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Vol. 67 Summer 2021

BUILDING BETTER BEVERAGE BUSINESS

Bradley Moore Vice President

Aimbridge Hospitality 11


Bring the Garden to Your Glass Tart rhubarb meets sweet strawberry in this delightful purée blend that is bursting with flavor.

Your Summer Margarita Awaits!

Taste for yourself. Request a free sample today! Email support@help.monin.com and reference this In The Mix ad.

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No Artificial Ingredients | Gluten Free | Kosher | Dairy Free | GMO Free | Vegan

in the Mix Magazine


Introduction by Don Billings, Publisher With the post-pandemic world, as everyone is restaffing for a successful reopening, comes renewed insights and challenges. New trends are emerging for bars, restaurants and hotel operators, bringing new leadership responsibilities as the industry continues to evolve. Technology continues to play a more important role than ever. This past month I had the great opportunity to attend Jen Robinson’s Hospitality Executive Exchange. During the course of the seminars, Nick Nistico from Overproof gave a wonderful history of hospitality through the ages. They have graciously allowed us to share this history lesson with our readers.

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“As we move into the future of the restaurant industry, we have to look into the past and how technology has advanced. What got us to where we are today, won’t keep us here. It is our steadfast belief that technology platforms can’t ever replace hospitality but help enhance it. Technology is the vehicle, but hospitality will always be the driver. We created Sixdots to help take hospitality from the pandemic into the future, without removing its warm embrace that has held so many diners for so long.” — Nick Nistico, VP of Sales, Overproof Here is the link to Nick’s presentation on the past, present and future of Hospitality. Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER Thank You!

Don Billings Publisher, in the Mix Media ““Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Now that the pandemic seemingly is moving to our rearview mirror, we would like to say “thank you” to all of our own team members who worked through this difficult time over the past 15 months. We thank them for their efforts, contributions and dedication working from home in most cases, and for keeping the communications open between our customers and brand suppliers alike. We also thank them for having faith in our company, our business and the great comeback of the hospitality industry as a whole. We are dedicated to our company motto, “Building Better Beverage Business.” And to that end, we kept our on-premise customers informed and supported throughout the pandemic, helping them achieve their goals as well as establishing new strategies and coordinating planning sessions for the reopening of the on-premise for their guests. We dedicate this issue of in the Mix magazine to our team.

Spring 2019 • itmmag.com


IMI Agency Atlanta Office Amanda Miles Ashley Akley Ashley Collins Celeste Dinos Connie Allen Don Billings Isabel O’Cathey Jasmine Presley Jean Breunle Jeanette Rolla Joshua Birman Rachel Morgan Sherry King Taylor Niedzwiecki Tina Nalazek Tonya Rains Chicago Office Evan Traub Larry McGinn Paris Hill-Castillo Patrick McGinn Field Team Andy Nelson Brandon Wise David Miller Elyce Lora Gabirel Fore Gary Gruver Grant Hewitt Heather Elmes Jennifer Lougee Jessica Altieri Kayla Wiede Lindsey Eisenlohr Meghan Schulze Michael Logan Sarah Alegria Sarah Jane Curran Wes Gray

in the Mix Celeste Dinos Christine Neal Don Billings Helen Benefield Billings Kester Chau Mike Raven

PayBev Adam Billings Alexa Hickey Brad Logan Cody Henson Jason Macon Paul Westby

COREgives Gretchen James Kristen Davis Rachelle Tully Sheila Bennett Senior Management team extends a big thank you to every one of you! Don Billings, Larry McGinn, Sherry King, Celeste Dinos, Adam Billings, Patrick McGinn Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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THE READY-TO-DRINK THAT STARTED IT ALL! With over 1.4 million cases sold in 2020, Capriccio Sangria has been the fastest-growing Sangria over the past 3 years. Capriccio Sangria is an award-winning brand, having received the Impact Hot Brand Award for 2019 and multiple 2020 SIP Awards.

Available in “Ready-to-Drink” 375ml bottles and aluminum slimline cans, in five refreshing varietals for instant enjoyment for any occasion.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. PRODUCED AND BOTTLED BY FLORIDA CARIBBEAN DISTILLERS. 6

in the Mix Magazine


"Ready to Drink" Cocktails Made with Real Reposado Tequila and Premium Vodka

Available in three cocktails and two pack sizes: 750ml bottles and 355ml aluminum slimline cans

Ranch Water Original

Premium Reposado Tequila, real lime juice and sparkling water. (ABV 5%)

Ranch Water PALOMA

Premium Reposado Tequila, real grapefruit juice and sparkling water. (ABV 5%)

Vodka Soda & Lime

Premium Vodka, real lime juice, and sparkling water. (ABV 5%)

Crafted with today’s consumer in mind HEALTY INGREDIENTS

Capriccio Spirit cocktails delivers on many health attributes and benefits that todayʼs consumers are looking for.

WeLLNESS

1g Carbs | 1g Sugar | 100 Calories All-Natural Juices | Gluten Free

THE RANCH WATER STORY

WE USE HIGH QUALITY REPOSADO TEQUILA

Reposado means “rested in Spanish. Reposado Tequila is “rested” in Oak or White Oak barrels from two months to a year before the tequila is bottled. In the fermentation process, the tequilaʼs taste profilecan change depending on the wood used to create the barrel. Reposado Tequila lends itself to making a dynamic and flavorful mixed drink.

In the 1960ʼs, a wild-haired rancher first concocted this drink, as he followed the West Texas stars during a lonely 50-mile trek from Marathon. The cocktail uses Reposado Tequila, sparkling water and real lime juice. Three simple ingredients that provide a great taste and refreshment. It was a way for ranchers to have a happy hour, after a long day on the trail.

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Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. PRODUCED AND BOTTLED BY FLORIDA CARIBBEAN DISTILLERS.

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EDITOR’S LETTER Welcome to the Summer 2021 Issue of in the Mix If you missed the article on the first page about the Evolution of Modern Hospitality, go back and click the link (or click here) to see a fascinating overview of the industry from pre-20th century to the present by Nick Nistico. This issue’s interview is with an old friend of IMI, Bradley Moore, Vice President Aimbridge Hospitality. Bradley talks about the merger with Interstate Hotels and Resorts and how it made them the largest thirdparty hotel management in the world. Aimbridge Hospitality now operates over 1,500 branded and independent full service and select service luxury hotels, destination resorts, convention centers and lifestyle hotels. This portfolio takes Aimbridge to 49 U.S. states and 20 countries across the globe. We also take a visit to the beautiful new Chandelier Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, New Orleans — a stunning lounge with an extensive cocktail program by Hadi Ktiri. Sage Restaurant Concepts is moving full steam ahead with an aggressive roster of reopenings, new openings and property transitions, including 14 restaurant and bar outlets in one month alone. We visit two of the newest concepts within The Rally Hotel in Denver, Colorado, which were spearheaded by VP of Beverage Brandon Wise, bringing 8

in the Mix Magazine

Mike Raven

exciting, creative beverage programs to the hotel. I would also like to point out that my old friend and one of the best national account representatives ever, Jamie Conahan, has come out of his very short retirement to represent the John Anthony Family of Wines and their stellar portfolio. We all wish Jamie the best of luck in his new venture, and I’m sure a lot of you will be hearing from him soon. He can be reached at jconahan@javwine.com. I hope you all have a prosperous and fun summer! Mike Raven Managing Editor, in the Mix Media


Spring 2019 • itmmag.com

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44

Contents

62

40

Cover Story

44.

An interview with Bradley Moore, Vice President, Aimbridge Hospitality

Features 3. The Evolution of Modern Hospitality by Nick Nistico; Introduction by Don Billings 16. IMI’s Creative Services Department and Technology Services 20. 2021 – The Year of Raising Prices by Joel Feigeheimer, Ph.D. 24. Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans Introduces the Chandelier Bar 30. SAGE Restaurant Concepts is Owning the Upswing 36. Kathy Casey Launches SHOT BAR 54. What Will the New-Normal Look Like for On-Premise Imbibing? by Samantha Des Jardins, Datassential Events

60. 62.

