Bar Business January 2019

Page 1

January 2019



Warm Up with

Hot Cocktails


Gr ow i n g

TREND Less alcohol is in more demand.


11 tips for running a bar


Go beyond beverages


U. S .




Contents How Tos

18 22

The Benefits of Blending


High-performance blenders can create food, cocktail ingredients, and non-alcoholic drinks.

11 Tips for Successfully Running a Bar

Ways for every bar owner to succeed.


Tuning Up: Adding Alexa to Your Bar Staff

Voice-enabled technology enters the restaurant industry.



From the Editor


On Tap


Behind The Bar


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


Important dates for the month.





Featured product releases. Jason Shullo – Golden Entertainment, Inc.



Entering the Hot Zone


8 Negotiating Strategies for Reducing Rental Rates

Warm up your customers with beautifully crafted heated cocktails.

How to lower the rental rate on your commercial lease.

Cover Photo: green thang cocktail, The Ruin Daily, chicago, il Contents photo: Shutterstock/ Vitalii Matokha

January 2019

Bar Business Magazine




January 2019

Vol. 12

No. 1

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, Elyse Glickman, Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton, Bruce Hakutizwi


Art Director Nicole D’Antona Graphic Designer Aleza Leinwand


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers Digital Ad Operations Associate Kevin Fuhrmann


Circulation Director Maureen Cooney 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 Š 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

January 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ Evgeny Karandaev.

advertising sales

inventory management

has never

been easier

from the editor

From The Editor

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

- Oprah Winfrey


Bar Business Magazine


appy New Year! ‘Tis the season for resolutions and reevaluations—especially second looks at business as another fiscal year fades in the rearview mirror. While a focus on revenue and inventory will always be important, I challenge you to add customer experience to your list of profitbuilding factors to consider. Before the holidays, I had the opportunity to chat with Jon Taffer, hospitality expert and the host of Bar Rescue, about the past year and upcoming trends in our industry. One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation was the evolution of the customer experience and how that is affecting the bar industry. Jon argued that rather than focusing on products, bar owners should be examining the experience they provide to their customers because they face an uphill battle for their attention. With the wide availability of highquality mixers and spirits on liquor store shelves, along with the easy accessibility of content from streaming services like Netflix, the challenge has become finding ways to draw consumers out of their houses and into your bar. Consider this statistic—as of press time, Netflix said over 45 million people streamed Bird Box over the holidays. That’s 45 million people who opted for their couch versus a bar stool during what is typically a very busy season for bars and restaurants. So what is your bar offering that’s going to pull some of those 45 million viewers off their couches? Is it a unique place to connect with friends and make

new ones? Is it an alternate form of entertainment they can’t get at home like the new novelties of axe-throwing and old-school arcade games? Or is it an experience altogether different from what our industry has seen before? I’m excited to see how bars continue to rethink and reinvent the customer experience in 2019. Change is a necessity in this industry, and it’s important to keep pace with the demands and needs of customers in order to best serve them. Look for a full article based on my conversation with Jon online and in these pages soon as well as some additional online-exclusive Q&As with other industry insiders and bar owners.

Ashley bray, Editor

January 2019



KEEP RUMCHATA ON THE BACK BAR AND IN THE COOLER. IF PEOPLE SEE RUMCHATA, THEY WILL BUY IT. RumChata®. Caribbean Rum with Real Dairy Cream, Natural & Artificial Flavors, 13.75% alc/vol. Agave Loco Brands, Pewaukee, WI. Please Enjoy Responsibly. RUMCHATA and CHATA are Registered Trademarks of Agave Loco, LLC.

From ON TAP The Editor

Old Forester Distillery Now Shines A Little Brighter

he newly renovated Old Forester Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky recently got a lighting upgrade. Returning to the city’s historic Whiskey Row—the site of Old Forester’s founding in 1870—the revamped space functions both as a working distillery and an immersive guest experience. The new design required thoughtful consideration of architecture, history, branding, and storytelling, but the real challenge was staying true to these creative considerations while also providing the functional light required for a working production facility. Focus Lighting worked with Bravura Architects and the experience designers at Imagination to design a seamless integration of lighting principles from retail, hospitality, museum, and industrial design. The result weaves the guest experience into the distilling processes to create a contemporary perspective on Old Forester’s timehonored art of making bourbon. The building’s centerpiece is an 6

Bar Business Magazine

imposing 44-foot-tall copper column still. The still’s vibrant color is accentuated by seven-color LED framing projectors from above and RGBA floodlights from below. As natural light changes through the central atrium’s skylight, LED lighting adjusts from cool to warm, maintaining a visually pleasing balance. Visitors begin their tour in the basement level where 4500-gallon vats hold the bourbon mash for up to four days. LED track accents dramatically light the mash from above, while additional accents mounted one level below allow guests to appreciate the vastness of the tanks through the glass and grate floor. Pulling inspiration whenever possible from the distilling process, circular LED pendants in the cooperage evoke the metal hoops used to bind the barrels’ wooden staves while providing the room with a glowing layer of light. The designers also had to contend with several areas designated as hazardous zones due to the risk of

explosive alcohol vapors. Here, the lighting team made creative use of industrial explosion-proof LED floodlights, masking their glare with custom shrouds made of steel pipe. The lighting team conducted extensive research to understand the optimal lighting conditions for showcasing the bourbon and the process of creating it, including tours of other operating distilleries. Through their research, the designers discovered the need for a clean, 2700 Kelvin background when observing the bourbon during tasting sessions. This prompted the team to integrate large, circular backlit panels into the tasting room ceilings. The circles allow guests to lift their glass to a clean, illuminated surface so they can clearly see and appreciate the bourbon’s colors and density. Together with the architecture of this historic building, and the contemporary presentation of the distilling process, the lighting for this immersive experience helps tell the rich story of this beloved Kentucky brand.

January 2019

Photo: Ryan Fischer



ON TAP Bulleit 3D Prints Bar & Cocktail Experience of the Future


Photos: (top) Kimberly White/Getty Images for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey; (bottom) Truly Good Foods.

ulleit Frontier Whiskey’s Frontier Works platform, a series of projects and collaborations with modern cultural creators, recently unveiled Frontier Work: The Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier. This series of private, inviteonly events was held at the Sixteenth Street Station in Oakland, California. The Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier comes to life around a 3D-printed bar designed by the award-winning architecture and design practice FAR frohn&rojas and fabricated by the Machine Histories team. The bar design, which was inspired by the iconic Bulleit Bourbon label and awardwinning whiskey, will find a permanent home at the new Visitor’s Center at The Bulleit Distilling Company in Kentucky. Along the way, it will stop at several cultural hotspots. The experience features 3D-printed cocktails, 3D-printed light bites, and musical performances from local Oakland artists. Tanya Orellana and Elaine Buckholtz—a highly awarded lighting and projection team— leveraged the latest in technology to

create a unique ambiance fit for this frontier experience. To create the bar at the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier, the FAR team studied the Bulleit bottle label. Instead of a traditional drawing of the design, FAR based their design on an algorithmic script that defines the geometry of the piece through a series of digital data sets. The bar’s copper surface was inspired by the amber color of Bulleit Bourbon. Taking the bar from design to production was a unique challenge due to the intricacies of the fine lattice structures that are inherent to 3D printing. FAR and Bulleit collaborated to design and redesign the lattice structure more than a dozen different ways to allow for varying densities in different areas of the bar to maximize visual impact, but still cater to the functional needs of bartenders. Machine Histories, a design and fabrication studio, then 3D printed the bar, which took over 2,000 hours of man and womanpower, not including the hundreds of hours invested in design

and engineering. Some of the most technologically advanced 3D printing equipment in the world produced the roughly 3,000 3D-printed components, 1,700 struts, and over 1,300 nodes in this one-of-a-kind design. The bar is printed from glass-filled nylon using SLS (selective laser sintering) and was finalized in a little over three months. “From reimagining what a bar could be, to partnering with cutting-edge mixologists and robotics pioneers to print 3D cocktails, this experience defies convention in order to redefine tradition, taking people on a journey that explores new frontiers,” said Sophie Kelly, Sr. Vice President of DIAGEO North American Whiskeys.

them: “motherless meat.” In addition, companies are expanding to other “free-from” foods that exclude allergens, dairy, eggs, and gluten. Natural Enhancement. Functional foods are still very much on trend. Think natural remedy ingredients like turmeric for auto-immune inflammatory and enhancement ingredients like collagen for beauty, cannabis (CBD) for relaxation, and karkade (hibiscus tea) for stress relief. Food Swaps. Cauliflower pizza crust, zucchini noodles, broccoli rice, and chickpea crisps are examples of products that were created by swapping an unhealthy component with a more nutritious ingredient. Cauliflower continues to be the king of the food swap as it’s a gluten-free, lower carb vegetable that holds up like a grain and absorbs flavor easily. Why So Bitter? Sour was the most recent flavor profile to have its moment in the sun, and it looks like it’s finally

bitter’s turn. As we continue to see a general aversion to sugar from consumers, bitter is coming to the forefront. It’s been seen in beverages with the explosion of craft beers these past few years, the popularity of green tea, and the most recent cocktail du jour – the Aperol Spritz. Food is where this flavor profile will see growth in the coming year with more vinegar-based products, dark chocolate featured in snacks, green tea and matcha being added to snacks for a caffeine boost, and cruciferous vegetables on menus.

