in the Mix
Vol. 53 Fall 2017
I N N OVAT E Vol. 52 Summer 2017
Bradley Moore Interstate Hotels & Resorts www.intheMixMagazine.com
Vice President, Food And Beverage Operations
I N D U L G E
E X P L O R E
in the Mix Magazine
PUBLISHER’S LETTER What happens when you have poorly trained bar and server staff? First, it leads to lost sales, profits and traffic. Let’s look at it from the big picture view. Jack Robertiello (food and drink writer, and consultant) wrote recently, and I am paraphrasing: “Fifty-seven percent of us eat at a restaurant at least once a week. U.S. consumers are spending more money at restaurants than at grocery stores. So here are five things you need to know about the restaurant industry: Number one: In 2016, there were more than 1 million restaurant locations in the U.S. and they generated annual sales of $780 billion. Number two: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 the restaurant industry employed 12 million people.
Don Billings Publisher, in the Mix Media
“It takes months to find a customer and only seconds to lose one.” - Catherine DeVrye
Number three: 425,000 of the 1 million restaurants located in the U.S. are either independently owned or run by a franchisee – which means many of these establishments are considered small businesses. Number four: The average profit margin for U.S. restaurants usually hovers between 4 and 6 percent – meaning for every dollar in sales, the business owner only collects 4 to 6 cents. And in some instances as low as 1.4 cents. Number five: 33 percent of restaurant revenue goes toward paying wages, which means that government-mandated increases in the entry-level wage can really hurt an independent restaurant owner or franchisee. A business owner can raise prices only so much before customers start going away.”
Therefore, service and sales training are so vitally important. Without sales, service can’t exist. And without service, you can’t sell anything. And don’t forget the back of house is equally important. TRAIN … TRAIN … TRAIN your bartenders and server staff to keep your customers coming back and improve your profit margin. - Don Billings
Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
in the Mix Magazine
50. Take 5 Interview – Rich Povak, Chief Operating Officer, Smart Bar USA 52. Cover Story – An Interview with Bradley Moore, Vice President, Food and Beverage Operations, Interstate Hotels & Resorts 64. Start Now on Your Holiday Planning Now! by Lou Trope 68. Spotlight Interview – Laddie Weiss, Co-Founder and Event Director of the VIBE Conference 72. CORE Chronicles – Uplifting stories from the Children of Restaurant Employees charity. 10. Drinks and Dishes with Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen – Fall Manhattan with Spiced Vermouth 12. The Adventures of George: The Sazerac and Vieux Carré – Laissez le bon temps rouler by Tony Abou-Ganim 24. Cool Weather Creations by Kelly Magyarics, DWS 38. Single-Handedly Raising The Bar on Spirit Trends by Renee Lee 76. ReMix, Winter 2012 – The French 75: A Drink or Artillery? by Tony Abou-Ganim 18. 42. 46.
New Openings – Showcasing some of the country’s newest properties. Making the Rounds With Helen Benefield Billings – Summit at The Broadmoor Roussillon: An Ancient and Emerging Wine Region by Edward M. Korry, CHE, CSS, CWE
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HILARY LEISTER, Senior Beverage Coordinator, IMI Agency – Interstate Hotels & Resorts Hilary Leister is a native of northern Virginia and has lived there most of her life. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with degrees in print journalism and marketing. Before coming to IMI over three years ago, she worked as a Senior Beer Buying Specialist at Total Wine & More. In recent years, she passed the Introductory Level Sommelier Course and the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam. What are your responsibilities with IMI / Interstate Hotels & Resorts? I work full-time in Interstate’s corporate office in Arlington, Virginia (one of the IMI “imbeds”). I help manage communication with our beverage partners and have a hand in all of Interstate’s F&B promotions, programs, conferences, databases and other fun initiatives.