TAG Global Spirit Awards HEE East’s “Simply Keep Movin’” Theme a Success

Interview

14.

Spotlight on Jeanette Rolla, Senior Account Manager, IMI Agency

Recipe Articles

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in the Mix Magazine

40.

Evolution of the Classic Cocktail with Andrew Pollard, Beverage Innovation Director at Monin


The standard for American fine wine

TheDuckhornPortfolio.com

Spring 2019 • itmmag.com

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Contributing Writers Writers Contributing

BUILDING BETTER BEVERAGE BUSINESS BUILDING BETTER BEVERAGE BUSINESS

Known as “The Modern Mixologist,” Known Modern Mixologist,” Tony as is “The an accomplished bar chef, Tony is an and accomplished speaker consultant bar whochef, has speaker and consultant who recipes, has created several original cocktail created several originalCar, cocktail recipes, including the Cable Sunsplash and including Car, Sunsplash andhis Starlight.the HeCable has recently authored Andrew Pollard, Beverage Starlight. has recently authored(Agate his second He book, Vodka Distilled second Vodka Distilled (Agate Innovation Director at Monin, Surrey,book, publisher). Surrey, publisher).

acclaimed winner at Tales of the Cocktail, recipient of the Tony Abou- Ganim Paragon Award, renowned Las Tony and Abou-Ganim Tonycocktail Abou-Ganim Vegas connoisseur.

Andrew Pollard Mike Kostyo is the resident Mike Kostyo is at theDatassential, resident Trendologist Trendologist at Datassential, the food industry’s leading the food industry’s leading market research firm. For market research firm. For more information about more information about Datassential’s 2021 trends or Datassential’s 2021 trends the Future of Drink reporort, the FutureKostyo of Drink repor t, contact at mike@ contact Kostyo at mike@ datassential.com. datassential.com.

PUBLISHER PUBLISHER

D o n B illin g s D o n B illin g s E D I TOR I A L A N D D E S I GN E D I TOR I A L A N D D E S I GN

Mike Kostyo Mike Kostyo Samantha Des Jardins

Dr. Joel Feigenheimer

Samantha Des Jardins is a copywriter and author for Datassential which is the leading market research agency helping food & beverage companies of all sizes andHelen segments innovate, Benefield Helen Billings Benefield sell, and plan for the Billings future, backed by the Hospitality and Travel Hospitality and Travel writer, and creator of best data in the industry. writer, and creator of

Dr. Joel Feigenheimer is a former operator and an Assistant Professor at The Chaplin School of Hospitality, Florida International University.

“Making the Rounds,” “Making the Rounds,” Helen Benefield Billings Helen Benefield has been with Billings in the has been with the Mix since its in inception Mix inception in since 2004. its Helen lives in in her 2004. Helen lives in native childhood her native home of childhood Sea Island, home of Seanot Island, Ga. when travelling Ga. not travelling orwhen attending industry orfunctions attendingwith industry her functions with her husband, Don. Magazine 12 in the Mixhusband, Don.

Larr y McGinn, Par tner Larr y McGinn, Par tner Celeste Dinos, Par tner Celeste Dinos, Par tner Don Billings, Founding Par tner Don Billings, Founding Par tner

Dr. Joel Dr. Joel Feigenheimer Feigenheimer Dr. Joel Dr. Joel Feigenheimer is a Feigenheimer is a for mer oper ator forand meranoper ator Assistant and an Assistant Professor at The Professor at The of Chaplin School Chaplin School ofida Hospitality, Flor Hospitality, Flor ida Inter national Inter national Univer sity. Univer sity.

Managing Editor – Michael Raven Managing Editor Michael Raven Designed by – –Kester Chau of DFE Media Designed by – Kester Chau of–DFE Media Neal Copy Editor & Proofreader Christine Copy Editor Editor & Proofreader Christine Neal Associate – Celeste– Dinos Associate Editor – Celeste Associate Editor – Helen Dinos Benefield Billings Associate Editor – Helen Benefield Billings E D I TOR I A L A N D BU S I N E S S OFFIC E E D I TOR I A L A N D BU S I N E S S OFFIC E 1 1 9 6 B u c k h e a d C ro s s in g 1 1Wo 9 6 oBdusctkohceka,dGCAro3 s0s1in 8 9g Wo o d s t o c k , G A 3 0 1 8 9 P H O N E 7 7 0 - 9 2 8 - 1 9 8 0 | FA X 7 7 0 - 5 1 7 - 8 8 4 9 P H O N E 7 7 0 - 9 2 8 - 1 9 8 0 | FA X 7 7 0- 5 1 7 - 8 8 4 9 E M A I L m ike @ it m m a g .c o m E M A I L m ike @ it m m a g .c o m WE B I T M m a g .c o m WE B I T M m a g .c o m i n t h e M i x is p u b lis h e d q u a r t e r ly. R e p ro du cti o n o f a ny i n pthhoet oMg ri xapis r ly. p R f a ny hy,p aurbtlis woh rekd, qour a rctoepy reepparo redu d cti byo nin othe Mix p hiso t os tgrric apt ly hy, paro r thwo r ke,d ow r itchoopy by nin p the ib it u t ppre r i poar rewdr i tte e r m iMix ssi o n is osft rtic p r irosr aw p eer rm iassi h et lyp upbro lishhib e r.it e d T hw e itahdoveu rt t ise n dr i tte p u bn l i sh re onno t o f ret hs pe opnus biblis T hbelea dfo verr tm is is e rs a nr m d aptiuobnl i,shme irsparre n o to r leh eor.r lia in fo i n ts, retsyppoongsribapleh icoarl elia b ler s .foArll m iscint ro fo rnm m ibsp i n ts, o r in rro e le i ca ti fi ol ens, su m ri tte d to t y pt hoeg M r ap e rro s .pAe ll d the to in i xhbice aclo m e p rro r t ye le o fctthro e nmi ca gfia lzie ns esu . ©b2m0i1tte 9 in Mix t h ea nMd i xBbueild c oinmge Bpero o f rt ahgeema a zin ne ess™ . © 2 01 11 99 6in Bthe t tpeerr tByeve B ug si u ckMix head a nC d ro B us sild B eotdt setro B e ss™ u ck h ed.a d in in g , gWo c keve , GrAa g3e0 1B8u9si. n A l l R i g1h1ts9 6R eBse r ve C ro s s in g , Wo o d s t o c k , G A 3 0 1 8 9 . A l l R i g h ts R e se r ve d.

in the Mix is exclusively operated and owned by Incentive in Marketing the Mix is Inc exclusively operated and owned by Incentive . Marketing Inc . Submissions: Incentive Marketing Inc. assumes Submissions: Incentive Marketing Inc. assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or nophotographs. responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.

Summer 2014 • itmmag.com

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Uniquely Paso Robles, Authentically J. Lohr The J. Lohr Pure Paso™ Proprietary Red Wine is exactly what the name suggests: authentic Paso Robles winegrowing history captured in a bottle. It is our tribute to one of the world’s great winegrowing regions – a special place that we are proud to call home.

