample. It was nice to see a bar outside of the big cities with a presence at Tales. Look for more on VASO in our December Bar Tour. Hendrick’s Gin Peculiar Palace Immersing participants in an exerience that was equal parts live show and interactive theater, the 30-minute event wound through a Victorian-era Gin Palace, a vibrant Midsummer Garden, and the dark parallel universe of the Orbium Room. Each room touched upon one of Hendrick’s Gin’s three expressions, and the event ended with a side-by-side tasting. Launch of Dos Hombres Mezcal One of the biggest surprises of Tales was the launch of Dos Hombres mezcal from the hombres themselves: Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. Aaron and Bryan celebrated the release by slinging cocktails at the Napoleon House.

Ashley bray, Editor

August 2019

MAKE YOUR BAR THE TALK OF THE TOWN Arcade games can be a great way to increase dwell time and add revenue. You can also promote your business, specials and events with certain games such as Big Buck HD, World’s Largest Pac-Man, Space Invaders Frenzy and more!

Let Betson Refresh Your Establishment | (800) 524-2343 |

From ON TAP The Editor


Patrons are more likely to stay and drink longer if they have other forms of entertainment like games.

oday’s consumers have an overwhelming amount of entertainment choices, and your bar is just one of them. So how do you ensure you’re providing an experience that will make customers come back again and again? One solution is to offer up games alongside craft cocktails. “Adding entertainment to bars such as arcade games, pool tables, dart boards, or Skeeball offers customers activities to keep them occupied,” says James Liess, Senior Director of Marketing, Betson Enterprises. “Patrons will be more likely to stay and drink longer if they have some other form of entertainment catching their attention, which increases revenue and foot traffic.” Adding games can be as simple as bringing in one or two units or as complicated as dedicating an entire area of your bar to gaming. Nostalgic options have proven especially popular with patrons. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in the interest in adding arcade games to bars,” says Liess. “There is a trend around using games from the 80’s for nostalgia 6

Bar Business Magazine

purposes, but there are great options from current manufacturers and throwback titles made with today’s technologies.” Betson recently released a new game capitalizing on the nostalgia trend called Atari PONG. The game is available as a cocktail table or an arcade table. The Atari PONG Arcade Table features a height adjustable table with an elevated height that can be played without stools. The Atari PONG Cocktail Table has a table height that is extendable and the tabletop lifts easily for playfield access. The Cocktail Table model also includes USB ports for charging mobile devices.

Both Atari models allow for one-two players, include drink holders, and feature an LED light package that attracts attention. The game also lends itself well to competitive tournament play, which can be lucrative for bars. “Games also allow you to market around competitions and tournaments,” says Liess. “Tapping into that built-in audience is a great way to bring people into your establishment.” The key is to choose games that are the right fit for your clientele and to make sure that your guests have enough room to navigate. “You want to give customer’s enough space to play the games without bumping into other patrons,” says Liess. “Make sure there are clear site lines as well so that it’s easy to notice.” Basketball Pro, another new game from Betson, features a compact footprint that’s perfect for bars looking to add games without taking up too much space. The game’s baskets move up and down for extra excitement and challenge, and the game itself is easy to understand and play.

August 2019

Photos (top to bottom): Jacob Lund; Betson Enterprises.


Game On

ON TAP Barrel-Aged Spirits—Without the Barrel


arrel-aged spirits have increased in popularity, but for bars looking to experiment on their own, obtaining a barrel can be an expensive process. Luckily, there’s an alternative thanks to Barrel Char in a Jar, which provides specialty types of toasted and charred wood staves for aging and flavoring liquor. Barrel Char in a Jar offers several types of toasted and charred wood, including ash, sugar maple, yellow birch, cherry, mulberry, apple, toasted French Oak, and bourbon char White Oak (the chared wood typically used in bourbon barrels). Many of the woods can be ordered charred or toasted for different flavors. Barrel Char in a Jar has been used in a variety of restaurants, including Parla in Boston, an Italian restaurant with a strong craft cocktail focus. Parla provides a refreshing and unique update on traditional cocktails, while still offering a few of the classics. Armed with an arsenal of over 25 varieties of bitters and over 50 house-made shrubs, infusions, and tinctures, Parla has built up over 200 staff original cocktails and counting (about 80-90 are available to currently order). The restaurant also offers a Dungeon Master cocktail list, which are off-menu originals numbered 1-20. Guests roll a 20-sided die in a Julep cup and are then served the drink that corresponds to the rolled number. Regulars try and work their way through all 20 cocktails over time. Those who succeed get to move on to the Dungeon Master II list, which, you guessed it, includes 20 more original cocktails. It’s safe to say that Parla isn’t afraid of cocktail experimentation, and the venue recently aged vodka with Barrel Char in

a Jar’s birch wood and tequila and Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye whiskey with maple wood. They let the wood staves rest in the spirits for about a month. “You have a downward sloping parabolic graph when it comes to amount of additional flavor over time,” says Matt Schafer, General Manager of Parla. “You have more [flavor] in the earlier stages, and then more does get imparted as time goes on but in a diminishing quality.” If a month is too long to wait, Schafer says using a sous-vide process or multiple wood staves per bottle can speed up the aging process. Schafer says there have been multiple benefits to using the Barrel Char in a Jar wood staves for aging. “First of all, you have control over how much and what you’re putting in,” he says. “Some bars might be able to get a spirit distributor to gift them a small barrel, but if you don’t have access to that, even a small barrel can cost you a few hundred. So on a cost level, I think the staves make a lot of sense.” He says the staves also allow access to aging with unique wood flavors that aren’t available in barrel form. For example, aging in maple wood barrels isn’t possible because maple wood leaks. Parla created about fifteen cocktails with the various aged spirits and listed five for guests to try. These include the Haterade, which is made with the mapleaged rye whiskey, Bumbu Rum, mango lime chili shrub, honey, and mint. The Birch, Please cocktail uses the birch-aged vodka, orange juice, Tempus Fugit Kina L’Aéro d’Or aperitif wine, Slow & Low Rock and Rye whiskey, and brown sugar bourbon simple syrup.

Parla created a variety of cocktails made with spirits aged using Barrel Char in a Jar.

“It definitely adds a layer,” explains Schafer, who says that guest reception to the cocktails made with the aged spirits has been positive.;

Photos: Barrel Char in a Jar.

What’s Trending On BARBIZMAG.COM Let’s Talk Mezcal

Did you miss our Behind the Bar feature on mezcal in the July issue? Log on to our website to read about this spirit that’s exploding in popularity and to view recipes using the smoky libation.

the evolution of nightlife

Sevenrooms recently released “The New Nightlife” report, which found people’s preferences are shifting away from loud and crowded bars and toward venues that offer convenience, efficiency, and entertainment.

summer recipes

Not ready to transition to a fall cocktail menu just yet? We’ve got you covered. Head over to the Seasonal section of our Recipes channel for refreshing, colorful cocktail recipes to extend the summer drinking season. August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Behind The Bar: Mixers Spicy Margarita

Let’s talk

BY Ashley Bray


Bar Business Magazine

t seems like mixers are at the intersection of many current trends in the hospitality industry—wellness, the demand for high-quality ingredients, and mocktails and low-ABV cocktails. The quality of the selections has increased as well, and mixers made with natural ingredients that are low in sugar and calories are leading the pack. Meet the Mixers Twisted Alchemy. Recently rebranded from Industry Juice, Twisted Alchemy feels its new name better reflects its story and products. “Twisted Alchemy offers some magic to the experience in the

bar,” says Scott Holstein, CEO and Co-Founder of Twisted Alchemy together with his wife, Kim. “Alchemy is the intersection of art and science, and high level beverage crafting is just that—it’s the intersection of the mixologist’s creativity along with science.” Twisted Alchemy currently offers eight flavors of cold-pressed juices— lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, watermelon, Persian lime, blood orange, and Key lime—all of which are available to direct ship anywhere in the U.S. within 48 hours. The company has also rolled out a garnish line, starting with fresh pineapple tops/leaves. Look for CBD products and

August 2019

Photo: Anna’s Kitchen.

Mixers are having a moment.