Here are a few highlights in this fall’s issue. Our cover story this fall is about one of the true veterans of the on-premise world, Bradley Moore, Vice President, Food and Beverage Operations, Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Bradley has been with IHR for 25 years and continues to create innovative programs for their 430 hotels. Our professional guest writer this issue is Kelly Magyarics. Kelly has scripted a feature for us entitled “Cool Weather Creations.” It’s full of seasonal recipes and ideas for you to use. Tony Abou-Ganim writes about Tales of the Cocktail through the eyes of his character, George, in “The Adventures of George.” In our fall Spotlight Interview, we feature Laddie Weiss, Co-Founder and Event Director of the VIBE conference. Laddie gives us his insight about how this huge event is organized. Our “Take 5” interview is with Rich Povak, Smart Bar USA. Rich explains their innovative automated cocktail dispensing system. Our cover shot is by photographer James Jackson at the Hamilton Crown Plaza in Washington, D.C. Enjoy. Mike Raven, Managing Editor, in the Mix Media 6
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What do you like best about working with IMI and Interstate Hotels & Resorts? My entire career thus far has been in the alcoholic beverage industry. I love the great people I’ve had the opportunity to learn from, and I have a passion for developing a deeper knowledge of our products. What hobbies do you enjoy? I’m a devoted runner and an avid reader! On the weekends, you can find me hopping around northern Virginia’s wineries and breweries or walking my dog, Meadow. What is your favorite travel destination? I love traveling to and exploring new cities. Recent trips I’ve enjoyed were to London, Austin and Toronto. What is your favorite food? Such a hard question for a foodie! I always love great Mexican, Italian or Japanese cuisine. What is your favorite adult beverage? Beer: Saison. Wine: Pinot Noir. Spirits: Bourbon. One thing you can’t live without? Camelbak water bottles. You’ll never see me without one!
(right) Hilary Leister and her husband Nick at Buena Vista’s Champagne Tasting Room.
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Contributing Writers Known as “The Modern Mixologist,” Tony is an accomplished bar chef, speaker and consultant who has created several original cocktail recipes, including the Cable Car, Sunsplash and Starlight. He has recently authored his second book, Vodka Distilled (Agate Surrey, publisher).
Tony Abou-Ganim Kelly Magyarics is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. Her writing appears in a variety of national and regional consumer and trade publications including Food Network, Liquor. com, Wine Enthusiast, Nightclub & Bar, The Tasting Panel, Cheers and now in the Mix. She has extensive wine and spirits knowledge and training, including holding the Diploma of Wine Studies (DWS) from the renowned Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Kelly also offers interactive, educational wine tastings and classes for private and corporate groups.
Larr y McGinn, Par tner Celeste Dinos, Par tner Don Billings, Founding Par tner
D o n B illin g s
E D I TOR I A L A ND DE S IGN
Editor – Michael Raven Designed by – Kester Chau Copy Editor & Proofreader – Christine Neal Associate Editor – Celeste Dinos Associate Editor – Helen Benefield Billings A DV E RT I S I N G S AL E S,
email@example.com E D I TOR I A L A ND BUS IN E S S OFFIC E
1 1 9 6 B u c k h e a d C ro ssi n g Wo o d s t o c k , G A 3 0 1 8 9
Helen Benefield Billings
Renee is a senior publications specialist at Datassential, which is a supplier of trends, analysis and concept testing for the food industry. Renee has a background in journalism and enjoys repor ting on the latest happenings in everything from alcoholic beverages to breakfast and global cuisines.
Lou served as a global VP of Food and Beverage for branded, independent and luxury hotel groups as well as a successful operator in Bermuda, London, Maui, Philadelphia and San Diego. He takes this experience into his new role as the President of LJ Trope & Co. LLC. Lou works with clients to assist them in concept development, strategy and much more.
Edward is an As s oc iate Professor and Department Chairman, College of Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I. Edward carries many certifications as well as being past President of the Society of Wine Educators and an executive board member of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild Master Accreditation program.
Hospitality and travel writer, Helen Benefield Billings has been with in the Mix since its inception in 2004. Helen lives in her native childhood home of Sea Island, Ga. when not traveling or attending industry functions with her husband, Don.
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With the fall season upon us, apples and warm spices come to mind and what’s better to pair with these flavors than a great Whiskey cocktail! My Fall Manhattan With Spiced Vermouth is a beloved classic with a delicious twist. With a higher 90.4 alcohol proof, Woodford Reserve Bourbon makes an ideal base with rich notes of toffee, spice and citrus. The Spiced Vermouth is the next component to this cocktail and one of my favorite cocktail ingredients to make – a Liquid Kitchen bar staple! Lush and full-bodied Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth gets infused with the flavors of fall – orange peel, cloves, allspice, ginger and cranberries. A dash of spiced Rum helps stabilize the mixture for maximum shelf life. These two delicious ingredients combine with a dash of bitters for a truly inspired take on a classic cocktail favorite.