@JLohrWines | jlohr.com © 2021 J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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SPOTLIGHT ON Jeanette Rolla

Senior Account Manager

Can you tell us a little about yourself? I joined IMI in October of 2017 as an Account Manager to oversee the Aramark Sports & Entertainment Adult Beverage Program. After 20 years of onpremise food & beverage management, I was excited to find a role that would capitalize on my experiences and keep me in the industry I love, while still allowing for that sought-after work/life balance. The last three and a half years have flown by as I learned an entirely new aspect of the F&B business. I specifically have enjoyed being part of a team with such a diverse background of knowledge and experiences. The collaboration and resources are endless! Prior to joining IMI, I worked as a Premium Director with 14

in the Mix Magazine

Aramark Sports & Entertainment for six years at Citi Field and Wells Fargo Center, consecutively. While this last year brought a lot of change in how we do our business, it also brought the happiest of personal changes: my engagement! What are your responsibilities within IMI? I focus on curating beverage programs with my clients. The process always starts with selecting partners and brands that make sense for different occasions and experiences, in addition to those that drive revenue and appeal to a wide variety of guests and fans across the country. I’ve concentrated on cultivating relationships with the client and suppliers to provide operators with resources in


mixology, beverage trend insights, onsite or virtual training and education, as well as service innovation and creative menu design. Over the last year, I have expanded into providing unique virtual tasting experiences to keep operators engaged with the program. With your work with Aramark, you probably can’t have one favorite sports team, but do you? As I was growing up on Long Island, my uncle sparked my love for baseball and the New York Mets by bringing me to many games at Shea Stadium. When I started working at Citi Field in 2011 with Aramark, it was literally a dream come true to walk the halls with some of the legends I had grown up watching on the field.

Tell us about that adorable dog of yours! I rescued Tucker in 2015. I fell in love with his underbite and signature snaggletooth while volunteering at a shelter in Philadelphia and had to adopt him. He quickly became my travel companion and has adventured everywhere with me. We lovingly call him the mascot of the Atlanta IMI office. Supporting local charities is extremely important to me and most recently, Tucker won Georgia’s Cutest Pet Contest and raised over $1,000 for the Atlanta Humane Society.

What are your hobbies outside of work? I love to be outdoors, at the pool, running the trail along the Chattahoochee River, or kayaking down it. What is your favorite adult beverage? Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. What is your favorite travel destination? My first overseas trip was to Italy in 2014, and it sparked my passion for international travel. The history, culture, marketplaces and food surrounding the city of Rome paired with the beaches of Positano and Capri make up my ideal vacation. Summer 2021 • itmmag.com 15


IMANAGE

MENUS

EASY-TO-EXECUTE QR CODE DIGITAL MENUS JUST IN TIME FOR A SPRING LTO FOR DIGITAL OR PRINT QR Coded Menus are here to stay because they’re easyto-execute, editable without needing to be reprinted and they have the option of being all text or enhanced with mouth-watering imagery of your featured appetizers and thirst-quenching beverage specials. This happens all before your customer has even scrolled down to the entrée section. Use this flexible platform to drive beverage sales.

SCAN TO VIEW ONLINE MENU

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in the Mix Magazine


Here are some examples of guest-facing printed deliverables to support your online menu in both restaurant and hotel markets.

Restaurant LTO’s

Thirsty anyone?

Thirsty anyone? FOR EVERY GLASS OF BEER YOU PURCHASE NOW THROUGH XX/XX/XXXX,

FOR EVERY GLASS OF WINE YOU PURCHASE NOW THROUGH XX/XX/XXXX,

Thirsty anyone?

FOR EVERY COCKTAIL YOU PURCHASE NOW THROUGH XX/XX/XXXX, we’ll donate $X to name of charity/cause, or our servers and bartenders tip fund. We’re committed to the safety and wellness of our customers. We have practices in place so you can safely enjoy carryout or delivery.

we’ll donate $X to name of charity/cause, or our servers and bartenders tip fund. We’re committed to the safety and wellness of our customers. We have practices in place so you can safely enjoy carryout or delivery.

we’ll donate $X to name of charity/cause, or our servers and bartenders tip fund. We’re committed to the safety and wellness of our customers. We have practices in place so you can safely enjoy carryout or delivery. LOGO

LOGO

LOGO

GUEST-FACING POSTERS

Hotel LTO’s

TABLE TENT

FOR EVERY GLASS OF WINE YOU PURCHASE NOW THROUGH XX/XX/XXXX,

FOR EVERY BEER YOU PURCHASE NOW THROUGH XX/XX/XXXX,

we’ll donate $X to name of charity/cause, or our servers and bartenders tip fund.

we’ll donate $X to name of charity/cause, or our servers and bartenders tip fund.

Challenging times tend to bring out the best in all of us. We find ways to help each other, so we can all come out ok. With that in mind, we invite you to enjoy a drink, knowing a portion of the price will support a very worthy cause.

Challenging times tend to bring out the best in all of us. We find ways to help each other, so we can all come out ok. With that in mind, we invite you to enjoy a drink, knowing a portion of the price will support a very worthy cause.

Thank you for caring, and for choosing to be our guest today!

Thank you for caring, and for choosing to be our guest today!

FOR EVERY COCKTAIL YOU PURCHASE NOW THROUGH XX/XX/XXXX, WE’LL DONATE $X TO NAME OF CHARITY/CAUSE, OR OUR SERVERS AND BARTENDERS TIP FUND. Challenging times tend to bring out the best in all of us. We find ways to help each other, so we can all come out ok. With that in mind, we invite you to enjoy a drink, knowing a portion of the price will support a very worthy cause. Thank you for caring, and for choosing to be our guest today!

GUEST-FACING POSTERS

IN-ROOM SIGNAGE 17


IMANAGE

VIRTUAL

FULL-SERVICE SUPPORT FOR YOUR VIRTUAL EVENT Meetings and events today invariably include utilizing an online format that’s 100% virtual, with all participants attending from remote locations via their preferred devices. Compatibility and Convenience Our solutions provide a smooth, easy integration with your preferred video conferencing tools (Zoom, Webex, Teams, GoToWebinar, etc), as well as mobile optimization with homescreen access. Our team of experienced strategic event experts can help you plan, promote, monetize, and implement an engaging, successful event-every time. For more information, contact us at events@imiagency.com today.

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in the Mix Magazine


ADD-ONS! SALES INCENTIVES: iManagePromo™ Scoreboard | This online application helps you track, manage, and promote your LTOs, incentivizing your outlet managers by providing them clear goals and the ability to track their progress. SOCIAL SUPPORT: Let us develop a social media PR campaign to help promote your beverage initiatives.

IMANAGEPROMO™ SCOREBOARD

Summer 2019 • itmmag.com

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2021 — The Year of Raising Prices By Joel Feigenheimer

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Prices are rising on every front. Food prices have lunged to their highest monthly jump in years. Fuel seems to be going up weekly. (Remember the days of “fuel surcharges” on your invoices?) Labor prices are not far behind as some response to the “fight for $15” is taking hold nationwide. Why work when you can stay home and make nearly as much as you would have made on the job? Operators nationwide are at a critical point in their ability to generate sustainable profits after the repercussions of the COVID pandemic. Many operators renegotiated their leases (those who could stay in business) for extended payment options. Those payments that were pushed off are now starting to be added to present monthly lease payments. This perfect storm of expense inflation is producing the only result that it can — the reality that for an operator to stay profitable, prices must rise.