Behind The Bar: Mixers new sizes like two-ounce bottles and a 10-liter bag in a box (with an optional tap system) to be available soon. Multi-Flow Beverage Solutions. This “one-stop shop” supplies fountain soft drinks, bar mixers, energy drinks, ice machines, dispensing equipment, beer line cleaning and dispensing, and more all along the East Coast. “We produce over three million gallons of product a year that we sell to bars and restaurants within our footprint,” says Dwayne Schwarz, Vice President of National Sales, Multi-Flow Beverage Solutions. In addition to traditional dispensing options, Multi-Flow also offers unique options and partners with companies like iPourIt, who manufacture selfserve systems. “Bars and restaurants today, in addition to the products that they’re serving, are looking for unique dispensing opportunities,” says Schwarz, “something that gives them a point of difference.” Multi-Flow also goes beyond products to offer its customers consultation, custom solutions, and even custom graphics to help brand their business. “We really do look at our customers as our business partner,” says Schwarz. “When we walk through the door, we’re walking in with an arsenal of products, equipment options, and most importantly, the knowledge on how to give them the best system for their bar or restaurant that serves the best quality products. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we make recommendations. We work with our customers to tailor a program that makes sense for them.” Multi-Flow typically releases two to three new flavors a year, and is currently working on a soda alternative to sangria. “We watch what’s happening in the marketplace, and we try to be ahead of the curve when we create new products,” says Schwarz. Anna’s Kitchen. Owner Anna Scott has gone from mixing up shrubs in her kitchen to selling cases to on-premise accounts in just a few short years. Her bottled shrubs currently come in five flavors: Banana Turmeric, Peach Jalapeño, Cranberry Mint, Apple Cider Ginger, and Strawberry Lemon Thyme.

“The banana flavor seems to be the most popular with bartenders,” she says. One of Scott’s biggest challenges has been education. “What we’re finding the most is people don’t know what a shrub is,” says Scott, who says once a client tastes her product they’re sold, and from there, it’s all about educating. Anna’s Kitchen is currently working on getting more distribution, and she will soon be rolling out a smaller fourounce size to add her collection of 16.7-ounce bottles. Consistency is King A big benefit of bottled mixers is the guaranteed consistency. At Twisted Alchemy, that consistency starts at the grower level. The company buys based on the ripeness, the sugar level in the fruit, which is known as the brix level. “Every time someone opens a case of fruit, you have no idea what the brix levels are, nor do you know what the yield is going to be of that case. With us, every time you buy a bottle of juice, you get 25.4 ounces of fluid,” says Holstein, noting this also helps with inventory control. “We’re providing a lot of accuracy, data, and consistency to the process.” An added benefit to that consistency is the shelf life many of these bottled mixers offer, including Twisted Alchemy. Their juices have a shelf life of 120 days for unopened bottles and seven days for opened bottles, which they achieve through high pressure processing (HPP). This process is preferable to the use of heat, which kills off enzymes and fundamentally changes the chemistry and flavor of the juice. Anna’s Kitchen Shrubs are shelf stable for three years. “They don’t need to be refrigerated, and they don’t need to be refrigerated after opening, which is nice if you’re running a busy bar—you’re not reaching into the refrigerator to grab things, it’s out on the counter,” says Scott. Bottled mixers can also be a big deal for franchises or bars with multiple locations, which are always looking for consistency across the brand. Multi-Flow takes things one step further and offers brands the ability to create their own custom recipes. “We work with chain accounts on creating private label products,” says Schwarz. “If they have a

Spicy Margarita 2 oz Tequila 2 oz Anna’s Kitchen Peach Jalapeño Shrub 1 oz Orange liquor 1 oz Lime juice Serve over ice in a chili salt-rimmed glass. Anna’s Kitchen

The Free Bird 1½ oz Bourbon 1½ tbs Aperol 2½ tsp Simple syrup 1½ oz Twisted Alchemy Pineapple Juice 1 tbs Twisted Alchemy Lime Juice Fill a mixing glass three-quarters with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake until chilled for about 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over ice cubes or one large piece of ice. Phil Earvolino

Boozy Cherries 2-2lb bags Pitted whole cherries 3 cups Fountainhead© Cherry Soda ½ tbs Ground clove 1 tsp Unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup Sherry ½ tsp Ground cinnamon ½ tsp Ground nutmeg 1 cup Bourbon 1 tbs Fresh ginger 1 cup Sugar ½ cup Molasses Juice and zest from orange In a large pot, add your cherry soda and frozen or fresh cherries. Frozen will produce more liquid. If you prefer a firmer brandied cherry, be sure to add them after the syrup mixture is made, not before. If you opt for fresh and pit them yourselves, up your liquid measurements. Add everything into your pot excluding the bourbon. Stir mixture on low heat as not to overcook the cherries. Stir until spices and sugars are combined. Add bourbon. Let cool. Once cooled, disperse into desired vessel for storage. Multi-Flow Beverage Solutions August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Behind The Bar: Mixers

Return on Investment Bottled mixers also offer cost savings on wasted ingredients and stock. Scott finds that her shrubs eliminate the need for certain ingredients altogether. “They can make a craft cocktail that goes on their cocktail list with three to four ingredients instead of muddling and grabbing seven different things,” she says. “It’s cost effective within price and time.” The cost savings add up even more as these mixers enable bartenders to make drinks faster. This is especially true in high-volume establishments that batch cocktails, which can be a boon for establishments during busy seasons like the summer or the holidays. Many bars are also finding ways to use mixers outside of their beverage program—extending the benefits and the return on investment. Multi-Flow cites the


Bar Business Magazine

example of its sour mix. “Bars and restaurants use it for not only making drinks, but they’ll use it in some of their food recipes,” says Schwarz, who explains Multi-Flow encourages this by sending out a newsletter to its customers with recipes using its many products. “It gives them the ability to stretch their profit because they’re substituting something that they would get from a kitchen supply or a food vendor with something they’re getting from their beverage supplier. The yields are a lot higher, giving them more profitability in all of their servings.” Bottled mixers also make trying something new less risky. “It gives the ability for people to bring in product that they maybe normally wouldn’t want to buy the fruit for—like blood orange, which is an expensive fruit,” says Holstein. “You may not know if the drink is going to sell, but you can buy one bottle of juice, try it out, and run a weekend special.” Quality Assurance One of the biggest differences in the mixers of today is the quality—they are lower in sugar, lower in calories, and use all-natural ingredients. “I am the only shrub on the market that has a combination of being 100% organic and uses raw apple cider vinegar with the mother, which has a lot of health benefits,” explains Scott, noting she’s seen a shift in consumers looking for healthier options. “Restaurants are being pushed to be healthier, and fresh is really popular.” Holstein agrees. “I think people are just more interested in what’s going into their bodies, so that lends itself to less sugar, higher quality ingredients. None of our products currently have any sugar that we add in. It’s all just fresh juice,” he says. “People are willing to pay for quality, which I don’t think in the past they were.” Schwarz says bars should take advantage of ways to generate revenue based on this trend, “For example, we have a product called Nourish Water. Bars and restaurants typically give away water every time someone sits down at the table. We’ve created a product, and we have it in a flat version as well as a sparkling version, that now gives the operator the opportunity to charge for a product [while charging] less than a typical soft drink.”

The Free Bird

Multi-Flow’s other products, including its fountainhead products, also fit into the wellness trend as they’re made with real cane sugar. “In addition to the traditional cola and ginger ale type products, we also have products like orange cream and black cherry. We have a pineapple cream, a mojito soda,” says Schwarz. “We found a need in a lot of our markets that restaurants were looking for alternatives to a Shirley Temple product. “The mixologists are actually using it in New York City, for example, and they’re creating specialty drinks around the pineapple cream, the orange cream, the mojito soda, and it gives them a point of difference from the cookie-cutter products that are out in the industry.” Those Shirley Temple alternatives— also know as mocktails and low-ABV cocktails—are also in demand, and this is where a quality mixer is key. “Mocktails and the non-alcoholic world are exploding. The juices and the mixers now become the star—it’s not the spirits,” says Holstein. “So you better make sure the quality of the ingredients that you’re using for a shrub, or a tonic, etc. taste really good.” Scott says her shrubs are good stand-ins for spirits in zero-proof cocktails. “The complexness of the apple cider vinegar has a very similar complexness to a hard liquor,” she says. “When you’re making a low-alcohol drink, or a no-alcohol drink, the shrub can replace all or some of the alcohol very easily and very tastefully. “You can have a nice drink, in a martini glass, that’s not laden with sugar, that actually tastes complex, like a cocktail should.”