2019 Food Trends


018 was a big year for the snack industry, and according to Truly Good Foods, there are a number of trends to watch out for next year. Food Chain. While transparency continues to be an important consumer driver, traceability is a key part to this. Beyond transparent labels, consumers want to see all aspects of the supply chain and how a product went from farm to table. Expect to hear a lot more about blockchain in the coming year. Simply put, blockchain is a digital ledger and record of all data along the supply chain. For the food industry, the promise of blockchain provides a way for enabled consumers to trace the source and path of the products they’re considering buying. Motherless Meat. Meatless options continue their rise to mainstream with 8 in 10 millennials regularly consuming meatless alternatives. Food scientists are rapidly developing more non-meat options or as industry insiders refer to

January 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Behind The Bar: LOW-ABV

Let’s talk

LOWABV There’s more demand for less alcohol. BY Ashley Bray


Bar Business Magazine


rinking less may seem like a hollow resolution that many don’t stick with past January 31, but don’t be fooled—the demand for low-ABV and non-alcoholic drinks is growing, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Driving Factors There are a number of factors contributing to not only the growth in this market, but also its staying power to be more than a flash-in-the-pan trend. Health. Across the board, consumers are becoming more conscious about their health, what they put into their

bodies, and where it comes from. It was only a matter of time before this movement affected the bar industry. “Low-ABV coincides with being healthy,” explains Maurice DiMarino, Beverage Director at the Cohn Restaurant Group, a regional restaurant group in the San Diego area. “Although the cocktail may not be the healthiest as far as sugar content and things like that, it still gives the illusion of doing something that’s not so bad for your body.” DUI Laws. Stricter drunk-driving laws are also causing consumers to think twice about how much alcohol they consume. “Drunk driving laws have been much more strict, and there’s the

January 2019

Photo: The Ruin Daily.

Green Thang

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When vodka meets luxury—FLOH the Caviar of Vodka

PassionFLOH INGREDIENTS 1½ oz FLŌH Pink Grapefruit Dragonfruit ½Fresh Pressed Lemon ¼ Wedge Fresh Pressed Grapefruit 3 dashes Cranberry Bitters TECHNIQUE Shake with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.


Behind The Bar: LOW-ABV








Bar Business Magazine

threat of those even coming down to .05 in some states,” says DiMarino. In fact, it’s already happening. At the start of this year, Utah lowered its blood alcohol concentration threshold from .08 to .05. Other states are keeping a close eye on the move and may soon follow suit. For example, Oregon already has a proposed bill that, if passed, would lower the state’s limit to .05 as well. Day Drinking & Sessionability. The times and occasions in which consumers are drinking are changing as well, and many are now searching for cocktail options with lower alcohol—especially when day drinking. “Day drinking in the restaurants has to do with brunch,” says DiMarino. “Brunch cocktails are usually the ones that have lower ABVs.” Consumers are also looking for lowerABV options during lunchtime. “We do a really big lunch business, and I think that also lends into these styles of drinks,” says Koire Rogers, Beverage Manager at CUCINA enoteca Newport Beach. “Just the idea of having a cocktail that’s not from a gun, made to order, and fresh.” The Ruin Daily in Chicago, Illinois has made a business out of bringing together sandwiches and cocktails at lunchtime. “There’s this notion of sandwiches being pedestrian and cocktails being fancy. So my initial focus in creating the beverage menu, and particularly the cocktail menu, was to bring people things that were quality and rubbed up against the idea of a more high-end cocktail menu that was still approachable,” explains Dylan Stewart, Beverage Director and General Manager of The Ruin Daily. For Stewart, the option of cocktails at lunch grew naturally out of the consumer’s demand for high-quality products and drinks at any time of the day—not just dinner. “People want a little bit of that in their day-to-day rather than having it concentrated in one event; they want that experience spread out over a longer timeframe,” he says. Spreading out experiences is also where sessionability comes into play. People may find themselves with a packed social schedule or multiple business dinners, and they want an option that enables them to consume

less alcohol without missing out on the social aspect of drinking. “People still want to go out and socialize multiple times,” says Rogers. “I appreciate the idea of low alcohol for people to have more than one cocktail and not feel left out in the social setting.” New Products. The proliferation of lower-ABV and non-alcoholic spirits and mixers has also given bartenders more tools to create low-ABV cocktails. “There’s a lot of high-quality products on the market now, more than ever before in the last five to eight years,” says Rogers. “We’ve seen tons of new vermouths, amaros, and wine-based spirits coming from France and Italy mostly. I think that’s led to this resurgence as well.” Bars are even using some of the options, like hard seltzers or quality mixers, as standalone products on their menus. “The growth of non-alcoholic cocktail options in bars is a big win for a premium mixer brand like Q that makes an elevated version of tonic, ginger beer, and grapefruit soda in particular with drier, more sophisticated flavor profiles. Accounts are seeing these products not only as mixers for cocktails or Collins drinks, but also to provide quality nonalcoholic options for those who might not be drinking,” says Trevor Frye, Washington D.C.-based Bartender and Consultant. “When you are able to provide multiple selling points to an account, the cost difference between the gun and a premium mixer becomes minimal.” Crafting Cocktails A low-ABV cocktail should follow the same principles as a regular cocktail build. “You might need to add one or two more ingredients to the non-alcoholic drinks just to get some more depth of flavor, but I think in general it’s all about finding balance. When you have too many ingredients you lose track of what’s going on in the drink,” says Rogers. “It’s about having flavors that are precise and clean. Any kind of cocktail, with booze or without, is really about balance.” In lower-ABV cocktails, bartenders should also look to create body. “You’re trying to make up for the sensation of alcohol. The sensation of alcohol comes in different ways—it comes in body and

January 2019

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Behind The Bar: LOW-ABV

1 oz Aperol 1 oz Lime juice ½ oz Orgeat ½ oz Watermelon

Shake ingredients over ice. Maurice DiMarino, Cohn Restaurant Group

Green Thang

1½ oz Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka ¾ oz Lemon juice ¾ oz 1:1 Clover honey syrup 1 oz Cucumber juice* *Cucumber juice: 2 English cucumbers 1 handful Kale 6 grams Kodemari matcha Pinch of Xanthan gum 1 cup Water For the cucumber juice, blend everything together to make one quart of juice. For the cocktail, shake and double strain all ingredients into tall glass with ice. Garnish with a bushel of kale and lemon wheel. Dylan Stewart, The Ruin Daily

The Cure

2 oz Amaro Montenegro 1½ oz Orange juice 1½ oz Pineapple juice ¼ oz Lemon 1 bar spoon Vanilla bean paste Quick shake to not overdilute due to the large amount of juice. Pour into a Collins glass and garnish with a large sprig of mint. Koire Rogers, CUCINA enoteca

Use Your Illusion ¾ oz rosemary shrub* Q Ginger Beer Rosemary sprig for garnish *Rosemary shrub: 1 cup Apple cider vinegar 1 cup Clover honey 1 cup Hot water For rosemary shrub, combine all and stir to mix. Add six long sprigs of rosemary and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain. For cocktail, fill Collins glass with ice. Add rosemary shrub and fill with Q Ginger Beer. Stir gently and garnish with singed rosemary sprig. Lindsay Matteson, Barnacle, Seattle 12