Most people agree you cannot raise a family on $9 an hour. However, most of our entry-level positions offer just entry-level wages. Those wages were never meant to support a family but instead to start someone on their way to moving up the ladder, if they chose to get more training in our field. With entry-level positions soon to be paid at $15 per hour, does that mean more highly trained employees will now earn $20 or $25 per hour? If operators are going to pay these wages — and I am not here to argue that point one way or the other — there must be income to offset this increased expense. I remember the last time beef prices skyrocketed, and operators were afraid to raise prices for fear of losing market share. I watched how different steakhouse organizations responded. Some cut portion size or quality; others decreased their level of service. Some did both. However, I remember going to New York Prime in Boca Raton, Florida (FYI, I do not have any connection with them) and seeing a note attached


to the menu. It commented on the fact that prices were rising everywhere and confirmed that the company had made a cognizant decision to keep their standards the same. And due to that, they were going to raise prices and hoped that their guests would understand. I found that honesty and reflection of reality to be refreshing, as opposed to going into another steakhouse and being disappointed at the quality or quantity changes in the product. Operators at every price point will have to determine their own strategies on how to keep and improve market share, deal with the upcoming inflation, attract and keep quality employees and — let’s not forget — make a profit. Just when we thought things would be getting back to normal after COVID, we realize this is truly a new normal. We will have to deal with these challenges of ramping up our businesses while battling inflation on almost every front, even more astutely than when we had to watch over our operations as business dwindled and the government shut us down. Nimble operating and accurate planning will help us moving forward. However, I don’t see businesses generating a profit unless they are bold enough to raise their prices and deliver the message to the guest in a logical and intelligent manner that makes the guest feel included or understood, as opposed to tricked or cheated. Good luck to us all for Summer 2021 and the remainder of this wild year. 22

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ART BY ERI C NYFFELER

Elouan means “good light” and is inspired by the longer days and abundant sunshine that drew California winemaker Joseph Wagner to the foothills of Oregon’s coastal range where he could achieve his vision for a vibrant, full-bodied style of Pinot Noir.

@elouanwines

is proud sponsor of © 2021 Copper Cane LLC, St. Helena, CA

Spring 2019 • itmmag.com

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Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans Introduces Chandelier Bar Lobby Bar features extensive cocktail program by Hadi Ktiri, complemented by cuisine from Alon Shaya Celebrating the rich and renowned history of New Orleans cocktail culture, Chandelier Bar is the glamorous lower-level centerpiece of Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. Rooted in tradition, Beverage Manager Hadi Ktiri’s purposeful menu reflects stellar executions of the Crescent City’s most famous cocktails while enveloped within a namesake custom chandelier of 15,000 crystals. Here, guests enjoy beautiful executions of New Orleans historical classics such as the Sazerac, Ramos Fizz, Hurricane and French 75, as well as more obscure variations meant to transport guests through creative storytelling and art. 24

in the Mix Magazine

Abuzz with celebration, Chandelier Bar also offers the city’s finest collection of premium Champagnes and sparkling wines, including Dom Pérignon and Ruinart by the glass. Complementing the beverage program are caviar service and a menu from acclaimed New Orleans chef Alon Shaya, showcasing delicious bites meant to be shared and savored. Now overseeing the bar program at Chandelier Bar and throughout the Hotel, Ktiri previously gained prominence as one of the principal bartenders at the famed French 75 Bar at Arnaud’s, and was an integral part of winning the 2017 James Beard Award for Outstanding


Bar Program. “Chandelier Bar is the energy center of Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans and a passionate tribute to the illustrious cocktail tradition of the city,” says Mali Carow, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans. “Wrapped within this stunning chandelier, guests from near and far will connect, celebrate and indulge here as part of their New Orleans experience, tasting New Orleans in every savored sip.” Designed by Bill Rooney Interiors, Chandelier Bar is the centerpiece of the lobby and offers 85 seats (22 at the bar, 51 in the lounge and 12 on the garden terrace) set in curated social spaces. The experience creates a layered story of discovery in a room subdivided by contemporary shutter screens of oak, iron and curated art that create intimate spaces with their arrangement. Enveloped by a grand lighting installation made up of varying crystal and glass arrangements creating the hint of an heirloom chandelier shape, the twinkling reflective gentle movement of the chandelier results in an alluring mood, which changes from morning through night. The lobby is envisioned as a garden pavilion, with an interior atmosphere composed of an eclectic and contemporary arrangement of classic curiosities surrounded by a lush garden sanctuary. The chandelier’s 15,000 glass trimmings (12,500 on the central piece and 2,500 on the outer ring) comprise round, pendeloque and almond shaped crystals, as well as high-quality clear optical glass in tulip and ball shapes. Designed by Preciosa, the chandelier measures 20 L x 14 W x 13.5 H feet (6 L x 4.3 W x 4 H meters), and features Bohemian crystals from Crystal Valley, Czech Republic. Curated by Kate Chertavian Fine Art, the collection exhibited at Chandelier Bar and throughout the lobby level includes Louisiana-based artist George Dunbar’s clay and gold leaf panels and New York-based artist Leonardo Drew’s relief works on paper. Immediately upon entering the hotel visitors are confronted with a visual conversation.

Top: General Manager, Mali Carow Middle: Chef, Alon Shaya Bottom: Beverage Manager, Hadi Ktiri Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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Fall 2018 • itmmag.com

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ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SPIRIT LAUNCHES IN HISTORY A N D T H E M O ST FO L LOW E D S P I R I T O N I N S TA G R A M

AN ULTRA SMOOTH BLEND WITH NOTES OF VANILLA, HONEY, AND TOASTED WOOD

C O N TA C T YO U R L O C A L P R O X I M O S P I R I T S A C C O U N T M A N A G E R 28

in the Mix Magazine


A truly unique portable beer cart. Spring 2019 • itmmag.com

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is Owning the Upswing in the Mix Magazine


Left to Right: Resting Spritz, Down the Hatch and Peter Piper. Fall 2018 • itmmag.com

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As the industry emerges from the pandemic, Sage Restaurant Concepts is answering the call with an aggressive roster of reopenings, new openings and property transitions, including 14 restaurant and bar outlets in one month alone. Two of the newest concepts within The Rally Hotel in Denver, Colorado, which were spearheaded by VP of Beverage Brandon Wise, bring exciting, creative beverage programs to the table. The Original – or the OG – reinvents the neighborhood eatery, combining timeless inspiration from classic Americana with inventive and playful modern flair. With influences ranging from the 1950’s diner to the elegant railway dining cars of days past, you’ll find a nostalgic collection of comforts, classics and curiosities with a modern twist. The bar program reflects the brand ethos with classics like the OG Old Fashioned with High West American Prairie Bourbon, Infinity Amaro Blend and House Bitters served over a laser-cut, logo-branded ice cube. Other offerings include a collection of comforting boozy milkshakes and creativelynamed curiosities, like the Resting Spritz Face (Leopold Bros. Apertivo, Truly Strawberry Lemonade Seltzer, San Pellegrino Blood Orange Soda), Peter Piper (Hendrick’s Gin, Fancy Vermouth Blend, Olive Bitters, Lemon Salt, Pickled Peppers) and Down the Hatch (Herradura Silver, Ancho Reyes Poblano Chili, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, Agave, Lime). The Rally Bar, where weekend meets weekday, is a lively, upscale bar across from Coors Field at the intersection of all that Denver has to offer. Featured are elevated twists on ballpark staples, curated flavors meant to inspire discovery and a creative beverage program highlighting hyper-local craft beers and spirits. Come as you are and experience our authentically good energy, approachable luxury and modern simplicity. Cocktail program standouts include the signature Rally Up (Family Jones Vodka, St. Germain, Butterfly Pea Tea, Lemon, Grapefruit), Golden Sombrero (Dano’s Dangerous Blanco Tequila, Ancho Reyes Poblano Chili, Agave, Lime, Spicy Bitters), Pennant Punch (Plantation 3 Stars Rum, Appleton Estate Rum, Pog Juice, Lime) and Painting the Black Manhattan (High West Double Rye, Smoked Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Averna, House Bitters). 32

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OG Old Fashioned Summer 2019 • itmmag.com

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RIGHT: The signature cocktail the Rally Up. BELOW: Rally Bar cocktails. FAR RIGHT TOP: The Original (The OG) bar. FAR RIGHT BOTTOM: The Rally Bar.