August 2019

Photo: Natalie Migliarini.

formula that they would like to create, we have a quality assurance department, a full lab, and food techs that work in our lab creating these different flavors.”

Get away without things getting away Let’s face it. Some of us cannot completely unwind. If you are the type of person who has to know what’s going on back at the bar, Paradise POS is perfect for you! With an advanced set of reporting and inventory management tools, you will never be out of the loop. Even if you are a thousand miles away, let nothing “get away” while you’re on your get away!

Happenings 23

September 2019

September 23 Autumn Equinox

Turn to our seasonal cocktails feature on page 24 for recipe ideas for your fall cocktail menus.

September 6 Fight Procrastination Day Is there something that needs to be done in your bar that you’ve been putting off? Today’s the day to cross it off your to-do list.


September 5 Labor Day Give your summer cocktail menu one last run this weekend as the summer season ends.

Coffee cocktails are all the “buzz” today.

September 28 National Drink Beer Day Whether it’s bottles, cans, or drafts, invite your customers to toast with an ice-cold brew.


Bar Business Magazine

August 2019

All Photos:

September 29 International Coffee Day



September 16 Mexican Independence Day


Get out the tequila and mezcal! Then read our Q&A on page 40 with Ivan Vasquez, Owner of Oaxacan restaurant and mezcaleria Madre.

SEPTEMBER Foodservice technology conference & showcase (FSTEC) September 8-10, 2019 Dallas, Texas

September 1 National Bourbon Month Enjoy this barrel-aged distilled spirit neat, on the rocks, or find some ideas on what to mix it with on page 8.

nashville whiskey festival

September 12-14, 2019 Nashville, Tennessee

Florida restaurant & Lodging show September 15-16, 2019 Orlando, Florida

September 5 NFL Regular Season Starts Football season officially begins. Line up wings and draft specials for a winning football season.

OCTOBER GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL October 3-5, 2019 Denver, Colorado

november san antonio cocktail conference


November 10-15, 2019 Portland, Oregon

September 13 Friday the 13th Mix up a list of lucky cocktails to ward off bad luck.

August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To

How To: Bevware

What’s new and trending in the world of beverageware.

Building Up Your Bevware 14

Bar Business Magazine

By Emily Eckart August 2019

Photos (left to right): Shutterstock/ Jukov studio; WonkyWare.


How To: Bevware irst impressions matter. Before customers taste a beverage, they see and touch the glass it comes in. Define your brand and keep bargoers interested with these new beverageware trends.

WonkyWare: Unbreakable Branding Bill Johnson, President of WonkyWare, remembers the day he was inspired to create his brand of high-quality plastic cups. He was enjoying a beer on the patio of a local brewery when a strong gust of wind knocked all the glasses off the tables. The manager asked employees to pick up the glass shards before anyone got hurt—a situation that was unsafe for both staff and guests. With more than 16 years of experience managing Accelerated Plastics, his company in New Richmond, Wisconsin, Johnson knew there had to be a better way. He researched materials and settled upon Tritan, a plastic manufactured by Eastman Chemical Company in Tennessee. A year and a half ago, Johnson started a new company, WonkyWare. He purchases plastic pellets from Eastman and molds them into cups at his facility in Wisconsin. The cups are subsequently printed with logos using a state-of-the-art UV printing process. Johnson began by selling 16-ounce pint glasses locally. Since then, WonkyWare has grown rapidly. Its cups have even been sold at various high-profile sporting events. The Tritan material has several advantages. Tritan’s clarity stands out from other types of plastic. “It looks like glass, but it won’t chip, crack, or shatter like glass,” says Johnson. When it falls on the floor or the ground, it bounces—giving it an advantage over glass in terms of safety. Tritan is BPA-free. It can be cooled or heated without damage to the cup, and it retains temperature better than glass. “Your beer will stay colder longer inside this cup,” says Johnson. He suggests putting the cups in the freezer in order to create the perfect icy receptacle. Additionally, Tritan is conducive to printing. WonkyWare can be printed with logos for venues, sports teams, or events, making it an ideal branding item that people can take home as a souvenir. The logo can last through at least 500 dishwasher cycles, highlighting another of the cup’s selling points: reusability. At outdoor venues and sports stadiums, WonkyWare can replace disposable cups. This is important to Johnson. “We’re filling the landfills,” says Johnson. “So let’s find things that are reusable and better for the environment.” Beyond the original 16-ounce pint glass, Johnson has expanded his line of products to include 12- and 24-ounce sizes, as well as five-ounce mini-tasters and a shot glass. He is currently working on a line of stemless wine glasses that will debut with the Minnesota Wild hockey team, which has arranged to purchase the first 1,000 glasses with their logo. As Johnson says, “It’s more than a cup.” He likes to call WonkyWare, “the beverageware for the future.” RP & Associates: Unique Bevware RP & Associates creates a wide variety of unique

beverageware. Bars and restaurants can order highly customized pieces that help their brand stand out. For example, their unusual Moscow mule mugs come in a variety of colors and shapes, such as a chef’s hat and a melting pot. Some of RP & Associates’ other unusual items include cups in the WonkyWare cups can be printed shape of roses and with a venue’s logo, which helps pineapples, which can lend with branding. flair to special events. A distinctive cup is ideal for branding. Bars can give customers the option to pay for the cup and take it home. Ashley Pola, National Account Executive at RP & Associates, says, “Regardless of what the shape is, as long as we’re able to provide a cup that is memorable, and the customer can take it home, the bars are able to upsell their drinks and beverages.” This creates a strong sense of identification with the brand. When a customer sees a cup from their favorite bar in the cabinet, they remember their experience and may be inspired to return. RP & Associates takes customization to the next level by



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Bar Business Magazine


8/6/19 2:04 PM

Authentic Moscow Mule The Easy Way!






gluten free

Libbey: Premium Presentation Trends in beverageware can occur downstream of trends in drinks. Jerry Moore, Senior Category Manager for Glassware at Libbey, points to premiumization as an important factor affecting beverageware styles. “The growth of US distilleries is phenomenal,” says Moore. Interest in local products applies not just to craft beer, but also to spirits. Customers want to drink higher-quality spirits, which can command premium and superpremium prices. As a result, bars and restaurants should consider adjusting drink sizes in order to hit a palatable price point for guests. “The price of a 10-ounce martini with a premium or super-premium spirit

THEREALMULE20 #mule20 16

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producing its samples on 3D printers, allowing for much greater speed than traditional molding. Once the company receives a design from a customer, it can create a sample within 24 to 48 hours. “They get the sample, they get to see it, they get to feel it, they get to hold it,” says CEO Richard Pola. “They can say, we like the handle, but want it a little bigger or smaller. We can print another one the following day. It makes that whole turnaround time much faster.” The company even has in-house designers to assist customers. Chief Creative Officer Adrian Miranda can help clients convert logos into the proper formats and colors to achieve the desired look for the artwork. Beyond cups, RP & Associates has created a series of Glacier Bags that can be used to take home ice-cold beverages. The Wine Buddy Glacier Bag is sized for a bottle of wine or champagne. Customers can use it to take home the remainder of a bottle of wine. The bag keeps the beverage cold during travel and prevents spills. It’s also reusable. “You’re able to give it to them like a paper bag, but they can use the bag over and over again,” says Richard Pola. And that reusability is important to many customers. “Everyone is trying to get away from disposables,” says Ashley Pola. Richard Pola predicts that Glacier Bags will allow bar customers to take unopened beverages to go. They might choose to bring home a six-pack for later.

would be exorbitant,” says Moore. Instead, it’s worth serving a five-ounce martini at a lower price. That encourages customers to try the drink, and they might even order two different flavors, which is good for the bar. “Profit margins on drinks are higher when it’s a smaller portion,” explains Moore. To accommodate this trend, Libbey is coming out with smaller capacity glassware. With a smaller vessel, the styling assumes new prominence. “The look, the feel, and the whole drink presentation become much more important when you’re dealing with a higher price point,” says Moore. “You need to have a nicer glass to present that drink, so the customer feels like they’re getting the value.” Speaking of presentation, Libbey has produced various glasses inspired by vintage designs. Glasses like The Gats blend Art Deco features with modern style. Because Libbey has a history extending back to the 1920s and 1930s, the company has been able to draw on its actual glasses from those eras. Its Speakeasy glasses replicate the stem on original glasses from that period. Libbey used old photographs, catalogs, and samples to recreate the designs. On the modern side of things, Moore says, “We saw a need for better plastic.” Libbey selected Eastman’s Tritan for its line of high-quality beverageware, Infinium. Infinium is ideal for outdoor serving, providing a replacement for disposable cups. It replicates the look of glass, but without the hassle of breakage. “Just because you’re outside on a patio doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your experience,” says Moore. Whether inspired by vintage or modern design, all beverageware should look visually appealing. Moore notes the large role social media now plays in marketing and promotion. “It makes the glass that much more important, when it’s being photographed in all sorts of ways and sent around,” he says. “It creates more excitement about the types of glassware that are out there, and it brings the importance of drink presentation to the forefront.” With the right glassware, your cocktail—and, by extension, your venue—will gain higher visibility.