Want a delicious nibble to pair with this drink? Go simple and full-flavored with a quick and easy crostini, topped with brie (or goat cheese) and almonds, then baked until toasty and finished with a generous topping of savory apple cranberry chutney. A d’lish pairing for fall flavors at their best. – Kathy Kathy Casey is an award winning chef and mixologist, best known as the original Bar Chef. She owns Kathy Casey Food Studios ® and Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen ® a global full-service food, beverage and concept development agency. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow: @KathyCaseyChef
Recipes and photos by Kathy Casey Food Studios-Liquid Kitchen
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Fall Manhattan with
Fall Manhattan Makes 1 cocktail - 2 oz Woodford Reserve - 1 oz Spiced Vermouth (right) - Dash of Liquid Kitchen Golden Era Bitters or your favorite - Garnish: Amarena cherry and/or cranberry on a pick, wide lemon or orange peel Measure the Bourbon, Spiced Vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass. Fill three-quarters full with ice. Stir with a bar spoon until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with cherry/ cranberry on a pick. Express citrus peel over drink to release oils.
Makes about 36 ounces
- 12 strips orange zest - 4 large slices of fresh ginger - 6 whole allspice berries - 12 whole cloves - 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries - 1/2 cup spiced Rum - 4 cups Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth Add all the ingredients to a suitable glass bottle, decanter or jar. Allow the mixture to infuse, refrigerated, for at least two days before using. Store refrigerated for up to a month. Use in any cocktail that calls for Sweet Vermouth.
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The Sazerac and Vieux Carré – Laissez le bon temps rouler.
Adventures of George by Tony Abou-Ganim
George was excited to be returning to Las Vegas for a convention, as this would give him an opportunity to visit Libertine Social again. It had been highly recommended to him on his trip last summer. He had very much enjoyed the cocktails and chef McClain’s wonderful food, but most of all, he’d enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of the staff. The venue had just recently opened during his previous trip and he was very curious to see how things had transformed since his last visit. After checking in at the Delano and a quick shower, George was more than ready for a stiff drink after his journey. He made the short walk from the elevator to the restaurant and was greeted by the welcoming hostess. “Good evening. A table for one tonight?” she asked. “Good evening to you. I believe I’ll dine at the bar this evening,” he replied. She smiled and led him into the lounge area where he found a seat at the long, inviting bar. The bartender welcomed him with a glass of purified water and a cocktail menu. “George?” the bartender inquired. “Wow, yes – that’s amazing! I apologize but I don’t recall your name,” he responded.
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“No worries, my friend. It’s Derek. Nice to see you and welcome back. Will you be joining us for dinner tonight or just cocktails?” he asked. “Thank you, Derek. Dinner for sure but first I need a stiff drink. What do you recommend?” George asked. “Well, if you like Cognac and Rye Whiskey, we just dumped a batch of Vieux Carré that we barrel-aged for five weeks,” Derek replied. “They’re fantastic!” “I’m a big fan of Cognac and Rye but I’m not familiar with the Vieux Carré, so I think I should try one,” George replied. As Derek prepared his cocktail, George perused the dinner menu and settled on an order of Scotch olives and the creamy garlic hummus, followed by the Libertine Burger. “So what do you think of the Vieux Carré?” Derek asked. George found the drink to be robust, complex and incredibly well balanced, with the Benedictine and Cinzano 1757 softening the spice and power of the Wild Turkey 101 Rye Whiskey. It also proved to be the perfect complement to the Scotch olives and the hummus. “Delicious!” he answered. “Along with the Sazerac, this is perhaps New Orleans’ greatest contribution to cocktail culture,” Derek enlightened. “I’m headed to NOLA on Monday for Tales of the Cocktail and plan to visit the Hotel Monteleone where the Vieux Carré was invented.” “Tales of the Cocktail – what in the world is that?” George inquired. “It is the world’s premier cocktail festival, held in New Orleans each year, that brings together bartenders and drinks enthusiasts to celebrate the cocktail,” he answered. “You should check it out!”
