Page 1

Time for Tequila:

Take another look at the tasty terrain of the tequila category

The How-To Publication

BAR BUSINE$$ March 2014


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The latest edition of our bi-monthly section for digital issues only, where we provide a collection of cocktail recipes for mixologists.

We take a curious look into some of the more unusual technologies that could make their way outside of the box and into the bar.

If you don’t have a staff full of employees who are engaged with their workplace, you’re not maximizing your bar’s true potential.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014



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On Tap



15 12 liquid assets The growing popularization of tequila brings with it both amazing opportunities and distinct pitfalls, but either way, it can not be denied as an on-premise must-have today.

44 big six

Departments 6 bar room drawl 8 booze news Tanduay™ Asian Rum launches on-premise infusions; City Winery expands coast to coast; Bad Ass Beer app for brew lovers; A local leaves a legacy with Bacardi.

Thanks to an impressive $140 million hotel renovation, some amazing spirits and wines are being unleashed at a New York City venue aptly known as Rarities.

Features 30 Fear no beer Craft beer continues to grow business across the nation, so we spoke with some brewers on the best ways to “bring it” on-premise in 2014.

38 changing times We look at the possibility that the automatic gratuity could become a thing of the past, and Bob Johnson takes us into the past to talk about bartending “back in his day.”


48 inventory 50 holiday happenings 52 supply spotlight The U.S. government dips its spoon into the beer, wine, and spirits business in the form of state taxes, but do you know just how much is going out to Big Brother?

38 “Bar Business Magazine” (ISSN 1944-7531 [print], ISSN 2161-5071 [digital]) (USPS# 000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, & December for $45.00 per year and January, March, May, July, September, & November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman, 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. Copyright © 2014 Simmons-Boardman. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any fashion without the expressed written consent of Simmons-Boardman. Qualified U.S. bar owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified U.S. 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 and 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 each. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. For Subscriptions, address changes, and adjustments, write to: Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 10, Omaha, NE 68101-0010. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled crafts people with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all reader to exercise care when engaging in any o 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. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 10, Omaha, NE 68101-0010.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

Bar Room Drawl By Chris Ytuarte editor-in-Chief

A Gut Punch from Nevada "Zure osasun ona topa. Dezagun edan!!” — "Toast to your good health. Let's drink!" in the Basque language As you’re reading this, I’m likely packing my bags to spend a week in Las Vegas at the 2014 Nightclub & Bar Show, which is an important and exciting annual event. But I head to Sin City this year with a beef — that’s right, Nevada, we’ve got a problem. Crossing over the state line, I already feel disrespected, as both a spirits-centric magazine editor and a proud descendent of Basque heritage. On both levels, Nevada has disappointed me with some recent legislation. In May of 2013, Nevada Assemblyman William Horne (D-Las Vegas) proposed that a tradtional Basque beverage known as Picon Punch be named the official state drink in honor of the long history of the Basque people in Nevada. “There was a request for a need to have a state drink,” Horne told the Las Vegas Sun. “What better than the Picon Punch? It’s the only drink that I know of that has a Nevada tie. With the Basque culture, particularly in Northern Nevada, I thought it was appropriate that it be our state drink.” Bravo, Assemblyman Horne. Not only did you aim to recognize a proud culture within your state, you wanted to do so with a tasty cocktail. From this Bar Business editor’s Basque standpoint, there couldn’t be a better fit. 6

Bar Business Magazine March 2014

But a few weeks later, Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas) and a majority of his fellow voters effectively killed Senate Bill 436, which contained an amendment that pushed Picon Punch as the state drink. According to Las Vegas Review Journal, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, president of the Senate, said that all 21 members voted to reject the bill, sending it back to the Assembly for removal of the Punch amendment. I’m offended by this fiasco on two fronts: the lack of recognition of the Basque people, and the lack of recognition of a delicious cocktail! But who knows more about the true value of Picon Punch — some Nevada senator, or Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, annually named one of the best cocktail bars in America? "The most underrated drink is one of the great traditions of the California and Nevada Basque communities, the Picon Punch,” Cate recently told Thrillist. “Enjoyed with locally made Torani Amer as it has been for over 70 years, or with the newly imported Bigallet ChinaChina Amer, it's a refreshing, yet bitter aperitif, and perfect on a hot Bakersfield afternoon before a giant Basque dinner." As a Basque, I feel slighted by the Nevada decision to ignore Picon Punch; but as Bar Business Magazine’s editor, I feel fortified by Martin Cate’s take. So I’ll head to Nevada knowing that Picon Punch is being properly recognized by the right people. And I’m ok with that, for now. Of course, Nevada state lawmakers also killed a bill earlier in 2013 that would’ve made the Blue Weimaraner the state dog. Ok, Nevada. We've got a problem.


March 2014, Vol. 7, No. 3 Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004 executive offices

President and Publisher Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Associate Publisher Arthur J. Sutley 212-620-7200; fax: 212-633-1863 editorial

Editor-in-Chief Chris Ytuarte 212-620-7223; fax: 212-633-1863 art

Creative Director Wendy Williams Art Director Sarah Vogwill production

Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers circulation

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney advertising sales

Art Sutley 212-620-7247; fax: 212-633-1863 circulation department

800-895-4389 Bar Business Magazine is published monthly. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To Purchase PDF files of covers, layouts or hard copy reprints, please call Art Sutley at 212-620-7247 or email

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Booze News Tanduay™ Asian Rum Launches Infusion Program at OnPremise Accounts


anduay Asian Rum recently announced its infusion program, now being offered to on-premise accounts in the Connecticut and Southern Florida regions. The nine infusions feature flavorful ingredients using both Tanduay expressions—Silver and Gold—and are each accompanied with an original cocktail recipe. “Tanduay’s infusion jars cut the work for a bartender or server in half,” commented Steve Raye, Managing Partner of Brand Action Team, Tanduay marketing/PR agency of record. “They’re easy to make, easier to pour and serve as an eye-catching extra to any display or backbar that’s sure to capture the attention of guests.” Founded in the Philippines in 1854, Tanduay is the 2nd largest rum producer in the world, manufacturing over 18 million cases. Tanduay boasts a multitude of accolades for its high quality rums, which have been perfected through a tradition of masterful blending established nearly 160 years ago. Tanduay Asian Rum is now available in the U.S.—in Connecticut and South Florida—in two expressions: Tanduay Silver and Tanduay Gold. The rums are produced by Tanduay Distillers, Inc., a wholly owned and operated division of the LT Group. Two of the most popular infusion flavors are Apple/ Cinnamon, using Tanduay Gold Asian Rum, and Pear/ Lemongrass, with Tanduay’s Silver expression.



• Four 750 ml bottles of Tanduay Asian Gold Rum • 6 Gala apples, cored and cut into small pieces • 2 cinnamon sticks

• Four 750 ml bottles of Tanduay Asian Silver Rum • 6 Asian pears, cored and cut into small pieces • 4 lemongrass stalks, cut into ½ - inch pieces

Combine Tanduay, apple and cinnamon sticks in an airtight container and shake well. Store in a cool, dark place and agitate the infusion every 24 hours. Infusion should be ready in 5 to 6 days.

Combine Tanduay, pear and lemongrass in an airtight container and shake well. Store in a cool, dark place and agitate the infusion every 24 hours. Infusion should be ready in 5 to 6 days.


BarBar Business Business Magazine MagazineMarch March 2014 2014

City Winery empire expands Coast to Coast City Winery, Manhattan and Chicago’s first fully functional winery, restaurant and music venue of its kind, is set to expand its concept to two new locations in 2014, with two additional locations targeted in 2015. CEO and founder Michael Dorf, the music venue savant behind concert venue Knitting Factory, will add wine mecca Napa Valley and country music capitol Nashville to his portfolio, with more expansion announcements to come later this year. City Winery’s financial and critical success is largely due to Dorf’s understanding of today’s concert-going audiences. There is tremendous desire for a luxe, yet effortless, nightlife experience. Dorf has met these demands by creating the ultimate marriage of wine and music for a sophisticated and high-end client base. The unique venue has attracted some of music’s most iconic performers such as Prince, Patti Smith and David Crosby, each able to truly connect with the audience in an intimate setting. Dorf has combined several complementary revenue streams under one roof, from retail programs, wine programs, private event business, performances, and food and beverage. A multitude of memberships are available, including the popular barrel program for the astute wine consumer who wants to call a bottle their own. From selecting the grapes, to crushing, barreling, corking, bottling and labeling, members indulge in

the app every Beer Lover (and Bar owner) Has Been Waiting For


he “Bad Ass Beer App,” a new app that promises to brew a great partnership between beer lovers and the establishments that love them, launched in January. Available for iPhone and Android, the Bad Ass Beer App provides hops aficionados with real-time beer lists for their local bars and brewpubs, as well as the option to join local beer clubs to help socialize with other beer drinkers, log stats and tasting charts and best of all, earn special rewards like discounts and other offers for participating in the clubs. Bar owners and beer makers can use the app to create rewards programs, communicate with their local customers in real-time and incentivize their prime demographic. It’s available through iTunes, Google Play and at “This is the only Smartphone App in the craft beer industry that rewards users for drinking beer,” said Carlo Martini, founder of Bad Ass Beer App. “Bar owners can instantly deploy our platform and create an interactive loyalty program or ‘beer club.’ Most other apps track beers and promote sharing (which we do as well) but none of them truly provide a vehicle to earn something tangible back. Perhaps

the ultimate personalized and urban wine making experience. Also available for purchase is City Winery’s premier venue membership, the VinoFile. For a small annual fee, members are offered a 48-hour advance notice to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, no additional service fees, as well as the ability to reserve their favorite table based on previous seating requests. In addition, VinoFile offers suggestions on wines from their expert virtual wine sommelier. Each suggestion is tailored to the members preferences. This spring, City Winery will name the historical Napa Valley Opera House its West coast home. The landmark, which dates back to the 1880’s, making it the oldest music venue in Napa, will be extensively remodeled into Dorf’s vision, which will include a 90-seat restaurant, 30-seat patio overlooking Napa River, and concert hall for 300. By fall, the empire will open its fourth location in the heartland of country music. A 30,000-square-foot warehouse in downtown Nashville will house a 350-seat music venue, 150-capacity restaurant, and winery. “Nashville is the perfect mix of a burgeoning food scene, deep music culture and hungry demographic looking for a higherend entertainment option,” Dorf said.