August 2019 8/8/17 5:12 PM

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How To

How To: Social Media

Avoiding a Legal Hangover Who is regulating bar advertisements on social media? ocial media is where groups of people catch-up, get together, and, most importantly, plan their nights out. As a result, it can be a game-changing advertising environment for bars and restaurants—but not without potential pitfalls. As bars increasingly develop their social media presence, situations like the below hypothetical have become increasingly common. The clients and their establishment: The owners of a bar and restaurant that recreates the iconic Atlantic City, New Jersey Boardwalk for their guests. Cocktail in hand, guests play carnival games, bocce ball, and shuffleboard, and peruse the bar’s faux boardwalk and attractions. The advertisement: The bar’s owners have an idea for an ad that captures the bar’s theme—childhood excitement but with adult beverages. The ad features the bar’s patrons as children, unlocking their childhood wonder through the bar’s


Bar Business Magazine

games and attractions. This is juxtaposed against scenes of those same patrons— only now full grown—enjoying the establishment’s alcoholic beverage offerings. Rather than using traditional media, the bar owners decide to display the ad on social media through the bar’s various accounts and pages. Now, the question: The ad may be effective, but is it legal? Would the ad run afoul of state and federal regulations or violate the rules of the social media platforms that host it? And more pointedly, if it does, what are the consequences? Frankly, the answer isn’t crystal clear and may vary from state to state and platform-to-platform. While advertisements by alcohol manufacturers are prolific and the regulatory environment that surrounds them is wellknown, establishments that sell and serve alcohol, such as bars and restaurants, enjoy far less certainty. Alcohol retailer advertisements may be regulated by

federal and state agencies, and, when the ad appears on social media, the rules and regulations governing use of each social media platform. State and Federal Regulation Federal regulation of advertising by alcohol retailers is minimal. The Federal Alcohol Administration Act oversees advertising by the alcohol industry, and federal agencies like the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are charged with ensuring compliance with labeling and marketing regulations pertaining to all spirits, wine, and malt beverages sold in the United States. Federal regulations prohibit alcohol advertisements from making false claims intended to deceive consumers and maintains that advertisements cannot include obscene or indecent statements or representations. However, these regulations do not cover a retailer or server, instead applying only to

August 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ Monkey Business Images.


By Rich Fama & Dean Porter, Cozen O’Connor

How To: Social Media “person[s] engaged in business as a brewer, wholesaler, or importer, of malt beverages.” Thus, due to the absence of robust federal regulations, alcohol retailer advertisements are primarily governed at the state and local levels. Regulations vary from state to state, and governing jurisdiction could be asserted either where a retailer intends to direct its advertisements (usually where it has locations, and thus, liquor licenses) or where the advertisement is viewed (much more difficult to define). Since states supply licenses for businesses attempting to serve, sell, or otherwise distribute alcoholic beverages within their borders, state authority to oversee advertising is commonly tied to those licenses through Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) guidelines or state liquor codes. For example, New Jersey regulates alcohol retailers through its ABC Guidelines, which also govern the issuance of state liquor licenses. The Guidelines permit liquor license holders to run advertisements in newspapers, radio, television, or any other media that regularly promotes business to potential customers, so long as the content of the advertising is not prohibited by state regulations or would not cause a violation of a state law or regulation. Fortunately, New Jersey, and most other states, provide even more guidance. New Jersey’s ABC code specifies certain matters that are prohibited in advertising, including advertisements that (i) are false, misleading, or deceptive; (ii) contain “lewd or obscene” matter; (iii) suggest that the use of any alcoholic beverage will result in health or athletic benefits; and (iv) contain improper references to religious figures or portray minors. Most states that regulate retailers through their alcohol control agencies have similar prohibitions. Now, concerning our hypothetical, the proposed advertisement could violate New Jersey regulations because it portrays minors. Licensees that violate state advertising regulations will commonly receive notice of either required corrective action through a warning letter, a fine in lieu of prosecution, or formal charges, which

could result in the suspension of the retailer’s liquor license. States can also choose to police offending advertisements through their consumer protection statutes. For instance, in California, the “unlawful prong” of its Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) prohibits almost any practice made illegal by statute, case law, or a regulatory body—and according to California’s Business and Professional Code, that could include portrayals of minors in alcohol advertisements. Penalties from violations of consumer protection statutes often include

Social media ads are a new frontier for regulators.

monetary damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and injunctive relief, which could result in the discontinuation of the advertisement. Regulation by Social Media Platforms Alcohol retailers that seek to advertise on social media—such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—must also meet the standards of the hosting platform. YouTube. Advertisements on YouTube must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. While YouTube’s Terms of Service broadly apply to paid advertisements and non-paid promotional content, the more restrictive “Prohibited Commercial Uses” section of the Terms of Service does not apply to general, non-paid uses of YouTube’s platform. Non-paid uses include merely uploading an original video to YouTube, or maintaining an original channel on YouTube to promote a business. Next, YouTube’s Community Guidelines regulate the appropriateness of all YouTube content. The Guidelines are primarily policed by users who flag or report offensive content. When

content is flagged or reported, YouTube staff reviews the content and issues a determination on whether the content has violated the Guidelines. The Guidelines are distributed into twelve broad categories, which include nudity or sexual content, harmful or dangerous content, violent or graphic content, and child safety. Regarding child safety, users are instructed not to post content showing a minor participating in a dangerous activity, or encouraging minors to engage in dangerous activities. An ad depicting minors in an alcohol retail establishment, such as our hypothetical, could be deemed to be in violation of YouTube’s guidelines. Facebook. Facebook and Instagram regulate paid advertisements through Facebook’s “Advertising Guidelines.” Although these guidelines cover paid advertisements, they do not regulate ads that appear on an establishment’s Facebook page or are posted, since those materials are already targeted to those who subscribe to the content. Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines state that: “[a]ds that promote or reference alcohol must comply with all applicable local laws, required or established industry codes, guidelines, licenses, and approvals.” Ads meant to target consumers in the United States must also take steps to ensure that the ads are targeted to those over the age of legal consumption and “cannot include content that might appeal to (or mislead) minors by implying that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is fashionable or the accepted course of behavior for those who are underage,” or “include or target any person under the legal drinking age in the region the ad appears, or be

Pro Tip Keep all social media advertisements as clear as possible by including language such as, “Must be 21 or over to drink.”

August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


suggestive of the presence of those who are underage.” It is therefore clear that our hypothetical ad may run afoul of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines, so long as the ad is a “paid advertisement.” Facebook does offer an ad submission and review process for paid advertisements, whereby the proposed ad may be submitted to Facebook, reviewed alongside its Advertising Guidelines, and ultimately approved or rejected. Twitter. Twitter’s Ad Policies apply to Twitter’s paid advertising products, which can be tweets, trends, and accounts. The Ad Policies restrict the promotion of online and offline sale of alcohol and general awareness of alcohol brands. These restrictions can relate to the specific product or service being promoted and the country the campaign is targeting. The Ad Policies apply to branding, promoting, selling, or facilitating the online or offline sale of any kind of alcoholic beverage; but they do not apply to “breweries, wineries, and distillery branding, tours, and tastings.” Thus, not all alcohol retailers are subject to the same restrictions, and whether an ad violates Twitter’s policies is highly dependent upon whether the ad is paid, the nature of the establishment, and the type of alcohol sold. General content on Twitter, which could include non-paid tweets meant to promote a business or service, is not subject to the above guidelines and instead falls within Twitter’s general rules about content. These rules are far more open-ended and broadly prohibit graphic, violent, or adult content, but do not specifically address the sale of alcohol.