Bar Business Magazine

it comes also in astringency,” says DiMarino. “When you do a low-ABV cocktail, you’re trying to create a feeling in the palate so that you’re hitting all the five [elements]—saltiness, bitterness, sweetness, savoriness, and acidity. And if those are all in balance, people don’t realize the level of alcohol at that point. You’re trying to balance the illusion of alcohol with flavor.” DiMarino also recommends trying to engage multiple senses when creating low-ABV cocktails. “I think low-ABV cocktails are usually more like an aperitif in style, which open up the senses,” he says. “Acidity can give the mouthwatering sensation. Add bitters and ingredients like aperols or amaros that have much more aromatics to them and now your sensations are not only on the palate, they’re also on the nose.” Crafting these drinks doesn’t require an entire overhaul of your back bar or ingredients list either. “We’re able to utilize some of the same ingredients we use in our cocktails, minus the alcohol,” says Rogers. “So it wasn’t too much for the bartenders to reinvent something new. It’s things we could play with a little bit by just removing some of the alcohol.” Rogers says fresh ingredients frequently come into play when creating a lower-ABV cocktail. “What we do is try to find a good fruit syrup that we can make. Something that might be in season whether its peaches or something like that,” he says. “You can use it in cocktails, and it gives it versatility without having to add a bunch of booze or any booze at all.” Spirits to reach for when creating lowABV cocktails include fortified wines, vermouths, liqueurs, and Italian spirits like amaros or aperitifs. “I think that the place that low-ABV drinks really shine is in stirred cocktails. So things where your base is vermouth as opposed to a full spirit or where you have a fortified wine,” says Stewart. “A lot of the coolest, weirdest, most off-thebeaten path liqueurs, as a liqueur, are going to be lower in alcohol. So you get the opportunity to play with some much stronger flavors in a more bold way when you’re not constantly working around the fact that the predominant flavor is ethanol coming from the strong

The Cure

spirit that you’re using.” Lower amounts of traditional spirits can also be used when mixed with flavorful, non-alcoholic ingredients like teas. “Maybe you only do an ounce-pour versus an ounce and a half pour—now your cocktail’s still a low-ABV cocktail technically because of how much volume of liquid is in there versus how much alcohol is in there,” says DiMarino. On the Menu As for the placement of low-ABV cocktails on menus, those in the hospitality world are split. DiMarino says a separate section for low-ABV and mocktails may appeal to some patrons. “It would be interesting to see that on some menus; I think there are people that would actually gravitate toward that,” he says. At CUCINA enoteca, Rogers says a separate subcategory within the cocktail list works. Stewart cautioned that low-ABV drinks can be a selling point to some extent, but to others, singling out the drinks on a menu may appear as a notch against them. What most everyone can agree on is that low-ABV doesn’t mean lower-priced cocktails. “Pricing all depends on product, what you’re using, and how many ounces of product you’re using,” says DiMarino. “People are paying for flavor and for an experience. As long as you’re giving the guest an experience, then there’s something worthwhile to pay for. “I think what people are really looking for is flavor, and whether it’s low-ABV or not, it has to have flavor and some sort of depth to it.”

January 2019

Photo: Koire Rogers, CUCINA enoteca.

Aperol Cocktail

Behind The Bar: LOW-ABV

Now You Can: Zero-Alcohol Heineken® 0.0 Debuts


EINEKEN USA is launching its latest innovation, Heineken® 0.0, an alcohol-free malt beverage brewed with a unique recipe for a distinct, balanced taste. The brand’s iconic label has been turned blue to match the color associated with the alcohol-free category globally. Heineken® 0.0 contains only 69 calories per bottle. Heineken® Master Brewers created the new zero-alcohol brew through a special five-step brewing process. Heineken® 0.0 is made with natural ingredients, resulting in a drink with a fruity flavor and slight malty notes brewed for beer lovers, by beer lovers. “We believe we have a competitive advantage with

the taste of our beer,” says Ashleigh Phelps, Heineken Brand Manager, HEINEKEN USA. “Heineken® 0.0 is double brewed with natural ingredients, which are the same as the ones used for Heineken® Original (water, barley malt, hop extract, and Heineken® A-Yeast). We gently remove the alcohol with vacuum distillation and blend the brew to perfection with natural flavorings.” HEINEKEN USA is committed to introducing new and innovative products to meet consumer needs, which include living a balanced lifestyle. With strong growth in the non-alcohol segment expected to continue, Heineken® 0.0 gives drinkers a choice for all their occasions, without compromising on quality. “There has been a growing demand for alcohol alternatives,” says Phelps. “Beer has been declining for the past six years and over 30% of 21-plus

people in the US are choosing to not drink alcohol. There is an opportunity to open up new occasions for these consumers so they can have a beer moment without the alcohol.” By supplying a well-known, highend option to the non-alcoholic segment, Heineken® 0.0 aims to propel category growth by capturing new consumption occasions and new consumers. “For the U.S., the time has come for an innovation that disrupts the category and offers a new take on how people drink and enjoy beer,” said Jonnie Cahill, Chief Marketing Officer, HEINEKEN USA. “Heineken® 0.0 brings for the first time a truly incredible beer taste to the nonalcohol space and opens a world of opportunity for people to come together and enjoy a brew that expands the drinking occasion—not limits them.”

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Bar Business Magazine

4/5/18 12:11 PM

January 2019


Happenings February 2019


February 26 National Pistachio Day Celebrate with pistachio liqueur, syrups, infused spirits, or just some bowls of this favorite nut.

February 23 Open That Bottle Night


February 11 Make a Friend Day Bartenders are in the business of hospitality, but make an extra effort to get to know a guest or two today.

February 9 National Pizza Day Not that your guests need an excuse to indulge in a slice, but it’s a good day for pizza specials.


Bar Business Magazine

February 14 Valentine’s Day Create a dual cocktail list for today—chocolate cocktails for fans of the holiday and bitterforward options for those who’d rather skip it.

January 2019

All Photos:

An annual occasion that aims to motivate people to reconnect with each other over a bottle—now that’s a cause we can get behind!



February 27 National KahlĂşa Day


Create a list of cocktails celebrating this rich and creamy coffee liqueur.

march international restaurant & foodservice show of new york March 3-5, 2019 New York, NY

February 1 National Grapefruit Month Palomas, Hemingway Daiquiris, Navy Grogs—make grapefruit the star of your menu this month.

new england food show March 3-5, 2019 Boston, MA

nightclub & bar show March 25-26, 2019 Las Vegas, NV

wswa convention & expo February 4 Stuffed Mushroom Day

4 February 23 National Margarita Day Blend up a few margaritas and then head to page 18 for more inspiration on blended drinks and food items.

Whip up a batch of these perfect bar bites!

March 31-April 3, 2019 Orlando, FL

april northwest food show April 14-15, 2019 Portland, Oregon

May nra show

May 18-21, 2019 Chicago, Illinois

January 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To

How To: Blenders

High-performance blenders can create food, cocktail ingredients, and non-alcoholic drinks.

The Benefits of Blending 18

Bar Business Magazine

By Emily Eckart January 2019

How To: Blenders


Photos (left to right): Shutterstock/ svitlini; Vitamix.

veryone loves a good frozen drink, but blenders can do so much more. Explore the full potential of your blender by making cocktail ingredients, a wide range of food items, and even non-alcoholic beverages. Cocktail Ingredients Elevate a cocktail’s uniqueness and local appeal by preparing your own fresh ingredients. Matt Dugan, Executive Chef at Vitamix, says a highperformance blender can be used to create a variety of customized items that are perfect for cocktails, including flavored simple syrups, homemade bitters, and citrus juices. Terry Copenhaver, Senior Product Manager at Hamilton Beach, says, “Bar customers often have the expectation everything will be house-made, and blending can speed up the process of making flavored syrups. You can make really pretty mint simple syrup if you blanch fresh mint leaves and then puree them in a blender. Shrubs continue to be popular as well, and they’re easy to make in a blender. The baseline recipe is equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar, although you’ll want to tweak that depending on the fruit you’re using. Some fruits are better crushed, but blending is great for veggie-flavored shrubs, like cucumber or butternut squash, watermelon, and figs.” Dugan gives the example of a restaurant that used Vitamix equipment to make orgeat, a nut milk made from almonds and water. “Vitamix works with a Cleveland-based steakhouse [that] was making its own orgeat for piña coladas,” he says. “The process was taking four to six hours using a couple different machines. With the help of the Vitamix line of equipment, [including the VitaPrep 3 and The Quiet One blender], the restaurant reduced the prep time to forty-five minutes, start to finish.” One particularly versatile tool is Vitamix’s aerating container. Dugan says, “[It] gives bars a tool to diversify their menu offerings. The container has so many applications—aerating, infusing, emulsifying, whipping, juicing, foaming, quick chilling, and