most importantly, our app allows bar owners to send out notifications directly to beer club members through the app. Notifications can be used to promote upcoming events, notify craft beer lovers of a new beer that's just been tapped, or communicate specials and discounts.” Reading descriptions of every single beer on tap at the local watering hole, users will also be able to see reviews from other beer lovers, track which beers they’ve had, and even create a "favorites" list to help keep track of what they like. Upon joining the beer clubs at local bars and breweries, users will earn rewards for drinking beer, see how they rank against other beer drinkers, see what beers are on tap, and know who's at the bar before they even get there. With stats and rankings, users will see how they’re progressing for each beer club joined and how they stack up against others.

March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


Booze News Leaving a Legacy


That’s the Way to Go According to a recent report in The New York Post, some folks still know how to send a friend off to the next life in proper fashion. Local resident Jim Lehr, who unfortunately passed away at age 58, was feted by friends and family at a funeral held in the All Around Bar in Taylor, Michigan, where Lehr had worked and been a loyal customer. His casket was placed on the dance floor, flowers on the bar, and his buddies threw a few games of darts in his honor. “This was his home,” said All Around Bar co-owner Dave Karlson. Welcome home, Jim.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

aomi Levy started in the Maryland restaurant industry at 17, where she quickly became attracted to the pace and excitement of the bar scene. After a year of working the restaurant floor, she finally found herself tending bar, which sparked a passion for craft cocktails. Fast-forward to 2014. Bacardi Rum’s search for the next classic cocktail came one step closer after last month’s USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase Finals, in which Boston native Levy, with her “Guayaba Arabica” cocktail inspired by the legacies of the Bacardi family and her own, was named winner of the Unites States qualifying showcase. Each cocktail was judged on their balance, flavor, quality of ingredients and aesthetic appeal, as well as their enduring popularity and story behind them. Levy will represent the United States during the Global Finals in Moscow in May to compete against global winners from the United Kingdom, Africa, European Union and Asia. For the past four years, Levy has received invaluable learning opportunities under Jackson Cannon at the Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks in Boston, Massachusetts. She co-ran the Boston Bartender’s Collaborative in 2011, putting on bi-weekly educational seminars and round table discussions for the Boston bar community. In 2012, Levy was selected to be a part of the Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Program and has furthered her bar education through BarSmarts, where she sat atop of her class, with plans to do the BAR 5-day program later this year. Levy’s cocktails are often culinary-driven, coupled with a personal touch. She sets out to create a balanced cocktail and then adds in ingredients from her childhood to make her personal statement. Levy’s recipes typically include a variety of unique and exotic flavors, which she credits to her parents diverse backgrounds. Inspired by the cross-cultural connections of the Bacardi legacy and Naomi’s heritage, Guayaba Arabica combines the flavors reminiscent of Cuba and her heritage in Israel.

2014 U.S. Finalist Legacy Cocktail Guayaba Arabica 1½ part BACARDI Superior 1 part Boiron Pink Guava Puree ¾ part coffee-scented simple syrup ½ part lime juice 5 cilantro leaves Pinch salt Grated espresso bean (for garnish) In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients, add ice, and shake. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the grated espresso bean.

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Liquid Assets

Tequila Rising

Have a good look at the state of the tequila market, and it won’t take long to figure out why you need to be adding some agave goodness to your cocktail menu sooner than later. By Deborah Harris


ith demand having nearly tripled since 1995, tequila generates approximately $1.6 billion in revenue through the production and sale of 250 to 300 million liters of the spirit per year. The United States accounts for the largest segment of all tequila exports, importing a recorded 12 million 9-liter cases in 2012 (according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States). The consumption of tequila surpassed Scotch by 27 million liters and is steadily gaining on vodka. The popularization of this spirit brings with it both amazing opportunities and distinct pitfalls. An industry review conducted by the Distilled Spirits Council found the Super Premium spirits category has skyrocketed across the board, doubling its sales over the past decade. With a more discerning and educated


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

audience, as the interest in tequila grows, so does the desire to obtain excellent spirits. On the flip side, with this unprecedented increase in demand, quality is at times being compromised, and the saturated market can be difficult to navigate. Interestingly enough, there have existed many noteworthy tequilas for generations, and new labels of the highest quality are hitting the market with increasing frequency. Passionate tequila aficionados are importing small-batch, artisanal-quality tequilas in an effort to elevate the spirit and preserve its traditions. Tequila, like Scotch, Champagne and Cognac, is subject to strict regulations and steeped in decades of family tradition. Thousands of people work cultivating and distilling tequila in the rolling hills and valleys of the

Tequila is cultivated in the Jalisco region of Mexico.

Jalisco region. Some larger producers embrace high-tech methods; imposing stainless steel equipment, automated shredders, high-pressure autoclaves and carbon monoxide controlled column stills for fermentation and distillation. Others, such as Suerte, embrace centuriesold tequila making techniques: Jimadors handharvesting agave from the desert landscape in the shadows of Tequila Volcano, slowly pressing the juice out of the sweet heart of the baked pina with a tahona while men in rubber boots separate the tough fibers from the chocolaty brown liqueur. Is one superior to the other? Some may say, while not efficient, the later produces a far more nuanced product. But as demand exceeds the ability to hand-cultivate every bottle of tequila, rest assured all bottles must, in the least, meet the standards set by the government of Mexico and will serve to satisfy their own niche. It is most important, however, to know what you are getting and how best to serve it.

The Types Following cultivation, tequila is distilled in pot stills to 110 proof. After distillation, each of the four types (tipos) will undergo a predetermined and regulated aging process. Blanco tequilas are aged no more than 60 days in stainless steel tanks, presenting crisp citrus and mineral notes. Gold (Joven) tequila is un-aged blanco tequila that has been colored and flavored. Gold tequilas are generally blends (mixtos) and are often sweeter. Reposados are aged for a minimum of two months, while Añejo tequila is enhanced by extended mellowing of at least one year. Both offer butterscotch, fruit and oak tones from barrel aging. Finally, Extra Añejo is aged for a minimum of three years in no larger than 600-liter oak casks. Extra Añejo tequila presents the most depth, with resounding vanilla and spice notes and a rich, creamy body. Keep in mind, not all tequila is 100% agave. Mexican law only requires tequila contain 51% agave. These mixto tequilas will be blended with sugar and water during distillation. If a label does not state “100% agave” then the spirit is a blend.


n a market saturated (pardon the pun) with competition, we have targeted some compelling and influential brands. These passionate companies have brought noteworthy spirits to the table, telling the story of tequila in the 21st century.

The ORganic 123 Organic Tequila was born of founder David Ravandi’s desire to, “create a brand specifically with wine enthusiasts in mind.” Artisanal, small-batch tequilas, reminiscent of rare vintages, capturing, as he imparts, “delicate floral aromas and complex mineral flavors.” Knowing that a spirit begins in the ground, David paid close attention to the terroir aspects of farming, viewing the cultivation of agave much like that of delicate grapes. “Ideal conditions for agave include average temperatures of around 80 degrees F and welldrained soils,” David imparts. “The flavor of the tequila has direct relationship to the terroir. The higher the terroir the more delicate flavors in your tequila.” 123 Organic takes elevation and soil seriously, growing the brand’s agave at altitudes above 4,800 feet and patiently cultivating well-aged pinas that create intensely aromatic, silky smooth and vibrant tequilas. Ravandi is also serious about sustainability, launching the only fully sustainable spirit in the world. 123 Organic Tequila is Certified Organic by the USDA and EU and utilizes soy inks, recycled paper labels and bottles fashioned from recycled glass.

The liqueuR After 20 years in production, one of the most unique tequila products on the market remains Tequila Rose Liqueur. With 137,000 Facebook fans and 42 countries of distribution, this spirit has established a loyal fan base. “The first tequila-based liqueur to compete with Baileys,” Patrick Fee of McCormick Distilling communicates, “Tequila Rose sources the highest quality ingredients, including a true dairy cream from the Netherlands.” A combination of strawberry cream liqueur and premium March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


Liquid Assets

123 ORganic Tequila Recipes Uno Colada

Uno Cobombro

1 1/2 oz Uno Blanco Tequila 2 oz coconut milk 4 oz fresh pineapple juice 1 tbs organic agave nectar Blend with lots of ice, garnish with slice of pineapple.