What Makes for a Compliant Advertisement? Social media advertisements are a new frontier for regulators. They offer bars an unrivaled ability to target and interact with potential consumers, and they are effective. For example, in a Michigan State University study, researchers exposed 121 participants to ads on Facebook. One group viewed advertisements for a brand of beer, while the other saw ads for a brand of bottled water. At the study’s conclusion, the researchers offered participants the choice between one of two gift cards—one for a bar, the other for a coffee shop. Of those who saw the beer ad, 73% chose the bar gift card; conversely, of those who saw the water ad, 55% chose the bar card—a difference of nearly 30%. However, regulation is largely uncertain. Best practices are to keep advertisements as clear as possible. This can be accomplished by including language such as “Must be 21 or over to drink” throughout an ad. Second, because social media platforms police non-paid advertisements differently than paid advertisements, posting non-paid content through your social media accounts is a less-restrictive, and safer, alternative. Third, avoid the depiction of minors and overly-sexualized content in your ads. When such conduct is included in an advertisement, such as in our hypothetical, create clean lines—through visual or textual cues—between alcohol and prohibited content. Ultimately, the benefits of every ad must be weighed against its costs. If the content of an advertisement is likely to give the establishment negative attention, by regulators or the public, promptly pulling the advertisement can prevent or mitigate a hangover down the road.

Richard Fama is a member of Cozen O’Connor’s class action and complex litigation practice groups in New York. He is a leading labeling advisor and defense attorney for many of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, including CBD food producers. Dean Harris Porter is an associate in Cozen O’Connor’s class action and complex litigation practice groups. To learn more, visit 20

Bar Business Magazine

August 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ MK photograp55

How To: Social Media

Tuning Up

Tuning UP


5 Ways to Improve Your Music Today Is your music branding striking the right chord? he music you play in your bar, restaurant, hotel, or casino makes a statement. It immediately creates an identity. What customers or guests hear is equally as important as what they see, feel, touch, or taste. We refer to this as music branding. However, most owners and operators 22

Bar Business Magazine

simply fail to pay attention to their music or leave the selection of music up to unqualified individuals. Your managers, bartenders, and customers should not be in charge of the selection of music in your venue. Here are five ways to improve your music today, gain more control, and become more profitable.

1. Avoid Hiring The Cheapest Music Service You want great music at an affordable price, not the cheapest. Do your research. Find out what music service your favorite restaurant, hotel, lounge, or bar uses. Ask intelligent questions such as, “how many songs are on each of your

August 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ bbernard.


By Wyatt Magnum

Tuning UP Also, adjust levels accordingly throughout the day and evening as your venue becomes more (or less) crowded.

channels,” “are your channels dayparted,” etc. 2. Realize You’re Not a Music Expert Think of your music as you would your food or drink menu—a carefully crafted selection created by trained professionals. A wide variety of barometers should be considered when designing your music menu. Seek out a licensed company that specializes in music design. It’s worth the investment and peace of mind. 3. Become Sensitive to Volume Levels Setting the correct volume levels in each zone of your venue is critical. Volume levels that are too low or too high will make guests feel uncomfortable. Levels should be set to buffer conversation from table to table; you shouldn’t be able to hear the conversation that’s happening two tables over.

4. Speaker Placement Most locations simply do not have the correct number of speakers for their venue size. It’s more desirable to have an effective number of smaller speakers strategically placed throughout the room than to have a few larger speakers in each corner. Also, don’t overlook the importance of installing one (or more) bass cabinets. Hire a professional sound company with experience in hospitality sound application to evaluate your needs. This should not be a do-ityourself project. 5. Music Licensing Make sure your music service provider is properly licensed with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SOCAN (Canada). You don’t want to find yourself in litigation by playing music from an unlicensed

source. This includes playing music from your smart phone or tablet. (Editor’s Note: For more on music licensing, read our July Tuning Up column, “Pay or Play.”) It’s scientifically proven that playing the right music, at the right tempo, and at the right time, can significantly increase profits. Following these steps will attract your target audience, keep guests in the room longer, and increase check averages. Start paying attention to your music and watch your sales soar.

Wyatt Magnum is President of the Magnum Music Group (MMG). MMG has created soundtracks for thousands of hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs throughout the world. Magnum is a frequent guest lecturer and author on the topic of recorded entertainment programming. You can reach him at (972) 241-3588 or on the web at

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August 2019

2/1/19 2:20 PM Bar Business Magazine 23

Seasonal Cocktails


Autumn BY Ashley Bray


Bar Business Magazine

August 2019

Seasonal Cocktails

Warm, crisp flavors mix with low-ABV spirits for the perfect fall recipes.


accompaniments fit the theme,” says Darwin Manahan, Beverage Director of Japanese gastropub Tokyo Guild in Culver City, California. “The spirit is the foundation, and the additional ingredients can make it seasonal.” Monin USA Beverage Innovation Director Brian Loukmas suggests turning to autumnal spices for inspiration. “Warm spices are always a fan favorite in fall cocktails such as turmeric and the ever-popular cinnamon,” he says. “Other popular ingredients include fruits and herbs such as: pear, apple, rosemary, tangerine, and stone fruit.” In addition to these fruits, Motson suggests blackberries, cranberries, plums, and satsumas (a more robust variety of mandarin orange). Duncan warns to avoid the obvious seasonal ingredient choices. “Orchard fruits and pumpkin will always dominate, but creative types will incorporate lesser utilized fall treats like figs, fennel, persimmon, celery root, and pomegranate,” he says. “Savory and healthful cocktails with ingredients like beets and carrots will show up for sure.” For warmer locales where fall can mean something a little different, Manahan suggests focusing on refreshing ingredients. “For an ‘Angeleno’ autumn, ingredients such as green apples, lemongrass, and lime

are the most popular,” he says. “Instead of hot, spiced cocktails, I am looking more towards Collins’ style or even cobbler cocktails with hints of spice. I also think more refreshing amaro cocktails might be on the rise. As amaro has increased in popularity, I feel we will start to see more riffs off of amaro soda or tonic cocktails.” The rise of amaro goes hand-in-hand with the increased demand for low-ABV cocktails, which will continue to be popular this autumn. “I see a continued rise in low-ABV drinks and mocktails that use bitters/ amaros like Campari and Aperol as well as a rise in fall flavors such as maple that add a depth to cocktails,” explains Loukmas. “I expect [lowABV] to become even more prevalent on fall menus. “Flavors that work well in low-ABV cocktails during the fall are cranberry, grapefruit, cardamom, and even blood orange.” No matter what direction you go in, above all, be confident and knowledgeable about your menu and its components. “We suggest making sure you have a strong menu that fits with the bar and the clientele,” recommends Motson, “along with knowledge of the spirits featured in the cocktails and how the ingredients serve to complement the notes of the spirit in that drink.”

Photo: Shutterstock/ Dragan Grkic.

all is chock-full of opportunities for drinking,” says Laura Motson, Global Brand Manager for Brockmans Gin. “The fall holidays—Thanksgiving, Halloween—or just about any crisp, delightful fall evening, presents a great reason to mix a cocktail.” Cool, crisp air ushers in the chance to transition to warmer, darker spirits. “Fall is a transitional season, you’re moving away from lighter spirits,” says Will Duncan, Partner and Beverage Director of 16” on Center Hospitality Group, “but you’re not quite ready for darker intense spirits like aged rum or whiskey. I love cognac for fall cocktails as well as a nice reposado tequila.” But even lighter spirits can be transformed into fall-worthy cocktails with the right ingredients. “I think any spirit can work as long as the

August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Seasonal Cocktails

MONEYGUN Apple-Tini 1.5 oz Rhine Hall La Normande ¾ oz Apple-infused MONEGUN vodka ¾ oz Apple-infused Letherbee Gin 1 oz Cucumber-mint syrup ¾ oz Lime juice 2 dash Orange bitters 2 dash Absinthe

Plum Delicious

Blackberry Sling

Brockmans Ode to Aperol

Brockmans Blackberry Sling

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, add the first three ingredients, and stir before topping with chilled prosecco.

10 Fresh blackberries Sprig of fresh rosemary 1 2/3 oz Brockmans Gin 2/3 oz Simple syrup* 1 2/3 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice Chilled soda water A second sprig of rosemary and extra blackberries, to garnish.