As George enjoyed his second barrel-aged Vieux Carré accompanying his two patties of ground beef perfectly cooked on the flat top with gooey house-made cheese, caramelized onions and bordelaise sauce, he contemplated the idea of attending Tales of the Cocktail. By the time he finished the last delectable bite his mind was made up! “Thank you for the great cocktails and a wonderful meal Derek. Perhaps I’ll see you in New Orleans!” George said, as he paid his check. “If you do go to Tales, in addition to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone you must stop by the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel for their namesake cocktail, which just happens to be the official cocktail of New Orleans,” Derek added, as he said his goodbyes. George arrived in New Orleans and, unable to book a room at the Hotel Monteleone, he took Derek’s recommendation and secured a suite at the Roosevelt. After checking in, he headed directly to the Sazerac Bar for a much-anticipated cocktail. George walked into the Sazerac Bar and was immediately taken by the classic art deco style of the joint, the chandeliers and the walllength Paul Ninas murals. The room had a certain elegance and George felt he would not be out of place wearing a zoot suit and a fedora. He was greeted by an extremely welcoming barman who presented a menu, a glass of water and some bar snacks. “Do you need a minute or do you know what you’d like?” he inquired. “Well, I think I should have the specialty of the house,” George replied. “So that’d be either a Sazerac or a Ramos Fizz,” the barman replied. “The bar was named after the Sazerac and it’s the official cocktail of New Orleans, but the hotel trademarked the Ramos Fizz in 1894, and it was Governor Huey Long’s favorite drink.”
Vieux Carré, one of New Orleans’ greatest contributions to cocktail culture along with the Sazerac Cocktail.
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Quarter, in theFrench Mix Magazine
“They both sound great but I’ll have a Sazerac, please,” George ordered. George lifted his glass and was met with aromas of anise and citrus mingled with black pepper, clove and vanilla. As he tasted the Sazerac, he found the Rye Whiskey to be powerful with notes of spice, and licorice tempered by a citrus sweetness and a touch of bitterness. What a wonderful, yet uniquely different libation, with layers of flavor and complexity. “Fantastic!” George replied when the barman inquired how it was. “Next I need to try a Vieux Carré.” “Well, I’m happy to make you one but if you really want to learn about that drink you should have one at the Hotel Monteleone, where the drink was invented,” the barman countered. “Great idea! Thank you. I’ll be back for one of your Ramos Fizzes later,” George answered, paying his check. “Make sure you say ‘Hi’ to Marvin,” the barman said, as George said his goodbyes. George made his way to the Hotel Monteleone and walked immediately into the throes of a Tales of the Cocktail reception. He could tell instantly that the hotel must be ground zero for this massive bartending celebration. Making his way through the crowd, he found the entrance to the equally packed Carousel Bar, which features a whimsical circus merry-go-round that actually revolves. Finding the last open seat at the bar as it slowly passed by, he jumped on for the slow ride that apparently makes a complete revolution every 15 minutes. He was immediately greeted by a very busy bartender. “By any chance, are you Marvin?” George inquired. “Indeed I am. What can I get for you?” Marvin answered. “I’m here for a Vieux Carré,” he replied.
While Marvin prepared his drink, George took in the sights of the bar. In addition to the many bartenders congregating at the Carousel and mingling with locals and cocktail fanatics from all over the world, he could not help but admire the bar itself. Jazz-era portraits by Alfred Cheney adorn the walls alongside Ziegfeld Follies icons from the 1920s and ‘30s. “Thank you,” George said as his drink was served. “I understand this drink was invented here.” “The Vieux Carré was created in 1938 or 1939 – no one is quite sure which year – by Walter Bergeron, who was the lead bartender here at the Monteleone. It was forgotten for a while but has returned in the last 15–20 years with a vengeance. As the folklore goes, he created it as a tribute to the different ethnic groups of the French Quarter – the French with the Benedictine and Cognac, the Americans with the Rye Whiskey, the Italians with the Sweet Vermouth, and the Islanders of the Caribbean with the bitters,” Marvin explained. “It was originated to pay tribute to the French Quarter of New Orleans, known as the Vieux Carré. I think that it was probably a riff on the Sazerac, which was a well-known cocktail at the time.” George could see how busy Marvin was and how crazy the spinning Carousel Bar had become, so he quickly finished his Vieux Carré, paid his check and thanked his host. Then he started for the door to join the masses of bartenders who had descended on this amazing city to experience its history, culture and love of cocktails. Just then he felt a hand on his shoulder – it was Marvin, and he handed George a folded cocktail napkin. “I wrote down my recipe for the Vieux Carré so you can make them at home,” he said, smiling, and then jumped back behind the busy bar. Now that is truly the art of hospitality, George thought as he went in search of a plate of oysters, a shrimp Po Boy and a cold Abita beer.