3 1/2 oz Uno Blanco Tequila 5 slices of seedless cucumbers 2 slices of lime 1 tsp organic agave nectar Muddle cucumbers, lime & agave nectar. Add tequlia & shake on the rocks. Strain & pour into a martini style glass.

tequila, this spirit was designed to be velvety smooth, luxurious and “easily drinkable.” “Skewed slightly towards the female demographic,” Fee states Tequila Rose is “ideal for both sipping and mixing…it is amazing in coffees and hot chocolates… and is easy to use.” The combination of alcohol and cream makes for a “versatile cocktail ingredient.” Fee continues, “Our company focuses on bartender-friendly cocktails when conceptualizing. Tequila Rose should make cocktail mixing quicker and easier.” And sexier. According to Fee, Tequila Rose was designed to have a sexy, sassy edge; from the sleek black bottle to the creamy stuff inside. Whatever the image, Tequila Rose has risen to the top, becoming the #1 selling strawberry cream liqueur globally.

The aRTisanal Tradition meets high-style with Suerte Tequila. Established in 2012, this award-winning single-estate spirit is derived from centuries-old distilling techniques. A smooth, refined tequila made from 100% Blue Weber agave and pure spring water, Suerte may be traditional in spirit but not in image. Contained in glass bottles paying homage to the legend of the 400 rabbits, Suerte commissioned tattoo artist Adam Jackson to create their edgy brand design, thus bringing tradition into the 21st century. How did Laurence Spiewak and Lance Sokol, two Colorado residents, end up in the tequila business? Passion, according to Spiewak, and one lucky (suerte) meeting with Master Distiller, Pedro Hernandez Barba. “From a distillation/production standpoint, Pedro Hernandez Barba is the essence behind our brand,” states Spiewak. “When Pedro decided to build the distillery... he spoke to several people in the industry (in the town of Atotonilco El Alto) about what methods were best. He chose to build a traditional brick oven for roasting his agave…and to build a traditional tahona for crushing the agave. He chose to slowly ferment with no accelerants in stainless tanks, and to double distill in pot stills.”


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

Suerte tequila is a nuanced product resulting from their Master Distiller’s nine years of research and development. From roasting the pinas at low temperatures, to a lengthy fermenting, resting and aging process, Suerte pays close attention to each detail, creating a tequila that is flavorful and smooth. “We’re committed to bringing the amazing tequila that Pedro produces to the U.S. for everyone to enjoy and afford,” communicates Spiewak. “We both feel strongly about the Mexican culture and tequila culture...where people commit their entire lives to the spirit.”

The Baja sTyle Hotel California is, as CEO Brian Whitney communicates, “a true labor of love.” Rooted in the tale of Don Antonio’s Mexican hotel, and inspired by the “rogue artists, existential travelers and passionate expatriates” who gather there, Hotel California is a tequila crafted to embody the Baja way of life. Unlike small-batch, single-estate spirits, several family farms cultivate agave for this tequila. Once the pinas are sourced, the liquor is fermented with a natural agave yeast, imparting a “floral nose and rich full-bodied flavor,” according to Brian. A double distillation removes organic impurities and bourbon barrel aging produces complex yet balanced tequilas. In line with the “Baja way of life,” Hotel California’s Master Distiller takes his time, as do the artisans who hand-cast each Hotel California bottle. As the Hotel California team imparts, this is “a fitting tribute to the people of Mexico and an honest expression of their most celebrated spirit.” With a rich history steeped in tradition, it is not surprising tequila is joining the ranks of revered sipping spirits. Catapulting to new heights, tequila will continue to push boundaries and gain momentum. What does this mean for bar owners, managers and bartenders alike? Relying on standards is no longer necessary when lesserknown distilleries elevate the spirit and offer incredible value. As Brian Whitney and Laurence Spiewak impart, tequila is a way of life. Start living!



Paco Martinez

Hotel Michelada

Created by: Jacob Hatty of Jimmy’s Aspen 2 oz Suerte Reposado 0.25 oz Luxardo Maraschino 0.25 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters Orange peel garnish Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice. Mix for 2 min with bar spoon. Strain and serve up in a martini glass or on a rock in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.

1 oz Hotel California blanco 12 oz dark mexican beer 2 oz lime juice 1 lime wedge rimming salt

Love Potion No.7


3 oz Suerte Reposado 1 oz Hibiscus Simple Syrup 0.5 oz fresh lime juice 0.25 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur Dash Rosewater Combine all ingredients in mixing glass. Add ice cubes. Mix with bar spoon for 2 min. Strain and serve up in cocktail or martini glass. Garnish with lime.

dash of tabasco® dash of Worcestershire

Rim 16 oz pint glass with lime and salt. Add ice. Combine lime juice with Blanco, Tabasco and Worcestershire in glass and stir. Add beer and some really good friends.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry 1 oz Tequila Rose 0.5 oz 360 Double Chocolate Vodka  Splash of half and half  Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Mix and serve. 

Adult Strawberry Milkshake

Sauza 901 RECIPE Wing Man 1 1/2 parts Sauza 901 Tequila 3/4 part lemon juice 1 part green tea syrup Serve over ice in rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

1.5 oz Tequila Rose 2 scoops vanilla ice cream  Blend and pour into glass. Top with strawberry wedge.

Cabo smoothie 2 oz of Hotel California anejo squeeze of lime 1/2 cup fresh mango 1/2 oz agave nectar 1/4 cup fresh avocado 1 cup of ice 3 oz fresh oj Toss it all in a blender and rev it up until smoothie smooth. Pour into a 20 oz bordeaux glass and continue being smooth. March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


How To:

Master Mixology


Cocktail Ideas for the On-premise Mixologist Every other month, via the digital edition of Bar Business Magazine, our MIXED UP column offers bartenders and consumers a collection of recipes for the modern mixologist to implement onpremise or off, across the spirits spectrum. So break out the bar tools and get to it! It may only be march, but May—and particularly the fifth day of that month—is right around the corner. And, February 22nd was National Margarita Day. So we’re stuck somewhere between the two, honoring our favorite tequila cocktail while preparing for Cinco de Mayo and all its blue agave beauty by concocting some delicious drinks for you mixologists (and wannabe mixologists) out there.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

Deb Harris has already taken us to tequila town in this month’s Liquid Assets column, so we now know everything we need to about this often misunderstood spirit category and all it can offer inside you inside the bottle. But now let’s look at some real-world applications that you can put into glasses between now and May 5th—because, after all, what’s a tequila without a few good Margaritas?

tradItIonally made with tequila, triple sec and lime juice, the Margarita is one of the nation’s most popular mixed drinks. Add a modern twist to the classic favorite and mix up one of these inventive recipes created with Tequila Avión, crafted using exceptional Avión Agave from the highest elevations in Jalisco, Mexico and voted the “World’s Best Tasting Tequila” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2012:

Blood Orange Margarita 1 1/2 parts Tequila Avión 3/4 part Cointreau Orange Liqueur 1 part blood orange juice 1/2 part fresh sour mix In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients with ice. Shake and strain; best served over fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist.

Rita Rioja 1 1/2 oz Tequila Avión Reposado 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice 3/4 oz simple syrup Fresh red pepper Cilantro

Spicy Sage Margarita 2 oz Tequila Avión Silver 3/4 oz jalapeño-infused elderflower liqueur 1/2 oz orange juice 1/4 oz lemon juice 1/2 oz lime juice 3/4 oz simple syrup 3 sage leaves 1 sage leaf and salt for garnish

Muddle a fresh red pepper and a few leaves of cilantro in a cocktail shaker. Add Tequila Avión Reposado, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Fill cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

Muddle sage in a shaker. Add all ingredients. Shake. Double strain. Pour over ice in saltrimmed glass. Garnish with sage leaf.

Elevated Margarita 2 parts Tequila Avión Silver or Reposado 1 part fresh lime juice 1/2 part agave nectar Combine ingredients in shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


How To: Suerte tequIla, co-founded by Colorado-based entrepreneurs Laurence Spiewak and Lance Sokol in 2012, is built out of a strong desire to offer consumers an authentic tequila while carefully pushing the boundaries of an industry steeped in tradition for a more progressive experience. Here are a few of their Margaritas:

Suerte Watermelon Margarita 2 oz Suerte Tequila Blanco 8 oz fresh watermelon juice 1 tbs agave nectar Juice of 1 lime Puree the watermelon if needed. Mix the tequila, watermelon juice, agave nectar and the lime juice together. Fill two rocks glasses with ice and pour the mixture into the glasses. Garnish with a watermelon wedge. d-LX-prt-BarBusiness-March2014-halfpgAd-v1.pdf



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Bar Business Magazine March 2014

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How To:

ew Embrace N On-premise Technolog y

2014: A Drink Odyssey

Welcome to a WorlD where little black boxes will make drinks at your table while beer bottles and pint glasses connect to the Internet, where printers create wine glasses and your drink keeps you off the phone. It looks to be an By chris Ytuarte interesting year in on-premise technology, so let’s plug-in.


ōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto, as the song goes. And in 2014, we will want to give thanks to some of the robotic technology making its way into the nightlife industry, most of which promises to foster very interesting (and often profitable) experiences on-premise—for both you and your customers.

Greetings, Monsieur Just looking at the names of certain new technologies can make you feel like you’re drinking at a Star Trek convention — RoboKeg, Offline Beer Glass, Flux Capacitor, Death Star ice cubes (ok, so perhaps it’s a Star Wars convention we’re getting tipsy at). And believe me, some of it is just


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

downright nerdy. But then we have the Monsieur. Sounds classy to me. “The idea came about several years ago when we were in a restaurant and we ordered some drinks and we waited a really long time for them,” explains Barry Givens, CEO and co-founder of Monsieur ( “So me and my roommate looked at each other, and both of us being engineers, we wondered why the servers couldn’t have machines in the back they could use to make drinks. But we found out that in restaurants and lounges—any place with tables—the drinks have to be made by the bartenders. And if the bar is packed, that means the whole restaurant is packed.