Vitamix’s Aerating Container

more—and can process both single and multiple cocktails, making it a very diverse piece of equipment in the mixologist’s tool box.” The aerating container is sold separately from Vitamix’s blenders and is compatible with most of the company’s commercial blenders. Beyond ingredients, blenders can also be used to create full-on cocktails that require different mixing techniques. For example, Vitamix’s aerating container has the ability to act as a cocktail shaker by gently mixing ingredients without pureeing them–-a process that is ideal for items like mojitos (muddling) and egg white cocktails (foaming). Dugan explains, “For mojitos, the container’s disc blade will bruise the mint just enough to extract essential oils and help make fresh lime juice that is the clear differentiator in a cocktail like a mojito. Making items in batches, and with an automated process, allows for a significant time and cost savings.” Beyond Beverages KitchenAid Global Ambassador Tess Masters, also known as “The Blender Girl,” is the author of multiple blenderfocused cookbooks. She posts blender ideas and creative recipes on her website ( and on Instagram at the handle @theblendergirl. Masters advocates using the blender as a tool not just for drinks, but also for food. For example, she says, “A bar without a large kitchen or any kitchen can make hot soups from raw ingredients in a

high-speed blender,” she says. “You can whip up a variety of dips, spreads, and nut cheeses and serve them with crudités, bread, and crackers or slather [them] on sandwiches and wraps.” Masters goes on to list other food items bars can make without the need for a kitchen—dipping sauces for raw spring rolls and other wraps; artisan salad dressings; pasta and pizza sauces; and raw vegan taco meat or filling for lettuce wraps. Bars can even make sweet snacks like truffles, puddings, raw ice creams, or granitas to serve with cocktails. Dugan also shares food items that can be made via a high-performance Vitamix blender. “Dips and spreads, including guacamole, hummus, creamy cheeses, chunky salsa, and marinara can be prepared in minutes, along with accents like aiolis, ketchup, relishes, confits, homemade sauces, and more,” he says. Copenhaver says, “A highperformance bar blender lends itself well to making certain sauces and emulsions, such as vinaigrettes, salad dressings, and hollandaise. Just keep in mind that a bar blender is designed to do one thing really well: blend drinks until they’re smooth and creamy.” Non-Alcoholic Options Copenhaver points out an interesting trend, “Globally, fewer people are drinking. Europe alone has seen a 10 percentage point decrease in the drinking population. And this trend is most pronounced among young people.” To appeal to the widest variety of customers, bars can add some nonalcoholic options to the beverage menu using their blender. “The blender is an

Pro Tip Don’t have a kitchen? Put your high-speed blender to work making dips, sauces, and even soups.

January 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: Blenders amazing tool to create exotic flavor profiles that take people on a flavorful journey without alcohol,” says Masters. “There is an alchemy that is created when you blend ingredients that can’t be created any other way. For example, the combo of strawberries and red bell pepper is mind-blowing. You can also create rich, creamy drinks blending cream, ice cream, coconut, yogurt, banana, and nuts with fruits, vegetables, and chocolate.” Copenhaver suggests smoothies, milkshakes, and frozen cocktails without the liquor. Frozen non-alcoholic craft cocktails can be a lot more than just fruity drinks without alcohol. “You can give them complex flavors with alcoholfree spirits, infusions, and fresh ingredients,” says Copenhaver. (Note: For more on low- and nonalcoholic drinks, turn to page 8.) It’s also possible to get creative with coffee and tea. Cold coffee and tea drinks with frothed milk are always popular, and you can elevate them with

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Bar Business Magazine

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blended flavoring. “One new trend is using the blender to make frothed milk as a topping for cold drinks,” says Copenhaver. “We recently introduced the AirWhip jar, a specialized blender jar that turns cold skim milk into creamy foam in just a few seconds.” Besides frothed milk, Hamilton Beach’s AirWhip jar can also make fresh whipped cream, which has a richer flavor than whipped cream from a can. Hot tea can also benefit from flavoring, and Copenhaver notes that another interesting trend is cheese tea. This is green or black tea, with or without milk, topped with foamed milk and cream cheese and sprinkled with salt. Furthermore, custom blended creations are ideal for health-conscious customers, or for those with special dietary needs. Masters says, “Bars can make homemade artisan herb, spice, or floral infusions, syrups, and bases for mixed drinks. You can also make flavored nut and seed milks, and use the blender to make hot drinks like turmeric, matcha, beet, mocha, and regular coffee lattes with cashew, oat, or almond milk.” When it comes to healthy beverages, Copenhaver says, “Another trend is blended, vegetable-centered cocktails. These are perfect for customers who like creative, savory flavor profiles, or healthconscious customers who prefer drinks without a lot of sugar. We’ve seen bartenders add pureed pumpkin to fall drinks, or blend avocado or smoked jalapeño in a margarita.” For those who prefer to indulge with alcohol and sugar, it is possible to put new spins on frozen classics. “Frozen cocktails [are] having a resurgence,” says Copenhaver. “Bartenders are playing with ways to elevate the classic tropical and Tiki drinks, and they’re also blending frozen versions of the Negroni, Old Fashioned, and gin and tonic.” Above all, Dugan says, “Successful bartenders know that the keys to a good beverage program are preparation and consistent, repeatable results.” A reliable high-quality blender can really pay off here with increased efficiency that allows you to achieve the ultimate goal: selling more custom drinks to your patrons.

Spiced Clover Shake Monin

1 oz Monin Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup 3 scoops Chocolate ice cream 4 oz Amber beer Combine ingredients, except ice, in blender. Fill serving glass with ice and pour into blender. Blend until smooth. Pour blended beverage into 14-ounce serving glass. Garnish with whipped cream. Hamilton Beach

Strawberry Bell Pepper Blast 1 cup Orange juice 3 cups Fresh strawberries 1 Red bell pepper, top removed and seeded 2 tablespoons Pure maple syrup (or other sweetener) Pinch of cayenne pepper 3 cups Ice cubes Throw everything in blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and frosty. Serve immediately. Serves two. KitchenAid (Tess Masters)

Ramos Gin Fizz

4 oz Gin 1 oz Aerated lemon juice 1 oz Aerated lime juice 1 oz Simple syrup 2 oz Heavy whipping cream 1 tsp Vanilla paste 2 oz Egg white 1 cup Ice 3 oz Soda water 6 drops Orange blossom water Combine ingredients except ice, soda water, and orange blossom water in the Vitamix Aerating container. Start the machine and slowly increase to Variable 9. Blend for 60 seconds. Add ice to aerating container. Blend at Variable 5 for 60 seconds. Pour into a highball glass, straining ice if desired. Top with soda water and three drops of orange blossom water. Will Hollingsworth & Vitamix Corporation

January 2019 12/11/18 3:45 PM




ALL NATURAL! NO REFRIGERATION NEEDED • Classic Red and Tropical White • No refrigeration needed — Sangria gets poured over ice • One-way keg = no deposit, no return • Lighter in calories — fruit-sweet, not sugary • Product stays fresh for 9 months after tapping • No special gas needed to dispense — can even be hand-pumped with air


• Kegs may be untapped, stored, then retapped (perfect for caterers)








• Clamp-on towers allow for portability and create an extra offering — don’t replace a draft product, add one!

Draft Wine Product in America

How To

How To: Marketing

11 Tips for Successfully Running a Bar Ways for every bar owner to succeed.


By Bruce Hakutizwi appears from the outside when you’re mulling this option from the customer side of the bar. Like any business, there is a backend that needs to be run, employees that need to be managed, and a gamut of customer service and other issues to consider. That is not to say that bar ownership can’t be the dream job you’ve envisioned, but before you dive in, there are some tips to consider that will help you succeed as a bar owner.

Pro Tip

1. Find the sweet spot in pricing. Once you’ve chosen your establishment—whether it’s a taproom, tavern, hip cocktail lounge, or the neighborhood dive bar—the first thing you’ll need to do is set your prices correctly. It may be tempting to inflate prices for a quick win in profits, but this is a short-term fix that won’t be sustainable. Instead, set prices that are fair based

Don’t skimp on a POS system. It’s essential to organizing orders, tracking transactions, and ensuring your bar’s front end runs smoothly.


Bar Business Magazine

on what you offer and what’s comparable in the area. Determine a sweet spot that is neither too low nor too high. 2. Train yourself on everything. Even if you’re planning to leave the day-to-day operations of your bar in the hands of a capable manager, as a bar owner, you should know how to do everything you would ask or require your staff to do. That means everything from making cocktails to doing dishes to running the cash register. In the service industry, your employees will respect you more if they know you’re willing to get your own hands dirty when necessary. Running a bar isn’t something that can be done from behind the walls of an office. Of course, you’ll need to know how to keep your books and financial records as well, or make sure you hire an accountant that can help you do so.