Carousel Bar, 2017 Monteleone Summer • itmmag.com
Marvin Allen’s Vieux Carré Recipe • • • • • •
½ oz Benedictine ½ oz Cognac ¾ oz Rye Whiskey ½ oz Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1. Build in a rocks glass filled with ice, in the order given from top to bottom. Give a quick stir just to mix and garnish with a twist of fresh lemon.
Photo of Marvin Allen by Phil McCausland
I like the Bulleit Rye, Ferrand 1840 Cognac. We use Martini and Rossi for the Sweet Vermouth.
The Sazerac Cocktail • • • • •
1 cube sugar 2 oz Sazerac Rye Whiskey ¼ oz Herbsaint 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters Lemon peel
1. Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice. 2. In a second OldFashioned glass, place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube. Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar, and stir with ice until well chilled. 3. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint. Strain the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the Herbsaint-prepared glass and garnish with lemon peel. 16
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URBAN FARMER DENVER Urban Farmer is a family of restaurants with locations in Portland, Cleveland, Philadelphia and now Denver. They all stem from the concept of a modern, yet inviting locally-sourced steakhouse. The Urban Farmer backdrop is warm and elegant, yet quaint and rustic, visually telling the life story of the hardworking country farmer who marries 18
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the cosmopolitan art collector. The result is a space that is at once a restored farmhouse combined with an eclectically sophisticated art gallery. Every location of Urban Farmer, though inspired by the same unexpected couple, has its own twist that is uniquely original and authentic to the city it lives within. Urban Farmer’s menu continues the theme of juxtaposition as it appeals to every taste, from simple to sophisticated. Having their own in-house butcher shop allows them to use their meticulously selected heritage-bred beef in the most creative manner possible, along with equally well-chosen, sustainably sourced poultry and seafood. The steakhouse is not solely focused on meat alone, offering also an array of ﬂavorful, chef-inspired sides, soups and salads from the season’s abundance. Additionally, the beverage program complements the food and concept, taking its inspiration from early-American cocktail culture and proudly featuring local craft beers, a curated wine list, and spirits with fresh ingredients to give them a creative twist.
The new Italian concept, located on the 12th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, is modern in approach and Italian in spirit, featuring a contemporary, chef-driven menu curated by Chef Gregory Elliot. Menu highlights include fresh pastas made in-house daily, prime and dry-aged meats, wild fish and seafood, and celebrated Italian classics with an elevated twist. The Old World-inspired beverage program at the adjacent Torali Bar features both local and authentic Italian spirits and original cocktails, innovative house-made infusions, limoncello, beer and wine to complement the dining experience. Venture past Torali Bar to find Rooftop at Torali, with breathtaking views of the city. This modern rooftop bar and lounge specializes in handcrafted cocktails and fresh Italian-inspired bites. It is open seasonally. The CafĂŠ, open all day, offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere and boasts specialty coffee from La Colombe, freshly squeezed juices, gourmet sandwiches and decadent desserts and pastries.
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The Stateview Hotel an Autograph Collection
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The Stateview Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will be located on the Centennial campus of North Carolina State University. The hotel will offer an elevated level of technology and interactive spaces, a smartstyle design and unique collaborative hubs. It will celebrate NC State by featuring news about the school’s accomplishments and by selling local products produced at the university. The Stateview Hotel is looking forward to welcoming all types of visitors, from corporate business travelers to families and friends visiting NC State. Guests will enjoy the property’s small boutique setting next to Lake Raleigh and across the street from the Lonnie Poole golf course. The hotel will have 164 rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, and a restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace overlooking Lake Raleigh. The Stateview Hotel is planning to open for business October 1, 2017.