So we decided we wanted to create something that would assist the bartenders and servers in getting drinks out to tables and other areas of the venue a little faster.” And so, four months later, Monsieur was conceived. Dubbed “a robotic, artificially intelligent bartender that is programmed to mix more than 7,000 cocktails,” drinks are ready in 11 seconds, and the entire thing fits in a suitcase. The technology allows your customers to place drink orders via a Smart phone app or directly via touchscreen at the Monsieur kiosk if available on a venue floor, which is one of three options its inventors perceive. “We have various recommendations for use of Monsieur in a commercial space,” says Givens. “The first environment is more of a personal space or a small, private group environment. This would be something like a nightclub VIP section or an arena suite—a place where you’re more likely buying by the bottle than by the drink. In that scenario you can have Monsieur act as the bartender, since most of those settings don’t have their own personal bartender. “The second use scenario is a kiosk version, where it’s a pay-per-drink situation. We see this being really handy for environments where you have a large group or large space that you have to cover. The third usage scenario is behind the bar, and that’s really where we started with this idea. It can serve as an assistant to a real bartender, or it can be utilized by other employees—waiters and waitresses—as another option to get a drink made and not have to depend on the busy bartender.” Bar patrons partaking in the Monsieur experience on-premise would receive a wristband after being properly ID’ed at the door. Speical RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) embedded in the band allows the bar owner to monitor individual consumption based on pre-set criteria chosen by each venue (limited number of drinks per hour, amount of alcohol served per guest, etc.). “We take the responsible drinking side very seriously,” says Givens. “We’re jumping into a space that’s already heavy on the legal side and there’s a lot going on in today’s world: drunk driving, underage drinking, binge drinking. So we put a lot of focus on that area and being safe.” Monsieur’s overall service package, in addition to being a great on-premise marketing tool and customer draw, also helps bar owners curtail liquor waste and create an overview of sales numbers at each machine. “A back-end app for the

Monsieur will offer bar owners options for better service.

Use a 3D printer to build your bar ware in 2014. business owner tracks a ton of analytics on what their patrons are drinking, what time they’re drinking, what time tequila sells more than vodka, etc.,” explains Givens. “If an owner has multiple units, they can watch the action of each machine and know which areas of the bar are doing most business, which areas aren’t.”

3D Drinking Also making its way on-premise is the wild new technology known as 3D printing, which evidently gives bar owners the option of simply printing up new glassware (video link), custom coasters (video link), and even bottle openers (video link) at the drop of a hat. Need a stack of plastic keg cups for a rowdy party coming in this weekend? No problem, just print some new ones (video link). And this is not a technology that will cost you a small fortune. A company called RepRap is creating what it calls “humanity's first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machines,” taking the form of a 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects—and it won’t break your bank. A RepRap Prusa i2 Complete 3D Printer Kit starts at around $799.

Yeast Meets Tech The QR code continues to be a useful integration tool bringing consumers to online information via their Smart phones, and now a New Zealand-based beer brand is slapping these squiggly lines all over their bottle labels, quickly providing drinkers with the inside scoop. The fantastically named Yeastie Boys craft brewery offers its Digital IPA with a bottle label that can be scanned so that consumers are brought to the brewer’s web site with instructions on making their own beer, links to Yeastie Boys social media sites at Facebook and Twitter, and even message

March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


How To: boards for people to discuss their experience with Yeastie Boys. Not surprisingly, this innovative labeling garnered the company a gold medal for packaging from the Sutton Group Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Award. I can hear the new pick-up line worldwide: “Hi. Can I scan your beer?”

Let’s Talk To battle the bar room scourge of cell phone obsession that has led to a din in cocktail conversation in venues around the world, Brazilian ad agency Fischer & Friends created The Offline Glass, which, when full of beverage, will only stand straight if it rests atop a smart

phone laid down on a table. The divot carved into the bottom of the glass will force it to topple over and spill unless supported in that space by a cell phone. In other words people: Put your phones down and talk to your friends face-toface, or spill your drink. Your choice.

The Buddy System A cousin of the Yeastie Boy bottle, and seemingly the antithesis of The Offline Glass, the Budweiser Buddy Cup (also exclusive to Brazil, for now) allows bar customers to scan the QR code on the bottom of someone else’s drinking glass to connect with that person’s social media platforms, hence making them instant drinking buddies. The Buddy Cup also allows drinkers to tap each other’s glasses together and instantly become Facebook friends. “The Buddy Cup brings together the in-bar experience with Facebook, the most used social media channel for our consumers,” Manuel Rangel Macchiavello of Budweiser Brazil told ABC News. Cheers to that?

Long Ago, in a Bar Far, Far Away… Ok nerds, here’s your excuse to finally try a cocktail that isn’t a Shirley Temple (rest her soul). Available today is an abundant supply of silly ice cube shapes to appease the Star Wars geek in all of us, including a tray that produces a 2.4-inch Death Star ice cube. You can also freeze Han Solo in carbonite—as an ice cube this time. And of course there is good old (bad old?) Darth Vader, R2-D2, and my personal favorite, the Millennium Falcon—now you can finish that drink in less than the twelve parsecs it takes to make the Kessel Run. And on that nerdy note, we conclude. Drink long and prosper.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014




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How To:

ur Improve Yo Employee Engagemen t

Employee Engagement: It's All About the Little Things

Employee disengagement can have a devastating impact on a bar’s bottom line. Here are eight simple and inexpensive ways to transform your organization’s environment to avoid such a situation.


e all know that employee engagement matters. Yet, studies point to a pervasive lack of it (a recent Gallup report indicates that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are considered “engaged”), as well as the incredible costs of this problem. No one can deny that disengaged employees are less productive, less innovative, less collaborative… less everything that leads to a successful bar business. But despite all the handwringing, no one seems to know what to do about it.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

“Over the years, I’ve found that simple things like gratitude, respect, and autonomy make people far more happy than, say, big salaries and corner offices,” says Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In ( “Best of all, these things are free and usually easy to provide, and they are the cornerstone of a cultural change that will naturally and organically lead to better employee engagement.”

Catch people doing things right. Everyone knows how embarrassing and stressful it is when the boss catches you doing something wrong. And for most employees, those negative feelings can linger (and impact performance) for hours, days, or longer. That’s why, if you don’t want your team to dread your presence in their workspace, you need to start each day with the intention of catching as many people as possible doing well. Not only can praise improve your employees’ perception of you, it’s also an incredible morale and motivation booster. “People love to hear positive feedback about themselves, and in most cases, they’ll be willing to work a lot harder to keep the compliments coming,” notes Patkin. “Why? Because praise, especially when it comes from an authority figure, is incredibly fulfilling. (And sadly, it’s also rare.) Phrases like, ‘Bob, I’ve noticed that you always double-check your reports for errors, and I want to thank you for your commitment to quality,’ or, ‘Sue, you always take such care to keep the file room neat. Thank you so much!’ take about five seconds to say, but they can pay long-lasting dividends for your company.”

should be carried out. But according to Patkin, this unilateral approach to leading your team sends the impression that you’re superior (even if that’s not your intent) and also contributes to disengagement. “Employees who are told what to do feel like numbers or cogs in a machine,” he points out. “Yes, you might get the results you want, but never more than that—and often, your team’s performance will be grudging and uninspired. To unlock buy-in and achievement, make your employees feel like valued partners by seeking out their opinions, ideas, and preferences. They’ll be much more invested in your organization’s success because they had an active part in creating it.”

Help your employees grow. As a leader, there’s a lot you have to deal with on a daily basis: Meeting quotas, making sure procedures are followed, keeping up with advances in your field, learning and disseminating company policy, putting out fires—the list goes on and on. But no matter how full your plate may be, don’t lose sight of the fact that a crucial part of leadership is developing your people.

Praise them publicly (and then praise them some more). Even if they brush off praise or downplay their achievements, everybody loves to be recognized and complimented in front of their peers. So don’t stop with a mere compliment when you catch an employee doing something right—tell the rest of the team, too. Whether correctly or incorrectly, many employees feel that their leaders take them for granted and point out only their mistakes in front of the group, so make it your daily mission to prove that perception wrong.

Handle mistakes with care. In business, mistakes are going to happen. You don’t have a choice about that. What you can choose is how you as a leader handle them—and by extension, what kind of impact they have on your business. Sure, lambasting an employee who has dropped the ball may make you feel better in the short term, but it’ll negatively impact that employee’s self-confidence, relationship with you, and feelings for your company for much longer. “Don’t get me wrong: You shouldn’t take mistakes, especially those involving negligence, incompetence, or dishonesty, lightly,” says Patkin. “But when your employees have made an honest mistake, try to be as understanding with them as you would be with your own family members. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the employee feels very bad already, and that yelling or lecturing won’t change the past. Instead, focus on figuring out what went wrong and how to keep it from happening again. Did the employee (or the bar as a whole) learn something? Should a process or procedure be tweaked going forward to reduce the chances of something similar reoccurring?”