1 1/3 oz Brockmans Gin 1 1/3 oz Aperol Freshly squeezed juice of 2 satsumas Chilled prosecco

Brockmans Gin

Brockmans Plum Delicious

1 1/3 oz Brockmans Gin ¾ oz Calvados ¾ oz Apricot liqueur ½ oz Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice 2 Fresh plums, stones removed Dash of orange bitters Thin slice of plum to garnish Add all the ingredients and muddle the fresh plums in a shaker. Shake over ice, strain into a tumbler filled with a large ice ball, and garnish with a thin slice of plum. Brockmans Gin

For simple syrup, use a ratio of two measures of white caster sugar to one measure of water; heat gently in a pan until the sugar dissolves; cool and use. For cocktail, muddle the blackberries and rosemary in a highball glass. Remove the rosemary; add the remaining ingredients and stir. Add ice and top with soda. Garnish with fresh blackberries and sprig of rosemary. Brockmans Gin


1 oz Montenegro Amaro 1 oz Lillet Blanc 1o z Lemon juice ½ oz Simple Syrup (1:1) Top Q Tonic Dehydrated lemon wheel Hard shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.

Will Duncan, 16” on Center Hospitality Group

Autumn Blood Orange Bitter 1 oz Campari® Aperitif ½ oz Monin® Blood Orange Syrup 2 oz Fresh Orange Juice 2 oz Club Soda Mint sprig, orange peel Fill serving glass full of ice. Pour ingredients into serving glass in order listed. Stir gently to mix. Add mint and orange garnishes and serve. Brian Loukmas, Monin

Aperol Cranberry Citrus Spritz 2 oz Aperol Aperitif ½ oz Monin® Cranberry Syrup 2 pumps Monin® Grapefruit Concentrated Flavor 1 oz Club Soda 3 oz Prosecco White Wine Frozen cranberries, orange slice Fill serving glass full of ice. Pour ingredients into serving glass in order listed. Stir gently to mix. Add frozen cranberries and orange slice to garnish and serve. Brian Loukmas, Monin

Darwin Manahan, Tokyo Guild


Bar Business Magazine

August 2019

Photo: Brockmans Gin.

Ode to Aperol

Begin by batch infusing the La Normande, vodka, and gin with tons of fresh green apples to act as the base spirit. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice.





t’s no secret that your bar’s most valuable assets are its people— both your staff and your customers. It’s important to keep customers satisfied, and it’s equally important that your staff is well trained, which translates into better profits and a superior guest experience. 28

Bar Business Magazine

We chatted with two companies who recently revamped their operations in favor of stronger staff training and unique beverage programs to attract more customers. Buffalo Wings & Rings For over three decades, Buffalo Wings &

Rings®, an elevated sports restaurant franchise based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been providing the ultimate sports dining experience through its bright, inviting dining rooms; 50-plus TVs; elevated fan experiences; chef-inspired recipes; and signature wings. The company has spread from its first

August 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ PointImages.



Photo: Buffalo Wings & Rings.

Two bars revamp operations to increase profits and customer retention. location in Cincinnati to now include almost 60 locations across the US and two dozen internationally. Recently, the company decided to revamp its bar program in an effort to drive happy hour and late night traffic and to meet customer demand for its cocktails. They hired Straight Up

Solutions to help them. “The bar side of the restaurant represents approximately 25% of the business. We wanted to put more emphasis on creating new and exciting cocktails—a trend we are seeing with our millennial guests,” said Buffalo Wings & Rings Vice President of Marketing Diane Matheson. “We needed someone who had expertise in beverage development and also understood restaurant operations. Straight Up Solutions was the perfect partner.” Straight Up Solutions is a full service marketing company that utilizes creative drink and product development to build and cultivate revenue-generating beverage programs and supplier partnerships. The company utilizes menu design, training materials, data reporting, and point-of-sale items to drive success in its clients’ businesses. For Buffalo Wings & Rings, Straight Up Solutions focused on the beverage menus, including the beer selection. “We’re ramping up our beer program to better satisfy both the domestic and craft lover—arming stores with the right information about brands and styles they should be carrying and giving them the flexibility to be much more local,” said Matheson. “We have mandated select brands and styles and allow them to hand-select the regional and local brands that fit.” On the cocktail side, the brand added several new cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to its menu. “Our goal is to drive beverage sales for all dayparts, so we introduced new alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and milkshakes are soon to launch,” said Matheson. New cocktails include a Chocolate Bacon Manhattan (Aztec Chocolate Bitters, real agave nectar, orange essence, slice of bacon); Ring-A-Rita (handmade margarita mix, El Jimador Silver tequila, orange liqueur, real agave nectar, citrus juices, and a signature onion ring hung on the straw); and Mango Mule (Tito’s vodka, real mango fruit base with fresh-squeezed lime juice and fresh mint and ginger, soda). “The addition of these delicious new drinks to our quality lineup brings even more variety to our customers,” said Elliot Jablonsky, Buffalo Wings & Rings

R&D Chef, in a press release. The brand also upgraded existing offerings by incorporating higher-quality liquor and fresh ingredients like real strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes into the making of popular drink staples like the Lonestar Lemonade and Long Island Tennessee Tea. “Bolstering our drink menu with these signature cocktails creates an incredible opportunity to enhance customer experience at our restaurants,” said Matheson, in a press release. “Our creative new offerings and improvements to our classic favorites will entice customers to opt for one of our cocktails thanks to their elevated quality and reasonable price point.” Quaker Steak & Lube With over 40 locations across the country, the 45-year-old Quaker Steak & Lube® brand has combined unique décor— including gas station memorabilia, classic cars, and motorcycles—with crave-able food and high-octane entertainment events in its restaurants. Recently, the casual dining franchise decided to invest in its staff and revamp its training program. “We wanted to create a training program that turned our bartenders and bar managers into ambassadors for the brand and the bar,” explained Shannon Salupo, Corporate Beverage Manager, Quaker Steak & Lube. “Menus, cocktails, recipes, and programs continue to evolve, making it imperative to have team members on the front line providing guidance and encouragement to their coworkers to

Buffalo Wings & Rings has many new cocktails, like the Chocolate Bacon Manhattan. August 2019

Bar Business Magazine



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and Tony worked with us to provide best practices for the educational and handson portions of the training, as well as the new, improved bar station management.” Quaker Steak & Lube held the training in a restaurant so that trainees could learn and gain expertise directly in their work environment. Each participant received a backpack filled with bar tools they would be using during the training. The tools were theirs to take back to their restaurant to use as they trained others. Each morning was filled with education ranging from basic terminology and tastings to optimal storage temperatures and a comprehensive menu review. A training module was developed for each of the three tenets of bartending: liquor, wine, and beer. “Many bartenders don’t have a good understanding of wine varietals or the different styles of beer or spirits,” said Salupo. “General knowledge of these things can give a bartender a great degree of confidence and help them earn guests’ respect.” The training also focused on the proper sequence of service, best practices behind the bar, and how to use bar tools and techniques properly. “We put a large focus on the ‘whys’ as we felt this was the most important piece,” said Salupo. “The ‘whys’ behind the ‘what’ included why our processes were changing, such as the advantages to adding the ice last when making a cocktail; why a cocktail is shaken a certain way; and why a cocktail is built in a mixing glass rather than a tin.” The afternoons were filled with handson training that allowed trainees to put it all into practice. “For instance, they could see the difference between measuring pours and not measuring, or how .08 of an ounce can alter the balance of flavors in the drink,” said Salupo. The training also included fun elements like pouring and speed competitions. “We also rearranged and reorganized cocktail stations to improve workflow,” said Salupo. “We showed them how to be more organized and efficient by setting up bottles and bar tools correctly. This also keeps the bartender in one place, which lends itself to guest conversation during the mixing and pouring process.” Quaker Steak & Lube didn’t just stop at employee training—they also revamped

“Trash can” drinks upped the fun factor on Quaker Steak & Lube’s menu.

their beverage menu to focus on quality spirits and trending categories like mules. The brand also rolled out limited-time, seasonal drinks made with trending spirits including the Aviation Pineapple Sunrise (Aviation Gin, banana puree, pineapple juice, lemon sour, grenadine, Bordeaux cherry); and the Blueberry Jameson Mule (Jameson® Caskmates IPA Whiskey, Goslings Ginger Beer, blueberry puree, fresh blueberries). Three limited time “trash can” drinks upped the fun factor on the menu. Served in a plastic mock trash can that guests can keep, the drinks include a new take on a long island iced tea (Electrici-tea), a rift on a tropical rum punch (Rummy Worm), and a combination of premium liquors topped with an upside down can of Red Bull (The Bull-dozer). Other changes included moving wine to the front of the menu and featuring new brands and expanded varietals, and responding to guests’ desire for allnatural ingredients by bringing in 100% agave tequilas. As a result of the training program and revamped beverage menu, Quaker Steak & Lube expects to see employee retention and an increase in liquor sales. “We believe the key is to create a culture where our bartenders care about what they are serving to our guests,” said Salupo. “Bartenders who embrace the fact that they are not just serving a drink, rather using a thoughtful approach to create a spectacular guest experience, will turn greater sales and profits for their restaurant. This will also add to new guest count and increased guest retention.”