January 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ Master1305.

unning a bar is an appealing business opportunity for many people. If you consider yourself a “people person,” then buying a bar may especially seem like a slam-dunk. But this entrepreneurial pursuit goes beyond attending bartending school and chatting it up while slinging cocktails. It’s important to understand that there is much more involved than what

How To: Marketing 3. Understand the associated liability and take it seriously. Serving alcohol comes with a lot of responsibility. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure that everyone working in any capacity in your bar is trained to handle alcohol-related safety issues. This will be crucial to protecting your restaurant from fines, losing your liquor license, increased insurance costs—or worse, going to prison or losing your business altogether. Make sure your staff is thoroughly trained on these issues through a reputable program such as The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Alcohol training course. 4. Know what you need to stock. As a new bar owner, this will take a while to figure out. What patrons want will differ on any given day, however, you will likely identify some favorites that draw people to your establishment and begin to figure out your optimal inventory. Keep track of your bestsellers as well as your busiest days, times, and seasons so that you can predict needed stock accordingly.

seasoned bartenders to easily measure alcohol amounts. Measuring alcohol and mixers keeps portions consistent and prevents heavy pours and lost inventory due to spillage. Glassware can also impact your bottom line. Not only do heavier glasses require less liquid to fill, they also hold up better and last longer. 7. Add extras to attract patrons. Food is a standard extra, and every bar should have at least a limited menu to provide imbibing patrons with something to nosh on. But there are other additions that will make your bar stand out. Consider offering daily or weekly happy hour specials or events like a weekly trivia night or pool tournament. Schedule the events for those specific times when you need to increase traffic at your bar. For example, after-work hours or daytime hours on a Saturday or Sunday.

Keep business operations separate from the nightlife.

5. Keep your equipment in good shape. Make sure you purchase and maintain the proper equipment to store and display the drinks your bar offers. You’ll also need to make sure you have all of the tools of the trade that will enable you to provide speedy service to customers—and minimize the stress on your staff—on those busy nights. 6. Monitor your liquor quantities. Especially when it’s busy, it can be tempting to skip measuring the amount of alcohol and mixers that go into drinks in an attempt to prevent mess and reduce clean-up tasks. But this is a shortcut that will always end up costing you money in the long run. Jiggers are an essential tool for even

8. Get social. Social media is an effective, free method to advertise your bar and to spread the word about weekly drink and food specials or other events. This is also a great way for patrons of your bar to connect, share photos, etc. Just make sure you, or someone on your staff, manages any social media channels and that anything posted is approved before going live. The last thing you want is unsavory pictures of your establishment circulating all over social media.

find the sweet spot in


monitor your liquor




9. Invest in a POS system. This is another area where many bar owners skip to save a few bucks, but an electronic point-of-sale (POS) system is essential to organize orders and track transactions. These systems also ensure that things run smoothly on the front end. By streamlining communication between servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff, you’ll be better equipped to keep customer orders and tabs straight when things get busy. There are

hire the right


January 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: Marketing customers at ease and who are knowledgeable about your bar and what it offers. While anyone can be taught to make a drink, not everyone can be taught social skills.

a variety of POS systems available, and the prices vary based on the level of service and management you need, so do your research.

Bruce Hakutizwi serves as the U.S. and International Business Manager at

Photo: Shutterstock/ Olena Yakobchuk.

10. Hire the right staff. People patronize a bar as much for the

people serving them as for the food and drinks served. That’s why it’s essential to have friendly, competent staff in order to be successful in the bar business. Hire personable, outgoing, professional-looking staff who can put

11. Have fun! At the end of the day, don’t forget why you got into the business in the first place. Owning a bar is supposed to be fun, so enjoy it. Just make sure you keep the business operations, such as accounting, inventory management, payroll, etc., separate from the nightlife. If, after reading these tips, you’re still seriously considering buying a bar, then you’re probably on the right track for a successful business opportunity that will provide a good balance with your personality and lifestyle.


Bar Business Magazine

January 2019

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Tuning Up

How To: tuning up


Adding Alexa to Your Bar Staff

ar and restaurant staff may soon be asking, “Alexa, can you tell me about the guests at Table 7?” SevenRooms, an all-inone reservation, seating, and guest management platform, announced an investment from Amazon’s Alexa Fund to introduce in-service, voice-enabled 26

Bar Business Magazine

technology for the restaurant industry. “From day one, SevenRooms’ focus has been on building tools for restaurant and bar operators that help them develop deeper guest relationships, boosting revenue and enabling personalized service and marketing,” says SevenRooms. “SevenRooms and Amazon share a

proven dedication to customer service and a mission to bring customers new levels of ease and convenience. The investment will combine Amazon’s technology with SevenRooms’ hospitality expertise, bringing voiceenabled hospitality technology to market.” The funding marks the first

January 2019

Photo: Shutterstock / whiteMocca.


Voice-enabled technology enters the restaurant industry.

H C R A M 9 1 0 2 , 7 2 5 26-27TER 2 H C R N A TES M ON CE






How To: tuning up

Sevenrooms announced an investment from amazon’s

Alexa Fund AMAZON and Sevenrooms are both on a upward growth

investment the Alexa Fund has made in a restaurant technology company, and it will pave the way for SevenRooms to integrate Amazon Alexa into its restaurant operations and guest relationship management experience platform. “We’re proud to be Amazon’s first investment in the restaurant technology space, furthering our mission of enabling high-touch hospitality with powerful operator-first tools,” says SevenRooms. “Not only does our obsession with the customer align nicely with Amazon’s mission, but their voice-powered technology will allow us to create a whole new set of tools to improve guest experience across our restaurant and bar partners. We are excited by the opportunity to add new functionality to our robust platform, and up-level the entire hospitality experience.” SevenRooms is a front-of-house technology company entirely focused on empowering operators to establish and maintain a meaningful, direct relationship with their guests to make exceptional experiences possible. Founded in 2011 in New York, the reservation, seating, and guest management solution boosts revenue and enables personalized service and marketing. SevenRooms has restaurant, hotel, and nightlife clients in more than 100 cities worldwide, including: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Standard Hotels, LDV Hospitality, Live Nation, TAO Group, Mercer Street Hospitality, Corbin and King, and The h.wood Group. Building on its proven track record of delivering best-in-class tools for restaurant operators and a deep understanding of front-of-house operations, the company will leverage the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build an Alexa skill that enables restaurant

operators to use a wide array of voice commands for everyday in-service use, making relevant guest information accessible within just seconds. The new voice-powered technology will allow SevenRooms users to use voice commands to access a wide variety of information on their guests. The new feature will let operators ask a multitude of questions like, “Do any guests in the dining room have allergies?” or, “Do we have any birthday celebrations tonight?” By removing the physical interface, staff will be able to access all of this vital information more quickly, enabling them to provide a more personalized experience for their guests in an instant, without having to lift a finger. Understanding guest data and having immediate access to the correct information through Alexa can help a restaurant make every guest feel like a regular more easily—converting a one-time diner into a frequent guest. “Voice-powered technology is already impacting every industry and continues to play a central role in the daily lives of consumers and the businesses they interact with,” said Joel Montaniel, Founder and CEO of SevenRooms. “At SevenRooms, we are always looking at ways our technology can streamline operations while personalizing and humanizing the guest experience. Hospitality operators have long relied on an interface or screen to access information, taking attention away from their guests and operations. Voice eliminates this need, enabling them to shift their attention back to what matters most: the guest. “We are excited to leverage this investment from Amazon to bring Alexa to SevenRooms, furthering our mission of enabling high-touch hospitality by creating powerful tools that are invisible to guests, but

Voice shifts attention back to the guest.

trajectory THe new voice-powered technology will allow sevenrooms users to use

voice commands 28

Bar Business Magazine

January 2019

How To: tuning up invaluable to the operator.” Amazon chose to invest in SevenRooms after discovering the company had like-minded goals and was on an upward growth trajectory. “Much like Amazon itself, SevenRooms is a company that understands the importance of an incredible customer experience. By deploying their technology, restaurant operators can make smarter decisions on marketing, guest relationship management, staffing, and more, and ultimately present dining guests with a more enjoyable experience,” said Paul Bernard, Director of the Alexa Fund at Amazon. “We have been impressed by the company’s growth over the past year, and we are eager to see more restaurants begin to adopt SevenRooms and utilize Alexa as a way to interact with its service.” Following an eight-million-dollar Series A funding round led by Comcast Ventures in December 2017, SevenRooms has been able to

accelerate its strategic growth plans. These plans include the addition of new restaurant, nightlife, and enterprise customers from around the globe over the past nine months. In addition, the company has also

nearly doubled its total number of employees. While there is no definitive release timeframe yet for these voice-enabled tools, operators should expect to see them rolled out soon.


ANY TIME. ANYWHERE. Whether on mobile, tablet, or your laptop, access our website any time for the latest news, product releases, and exclusive content you’ll only find online. VISIT: WWW.BARBIZMAG.COM

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Bar Business Magazine


Hot Cocktails

Entering the

Hot Zone

Warm up your customers with beautifully crafted heated cocktails.