Don’t be the sole decision maker. Maybe you’ve never put much emphasis on the thoughts and opinions of your employees. After all, you pay them a fair wage to come to work each day and perform specific tasks. As a leader, it’s your job to decide what those tasks should be and how they

"Ultimately, the success or failure of your business depends on the people who show up each day to do the work." “Ultimately, the success or failure of your business depends on the people who show up each day to do the work,” says Patkin. “So place a strong emphasis on developing them. Get to know each member of your team and give each person progressively more autonomy, authority, and responsibility when they show they can handle it. When they feel challenged and know that their talents are being utilized, your employees will be more engaged. And whatever you do, avoid micromanaging, which can give employees the impression that you don’t trust them or have faith in them. If you have to, lock yourself in your office or go for a walk around the premises to keep yourself from hovering.”

Remember that business is personal. The truth is, people don’t care how much you know (or how good you are at your March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


How To: job) until they know how much you care. Your employees will be more loyal and more motivated if they feel valued as individuals, not just as job descriptions. So get to know each team member on an individual basis and incorporate that knowledge into your regular interactions.

“Showing genuine interest and caring is the greatest motivator I know,” confirms Patkin. “When you dare to ‘get personal,’ your employees’ desire to please you will skyrocket. When I was leading my family’s company, I took advantage of every opportunity I could think of to let my people know I was thinking about them. I recommended books I thought they might enjoy. I sent motivational quotes to employees who might appreciate them.”

While a lack of employee engagement onpremise can be a costly problem, the solution doesn't have to be. Make it a family affair. Whenever possible, engage your employees’ families in a positive way. In addition to holding contests with family prizes and inviting loved ones to on-premise celebrations, make sure that your team members’ families know how much they’re appreciated by your business. Having a leader validate all the hours each employee spends at work will be remembered far longer than a bonus. Your employee’s performance will be buoyed by support from the ones he or she loves the most. “If an employee did something really tremendous, I would call their home, trying to get the answering machine and leave a message everyone can hear,” Patkin says.

Re-recruit your best people. Since the buck stops with you, it can be tempting to focus the bulk of your help and encouragement on your lower performers. If I can help Ted and Tina boost their numbers, the thinking goes, this entire bar will be better off. While it is your duty to help your weak links move up in (or out of) your bar, don’t allow them to distract you from your most valuable players. “Actually, your efforts are best spent with your top people,” Patkin asserts. “Just think of how much more impressive their already-great work could be with some more encouragement and guidance.” You have nothing to lose and everything to gain—including an improved bottom line—by making your organization a happy place to work. While a lack of employee engagement can be a costly problem, the solution doesn’t have to be. 28

Bar Business Magazine March 2014

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L o c a l

F l a v o r s

As boutique beer brAnds And imports continue to Lure AmericAn beer drinkers AwAy From LArge corporAte beers, independent regionAL brewers And tAvern owners cApitALize on their cLients’ desire to expAnd their horizons. 30

Bar Business Magazine March 2014


f o r


y a

f you look at American pop culture through the 20 th century, manhood and major national beer brands such as Coors, Miller and Budweiser are practically one and the same. Factor in prominent global brands like Heineken, Guinness and Newcastle, and the myth is simply elevated into a more upscale, international context. Even the most recent Super Bowl had its fair share of ads that support the manly mythology, between those featuring guys enjoying a well-deserved cold one after work and others with friends bonding over

by eLy se gL ickmAn

brews while catching the big game. However, over the last couple of decades, there’s been a quiet revolution brewing, with the influx of handcrafted regional and micro-regional beers inviting more people to the party, including women, foodies and others who may have been loyal to other wines and spirits. Indeed, it’s one thing to turn heads and bring people in the door. However, for these venues and the brewers that stock their taps, the question is: How do you keep people coming back for more? March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


the beer stein runneth over… “We’ve doubled our production since 2009,” states Kevin Clark, Brewmaster of Peter B’s Brewpub at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, CA. “For any bar owner reading this, the trends point to the fact that it is probably a smart business decision to stock local craft beer in your bar alongside larger national and international brands. If your venue does not produce its own beer, do some research and find out who your local brewers are, and make connections with those breweries, because they can offer you seasonal and limited run beers that are so fresh and flavorful that the clientele will really appreciate it.” According to Anthony Norkus, craft and specialty brands manager at Louis Glunz Beer, a 125-year-old beer distributor in Chicagoland, craft beers are some of the most profitable products in restaurants. He also points out local beer moves faster than other products, which means they can make money faster. Lastly, it is a symbiotic relationship of local businesses supporting the smaller guys: Buy local, drink local. “The way we cater to that is not only having beer that is made in Chicago and the metro area, but we also have very diverse cultural influences in Chicago,”

“the big chALLenge For me As A brewer comes in the Form oF educAting the consumer.” says Norkus. “We represent 192 breweries from all over the world to appeal to the people that immigrated here and now call Chicago home. Furthermore, over the past few years, there have been breweries opening every month in our area. The shear amount of beer available along with finite number of tap handles is the most challenging aspect of our work”. Norkus adds other challenges include addressing the question, “How is your beer different from the rest,” and having the knowledge to explain what sets it apart. Examples include 5 Rabbit, the first Latininfluenced American craft brewery or Temperance Beer Co., playing on the irony of the temperance movement from prohibition and being the first ever brewery in Evanston, IL.

craft vs. “crafty” According to some brewers we spoke to, craft beers have truly local origins and limited distribution, while “crafty” beers are owned by larger companies and gain their cache with marketing dollars. “The big challenge for me as a brewer and restaurateur comes in the form of educating the consumer,” says Gabriel Gordon, co-owner of Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Seal Beach and Long Beach, CA. “The majority of my customers are not beer 32

Bar Business Magazine March 2014

gAbrieL gordon, co-owner oF beAchwood bbq & brewing, in Front oF his FLux cApAcitor. geeks. They are your average person who likes good beer. One of my jobs is not just teaching consumers about what makes good beer, but more importantly, the difference between ‘craft’ and ‘crafty’ beers.” Gordon cites Blue Moon, owned and operated by Coors, and therefore, a ‘crafty’ beer, which he sees as something that may pull sales away from craft beer by making it seem as if it is an artisanal product. Although Gordon clarifies he is not knocking Blue Moon, he feels it is his responsibility to school the consumer in what a Belgian wheat beer is supposed to taste like and introduce him to his brewery’s version, or one from another local brewery on tap. Another one of Gordon’s successes, The Flux Capacitor, allows bartenders at specialized beer bars to instantly adjust carbonation or nitrogen levels, temperature and pressure for each tap, bucking a uniform industry standard and empowering them to serve the perfect craft beer, the way the brewer intended. While his invention has generated a buzz among fellow brewers and beer lovers in his Southern California restaurants, it has also found its way across the U.S. to TØRST in Brooklyn, Clinton Hall in New York, and Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco. John Carr, like Gordon, has successfully taken on those crafty corporate breweries one mug at a time. Since the late 1990s, his Adirondack Pub and Brewery on Lake George’s Canada Street has not just changed the locals’ attitudes about what makes a good beer, but also a well-operated craft beer-driven restaurant. While “slow and steady” has helped Carr win the race with loyal customers and regular visitors, the size and focus on Adirondack’s Brewery has a definitive advantage for his increasingly sophisticated base of customers. “Each brewery has its own interesting flavors, as well as other elements such as the water that is available for brewing,” says Carr. “We draw from a very clean water profile similar to that used in a European pilsner style. This lends to beers that are clean, crisp and refreshing. For small breweries to produce unique beer that (can potentially be distributed outside of their

March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


konA brewing compAny produces greAt LocAL beers From the big isLAnd oF hAwAii.

crAFt beer tAp hAndLes brAnd your bAr As An Adventurous pArticpAnt in this trend.

region), they need to build through a complicated process involving labeling, UPC codes and liquor laws that requires a lot of resources and a lot of time. While the process is not a big deal for a company like Sam Adams, for the small brewer to do that is next to impossible, making small batch the way to go.”

details when explaining Anchor Steam’s enduring legacy and impact. “When he did that, there was no ‘local’ demand, and in order to be successful he had to sell the beer in areas away from San Francisco. If we were starting the brewery today from scratch, we may only exist as a local or regional. However, our brewery has always been inspiring to drinkers and brewers alike because many years ago, we were the only brewery of its kind out there.” Carpenter adds that when he started in 1971, there were only 40 breweries in the United States. Today, he estimates there are 3,000. “There is a brewery in every little town, and if you talk to the brewers and customers, they will probably tell you our beer was one of the first craft beers they had. Even some of the beers we developed have been the first of their variety in the U.S.”