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Kathy Casey Launches SHOT BAR Pop-Up at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

New Concept at Rel’Lish Offers Passengers Shots of Tequila, Vodka and Whiskey On the Go

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elebrity Seattle chef Kathy Casey is bringing the new popup concept SHOT BAR, a quick serve counter for adult libations, to Rel’Lish Burger Lounge™ at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). It’s located on Concourse B and passengers waiting for a table at Rel’Lish, or those on the move, can order from a menu of chilled spirits. Just order, shoot your shot and go. SHOT BAR is the first concept like this to open at a U.S. airport. “Limited seats are available for passengers to have a cocktail at the airport due to physical distancing protocols, but the interest from travelers for adult libations remains high,” said Kathy Casey. “SHOT BAR addresses that in a fun and pioneering way! Plus, there’s nothing more fun than a quick shot to kick off vacation. SHOT BAR offers a fast and safe solution to serve today’s traveler during the pandemic. The Port of Seattle is paving the way for us to lead with new ideas, and we’re grateful for their support.

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The drink menu features several options to accommodate the spirit palates of every guest, with selections ranging from Hornitos Crystalino Tequila and Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint to Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, and local Northwest favorite Heritage Brown Sugar Bourbon. The drinks are dispensed from a to-go counter for travelers on the move. And, with a nod and a wink to kitsch, the beverages are served in two-ounce versions of iconic red Solo cups. “The next time you visit SEA the experience looks and feels different, including how you dine, imbibe and shop,” said Dawn Hunter, Director of Commercial Management at SEA. “2020 was difficult for our airport and the businesses here due to the pandemic and its impacts on travel. It is exciting to embrace innovations like SHOT BAR to continue to create positive experiences for travelers during their journey.”

Kathy Casey has multiple locations at the airport, including Rel’Lish Burger Lounge (located in Concourse B), Lucky Louie Fish Shack® (Central Terminal) and Dish D’Lish® (located in Concourse C).

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Evolution of the Classic Cocktail with Andrew Pollard of

Over the last 20 years, cocktail culture went from slinging drinks to a resurgence in mixology and the modern “golden era” of cocktails. Andrew Pollard, Beverage Innovation Director at Monin, acclaimed winner at Tales of the Cocktail, recipient of the Tony Abou-Ganim Paragon Award, and renowned Las Vegas cocktail connoisseur, takes you on his journey through the evolution of the classic cocktail while adding flavorful twists that will capture the tastebuds of today and deliver beauty in its simplicity. 40

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Most of you remember, and for those who don’t, that before the early 2000s, Vodka was king, artificial juices reigned supreme and Alabama Slammers, Apple Martinis, and sweet, red drinks were all the rage. We lived in this world for 25-30 years, where the appreciation for many liquors was lost, and the overly sweet taste of drinks lasted on our tongues well until the morning. This time is often referred to as the “cocktail dark ages” — until one day, someone lit a torch. Scouring through old pre-Prohibition era recipes, bartenders in the late 1990s and early 2000s became enamored with the beautiful yet straightforward cocktails from that age. Gin seized their attention with its light, aromatic and approachable flavor that delivered the perfect base to add a modern spin. With a simple spritz from a fresh lemon, the once lost and forgotten Aviation cocktail quickly grew in popularity throughout cocktail bars worldwide. This cocktail celebrated the preProhibition era in all its Gin glamour, using hard-to-find maraschino and Violette liqueurs. While this drink has lost its luster, it is still highly regarded. And, by adding new flavors to the mix, it will quickly draw the customer back to this classic. My take on the Aviation cocktail is called “The Violet Femme.” It is a simple variation that was also a winning cocktail in the Bombay Sapphire/GQ’s Most Inspired Bartender Competition of 2009, and which I bring with me wherever I go.


Violet Femme

Glass Size: 8 oz. Coupe Glass ½ oz Monin Elderflower Syrup 1 oz fresh lemon juice ¾ oz Luxardo Maraschino 2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin

Shake and double strain into chilled glass rimmed with violet sugar and lemon. As the fondness for the Gin and boutique spirits grew, so did the interest in the dark spirits. Around the early to mid-2000s, the dark and sexy speakeasies started to arise, immersing customers in dimly lit, jazz-laden atmospheres. Consummate bartenders would concoct rich and boozy cocktails, leading to the affinity for the infamous Old Fashioned cocktails customers regularly order today. Brown, bitter and stirred were the three dominating characteristics that became the vehicle for many of the great bold and boozy cocktails, which were (and still are) synonymous with the renaissance of the speakeasy-style cocktail bar. In this rendition of the Old Fashioned, you’re in with “The In Crowd,” as the cocktail showcases a robust depth of profile and complexity that evolves with every sip.

The In Crowd

Glass Size: 10 oz. Rocks/Old Fashioned ½ oz Monin Orange Spritz Syrup ½ oz Monin Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate 3 dashes Tobacco bitters 2 oz Rye Whiskey 2 sprays Islay Whisky Pour and gently stir over a large ice cube. Spray Islay Whisky over finished drink. Around the same time the dark and moody speakeasies were popular, a countertrend was occurring with the lively and playful Tiki. Tiki culture was popularized throughout the 1940s and 1950s and became a lifestyle for many. As all good things come to an end, the Tiki era took a turn for the worse during the dark ages of cocktails. However, the great cocktail resurgence of the 2000s kicked the Tiki craze back up a notch and the tropical favorite came back, better and more stylish than before. From a proper, balanced Mai Tai to the buried treasure of cocktails like The Jungle Bird, dug up by modern-day Godfather of Tiki Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, these tropical potions were seen and made with deep appreciation. The Jungle Bird was the first Tiki cocktail I fell in love with, and I paid homage to that with my New-Age rendition of “Birds of a Feather.” The perfect melody of flavors in this beverage makes sure that these birds do flock together. Summer 2019 • itmmag.com 41


Birds of a Feather Glass Size: 8 oz. 2 pumps Monin Basil Concentrated Flavor ¾ oz Monin Pineapple Syrup ¾ oz fresh lime juice ¾ oz Campari Apéritif 2 oz aged Rum

Shake and strain via a funnel into a chilled bird-shaped serving glass. As Tiki raged on, the cocktail world came full circle as the highball, the epitome of beauty in simplicity, blossomed into popularity. Gin & Tonic, Paloma, Whiskey & Soda and Dark & Stormy are just a few of commonly recognized cocktails in the highball family. As easy as it seems to mix liquor and a mixer, there is true art in mastering the highball. Adopting techniques from the Japanese drinking culture, attention to detail is paramount in perfecting this simple task, using precise methods and only the highest-quality ingredients. Spirit selection, quality ice, superior mixers served almost too cold to touch, and with just the right amount of agitation, are benchmarks of a great highball. In honor of the Japanese drinking culture and the increased popularity of Japanese Whisky, this highball is a melody of Asian flavors for which you can say, “Kanpai!”

Honey Jasmine Highball Glass size: 12 oz. Collins ½ oz Monin Honey Jasmine Syrup ½ oz fresh lemon juice 3 dashes Japanese umami bitters 2 oz Japanese Whisky 4 oz spiced orange ginger ale

Stir ingredients, excluding ginger ale, until combined in glass with ice. Gently stir in ginger ale to finish and serve. The history of cocktails can be traced back hundreds of years, yet there is still so much room for innovation and new creation. As beverage development continues to evolve, we must remember not to lose sight of our humble beginnings. For the foreseeable future, delivering beautiful and simplistic cocktails using fresh, natural ingredients is here to stay. However, it is not about reinventing the wheel; it is about making the wheel go faster by understanding the basics, working from the classics and integrating new flavors, techniques and processes to make our beverages even better. Cheers, Andrew Pollard 42

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Drink Honorably™ Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, 50% and 46.5% Alc/Vol, Nearest Green Distillery, Shelbyville, TN. © 2021 Uncle Nearest Inc.