By Elyse Glickman

he holidays may be over, but warm cocktails should still be on every innovative bar’s cocktail list. Why? Because bartenders constantly need new and unexpected offerings to keep customers coming in—even on the coldest days of the year! Now is the time to think 30

Bar Business Magazine

outside the icebox by offering cocktails that will carry you and your customers through to the first days of spring. Given the many different climates of the U.S., some bartenders may ask themselves how to get customers to warm up to something that’s comforting rather than crisp. Even with some heated debate, these bartenders agree that as long as customers are looking for something new and are enticed by good spirits, quality ingredients, and presentation, even a slight dip in temperature can get them in the mood. The Warm-Up Act “I would start by asking them what kind of non-alcoholic hot drinks they enjoy,” says Nikki McCutcheon, Beverage

Director at the Moxy Times Square Hotel. “Tea based? Coffee based? Something rich and creamy or light and herbal? From there, I make suggestions based on their preference of what they most enjoy.” Context via restaurant setting is also important according to Jay Schroeder, Owner of Chicago’s mezcal-focused Quiote and Todos Santos. In a restaurant with a bar, a hot beverage can be a compelling swap-in for dessert, or a way to brace oneself against an imminent departure into the cold. “In colder climates, we tend to keep our bars toasty, a subtle reminder of what it would be like all the time if we lived somewhere else,” Schroeder explains. “My goal is often to offer the dual escape

January 2019

Photo: Brian Miller, The Polynesian.

Hot Cocktails

of an environment that’s both warm socially and physically. Many folks tend to opt for drink choices that differ little from their usual summer selections.” Even in balmy Los Angeles, creative bartenders like Beverage Director John Neumueller of Bar Joe at Spoonfed find they need to add a little heat to the menu’s mix to adjust to customers’ moods and preferences when the winter months and its events roll around. In fact, the veteran of such trendsetting establishments like Tasting Kitchen, Verlaine, and Normandie Clubeverage is not afraid (nor are his customers) of defying seasonal trends if the effect is delicious. “I’m not going to make people betray what they were craving,” says Neumueller.

“I’ll introduce it to them in instances where they’d typically enjoy a coffee or tea. I’m the kind of person who will have a hot cup of coffee on a sunny summer day in Venice. People want things at the temperature they want it.” “Flavors [customers] like in cold drinks can be successfully made warm, as long as you understand that the balance of the drink has to be adjusted,” says Jack Schramm, Head Bartender at New York City’s Existing Conditions. “I test hot drinks the same way I test cold drinks— by making them over and over again with incremental changes until the drink is so delicious I have to share it with people.” Schramm says a balanced recipe and New York’s famously cold winters provide him with an easy way to close the deal using the line, “Would you like something to help you warm up?” Meanwhile, Shawn Chen, Beverage Director of New York City’s Red Farm and Decoy, affirms a bartender should have fun when developing original recipes. “I like to use the classics as reference points and not boundaries when creating new recipes,” he says. “Just keep on experimenting until you find the ones that are just right. I also like to make customers [used to cold drinks] a little sample before they commit to a full cocktail. It is a nice way to show hospitality and get them to try something new without feeling pressured into paying for a full drink.” According to Brian Miller, Partner and Beverage Director at Manhattan’s The Polynesian, familiar favorites never get old. “If the classic is done well, it can be dressed up with different ingredients like your winter clothing staples can be updated with statement-making accessories,” says Miller, admitting that he is a “coffee mug kind of guy” who likes serving hot cocktails that can be savored like hot coffee or tea. “Great hot buttered rums, toddies, and Irish coffee are hard to come by. However, the Irish coffee at Dead Rabbit is near impossible to beat. To get that result, a good friend of mine would say, ‘You gotta drive it off a cliff before you perfect it.’ That way you’ve explored all the options and what remains is sheer poetry.” Rory Toolan, Bar Manager at The Heavy Feather in Chicago’s trendy Logan

Square neighborhood, encourages bartenders to not be afraid to use more exotic liqueurs in hot cocktails. “Surprisingly, a little amaro like Cynar, Fernet Branca, or Amaro Montenegro can really bring nuance and depth to simple toddies and mulled wines. And don’t be shy about using a whole egg for drinks like the Tom and Jerry, which on a snow day is absolutely delightful.” Heated Preparations The Heavy Feather’s Toolan states the obvious, but it’s something that bears repeating, “Don’t use microwaves, they’re gross. Avoid anything that will separate while making the drink.” To avoid other mistakes, use the same common sense you would when preparing non-alcoholic heated drinks. Also, don’t assume any chilled cocktail will work as a warm cocktail or that adding alcohol to a classically warm beverage will taste good. “Temperature plays a big role in changing the chemical reactions that affect flavor,” says McCutcheon. “When infusing flavors, start by boiling your flavoring agents with water without the alcohol so as not to burn off the alcohol or skew the flavor. You can use a slow cooker for larger batched drinks to allow flavors to heat and blend continuously at a moderately hot temperature without ever having to get to a boiling point.” Neumueller adds that traditional drink builds go out the window when you add heat to the equation. “As with blended drinks, the temperature and dilution shift when heat or cold are applied, having a profound effect on the balance of a drink,” he says. “Heat is a really volatile variable. The best advice I can give is to maintain consistency in how you’re making something. Make sure you’re working with the same temperatures, machines, and so on. Hot drinks go wrong when you get cavalier with your methods.” Andrea Hoover, Beverage Operations Manager for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, stresses that a little scientific knowledge can prevent a lot of trouble. “It’s important to know that different spirits have varying flash points and degrees at which they catch fire. Do some research online beforehand, or in cookbooks and related websites,” she says. January 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Hot Cocktails

Hot Zombie

When serving warm cocktails, heat the glassware first so the cocktail has no opportunity to be cold.

½ oz Lime juice 1 oz Pineapple juice ¼ oz Passion fruit puree ½ oz Demerara syrup 2 oz Aged Puerto Rican rum Bring to a boil in hot pot. Pour into a grog cup. Garnish with a pat of butter and two dashes of absinthe. Ronrico Rum, 1941, Submitted by Brian Miller, The Polynesian

Jiang Cha

Build in a ceramic cup starting with two ginger peels. Add in honey, lemon juice, ginger liqueur, rum. Pour in pu-erh tea. Garnish with three goji berries, thin sliced lemon wedge, and dust of cinnamon. Shawn Chen, Red Farm & Decoy,

Bar Moxy’s Mulled Wine 1 Bottle of red wine 1½ c Apple cider 4 tbs Sugar 1 Orange, sliced 5 Small slices of fresh ginger 3 Cinnamon sticks 1 Cardamom pod 10 Cloves 1 Star anise ½ tsp of Nutmeg Combine everything except wine and let it simmer in a pot for 15 minutes. Add wine and bring to slow boil for 10 minutes. Serve warm in a wine glass. Garnish with orange twist and cinnamon stick. 32

Bar Business Magazine

“I like to utilize a coffee-warming vessel (i.e., for an individual mug that people use at their desk) to warm bottles at a low temperature. In terms of mixing, I always try to heat the glassware first so that the cocktail has no opportunity to be cold.” Schramm agrees. “The beautiful mug used to serve the cocktail will undoubtedly add to the experience of drinking, but it takes quite a bit of energy to heat that glass or clay to the same temperature as the liquid inside it,” he says. “This translates to a lukewarm drink instead of one served piping hot. An electric kettle should live next to the station producing hot drinks so that boiling water can be used to rinse and heat the interior of the mugs before any drinks are served.” While the most common way to prepare a hot drink is to add a room temperature spirit to a warmed mug, then top with the rest of the heated ingredients, Schramm says this method works better for home bartending. For a bar setting or a party, he advises batching the drink with the spirit and dilution included, then hold it in a glass or plastic vessel in a sous vide bath. “At Existing Conditions, we will use a slightly more high-tech approach that was pioneered by Dave Arnold at Booker and Dax,” says Schramm. “Dave’s Red Hot Pokers lend beautiful caramelized flavor, enhanced aromas, and surprising lightness to over-proof, spirit-driven cocktails and have the added benefit of

putting on quite the show behind the bar.” Miller recommends using hot pots to add water to the cocktail, rather than trying to heat the alcohol up, to maintain the integrity of the drink. As for the order of ingredients, Chen suggests adding the citrus last to a warm cocktail as the acid might change the overall flavor if it’s added early on. He also suggests adding the liquor last. And above all, avoid overheating the cocktail because then you lose all the flavor. Invested in Vessels What you serve the drink in matters as much as what’s in the drink. Chen likes a sturdy, large earthenware mug made with enough heft to keep a drink warm for a leisurely sipping experience. He lets the theme of the drink drive his serving pieces, as long as the vessel is safe and insulated. “If I want to create a warm cocktail with tea as the central ingredient, then I would use a traditional Chinese ceramic tea cup instead of basic glassware for a better visual presentation and overall aesthetic,” he says. McCutcheon opts for familiar doublewalled glasses, snifters, and glass Irish Coffee mugs, which she feels are the most visually appealing as well as the safest. For the perfect finish, she recommends a microplane for grating spices such as fresh nutmeg or chocolate. Warming Flavors “Whatever ingredients you’re working

January 2019

Photo: Jack Schramm, Existing Conditions.