“the AverAge consumer cAres About how A beer tAstes more thAn where it’s From.” Carr adds that the exclusivity involved with a mall, highly-localized brand is a bonus for the consumer who craves the kind of variety and adventure that doesn’t necessarily exist in larger brands. “We have people requesting beers we have not made in over ten years,” he says. “Pulling the recipe out to make it every few years adds an interesting dynamic.” A valid counter argument is proposed by Mark Carpenter, brewmaster at Anchor Brewing Company, which has historic status (dating to the Gold Rush era in the 19 th Century) as well as a hard-earned cache as a craft beer, even with its availability throughout the U.S. and parts of Asia and Europe. “The average consumer doesn’t care if a beer is from a giant corporate entity or from a small independent brewery,” Carpenter states. “What they care about is how it tastes. That said, we still fit a definition of a craft brewery as we’re very hands-on during the brewing process. There’s nothing at our facility that resembles an industrial brewery, as we’re a 100% copper brewhouse and use only whole hop cones rather than pellets or hop extracts. We have all-open fermentation, which is absent from much of the craft beer industry, whether they are ‘crafty’ or ‘craft.’” As Carpenter extends an invitation for beer enthusiasts, buyers and venue owners to visit and see their production process for themselves, he points out Anchor uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. “We updated the brewery in 1965 when Fritz Maytag bought it, and built it up again,” Carpenter 34

Bar Business Magazine March 2014

hop-ping on the “brand” wagon If you live in Chicago, large signs for Old Style and Schlitz (two brands long considered Midwest icons) are practically landmarks, and often dwarf the names of the establishments they support. This form of branding, according to Norkus, was designed specifically to showcase a specific brewery. The practice originated in the late nineteenth century through a “tied house” system, where a large brewing company would have direct control over a tavern, and those iconic brands were part of the trend. While you’ll see imports like Guinness and Heineken brand bars in a similar fashion, independent breweries and restaurants are playing with that concept to help stake their territory with style. Migration Brewing Company in Portland, OR, takes it further, supporting its brand cache and its pub through outreach into community institutions and support of other local businesses. Colin P. Rath, Community and Pub Manager at Migration, explains, “Migration has built a legacy of community involvement in creating a vast array of events that have benefitted organizations such as Migrating to a Cure, BTA (Bicycle Transportation

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Alliance), Make-A-Wish Foundation, Oregon Brewers Guild, CHAP (Children’s Healing Art Project) and the Portland State University Brewers Program. In addition to charity work, Migration hosts weekly happy hours that turn the brewery into one of the city’s best fan hangouts to cheer on the local Portland Trailblazers and Timbers games.” Building upon that legacy, Rath notes that their Migrator Series features a seasonal rotation of new beers characterized by unique ingredients, off-the-wall yeasts, experimentation, single batches, collaborations and the celebration of great craft beer. Notable beers include Frankie Clause, a smooth imperial Belgian chocolate stout, and the New Year’s release of Cross Pollination, a new beer featuring Belgian yeast and 65 mAtt cutter, co-owner oF upsLope beer pounds of local honey. In honor of the brewery’s fourth in bouLder, coLorAdo anniversary this February, Migration will release always felt that if we can just get someone to try it, Bootstrap Imperial Stout, a dark and smooth, fullwe can win them over. In the last two decades, Colorado bodied stout aged with bourbon, oak and maple syrup. craft beer as a whole has developed as its own worldMatt Cutter, co-owner of Upslope Beer in Boulder, CO, renowned brand. Exuding from this is a certain sense has noticed that a craft beer’s local appeal becomes of style, a high level of quality, and a determination diluted as the drinking experience happens farther to brew the best beer on the planet. Also, local products and farther away from its origins. He says that while differentiate a venue from every other venue on the bold branding, promotions and donations can help street. If a restaurant or tavern has the same set of tap this, the key is to have people identify with your beer handles as all of the other places in the neighborhood, in places distant from where it was produced when it why would someone choose to go there? Uniqueness is sold at another restaurant, pub or retailer. of local offerings contributes to a vibe. If you’ve got “(Branding) means, ‘what you think and feel when d-TGf-prt-BarBusiness-March2014-halfpgAd-v1.pdf 1 2/18/14a vibe, 8:38 AM you’ve got a draw.” you see and experience a product,” says Cutter. “We’ve










Bar Business Magazine March 2014

How Times Have Changed As old as the bar industry is, sometimes there’s no escaping change. Some is for the best; some, not so much. So we take a look at a possible shift in the legality of automatic gratuities with attorney Jonathan Boulahanis; then we check in with our resident veteran Bob Johnson, who can tell you what the bar business was like . . . back in his day. 38

Bar Business Magazine March 2014

Is the Automatic Gratuity Coming to an End? By Jonathan Boulahanis


his past January, Americans across the country rolled out the red carpet and welcomed 2014 in style. For many, that meant getting together with friends, family, and loved ones, and celebrating at restaurants or bars across the country. In accordance with what has become a customary practice in the bar and restaurant industry, when the bills came for these groups of people celebrating, an 18-22% gratuity or service charge was added to the end of the bill. The reasoning for business owners is three-fold: (1) it is advantageous to the servers to ensure that they receive proper gratuity on a large bill; (2) it is the servers’ responsibility to selfreport their tips above $20 to their employer, including the automatic gratuity charges; and (3) the employers could use that amount toward the tip-credit allowed under Section 45B of the Internal Revenue Code to offset social security. As of January 1, 2014, though, the restaurant and bar industry is facing a drastic change in its reporting requirements that may put the automatic gratuity practice to an end. On December 12, 2013, the IRS issued a ruling changing the automatic gratuity or service charge from tip wages to non-tip wages. “Service charges added to a bill or fixed by the employer that the customer must pay, when paid to an employee, will not constitute a tip, but rather constitute non-tip wages. These non-tip wages are subject to social security tax, Medicare tax, and federal income tax withholding. In addition, the employer cannot use these non-tip wages when computing the credit

available to employers under section 45B of the Internal Revenue Code, because these amounts are not ‘tips.’” This ruling could have a profound impact on the industry, especially those that have significantly utilized this practice. For example, the nightclub industry almost always has added an automatic gratuity or service charge on bottle service. Most restaurants with a highvolume delivery business add an automatic delivery charge. Restaurants and banquet halls usually add the amount to large parties. Hotels usually add luggage service charges. If these practices are continued in the new year, the amount must be classified as non-tip wages. Practically, in order to continue the practice, the industry will need to evaluate their current reporting practices and procedures. The automatic gratuity will need to be classified differently than other wages, and likely paid with other non-tip wages. The social security credit will no longer apply for such charges. For the employees, some see the change as a gigantic risk as the consumer will decide an appropriate tip amount on a large bill. According to the Wall Street Journal, some restaurants are already experimenting with stopping the practice altogether, including Darden Restaurants, owner of Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, and other chains. (IRS Rule Leads Restaurants to Rethink Automatic Tips, by Jargon, J., The Wall Street Journal, online, September 4, 2013.) According to The New York Times, some restaurants are changing

The IRS issued a ruling changing the automatic gratuity or service charge from “tip wages” to “non-tip wages.” their business model altogether, eliminating tips and just paying their servers a higher hourly amount. (Leaving a Tip: A Custom in Need of Changing? by Wells, P., from The New York Times, p. A1, September 3, 2013.) In Chicago, that has been the practice of highly touted restaurants such as Next and Alinea. Anyway you look at it, this IRS ruling may very well change the bill that your customer receives when they stop by to ring in 2015. Jonathan Boulahanis is a litigation and labor and employment attorney at Clark Hill PLC in Chicago and co-chair of the firm’s food and beverage team ( Attorney/jboulahanis). Check out his blog at www.lawforfoodies.blogspot. com/2014/01/automatic-gratuitycoming-to-end-new.html March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


Back In My Day… By Bob Johnson, aka


was thinking about how things were when I was a bartender decades ago. The basic skills of bartending haven’t changed much over the years. Today there’s “flair” bartending, about 13,000 drink recipes to remember (I can’t remember all of them – can you?), “bar chefs” who supposedly add a sense of “creativity” to drink making (but it takes too long to make one of their multi-layered, multi ingredient drinks). There’s about the same amount of “ego” and “don’t tell me – I’ve been doing this for 17 years” amongst owners, managers, chefs and bartenders. It’s no one’s fault. There are no schools in the U.S. that teach Bar Management 101. Bartender schools are very expensive ($500 - $700 for a two-week course). So I’ve enjoyed watching Jon Taffer of the SPIKE T V hit BAR RESCUE put a lot of owners and managers in their place. He’s exposed the varied weaknesses of an industry that still operates on ego instead of knowledge. Experience doesn’t count either— it’s what you know, not how long you’ve been doing it! Success in this industry comes from knowledge, attitude and performance, nothing else. But back in my day, bartenders were a different breed.

Back In My Day… Bartender values were different. Bartenders cared more about their job and each other. There was camaraderie and team/family spirit amongst us. For example, we would never turn over our bar to the next bartender unless it was perfectly clean and neatly arranged. We didn’t need a bar-back to do any of our work. If we closed the bar at 2 a.m., it would take about a half-hour to close out tabs, do the bookwork, then get “checked out” by the manager in the office. And finally, clock out! 40

Bar Business Magazine March 2014

Have the “good old days” of basic bartender courtesy and teamwork gone the way of the dinosaur? And then we would go back to our bar and spend a couple of hours making sure everything was spotless. This was done on our time. It’s what we did for each other, as a matter of respect to our owners/ managers and to the next bartender coming in.

Back In My Day… We never bothered our managers with schedule changes. We covered for each other. There was always something coming up at the last minute. Periodically, one of our bartenders would call a fellow

bartender and ask for help covering a shift. It was our responsibility to make sure the bar schedule was covered and not leave it for the managers to handle. Management never had to worry about someone not showing up for a shift. We, the bartenders, took care of “covering” the bar. Of course, we would guard against overtime.

Back In My Day… I always carried $100 in change (ones, fives, quarters, etc.), which I kept in the trunk of my car. It was amazing how many times the “house” would

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Back in my day . . . run short of change on a busy night, or the day manager couldn’t get to the bank because of deliveries, repair/maintenance issues, etc. I also stocked extra packs of matches, flashlights, a first-aid kit, battery cables, phone numbers for any kind of emergency services, etc. I know—the “house” is

supposed to supply all of this—but I believed in thinking ahead and tried to anticipate the unexpected.