August 2019 2/1/19 12:31 PM

Photo: Quaker Steak & Lube.

ensure efficiencies and integrity of recipes are maintained.” After seeing The Spirits in Motion speak at a beverage conference, Quaker Steak & Lube partnered with the beverage consulting company. “As we began to create our training program using a train-the-trainer model, we sought out a partnership with The Spirits in Motion to integrate their bestin-class methods with our processes to develop a robust program to roll out across our system of more than 40 restaurants,” said Salupo. The Spirits in Motion was established in 2011 by Founders Tony Pereyra and Phil Wills, who have a combined 30-plus years of bar and restaurant experience. Experts in every facet of the bar industry, Phil and Tony develop and deliver innovations in mixology and structured bar management programs. “We created an intensive four-day training workshop and identified two bartenders or bar managers from each restaurant to attend,” said Salupo. “Phil

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Pass & Stow Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A new indoor/outdoor entertainment space is a homerun.


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aseball fans have an all-new place to throw back a beer during the seventh-inning stretch at Citizens Bank Park, the baseball stadium that’s home to the Major League Baseball franchise the Philadephia Phillies. Pass and Stow, which opened this spring, replaces McFadden’s sports bar. “We felt MacFadden’s had run its course and wanted to create a new family friendly destination at the ballpark,” says James Trout, Director of Marketing Events & Special Projects for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies, together with Citizen Bank Park’s food and beverage provider, Aramark, undertook an all-star renovation that transformed 24,500 square feet of space adjacent to the Third Base Plaza into Pass and Stow. These new enhancements follow last year’s addition of Boardwalk Eats, a boardwalk-themed concession area in left field. Overall, the off-season renovation of Pass and Stow took five to six months and includes both indoor and outdoor

spaces. “We wanted this to be a destination for all weather—hot, cold, rainy, and of course, beautiful days,” said Trout. Pass and Stow features an outdoor beer garden called Goose Island Bar at the Park, Foundry Pizza serving brickoven pizza, and a family-friendly sports pub featuring garage doors that open and seating for 150 fans. The upgrades also include a Shake Shack, fire pits, picnic tables, areas for live music, 44 TVs to catch game action, a large pergola adorned with lights, and a Phillies-etched water feature. Everything combines to create an engaging experience for ballpark visitors—the goal of any of today’s hospitality venues. “The Pass and Stow experience is the first of its kind at Citizens Bank Park,” said Trout, in a press release. “This unique, family friendly social space offers a wide variety of food options, as well as fun design elements that celebrate the Phillies and Philadelphia history.” The design takes an all-local approach—starting with the new area’s

August 2019

All Photos: Oat Foundry.

By Ashley Bray

Bar Tour name. “Pass and Stow is a historic nod to the Liberty Bell, which is part of the Phillies brand and logo. The name is derived from the two Philadelphia foundry workers, John Pass and John Stow, who recast the original bell in 1753 and whose names are inscribed on this important piece of American history,” explains Trout. “Many of the finishes are wood and brass/metal tying in to the elements of the actual Liberty Bell. There is a [27-foot-wide-by-8-foot tall] mural depicting many of our logos throughout the history of the club as well as some iconic Philadelphia landmarks. There are photographs of the three large liberty bell signs that have been displayed at our ballparks throughout the years beginning in 1971.” “Additionally, outside of Pass and Stow, is the iconic 19-foot high Liberty Bell that was once located atop Veterans Stadium [a former Phillies’ stadium]. Newly refurbished, the bell was installed on the 15th anniversary of the historic implosion of the Phillies’ former home.” The steel and aluminum bell weighs more than 5,000 pounds, covers roughly 270 square feet, and features over 300 light bulbs. Inside the 7,000-square-foot indoor

sports pub is an Oat Foundry Split Flap Display that sits above the bar between two TVs. The display is similar to the former Amtrak board at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. When fans enter the area, they are greeted to the sound of the board clacking and changing, drawing their attention directly to the display.

We wanted this to be a destination for all weather.

Oat Foundry is an agency of engineers that “builds cool stuff”— everything from split flap displays to industrialized cold brew plants. They were brought in on this project by the creative studio that worked on Pass and Stow, Younts Design Inc., in Baltimore. When the Phillies found out that Oat Foundry was local, they were even more excited. “The

Pass and Stow’s pub features garage doors that open and seating for 150 fans to create the ultimate indoor/outdoor experience.

split flap that Oat Foundry makes is completely from scratch. So everything that is in that board we have designed and built in our shop in Philly,” said Mark Kuhn, CEO of Oat Foundry. The Phillies wanted the split flap display to show real-time score data from the actual Daktronics scoreboard, and thanks to an API integration, the bottom half of the board is updated in real time. The top half of the board uses an API to pull batting score averages, hit locations per player, and other data from Thanks to custom Phillies colors on the display flaps, the Split Flap also displays bunting, away game scores, updated standings, the local-favorite Phillie Phanatic mascot, and cheers and chants like “Go Phils,” “HR,” and “Win.” The sports bar also uses the display to advertise game specials, bar specials, happy hours, game-day specials, and more. The display is easily controlled from an iPad, cell phone, or laptop. “The customization is really what makes the Oat Foundry split flap special,” said Kuhn. “So being able to integrate custom software, writing software for whatever the bar owners want, and being able to customize the flaps and the cabinets to be on brand is critical, and it’s something we really excel at.”

Pass and Stow has a variety of wines and beers on draft and in bottles and cans. August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Bar Tour The display has been a big hit at Pass and Stow and was even a finalist for a hospitality design award. “There is so much that this interactive, high-tech display can do,” said Trout. “It’s an exciting way to keep up with the action on the field, all while enjoying the social experience at Pass and Stow.” The food and drink at Pass and Stow’s indoor sports bar is also a hit. The bar serves up a number of cocktails all named after baseball terms, including Deep Left Center with Jim Beam whiskey, lime, mint, and ginger ale; Rain Delay, featuring Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum, ginger beer, and lime; and Grapefruit League Cooler with Sauza Gold Tequila, grapefruit, club soda, and lime. A variety of wines and beers on draft and in bottles and cans are also available. For food, there is the typical bar fare like nachos, pretzel bites, and sandwiches, alongside more unique items like Tandoori chicken wings, a deconstructed guac salad, and a roasted

The Oat Foundry Split Flap Display can show scores, display cheers and chants, and even advertise bar specials.

pork loin sandwich. “We’re continually working with the Philadelphia Phillies to deliver new and innovative ways to enhance the food experience for fans at Citizens Bank Park,” said Brent Hardin, Vice President, East Region, Aramark’s

Sports and Entertainment division, in a press release. “We’re confident these upgrades will further add to an already robust lineup of offerings and give fans even more to cheer about this season at Phillies games and other ballpark events.”

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August 2019


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Inventory Whiskey Crafted from Long-Closed “Ghost” Distilleries Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Glenury Royal

Johnnie Walker announces the release of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal, the third in the series of special releases crafted using irreplaceable “ghost” whiskies from a small number of iconic distilleries that closed many years ago. At the heart of this whisky lies the Highland single malt Glenury Royal, from the distillery of the same name that shut its doors in 1985. Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his team also hand-selected two exceptionally rare whiskies from the “ghost” distilleries of Cambus and Pittyvaich, perfectly balancing their creamy toffee and butterscotch notes with the sumptuous orchard fruits, sweet apple, and delicate apricot character of Glenury Royal. Five other rare whiskies from Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenlossie, Cameronbridge, and Glenkinchie bring waves of vanilla, heather honey, and dried fruits that weave through smooth dark chocolate and nutty layers to create an exploration of this irreplaceable “ghost” whisky—making this limited edition the most indulgent yet.