1 oz Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum ¼ oz Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur ¼ oz Blossom honey ¼ oz Lemon juice 2-inch Thin sliced ginger peels 4 oz Hot brewed pu-erh tea

Hot Cocktails with should be the bridge and support of the spirit you’ve already chosen,” says Hoover. “You can choose between the routes of isolating complementary flavors and selecting overlapping flavors. For instance, picking ingredients that have no likeness to create complexity, or choosing a particular flavor bomb route.” Attaining a balanced recipe requires a few steps, as does spotlighting unconventional ingredients that will surprise and delight the adventurous customer. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, for example, looks at common sense ingredient substitutions for hot drinks. “As citrus is not often used in hot cocktails, we replace the acid with amaro, bitters, or saline,” says Hoover. McCutcheon recommends starting by exploring what flavors and ingredients will work well together conceptually. “You can always revamp a classic by using different but complementary flavor profiles,” she says. “Once you’ve worked out the logistics of your vision, make the cocktail. Make sure taste and

execution are to your expectation before the drink makes it on the menu.” “I’m a big fan of the ‘sick boy’ cocktail, or anything that would make you feel better when you’re sick,” says Neumueller, who likes aquavit and aloe vera as his unexpected ingredients of choice. “Anything in the realm of potable Vicks VapoRub or Tiger Balm is my jam. And coffee and tea without a doubt. “Go out to coffee houses and tea houses. Introduce your palate to traditional hot drinks,” continues Neumueller. “Source good non-alcoholic ingredients with the same passion you would spirits. Spend some time in the kitchen and learn how ingredients respond to heat and traditional cooking methods. For example: raw sweet potatoes are starchy garbage. However, if you roast them, they’re delightful.” Miller likes honey, bitters, butter, rum, and affirms absinthe is great for adding depth and character to a hot drink. Chen favors herbaceous liqueur, citrus, and baking spices. He adds that full-

flavored and full-bodied ingredients like Oloroso Sherry; Pedro Ximenez Sherry; Madeira; Chartreuse; high-ester, maximum-funk rums from Jamaica and Haiti; and fruit distillates, like Calvados, all lend themselves beautifully to a hot serve. “A high-proof rye or sake might help make the unexpected ingredient totally work as a heated cocktail,” says Chen. “In Japanese cuisine, sake is often used to marinate various ingredients including mushrooms. Therefore, I think the two are going to be a match made in heaven when combined in a heated cocktail with just the right balance of sweet and savory.” Schramm reaches for ester-driven sugar cane distillates, like Clairin from Haiti and Batavia Arrack from Indonesia, which he says have a beautiful grassy, sticky, unctuousness that jumps out of the mug when heated. “Steam from the mug will wash over the face of the drinker on the first sip, bathing them in tropical funk,” he says. With so much inspiration, these are all ideas worth raising a toast to.

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2 2/16/18 11:51 AM 34 BB_NewsletterAd_HalfHorizontal_B.indd Bar Business Magazine January 2019


Negotiating Strategies

for Reducing Rental Rates

By Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach

How to lower the rental rate on your commercial lease.


Bar Business Magazine

justifiably want to maximize the return on their real estate investments, which is entirely acceptable. Here are eight strategies for lowering the rental rate on commercial leases: 1. Talk with other tenants in the building You can learn a lot about the landlord’s property management practices, how tenants are treated, how approachable the landlord is, and so on by approaching current tenants. Tenants will often tell you whether they plan to stay or move, if their rent is excessive, and other inside information only existing tenants know about. 2. Shop around Even if you’re in love with one property, conspicuously seek out other options as it pays to create competition for your tenancy among several landlords in one geographical area. Leasing agents and landlords will often soften on asking rental rates when they realize you have

sought out leasing options. Remember that you are the customer. Don’t hand the landlord your tenancy on a silver platter—make him/her earn it. 3. Let the landlord make the first offer It’s much easier to negotiate when you see the business terms on paper. Suggest that the leasing agent or landlord e-mail you the Offer To Lease. Typically the deal will never get worse than the first Offer or Proposal presented so you can measure your negotiating progress by comparing where the deal started and where it finished. Frequently, the first Offer is padded with room for negotiation—so never accept the first Offer outright. 4. Flinch No matter what rental rate you’re offered, flinch a little. Act surprised that the rent is so high. Frequently, the agent’s first offer is made to test you in order to see exactly how you react. If you look visibly

January 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ Roman Samborskyi.


ar tenants should not be afraid to negotiate assertively on the rental rate. So why do bar tenants have such difficulty in this area? Frequently, the answer is a simple unawareness of market rental rates (or the “going rate”) in an area. Let us explain. Suppose the leasing agent or landlord wants you to pay $25 per square foot on new lease space (or even on a lease renewal). However, you know that every other tenant in the building is paying rent ranging from $18 to $20 per square foot. Armed with this information, you would have no difficulty justifying your negotiations would you? Bar tenants often mistakenly believe that the agent or landlord wouldn’t dare ask for more rent than the space is worth. Consider, however, that the landlord is paying the leasing agent commission not just to lease the space but to lease it for the highest rent possible—and to the best tenant available. Commercial landlords

Leasing relieved or even pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the rental rate is, you can be sure it won’t come down. 5. Ask for justification Question what other tenants are paying, specifically those who have recently moved in or renewed their leases. This is called the prevailing rate. When you learn that a tenant is paying $25 per square foot, don’t stop asking questions there. Inquire about the incentives they received. How many months of free rent or how much tenant allowance money did the landlord give the tenant so they would agree to pay $25 per square foot? 6. Wait to make a counteroffer When you receive the leasing agent’s first Offer to Lease (or lease proposal) don’t make a counteroffer right away. If you have no fear that the space will be leased to someone else, it can often work to your advantage to wait a few days. Even let the allocated response time lapse so you can make a

counteroffer on your terms. Agents know that tenants can be influenced by artificial deadlines that are just that— artificial. When making your counteroffer, you can do so by way of a separate letter stating your terms, or by changing the original document, initialing the changes, signing it, and sending it back. 7. Walk away from the negotiating table If, after receiving the landlord’s most recent counteroffer, you determine the terms will still not work for you, advise the landlord or their agent you are going to take some time to consider it further or explore other options. We have effectively done this for our clients and seen the rental rate drop by more than $10 per square foot from the landlord’s original asking price. 8. Offset the rent with other incentives Sometimes the landlord won’t budge on

STRAIGHT TO YOUR PHONE BB_NewsletterAd_HalfHorizontal_B.indd 1

the rental rate. This is not the end of your negotiations. Frequently, the landlord will concede other incentives such as free rent or more tenant allowance dollars in order to achieve his/her rental goals. If you can’t bring the rent down, can you get the incentives increased instead?

Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Dale and Jeff are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES. (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, e-mail or visit For a complimentary copy of our CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please email

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January 2019

2/16/18 11:51 AM

Bar Business Magazine


Inventory Cruzan® Rum Supports Island Spirit Fund

Cruzan® Hurricane Proof™ Rum

Cruzan® Rum launches Cruzan® Hurricane Proof™ Rum as the newest addition to its portfolio. Bottled at 137 proof in acknowledgement of the wind speeds of the category 5 hurricane that swept through the brand’s home island of St. Croix last year, Cruzan Hurricane Proof offers a clean and smooth flavor profile due to the low levels of fusel oils with which this rum is crafted. As part of Cruzan’s dedication to contributing to the Island Spirit Fund, of which Cruzan is a founding sponsor, Cruzan will donate $1 to the Fund for each case of this rum sold, meaning every bottle purchased will provide aid and support to communities adversely impacted by hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and across the United States. “We’re proud to introduce Cruzan Hurricane Proof just in time for the giving season as a way to drink well and give back,” said Gary Nelthropp, Cruzan Rum’s Master Distiller.