Back In My Day… If I closed at night and noticed we had run out of half & half or limes or mint leaves (or whatever), I would call the next day’s opening bartender that night

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or early the next day and say, “Stop off at a grocery store on your way in.” To us it was a common courtesy, and it was the right thing to do. No bartender was left hanging or without the necessary items to do their job.

Back In My Day… If I was the “outgoing” bartender at shift change time (usually around Happy Hour), I would put on a fresh pot of coffee, fill the ice bin to “overflow,” make sure all the glasses were washed, change the sink water in all three compartments, cut more fruit if necessary, make sure all the mixers (orange juice, cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple, etc.) were refilled to the max, give “last call” and then close out all my open tabs. When the shift change bartender showed up, everything was done. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be!

Back In My Day… At one club I worked, our head bartender’s seven-year-old child, Suzie, was hit by a car in our parking lot and rushed to the hospital. Suzie’s mom didn’t have insurance. The eight of us chipped in $100 each to cover the cost of Suzie’s emergency room treatment. Fortunately, Suzie wasn’t injured too badly. If you haven’t noticed, getting insurance of any kind as a bartender is next to impossible. Very few bartenders have insurance to pay for any kind of catastrophic occurrence. Maybe Obamacare will help our profession.


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Bar Business Magazine March 2014

Back In My Day… Bartenders relied on each other. It’s what made our profession such a fraternal one. It’s what has given me some of the best memories of my life, all from the bar business, all from the amazing group of bartenders I was so lucky to work with. My only regret? That I can’t do it all over again. I hope you get to experience what this profession is really all about— or at least, what it was about . . . back in my day.



new york BOSTON





A Rare Breed Fittingly, a $140 million hotel renovation in New York City lead to the creation of one of the country’s most extraordinary drinking experiences, as a new venue called Rarities offers just that when it comes to wine and spirits. By Chris Ytuarte


Bar Business Magazine March 2014


visit to New York City can deliver some pretty rare experiences, if you’re lucky: a cab driver happy to have you pay by credit card; a Mets victory; cross town traffic flowing smoothly—these things are all uncommon and extraordinary. But, for a truly one-of-a-kind nightlife experience in a city where it’s all been done, a new venue has stepped into the arena, aptly named Rarities. As the final reveal to its $140 million renovation, The New York Palace hotel last November opened Rarities, an intimate 25-seat salon located in the famed Villard Mansion. Inspired by historic ‘men’s clubs,’ this exclusive, reservationonly venue serves a sampling of the world’s rarest wines and spirits. “We put $140 million into renovating The New York Palace, and we wanted our customers and our guests to really have a unique experience,” says Karim Lakhani, Restaurant Director at The New York Palace. “We feel that an exclusive space like the concierge lounge is a thing of the past. Guests

want their own little niche that is very private and very unintrusive, where you don’t have to worry about celebrities and distractions like that. So we created Rarities.” The New York Palace, a luxury midtown hotel in Manhattan, completed the second phase of its pricey renovation in September 2013, with the addition of six culinary destinations and a redesign of its hotel Lobby and Towers Lobby. Renowned San Franciscobased design firm BAMO, which was tapped to redesign the hotel’s newly enhanced VIP Towers Rooms and Suites, was also employed to transform the private Towers Lobby. Notable New York-based architecture and interior design firm BBG-BBGM (HOK) was retained to create a comprehensive master plan for the re-use of the hotel’s public spaces as well as design interiors for two previously unused spaces of the north Villard Mansion: the new street-facing bar, Tavern on 51, as well as the exclusive, sumptuous lounge Rarities.

Custom-built display cases show off some of Rarities’ most impressive spirits. “When we bought the property about three years ago, there was a space that was then called The Red Room,” explains Lakhani. “When Leona Helmsley’s husband Harry bought the plot, the historical commission said he could make some changes in the building, but there were restrictions because it’s historically preserved. There were some things he did that were approved as long as he could replicate what he took out, so he relocated some of the architecture of the original building into the space that is now Rarities, like the gold ceilings and the mill work. All we did was change the carpet, put in some new furniture, and build the display cases for the rare collection of spirits, and that was it. Basically, we were given a beautiful space to work with; built-in decadence.” March 2014 Bar Business Magazine




new york BOSTON

Working with the New York practice of HOK, renovating the space involved reupholstering the walls, installing new carpets, and adding an eclectic mix of period-inspired furniture, ambient lighting, antiques and artwork to complement the historic elements such as the original fireplace, stained glass window, millwork and ceiling. Inspired by the richness of whiskey, the décor consists of aubergine, burnt red and amber colors combined with the original wood, evoking a sense of timeworn elegance in a regal and rarefied atmosphere. “We have three other bar venues in the hotel, so the guest who wants a Jack and Coke or something minimal, we can do some exclusive cocktails and spirits in those other bars,” says Lakhani. “But at Rarities, you really will experience the space, and the whole presentation is very different from a normal bar. And then you’re surrounded by some great selections, as far as our rare Cognacs, Scotches, whiskies, ryes, ports, etc.” At Rarities, the menu is both eclectic and abundant, with guests enjoying exceptional Champagnes, Prohibitionstyle bottled spirits, modern classics, and a connoisseur’s wine cellar. Included on the extensive beverage list are wines almost never seen anywhere else in the world, ranging from the $485-a-glass Fladgate Scion 1855 Vintage Port, to the $27,000-a-bottle 1985 Romanee-Conti Grand Cru. “I have to reach out all over the country and all over the world to pull some of these bottles,” says Lakhani. “We get some things from auction as well. We have a beautiful rye whiskey from 1911 that a group of guests opened about four weeks ago, which we bought from a reputable dealer, and when we opened it I was just amazed at everything—the nose, the smoothness. To me, it tasted and smelled smoother than a Louis and it had all the perfume notes of a Louis, which, for an 46

Bar Business Magazine March 2014





The courtyard of The New York Palace Hotel.

“At Rarities, the experience and the presentation is very different from anything you’ll encounter at a normal bar.”

American rye whiskey was amazing.” Access to this exclusive lounge is made through a discreet entrance. Hotel guests and those who make reservations can experience Rarities, including one of the salon’s most dramatic features—the illuminated, custom-made glass vitrine, showcasing the curated rare scotches. Extending through the center of the landmarked stairwell that connects Rarities with the hotel’s other cocktail bar, Tavern on 51, the display is arranged to look like precious jewels, allowing patrons to view each unique bottle and read the attributes of the Scotch as they ascend the staircase. “We have price points ranging from $45 for a shot, to a Louis XIII rare cask which is about $3,2000 a shot, and upwards,” says Lakhani. “It can be affordable and it can be very high-end. But the experience you get is that you have your own private space, you’re greeted by a host, and you’re walked

through all the offerings. And whatever you decide to taste, if it deserves special ice, we have our exclusive ice ball that has a crown etched into it so that your drink is not diluted, and it gives you a very unique experience in having that Scotch or whiskey or Cognac or whatever it may be.” Keeping customers content with their selections, especially at such price points, required Lakhani and his team to diligently staff Rarities with knowledgeable employees who can guide even the most nubile imbiber. “This kind of thing not being in everyone’s repertoire—to be able to draw from that kind of knowledge base—once we started to procure these rare Scotches and whiskies etc., we devised an educational process, which is ongoing, that also includes some ‘cheat sheet’ cards that are available to the staff,” says Lakhani. “We also have had, in some cases, the supplier come in and do a tasting with our team so they are able to speak to a spirit very freely and comfortably. Because, of course, most people haven’t tasted a 1918 Cognac, so we go through what the Cognac is about, how it’s made, etc. Our staff needs to have a solid knowledge base. At Rarities it’s more about knowing the story of the spirits, the history. Most people coming in won’t have that deep knowledge, so our job is to educate. First we find out where their affinity lies and then we direct them through that space. If they are a Scotch person, we find out if they prefer peaty or smoky, etc., and then we lead them to the best experience.” It is this combination of knowledge, access, and privacy that makes Rarities so unique. Guests can arrange their own private functions or join curated experiences featuring winemakers and master distillers. Rarities aims to become an extension of one’s home, perfect for a quiet drink before and after dinner, or a meeting point for hotel guests staying in the upstairs suites. “Rarities has been open since November 2013, and we don’t publicize it to the masses because it’s something

that we want to keep unique and private for the guests who really want that experience and appreciate it,” explains Lakhani. “So it’s taken a little bit of time to build things up because it’s unknown, but it only seats 25 guests and we’re not looking for masses of people. Starting in the new year, it’s

done very well the more awareness our Tower guests have of it, and we’ve built a great following recently.” Therein lies the challenge ahead: building a venue that does great business while maintaining an air of exclusivity at the same time—a truly rare bird.