WWW.UNCLENEAREST.COM Spring 2019 • itmmag.com

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Cover Story

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Bradley Moore Vice President

Aimbridge Hospitality merged with Interstate Hotels and Resorts in October 2019, and the combined portfolio makes Aimbridge the largest third-party hotel management company in the world. Aimbridge now operates over 1,500 branded and independent full service and select service luxury hotels, destination resorts, convention centers and lifestyle hotels. This portfolio takes Aimbridge to 49 U.S. states and 20 countries across the globe. in the Mix last spoke with Bradley Moore in September of 2017. A lot has happened since then, so it is time to check back in with the Vice President and beverage leader of the largest lodging portfolio in the world. ITM: Thanks for joining us again, Bradley. Tell us about your role with Aimbridge Hospitality as compared to your role with Interstate Hotels and Resorts. Bradley Moore: Beyond working with a larger portfolio, we have an incredible team, bringing the talent of Aimbridge, Evolution and Interstate F&B together; and creating this force of 10 people with a very diverse skill set has been amazing. The collaboration on projects and processes makes you remember why you got into this business in the first place. The combined company creates so many more advantages of scale and ability to attract talent, just to name a few benefits. It seems like the worst of the pandemic is behind us, our merger integration is in the rearview mirror, and we have a great team — I’m excited for what’s ahead! Summer 2021 • itmmag.com 45


ITM: I see there are eight different “verticals” as you call them. They cover all the different types of hotels from luxury and resorts to economy. Is this a new way to classify and manage the diverse types of properties and branded hotels you manage? BM: Our teams are deployed against eight operating verticals, so our experts are immersed in and understand the nuances of operating, selling and hiring, and developing talent in each vertical. This structure provides a personalized, focused approach on each hotel so we can deliver strong outcomes for our hotels and owners — it is definitely not a cookie-cutter approach. The verticals are Luxury & Resort, Lifestyle, Full Service–Corporate, Full Service–Group,

Select-Service Enhanced with F&B, SelectService, Extended Stay, and Economy. For example, selling to a customer and servicing a guest in Extended Stay is very different than in Luxury & Resorts, requiring different skill sets, different customers, selling strategies, labor models, guest experiences and activations. ITM: The merger happened right before the pandemic. That must have been the last thing you needed. What was the course of action to keep everything together? BM: Well, it was the last thing any of us needed. But looking back, we had an amazing integration plan and team that kept all of us focused and on task. Early on, our leadership made the decision to maintain as many corporate teams as

Bradley Moore, Vice President, Aimbridge Hospitality

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Typical street in Jerez, Spain


1 HARD SELTZER ON-PREMISE

#

For more information on adding White Claw® to your beverage program:

Chander Bhola

Sr. Director, On-Premise National Accounts (513) 720-3375 | cbhola@mikeshard.com Spring 2019 • itmmag.com 47

Please Drink Responsibly. Hard Seltzer with Flavors. All Registered Trademarks, used under license by White Claw Seltzer Works, Chicago, IL 60661. Nutritional information available at whiteclaw.com


possible so we could directly support our hotel teams, who were on the front lines of this pandemic. We started with daily calls, seven days a week including holidays, with our GMs so we could provide guidance and they could provide us feedback. I have to say that I’m extremely proud as a member of the Operations Resources team that we were trailblazers in our approach and efficiencies. ITM: You are directing Food and Beverage for the Select Division and leading beverage across the Premium FullService and Evolution Lifestyle portfolios. Tell us how you work with Gus and Paul to maximize beverage offerings, activations and sales.

BM: I’m delighted to say that earlier this year we launched the “Mix & Muddle” Beverage Program that I oversee, with seven tiers and nearly 500 participating hotels. It’s been an incredible accomplishment, a differentiator for Aimbridge and a powerful resource for our properties. In my role, I focus on F&B operations and beverage for Select-Service, FullService and Lifestyle verticals. Working with Gus and Paul has been great, and their support within their verticals has been crucial with on-boarding and activations. We’ve been proactive to come out of the pandemic strong, so with everything reopening and with nearly all hotels on FinTech now, we all have the tools to manage the program and maximize activations, sales and profits.

Back row from left: Andy Nelson, Paul Lynch, Bradley Moore, Meghan Schulze, Angela Kuzma Front row from left: Wesley Gray, Gus Laliotis, Jon Eyer

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Bradley Moore (left), Paul Lynch (right)

Gus Laliotis

Paul Lynch (left), Jon Eyer (right)

Summer 2018 • itmmag.com 49


ITM: You just launched a myriad of one-year beverage programs across all the divisions. What can the hotels and supplier partners expect in the coming year? BM: It will be a very focused approach, be it outlets, rooftop bars, catering or market places. We truly believe that our attention to detail in each of the verticals will set us apart from our competition in beverage sales. ITM: “Think like a guest — act like an owner” and “Think WE not ME” — I found these tenets in the “Our Values” section of your website. They are some pretty good values to abide by. Are these some of the core values that help Aimbridge Hospitality stand out? BM: One reason why the Aimbridge and Interstate merger was so successful was how similar both organizations were in regard to company culture. We believe in a people-first culture. It’s not by coincidence that our new values came out early on after the merger. As leaders, we were all highly interested in taking a thoughtful approach to what described this newly combined company: to define who we are, who we want to be, what we’re all about. Our values differentiate Aimbridge through our associates, hotel owners and prospective employees. We immerse our values into everything we do. It’s pretty important to our success. ITM: I was reading the news and saw that the Rio Las Vegas ownership has engaged Aimbridge Hospitality to reposition the Rio Las Vegas to 50

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multiple Hyatt full-service brand offerings, including taking one of the towers and transforming it into a Hyatt Regency, as well as reconditioning all of the current public spaces including gaming, retail, food and beverage, spa and fitness, and pool recreation deck. Sounds like a big job! Will you be involved in this? BM: Huge win for us! I can’t imagine anyone with Aimbridge that won’t be touched by this. With the diversity of the Hyatt brands touching so many of our verticals, Gus, Paul and I will all have second addresses. ITM: With all this complexity, IMI has expanded the team that supports beverage programming. How will Meghan, Wes and Andy be Building Better Beverage Business™? BM: Let’s just say that the last three months have been fantastic as we reopen the outlets and have this team supporting the hotels. Specifically, Meghan, our beverage marketing person, is tasked with activations and LTOs by verticals. Wes, our beverage analyst, breaks down the FinTech data and the menu compliancy data, and sends weekly reports to our SVPs. Andy, our newest team member and corporate mixologist, is creating cocktails and menus as well as handling reopenings and openings; and, to be quite honest, I haven’t seen a lot of him lately … very busy guy and a very busy team.


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Left to Right: Wesley Gray, Meghan Schulze and Andy Nelson

Meet Our Beverage Team! With significant growth and changes over the past year, Aimbridge Hospitality is excited to introduce a new beverage team who will be working with Bradley Moore to help promote and support Aimbridge Hospitality’s Mix & Muddle Beverage program. Meghan Schulze – Beverage Marketing Specialist Meghan comes to Aimbridge after years working in bar management, event coordination, menu creation, marketing and community activation. With relocating to Aimbridge Hospitality HQ this summer, she is excited to begin working with beverage supplier partners and helping hotels with beverage opportunities – specifically with partnerships, beverage marketing and menu optimization. Andy Nelson – Beverage Ideation Lead Andy comes to Aimbridge after years of mixology, staff training and bar management in the Lifestyle Hotel space. He is a resource 52

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for property management in the areas of beverage concepting, training and the execution of the beverage program at property level. Andy will assist Meghan with opening beverage menus and setting the hotels up with bar management systems and measurement metrics. Andy is a road warrior and looks forward to adding beverage expertise for the hotels. Wesley Gray – Beverage Data Analyst Wes is the go-to guy for managing data integrity, especially regarding beverage, across all Aimbridge F&B platforms. This includes analyzing data and sales trends, monitoring property compliance to the beverage program and fostering efficacy and success at every property. Wes was instrumental in helping Aimbridge evaluate and navigate food and beverage opportunities throughout COVID. Wes has become a powerhouse in all things Aimbridge data analytics.