Fresh New Watermelon Flavor Cruzan® Watermelon Rum

Cruzan® Rum is proud to announce the addition of a limited-edition Cruzan® Watermelon Rum to its portfolio of premium, flavored rums. Cruzan Watermelon Rum takes the sweetness of a fresh cut, juicy watermelon, and balances that flavor with a hint of slightly tart watermelon rind for a clean finish. Cruzan Watermelon Rum was crafted by Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp, whose family has been making rum on the island of St. Croix for generations. It is made from natural ingredients including cane molasses and tropical rainwater, using a unique five-column distillation process to create one of the cleanesttasting, highest-quality rums on the market. As part of Cruzan’s Island Spirit Fund, $1 from every case of Cruzan Watermelon Rum sold will go to Cruzan’s Island Spirit Fund, developed to provide relief following 2017’s devastating Hurricanes Maria and Irma. “We are excited to release Cruzan Watermelon Rum, as this new expression demonstrates our dedication to producing high quality and innovative flavored rums,” said Nelthropp.

Limited-Edition Barrel-Finished Tequila Tequila Don Julio Reposado, Double Cask

Tequila Don Julio announces the release of its second limited-edition barrel-finished tequila, Tequila Don Julio Reposado, Double Cask. The release is a traditional Reposado tequila now finished for two weeks in casks that previously held Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Made in collaboration with Colin Gordon, the Lagavulin Distillery Manager, Master Distiller Enrique de Colsa spent two years perfecting this innovation, constantly experimenting with the vast cask options available within the Diageo portfolio. He landed on casks that previously held Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky as it embodies the finest, pungent flavors native to the region that blended well with the traditional Tequila Don Julio Reposado. “After two years of working on this variant, I’m proud to introduce it to the U.S. as a limited-edition variant created for the tequila and whisky connoisseurs with an incredibly unique flavor profile that is excellent enjoyed responsibly neat or on the rocks,” said de Colsa.


Bar Business Magazine

August 2019


Keep Beer Fresh Longer AB InBev PureDraught™

AB InBev introduces PureDraught™, a one-way, polymer keg system that keeps beer fresher up to four times longer than a traditional steel keg and reduces the carbon footprint of shipping beer. Using a custom-molded, double-walled, bottle-in-bottle polymer keg, PureDraught™ allows air or gas to be fed into the outer bottle, which keeps its shape and pushes the beer out of the inner bottle. This prevents any air or dispense gas from touching the beer, allowing the beer to remain fresh for 30 days after being tapped. PureDraught™ comes in 6L, 12L, and 18L sizes rather than the standard 30L or larger steel keg size, allowing for more flexibility and less wasted product. It will roll out nationwide later this year.

A Taste of Summer

Seagram’s Lime Flavored Vodka Seagram’s Lime Flavored Vodka is the newest addition to the American-made brand and award-winning portfolio. Seagram’s Vodka is staying true to its commitment to quality while capitalizing on the popularity of citrus flavors with the launch of Lime. The lime flavor is highly mixable and 35% alcohol by volume. The liquid is five times distilled with high-quality American grain to ensure a clean, extra smooth taste. This year, all Seagram’s Vodka expressions received an updated and refreshed bottle label consistent with the full Seagram’s line-up while delivering the same award-winning quality and taste.



South American-inspired Botanical Spirit Makes U.S. Debut Cocalero Clásico

Cocalero Clásico, the premium South American-inspired botanical spirit, is now available in select U.S. markets. Following the activation of a test campaign last summer in Atlanta, GA, Cocalero’s parent company, Intrepid Spirits, has begun rolling out distribution to various markets with the aim to be nationwide by the end of 2019. Cocalero Clásico is infused with a proprietary recipe of 17 natural botanicals and herbs, with notable hints of coca leaf, juniper, guarana, orange peel, ginseng, ginger, green tea, and lavender. A specialized steam distillation process pioneered by the perfume industry is used to extract the complex flavor of the coca leaf and the essential oils from the delicate blend of plants. The result is an herbaceous aroma of juniper and citrus, with notes of ginger, lavender, and a hint of capsicum chili. The flavors strike a rare balance of depth and smoothness with a subtle sweetness on the palate. The brand name pays homage to cocaleros, the traditional coca leaf farmers in the Andes Mountains who have been cultivating the crop for its medicinal properties for centuries.

August 2019

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August 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Q&A with Ivan Vasquez

Owner of Madre (Torrance, California)


orn in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ivan Vasquez was raised with the traditional recipes that were passed down through his family. At 15 years old, he crossed the border and settled in Los Angeles, where he put down roots in pursuit of the American Dream. Vasquez has been working in the restaurant industry since 1996, when he began working for the Mexican restaurant chain Baja Fresh. For 15 years, he worked his way up, owning several Baja Fresh locations and becoming regional manager for Los Angeles county. After learning all about owning and operating a restaurant, Vasquez felt prepared to open his own restaurant. In 2012, Vasquez bought El Nopal (now Madre). After five years of success, he noticed the lack of traditional Oaxacan cuisine in the South Bay and opened Madre in Torrance in late 2017. Vasquez is passionate about educating his guests on mezcal and Oaxacan culture.


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What has led to the increased interest in mezcal?

I think that social media has impacted the popularity of mezcal. Tourism in Oaxaca has increased tremendously in the past couple years, and visitors continue to share their experiences trying the traditional spirit. Mezcal is a treasure that belongs to Mexico and was buried for centuries, at least from the US and millions of Mexican people that did not realize how rich and interesting it is. When people started discovering and learning the story behind the process, mezcal became the spirit of the century. People learned that mezcal was any spirit distilled from agave plants including tequila. We owe the small producers and families making mezcal for generations with keeping this spirit alive. These families always kept their hopes that someday mezcal would be acknowledged. Imagine, it took almost 10 years to cross the border from Mexico to the US since the mezcal D.O. (Denomination of Origen) become effective in 1994.


How do you choose mezcals for your bar?

Outside of information that is required on mezcal labels, we look at who owns the company, village name, and name of master distiller. If a larger corporation owns the brand, does the mezcalero get paid accordingly? In regard to the production, we look at whether or not it’s bottled at origin (we do not want mezcal from Oaxaca bottled in Texas, for example), type of oven used, type of crush, number of distillations, liters produced. If it is an ensemble mezcal, we require the brand to disclose the percentage of each different agave used for that particular expression. After all of that, we taste it and judge the flavor!


Do you look for anything in particular in a brand?

Yes. Besides the information mentioned above, we look for unique brands that offer their own identity and represent their product well. We look for amazing mezcals to enjoy neat, ones that we can use to teach our clientele about the history and flavors of the brand.


How can bartenders best use mezcal in cocktails?

Each mezcal espadín has its own flavor profile and ABV. Some espadíns taste different depending on other ingredients used in cocktails, so I recommend making the same cocktail multiple times with different mezcals until you get to the right flavor. For us, the price is secondary. We care more about the cocktails being consistent and of good quality for our guests.


Tell us about Oaxacan cuisine.

What makes Madre unique is the history of my mother’s recipes! We offer the food that I grew up eating in Oaxaca, Mexico. We are trying to keep those authentic recipes alive and hoping future generations can still enjoy those recipes. We bring products from Oaxaca every week including peppers, chiles, spices, tortillas (tlayudas), chocolate, etc. We put a lot of effort and love in each recipe. Every single product in the kitchen is chosen with care. My team has a deep understanding of Oaxacan culture and prepares every dish with passion and integrity.


Advice for bar owners who want to expand mezcal offerings?

Get educated on basic information about the brands! Ask questions, do your research, and most importantly, taste them often so you understand the flavor profiles and tasting notes.

Chapo y Kate

1 oz Pueblo Viejo Blanco Tequila 1 oz Ventura Spirits Opuntia Prickly Pear (Cactus Pear Brandy) 1 oz Fresh cucumber water ¾ oz Lime ¾ Agave syrup (3 parts agave nectar to 1 part water) 2 dashes of Scrappy’s Firewater Bitters For cucumber water, blend entire cucumber with skin and fine strain (good up to two days). For cocktail, rim glass with 50-50 kosher salt/Tajin, shake in shaker, pour over fresh ice, garnish with cucumber ribbon. Madre Los Angeles

August 2019


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