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March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


Inventory Booker’s® Bourbon Celebrates 25 Years

2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey Goes National

In honor of 25 years, Booker’s® Bourbon is giving bourbon enthusiasts a reason to celebrate with a limited edition release of an exclusive bottling that is the most unique liquid produced to date. Batch No. 2014-1 pays homage to its namesake, 6th Generation Beam Master Distiller, Booker Noe, who was a lot like his favorite bourbon: uncut, unfiltered and straight up. To mark this occasion in bourbon history, Booker’s son, Beam Family’s 7th Generation Master Distiller and 2013 Bourbon Hall of Fame Inductee, Fred Noe, and Booker’s grandson, Freddie Noe, selected barrels that were aged longer than any Booker’s Bourbon batch to-date—ensuring an exceptional, one-of-a-kind flavor to honor Booker and his legacy. With a robust vanilla nose and wide range of flavors—from oak tannin to mocha notes—this exclusive and extremely limited batch has a deep taste with a smooth finish. For a special look inside visit

2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey, from the award-winning Kilbeggan Distilling Co., has grown beyond its Minnesota roots and is now officially available across the United States. The brand has experienced exponential growth, expanding from limited Midwest markets one year ago to all 50 states this month. 2 GINGERS Founder and CEO Kieran Folliard, former owner of one of the country’s top-selling Irish whiskey pubs, originally created the whiskey and its signature cocktail, the BIG GINGER, with inspiration from his mother and aunt—the two fiery gingers (red-heads) featured on the bottle. After experiencing remarkable popularity and success among women and men within limited regional markets in 2013, the premium blended whiskey—aged 4 years and double-distilled— has increased distribution once more, this time expanding nationwide. Beam Inc. acquired 2 GINGERS in December 2012, and since that time has rapidly expanded distribution. To support the national launch, Folliard will use the customized 2 GINGERS trailer to meet with bartenders, distributors and consumers looking to discover the BIG GINGER cocktail in stops from coast to coast. For more information, visit

Absolut® Unveils Toast to Texas

New Baileys Flavor

The world’s most iconic vodka brand unveils its eighth and latest addition to the Absolut® Limited Editions portfolio with the launch of Absolut Texas—the brand’s first and only state-inspired flavor. Internationally renowned San Antonio-based artist Cruz Ortiz designed the Absolut Texas bottle as a modern take on classic Texas iconography. The taste of Absolut Texas is rich and smooth with notes of fresh cucumber, and a warm spicy character; inspired by the flavors of Southwestern cuisine. It pairs well with a myriad of ingredients, such as cranberry, cilantro and grapefruit soda. Cruz’s bottle design features a modern spin on iconic Texas imagery, including a “cosmic caballero” cowboy boot against a stylized Texas landscape and his take on the Texas Star. The bottle also features Absolut founder Lars Olsson Smith wearing a cowboy hat, marking only the second time in the brand’s history in which Smith’s logo has been altered. For more information about this instant Southwestern staple, visit

Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon is the newest addition to the Baileys collection. This modern twist on the classic Irish Cream blends the finest Madagascar vanilla and cinnamon for a unique Baileys taste experience. Extremely versatile with a lighter colored liquid and lighter mouth feel, the result is a delicious spirit that adds a touch of style to any occasion. With the elegant taste of vanilla blended with the finish of cinnamon spice, Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. The versatile liquid blends well with any base spirit for a delicious mixed shot or cocktail. http://www.the-baileys-lounge.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

New Busch Beer Rolls Out Busch Signature Copper Lager hit shelves in select regions across the United States, marking the arrival of the first liquid innovation for the Busch brand in more than 15 years and the first copper lager value beer on the market. The new brew— available in 12 states across the Midwest—offers Busch drinkers a slightly-more-flavorful beer for that slightly-morespecial occasion. Busch Signature Copper Lager offers bold flavor without sacrificing affordability. Proudly brewed with grains from America’s heartland, the new beer is a smooth, fullbodied copper lager that introduces the richness of roasted caramel malts to the classic Busch recipe. The result is a sweet aroma, signature smooth taste, clean finish and distinctive copper color. Busch Signature Copper Lager gives Busch drinkers the same smooth, signature taste they have come to expect from Busch beer, enhanced with a full-bodied premium taste and 5.7% alc/vol. The concept and packaging for Busch Signature Copper Lager— developed in partnership with LPK Cincinnati— feature a familiar mountain landscape with a revamped copper color scheme. For more information on Busch Signature Copper Lager, visit

Lucas Bols Launches Elderflower Liqueur Lucas Bols, one of the world’s leading cocktail liqueur and spirit producers, has launched Bols Elderflower Liqueur in the United States. The introduction comes on the heels of overwhelming success in Europe (specifically in Germany with the Hugo Bols cocktail: Bols Elderflower, sparkling wine and mint). With Bols Elderflower and Bols Yogurt, the latest additions to the 30+ flavors in the Bols Liqueur collection, Lucas Bols strengthens its position in the premium liqueur category that continues to exhibit potential for exponential growth. Bols Elderflower comes in a 750ml bottle and retails for $17.99 with 15% ABV. The product is now available in both the on- and off-trade channels across the U.S. Bols Elderflower has the perfect balance in sweetness, floral taste and alcohol content, which makes it perfect with sparkling wines as well as the ideal ingredient for great cocktails such as the Elderflower Cocktail or the Elderflower Collins. The liqueur has already gotten praise from bartenders around the country for the combination of quality, flavor and price. For more information visit

New Quinine Cordial from Hendrick’s

Sauza is Sparkling

After several years tinkering in the laboratory, HENDRICK’S Gin Master Distiller, Lesley Gracie has perfected a new quinine cordial for bartenders to create dazzling cocktails for their patrons. With a first batch of just over 4,000 bottles, the cordial will only be available to two-dozen carefully selected bars across the U.S. and is not available for retail. Combining lavender and orange distillates with extracts of orange blossom, wormwood and holy thistle, Quinetum’s core ingredient of cinchona succirubra bark is balanced for a more rounded and workable liquid. The recipe, created by Lesley, is inspired by the work of Thomas Whiffen, a pioneering mathematician and chemist who did much to develop the use of quinine in the 19th century. Crafted in Girvan, Scotland, home of HENDRICK’S Gin, Quinetum has a base of glycerol and a small amount of sugar syrup and citric acid. The product is 4% ABV. The new cordial is presented in a vessel modeled on a 1940’s poison bottle discovered in an old London bric-a-brac shop. For further information, visit

Sauza® Tequila, the margarita’s favorite tequila, is revolutionizing the category with its launch of NEW Sauza Sparkling Margaritas. Made with a Sauza Silver Tequila base, the line comes in three delicious and refreshing ready-to-serve flavors—Original Lime, Wild Berry and Mango Peach. All three varieties have a real, authentic margarita taste in a bubbly format. Serve over ice, and make any moment a celebration. Original Lime is smooth, sweet/tart lime with fresh agave; Wild Berry is bright cherry with fresh citrus and a hint of spice; and Mango Peach tastes of fresh mango and ripe peach balanced with tart lime. For more information, please visit

March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


Holiday Happenings

April 2014



April 1: April Fool’s Day. I would imagine the number of people who get punched in the face across America spikes dramatically on April 1. Deservedly so.

April 2: Reconciliation Day. It’s time to make up with that guy you keep throwing out of the bar every weekend. He has all the right tools to someday be your best customer.

April 6: Sorry Charlie Day. Have your staff use this phrase all night instead of just giving customers a simple “no.” Keep your bouncers on high alert.






April 15: Titanic Remembrance Day. On this solemn evening, make sure all of your cocktails are served with just one giant ice cube floating about, and warn your customers just as they’re about to drink it. By then, it’s too late.

April 18: International Juggler’s Day. Honor this holiday with some flare bartending, preferably with plastic bottles for the novices on staff.

April 19: National Garlic Day. The cocktail onion is the signature garnish of the Gibson, so why is garlic neglected as a drink ingredient? It would surely reduce the number of vampires in your bar.

April 20: Look Alike Day. On this day, a free drink to anyone who comes into the bar and even vaguely resembles you or a member of your staff. Bonus drink to anyone who actually tries to do so.

April 27: Babe Ruth Day. On April 27, 1947, Babe Ruth visited Yankee Stadium for Babe Ruth Day. How arrogant.


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

7 April 7: World Health Day. Take a look around. This is not a holiday people come to a bar to celebrate.

12 April 12: Russian Cosmonaut Day. 1½ ounces vodka ¾ ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur ¾ ounce cream Blast off!

TiTanic sTamP: caTwalker /; BaBe ruTh sTamP: sTamPGirl /


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March 2014 Bar Business Magazine


Supply Side Spotlight

The STaTe of Booze TaxeS, State by State Last month, the Tax Foundation released maps of state tax rates on wine, beer, and spirits, and each map has an accompanying blog post at that discusses some of the intricacies and peculiarities of how states treat each product. Any smart bar owner whose livelihood depends on buying and selling these products should stay abreast of the nation’s current status on taxtaion in our industry. SPIRITS TAX: Spirits are taxed the highest in Washington at $35.22 per gallon. Next in line are Oregon ($22.73), Virginia ($19.19), Alabama ($18.23), and Alaska ($12.80). Least-taxed states are Wyoming and New Hampshire, which have no spirits excise taxes (note that these are states in which the government controls all sales, and spirits may be subject to ad valorem mark-up and excise taxes). These are followed by West Virginia ($1.87), Missouri ($2.00), Colorado ($2.28), and Texas ($2.40). BEER TAX: As you can see, tax treatment of beer varies widely across the U.S., ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.17 per gallon in Tennessee. WINE TAX: Wine taxes are highest in Kentucky at $3.56 per gallon. Rounding out the top five are Alaska ($2.50), Florida ($2.25), Iowa ($1.75), and Alaska and New Mexico tied at $1.70. The lowest-taxed states are Louisiana ($0.11), California ($0.20), Texas ($0.20), Wisconsin ($0.25), and Kansas and New York (tied at $0.31).


Bar Business Magazine March 2014

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