Photo by Drew Clark


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reathe a deep sigh of relief; consumers are on the move again. As millions of newly-vaccinated consumers plan summer activities and travel, on-premise alcohol sales are expected to climb significantly from the largely locked-down summer a year ago. Stadiums and movie theaters are seeing customers return; airports, train stations and hotels will be filling up with travelers anxious to resume whatever their “new normal” looks like. But what will they want when they get there? Something fresh and new, to

And there’s another incentive. Although travel is expected to be up significantly from last year, it’s far from a state of full recovery. Many consumers are still apprehensive about spending too much time in crowds or heavilytrafficked areas, even once they buy a ticket to a show or book a vacation to an exotic locale. It will be critical to balance consumers’ demands for the new and innovative with a way that’s safe and sustainable for the future. Dishes and drinks that can’t be easily replicated at home are the top

What Will the New-Normal Look Like for On-Premise Imbibing? By Samantha Des Jardins of Datassential

be sure. More than ever, consumers will demand innovation, eager to experience food and drinks that they can’t replicate at home. And many consumers throughout the pandemic have stretched the definition of what they can create for themselves. To-go cocktail kits and other alcohol delivery, for example, have given them the opportunity to indulge in the comfort of their homes. To differentiate, on-premise providers will have to innovate not just in the drinks they are creating but also in how drinks are purchased and consumed. Consumers have evolved and are demanding more than perhaps ever before.

reason two-thirds of consumers surveyed by Datassential say they’ll opt for foodservice. Also top on the list of desires are variety and the opportunity to try “something new and exciting.” And then there’s another important trend to keep in mind this summer — nearly 30 percent of consumers want indulgent food and drinks and offerings that feel like a “treat” and a near-equal number want healthier options. Variety and balance is the name of the game. One major trend in alcohol consumption that is easily translatable to a post-pandemic future is technology. Adult beverages are becoming Summer 2021 • itmmag.com 55


accessible at any time and nearly anywhere, and consumers will expect the same convenience when they are at an event or on a trip. That could include anything from alcohol in vending in an airport or other public space (a trend that’s not uncommon in countries like Japan) to smart cocktail systems or self-serve/ in-room taps, all of which will be increasingly in demand as consumers want to have more control over their individual experience and less contact with others. Along with this technology, single-serve, pre-made cocktails are also gaining steam, as is canned wine. Both are enticing options for a booze vending service. Looking to the more extreme, cocktail systems powered by artificial intelligence are also popping up, utilizing AI to invent customized cocktails based on an individual’s preferences or predict which cocktails one would enjoy on a particular bar menu. While

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staff recommendations still hold outsized influence, many consumers — younger ones, in particular — are gravitating more toward computer-generated options. Delivery methods are an increasingly important differentiator as well, and are especially critical for those consumers who are concerned about contamination or germs. The methods that consumers rank most interesting include beverages sent to customers with a tamper-proof seal on ready-to-drink bottles or cans. Giving consumers the option for these types of beverages could save a sale from a nervous consumer and also encourage others to imbibe more freely. When it comes to drink formats, large format cocktails, long a mainstay at casual chains, are seeing a resurgence as consumers gravitate toward experiential food and drink and Instagramworthy design. These drinks have eye-catching appeal that can lure other bar-goers to choose similarly flashy drinks for themselves, but they have an obvious pandemic red-flag: It only takes one person in a party to say they feel unsafe sharing a drink with a group. The post-pandemic solution? Present the shareable (and Instagrammable) group drink to the table, allow a few photos to be taken, and then offer guests the option of having servers dole out individual portions so everyone is not drinking from the same large container. Much like a wedding cake that’s presented Photo by Steven Krause

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so the bride and groom can take a bite before the dessert is removed and sliced, this provides the best of both worlds for customers desperately wanting to return to normal and capture a new summer experience, but appeases some in the party who may be nervous about sharing. Elevated brunch cocktails are also a social-media friendly and increasingly popular option for those who want something new and exciting. Flaming, color-changing and otherwise over-thetop cocktails loaded with toppings also are gaining popularity with consumers, particularly millennials. And as consumers demand a more adventurous drink, booze from around the world, particularly from Asia, is gaining ground, including sake, Japanese Whiskey and the addition of yuzu in mixed drinks. Floral and herbal elements are also finding their way into drinks as both flavoring 58

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agents and stunning visual flair. Rosé is also still going strong and extending beyond its wine popularity to beer, cider and even a frozen drink perfect for summer — f’rosé. Just as it’s important to blend consumers’ demand for healthy and indulgent, it will be equally important to balance the desire for innovation and a classic drink. About two-thirds of visitors to hotels and resorts say they expect to stick with a familiar or favorite beverage, but that still means that one in every three customers is open to trying something new. At hotel, resort and casino bars, elevated brunch cocktails, frozen cocktails and sparkling white wines are the options consumers are most open to trying, Datassential’s survey shows. For lounges and high-end bars and martini bars, consumers are most interested in trying flaming cocktails, while vintage-inspired and yuzu-infused cocktails are also high on their list, according to Datassential. At


wine bars, all-natural wine is top on consumers’ lists, while wine on tap is also an interesting new spin on technology. At stadiums and arenas, single-serve, pre-made cocktails and single-serve wine have captured consumer attention. The kind of innovation used on beverage menus this summer will vary widely, but it’s critical that it is present. The reason is clear. Along with an eagerness for a bit of fun and relaxation, most consumers choose to imbibe when traveling, vacationing or enjoying a summer event. At hotels and resorts, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of drinking-age consumers who went to a hotel or resort in the last year say they had a drink on their last visit, according to Datassential. That number is almost as high at other locations like sports stadiums and casinos. More than a third of hotel and resort guests ordered alcohol every time they had a meal or another opportunity. And when it comes to hotels and resorts, the innovation in alcohol service may hold an outsized impact on revenue in other parts of the business. Nearly one in five consumers (18 percent) say alcohol is a major factor in choosing where to stay, according to a Datassential survey. And if there’s a recipe for designing a bar menu for the postpandemic world, it’s this: three parts innovation, two parts technology, one part visual flair and a generous topping of flexibility. 59


Taking Submissions Beginning April 30, 2021 Spirit entries for all categories open April 30 Early entry discount available through May 30 Custom universal spirits tasting glass designed for the competition LAS VEGAS (March 19, 2021) — The inaugural TAG Global Spirits Awards, created by world renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim; U.S. industry veteran David Grapshi; and American ambassador of Mexico’s National Chamber for the Tequila Industry, Julio Bermejo, has announced that it will begin accepting product submissions on April 30, 2021, at 7 a.m. PT, and will close on September 1 at 11 p.m. PT. Spirit companies looking to take part in this inaugural, worldclass event will be offered a 10 percent discount for all early entries received 60