Sesiòn Premium Tequila Debuts in U.S. Sesiòn Premium Tequila

Founded in Australia in 2015, Sesión Premium Tequila will launch in the U.S. with three flavors: Mocha, Blanco, and Reposado. The premium, 100% blue agave tequila was created by the oldest dynasty of tequila producers, the Beckmann Family, which boasts over eight generations of tequila distilling experience in Jalisco, Mexico. Sesión is produced by Tierra de Agaves, one of Mexico’s most revered tequila distilleries, which sits amidst a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Created under the discretion of Master Distiller Francisco Quijanio and Master Agave Farmer Jose Fernandez, the Sesión portfolio features a variety of flavors for all palates. Sesión Mocha has a unique pairing of a chocolate fondant, biscuit, bread dough, dark roasted coffee, and roasted agave nose, and a dark chocolate, cold brew, creamy mouth-feel. Sesión Blanco features a creamy vegetal nose of green peppers and grass with a faint hint of green pineapple and a robust mineral start. It has a long, light spiced finish underscored by elements of white pepper on the palate. Sesión Reposado boasts aromas of butterscotch, green banana, and gingerbread, with touches of cooked agave, while vanilla and baked orchard fruits remain in the mouth with a long, warm spiced finish.

Keg Handling Made Easier Lift’n Buddy Keg Lifter

Lightweight, compact, and extremely maneuverable, the Lift’n Buddy Keg Lifter from Retail Handling Solutions improves productivity and reduces the risk of injury in a wide range of keg-handling applications. The Keg Lifter is as simple to use as a conventional two-wheel hand truck but provides the added benefit of powered lifting. In operation, a worker wheels the Keg Lifter up to a keg until its sturdy lifting bracket positively engages the keg’s top handle. The bracket design ensures the keg is held securely in place while lifting, lowering, and transporting. Lift controls are mounted to the drive/steer handle and can be easily operated. The unique wheel and caster configuration of the Keg Lifter allows it to be moved in two ways: tilted back like a conventional two-wheel hand truck or maneuvered with all four wheels on the ground. The Keg Lifter is freestanding even when loaded and lifted. The lift motor provides ample power for a full shift’s use. A 110V battery charger is included. The Keg Lifter works with a variety of keg sizes and styles.


Bar Business Magazine

January 2019


Putting Armenia Back on the World Spirits Map

A Sparkling New Choice for HealthConscious Consumers

Flaviar and Alexis Ohanian have launched Shakmat, an Armenian brandy made in collaboration with Reddit & Initialized Capital Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian. Shakmat, which means “chess” in Armenian, is an XO-blended Armenian brandy that honors two of Armenia’s most beloved traditions: playing chess and enjoying Konyak (in Armenia, Armenian brandy is referred to as Konyak). With Shakmat, Flaviar and Ohanian aim to raise awareness of Armenian brandy and the country’s rich culture, while also giving something back to a country in need (a portion of the proceeds from Shakmat will go to the non-profit Armenia Tree Project for its reforestation initiative). Shakmat uses only indigenous grape varieties and is produced using a continuous column still and a double distillation process using French alembic stills. Maturation occurs in casks made from the Caucasian oak and imparts flavors of dried fruits, nuts and spices, plums, raisins, walnuts and cloves, as well as enjoying rich molasses, tobacco, and vanilla notes, which are typical of a traditional Armenian Konyak.

Strongbow® Hard Ciders, the #1 global cider brand, debuts 100 Cal Slim Cans, a 12-can variety pack with three, 8.5oz flavors containing just 100 calories each. Strongbow 100 Cal Slim Cans are positioned at the intersection of cider, canned wine, and hard seltzer to offer a crisp alternative that will appeal to the growing enthusiasm for wellbeing and light refreshment. The variety pack contains Strongbow’s newest flavor, Dry Pear, a mildly sweet pear-apple cider with a light, dry finish, along with Rosé Apple and the relaunched Original Dry.


Strongbow® 100-Cal Slim Cans



Orbium Arrives to the U.S. Market Hendrick’s Gin Orbium

Hendrick’s Gin expands its taste continuum with a limited-edition US arrival known as Orbium. Orbium is distilled in exceedingly small batches and has a limited window of existence. A reinterpretation of the rounded house style of the original Hendrick’s Gin, Orbium is instilled with additional extracts of quinine, wormwood, and lotus blossom, and has a curiously exquisite flavor that sits roundly on the palate. Created by its Master Distiller Lesley Gracie, Orbium contains the same distillates as traditional Hendrick’s Gin but is also infused with flavors that are traditionally associated with classic gin libations—quinine found in tonic (G&T) and wormwood found in Vermouth (martinis). The addition of lotus blossom exquisitely balances the overall flavor, and the trinity of these essences combines to create a complex gin with surprising brightness and a finish that is uncommonly long. The result is an unfamiliar taste that is peculiarly familiar in character, designed to open previously unexplored dimensions of gin as it spirals from floral into an altogether deeper and alluringly bitter place.

January 2019

Bar Business Magazine




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ATTEND. CONNECT. EXPERIENCE. Exhibits | Tastings | Education | Master Classes Business Meetings | Special Events

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January 2019 Bar Business Magazine


Q&A with Jason Shullo


What led you to work in the hospitality industry?

Growing up, I always thought that I wanted to be a chef, but I began bartending when I was in college and loved getting the opportunity to connect with so many new faces. Being able to meet people in a casual environment has really kept me in the business and some of my best memories have come from sitting around a dinner table with an engaging group of people over a nice glass of wine. I was lucky enough to start working in an industry that I had a passion for at a young age, and I figured I’d better make a career out of it.


When creating beverage programs, how do you choose/ create drinks that are the right fit for each establishment?

Corporate Director of Beverage for Golden Entertainment, Inc.


ason Shullo, an experienced beverage professional, mixologist, and Certified Sommelier, joined Golden Entertainment as corporate director of beverage in 2018. Shullo works with Golden Entertainment’s broad scope of hotel-casinos and taverns, including the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower on the Las Vegas Strip, The Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, and PT’s Entertainment Group’s portfolio of taverns. At Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower’s celebrated restaurant, Top of the World Restaurant, Shullo develops craft cocktails in a variety of complexities, whereas for the taverns, he develops simple, fun, and refreshing beverages. Shullo began his career training with William Sherer at Aureole Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Prior to joining Golden Entertainment, he was national beverage director for The ONE Group’s STK Restaurants.


Bar Business Magazine

The clientele varies greatly between each of Golden Entertainment’s properties, but I’ve served all different types of people throughout my years in the wine and spirits industry and have the experience to determine what will likely work for each audience. For the most part, I like to keep things simple and avoid overcomplicating drinks. I enjoy taking classic cocktails that people have enjoyed for years and introducing a twist or flavor combination that they haven’t had before. Developing new ways to spice up the beverage programs at each establishment keeps my job fast-paced and exciting.


Tell me about Top of the World’s beverage program.

My goal is to create menus that are approachable but also pique guests’ interest to try something new. While Top of the World is an upscale restaurant, I always keep our cocktail menus fresh with recognizable classics for guests. I also work with our executive chef to recognize opportunities where I can take advantage of culinary pairings with spirits and wine to enhance our guest experience.


How often do you change the menu at Top of the World?

In Las Vegas, it often feels like there are only two seasons—hot and cold. We have changed the menu twice this year (2018) and we are always trying to incorporate our take on seasonal specials that people have grown to love.


What are some common missteps you see made on beverage programs? Many beverage programs focus on filling up the back bars and tend to overcomplicate the selections that are offered, which is an easy thing to do in the industry today. There is such a large array of products that are being produced and many programs try to offer as many options as possible, which can keep them from being efficient and running smoothly.


What are some strategies that commonly lead to success?

Success comes from doing what is right for your customer base. If you are taking care of the customer first, then you can’t go wrong. There will always be a time to let the creativity flow and fine-tune all of the details, but focusing on doing the basics well is key to an exceptional beverage program.


What are some drink and/or ingredient trends you’re currently seeing in the bar industry? It’s been nice to see beer being brought into cocktails more often lately. The craft beer scene has been expanding greatly over the last few years and there are so many varieties of local and regional beers that lend themselves well to being an ingredient in cocktails.


Any advice on putting together a successful beverage program?

I recommend that beverage directors and bar managers not only listen to their guests, but also get input from their team. A director or manager doesn’t always get to be face-to-face with their guests so it’s important to consult with their team on the decisions being made.

January 2019


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BAR BUSINESS MAGAZINE provides nightclub and bar owners, operators, and managers the chance to find out what is going on in the industry, and more importantly, how to benefit from it all. Each issue includes our signature “how-to” columns with detailed, step-by-step instructions on various ways to improve your business through aesthetic alterations, managerial practices, marketing strategies, and more.