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before May 30. All entries can be created by visiting the TAG Global Spirits Awards website HERE. The TAG Global Spirits Awards will take place October 27–30, 2021 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. TAG Global Spirits Awards has partnered with Steelite International, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of award-winning tabletop and buffet solutions for the hospitality industry, to create the Ultimate Universal Spirits Glass, developed specifically for this competition. Abou-Ganim and Steelite


worked together with RONA, one of the most renowned crystalline glassware manufacturers in the world, to develop and design the ultimate glass for serving all spirits — from whiskey, brandy and rum to vodka, tequila and mezcal — showcasing the spirit exactly as the manufacturer intended it to be tasted. Click here to view images of the universal spirits glass and here for a video of the glassware production process presented by RONA 5 Star Glass. “When David, Julio and I designed this glass, we considered each aspect that affects how a spirit presents itself from bowl opening to diameter and height. We also considered the foot and stem of the glass to ensure ease of use and overall comfort in the hand,” Abou-Ganim said. “The glass that Steelite and Rona created is the best universal tasting glass I’ve ever seen in my decades of tasting spirits and judging events, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.” The four-day experience will include the most comprehensive global spirits competition in the world, judged by an array of experts from four continents who will crown the best-in-class Grand Finale award winners. In addition to the category judging rounds, the TAG Global Spirits Awards will also feature consumer enthusiast educational events in various spirit categories that will be led by industry experts in a socially informative setting over world-class food and cocktails. Each of these ticketed events will offer limited participation with VIP tickets going on sale in late May 2021, ahead of general ticket sales, which will be available in late June. Additional information will be released at

a later date and also updated via social media and online. The TAG Global Spirits Awards will culminate with a Pink Tie Gala on October 30, where the Grand Finale award winners will be featured, along with other brand participants, amidst a celebratory evening featuring food, cocktails and live entertainment. Proceeds from the Pink Tie Gala will benefit the Helen David Relief Fund, which honors the memory of Tony’s cousin Helen, a beloved bar owner and community leader in Port Huron, Michigan, who beat breast cancer twice in her lifetime. In her name, the HDRF assists those in the bar industry who are fighting breast cancer and other forms of cancer, with the same dignity and courage that Helen exemplified throughout her battle and life as a pioneer business owner in the bar industry. For additional information, sponsorship opportunities and to stay updated on all TAG Global Spirits Awards news, visit www.TAGSpiritsAwards.com and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn @TAGSpiritsAwards. For questions about entries, please email info@TAGSpiritsAwards.com.

MEDIA CONTACT Allied Global Marketing Ken Langdon klangdon@alliedglobalmarketing.com Sarah Martinez smartinez@alliedglobalmarketing.com Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Tammy Chapman, Hawkers Asian Street Food; Leah Hazelton, ABM; Rick Blumberg, Marlows Tavern; Mili Huynh, Hawkers Asian Street Food.

HEE East’s “Simply Keep Movin’” Theme a Success

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For the past 14 years, Hospitality Executive Exchange (HEE) has quietly grown into one of the premier programs in the marketplace. HEE is a small, dynamic gathering of food & beverage professionals and select supplier partners in a high-end location where the focus is on conversations and relationships surrounding beverage and beverage strategies. Every component of the carefully cultivated program is geared toward creating opportunities to exchange ideas, insights and information. Like the entire hospitality industry, the pandemic postponed HEE in 2020; but, as it did for everyone else, pivoting became


a normal part of the thinking. HEE launched the HEE Happy Hour Huddles one week after the country was shut down and held those weekly until September 2020, when they moved to a monthly huddle. After a lot of thought and input from the board, HEE held a small program in September 2020, carefully implementing all protocols to allow a better understanding of how we could all gather together comfortably and safely. After a successful program, HEE began planning a return to the normal pattern of an East coast and a West coast program for 2021. Our goal and theme – Simply Keep Movin’. Jen Robinson, CEO/ Duchess, The Pineapple Group and Owner of Hospitality Executive Exchange stated, “Our industry has shown great resilience the last year, with so many concepts pivoting and continuing to be innovative and creative. Our focus remains on bringing everyone together safely, to keep moving, so our industry can rebuild and come back stronger than before.” Several weeks ago, in April 2021, HEE did just that with one of the most successful programs to date. HEE East was held in beautiful Amelia Island, Florida, which provided the perfect backdrop. HEE is not a typical conference. It has created a very intimate and family feel that truly focuses on the conversations and the relationships through every aspect. HEE East’s theme resonated through the entire program and there were many value-added take-aways. The program featured keynote speaker Jerry Morgan, CEO/President, Texas Roadhouse, who shared his insights on their legendary culture; as well as an Opening General Session with Nick Nistico, Overproof,

TOP: Tom Scalese, COO, East Coast Wings + Grill enjoys a signature libation. ABOVE: Signature libations in cool formats were highlighted throughout the program. Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Travis Doster, Jerry Morgan and Brian LeBredo, Texas Roadhouse ABOVE: Jerry Morgan, CEO/President, Texas Roadhouse and Beth Borkosky, ABM showing off the “Willie Braids.” Beth moderated the chat with Jerry. 64

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who offered a glimpse into the future of Beverage Innovation and Technology. One of the Beverage Bazaar break-outs showcased Uncle Johnny Baker, Ole Smoky Moonshine, who engaged with the HEE family in a fun chat that clearly had the group in stitches. The closing session, Thrive versus Survive, featured panelists Scott Taylor, COO/President, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux; Aliya Kritzler, Senior VP Food & Beverage, Lifestyle & Luxury, HEI Hotels; and Joe Smith, Senior VP, Monin USA. The session was moderated by Ed Eiswirth, Director of Beverage, Royal Caribbean, and he shared great information on what “thrive” can mean during this time as we continue to move forward and rebuild. With every HEE program, the core and foundation are the one-on-one meetings, which are carefully balanced within the program. It’s not fast paced — just the opposite. Every component of HEE is relaxed, laid-back and engaging. There is no pressure to be here or there, which has resonated with all of our participants because their focus is on conversations. HEE East also brought unique opportunities outside such as our opening mixer featuring a cool “farm-to-table type Deep Eddy truck; and our first full day that included celebrating National Amaretto Day with an Italian-themed dinner overlooking the golf course and marsh, while featuring some wonderful Italian wines, Amaretto libations, Limoncello and, of course, a beautiful sunset. Also, the Moment of Vermouth Tasting led by Mary Melton and Brandon Crisler, Trellis Wine Group in the Sprouting Project, was definitely one of the highlights. Our final Happy Hour featured the Exchange Great Outdoors, which was composed of


Gerald Sullenberger, EJ Gallo and Lynn Kasten, Benchmark Hospitality

unique libations and culinary delights, along with lawn games using themes like camping/glamping, going to the beach, celebrating patriotic or other holidays, and tiki fun. Trinchero Family Estates and American Beverage Marketers provided some very cool activations that were enjoyed by everyone. HEE continues to elevate the conversations and content with every program. No program is the same; each one is carefully planned with new topics,

speakers and activities. HEE is just one-ofa-kind and it’s an experience. Planning for HEE West, to be held in November 2021, is already underway with the theme “The Great Revival – The Roarin’ Renaissance” and seat allocations are open for both multi-unit operators and select supplier partners. For anyone interested in joining the conversation, simply reach out to Jen Robinson, jen@ thepineapplegroup.net. (And yes, we are trying to find Leo). Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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LEFT TOP: Will Jacobson, William Grant and Brian Lebredo, Texas Roadhouse LEFT BOTTOM: Jennifer Rubright, Deutsch Wine & Spirits and Kevyn Krauser, Marriott Vacation Clubs ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: Kathy Casey, Don Billings, Joe Smith, Vince and Ann Barrett LEFT: Johnny Baker, Ole Smoky Moonshine

Summer 2021 • itmmag.com

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LEFT TOP: Julie Lannon, The Zamora Company and Sean DiCicco, Club Corp. LEFT BOTTOM LEFT: Steve Yang, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey and Mitch Hopkins, Buffalo Wild Wings LEFT: Johnny Baker, Ole Smoky Moonshine and Jen Robinson, The Pineapple Group/HEE BOTTOM: Scott Taylor, President/ COO, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux & Bar; Ed Eiswirth, Director of Beverage, Royal Caribbean; Aliya Kritzler, Senior VP Food & Beverage, Luxury & Lifestyle, HEI Hotels; Joe Smith, Senior VP, Monin USA

Summer 2021 • itmmag.com 69


TOP: Picnics on the lawn. ABOVE: Dean Wendel, Concord Hospitality and his wife, Cheryl LEFT: Brandon Crisler, Mark Crisler and Mary Melton, Trellis Wine & Spirits — A Moment of Vermouth Tasting 70

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 September 27-29, 2021  Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, CA

Learn more vibeconference.com Winter 2018 • itmmag.com 71

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in the Mix Summer 2021  

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