Las Alcobas A Luxury Collection hotel in the heart of Napa Valley, Las Alcobas is a historic resort aiming to refine the art of unforgettable hospitality. At Las Alcobas, you will be pampered with the warmth of a place called home, with service that exceeds all expectations. The historic resort boasts 68 rooms and suites, all with gracious floor plans. A beautiful outdoor terrace and vineyard views complement nightly Spring Mountain sunsets. The propertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature restaurant, Acacia House by Chris Cosentino, offers guests an upscale dining option with modern, seasonal menus paired with exquisite Napa Valley wines. Spring 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ itmmag.com
Morton’s The Steakhouse
Morton’s The Steakhouse is excited to announce its new location inside the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel. “Morton’s The Steakhouse is one of the most recognizable and successful high-end steakhouses 22
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in the nation,” said Tim Whitlock, C.O.O. and Senior Vice President of Operations. “We are thrilled to join the Jacksonville community and look forward to offering guests an unrivaled dining experience with the finest cuts of beef in a sophisticated, dynamic atmosphere.” The steakhouse’s alluring ambience welcomes an added sophistication that follows from the entry to the bar, and into the dining room. Guests are invited to enjoy handcrafted and high-tech cocktails at the polished black granite bar, complete with a sleek chrome liquor bottle display. Glamorous, black-patent crocodile leather booths occupy the dining room. Decorative glass within tiered light fixtures sparkles and reflects off smoked mirror columns. The restaurant boasts a sleek color palette featuring a mix of gray, black, brown and gold accents. The colorways are reflected in the circle motif carpet as well as in the wall coverings. Leroy Nieman’s art prints, which have long been a staple of the Morton’s brand, continue to be a colorful highlight in the restaurant.
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Creations By Kelly Magyarics, DWS
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Those orange orbs hanging out in in the patch waiting to be picked by hayriders and baked into pies? They do just as well in the shaker, where they add vegetal, distinctively fall flavor that mixes with everything from citrus to cream.
FALL right into the HOLIDAYS with c o c k t a i l s that showcase s e a s o n a l i n g r e d i e n t s .
Pumpkin Cocktail Adapted f rom a recipe f rom Stefan Tr ummer, Tr umme rs on Main , Clif ton , Va. Trummer juices a pumpkin pie-sized pumpkin and adds spice to make a cider that keeps this drink from being too thick. If you are short on time and don’t mind a thicker texture, use canned pumpkin pie filling. Even the pumpkin pie-averse might like its aged Rum kick and marshmallow garnish. • • • • • •
2 oz Plantation Grand Reserve Rum 2 oz canned pumpkin pie puree 1 ½ oz lime juice ½ oz maple syrup Pinch nutmeg and cinnamon Marshmallow, for garnish
Add the first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until chilled. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the marshmallow.
Photo by Ally Mauro Fall 2017 • itmmag.com 25
Pumpkin Gin Sour Rec ipe cour tesy of Tre y Az ar, Ma ster D i stille r, S ee rsucker S outher n Style Gin Inspired by the rich, aromatic flavors of fall, this Gin sip has a touch of pumpkin butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprig of fresh thyme – it’s way better than carving any jack o’lantern. • • • • • •
2 oz Seersucker Southern Style Gin (can substitute another Gin) ¾ oz lemon juice ½ oz pumpkin butter 1 egg white Dash ground cinnamon, for garnish Fresh thyme sprig, for garnish
Add the Gin, lemon juice, pumpkin butter and egg white into a shaker, and dry shake without ice to emulsify. Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the cinnamon and thyme sprig.
Photo courtesy of Seersucker Southern Style Gin
Crisp, crunchy and fresh, apples are the perfect summer-to-fall transitional cocktail ingredient that can be brightened with cranberry or given depth with baking spices, and served on the rocks on a mild fall day or in a steaming tipple around a bonfire.
Campfire Harvest Rec ipe cour tesy of Tredic i Enoteca This libation is a reminder of the Washington, D.C. area’s falling leaves and the cool skies of our nation’s capital. The addition of apples, Mezcal and Pisco allows the cocktail to tell a story of sweet friends relaxing with spiked cider and enjoying a nice conversation by the fire. • • • • • •
Photo courtesy of Tredici Enoteca
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2 oz El Silencio Mezcal 1 oz Pisco Porton 2 oz apple cider or apple juice 1 oz egg white Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish Apple slice, for garnish
Add the Mezcal, Pisco, apple cider or juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, topping it with the spooned-out foam, and garnish with the grated cinnamon and apple slice.
Cider Lowball Rec ipe cour tesy of Ke v in Felker, B e ve rag e D irec tor, Wate r Gr ill Growing up in New York, Felker was accustomed to the unfiltered, unsweetened, pressed apple juice used every fall to make a warm, sweet mulled drink, and this cocktail is a play on that. “With Whiskey as the base spirit and a good dose of fresh lemon juice, the result is a refreshingly balanced cocktail, with a flavor profile distinctly reminiscent of mulled cider,” he says. • • • • • • • •
2 oz straight Bourbon Whiskey ¾ oz unfiltered apple cider ¾ oz fresh lemon juice ¾ oz vanilla bean syrup (see note) ¼ oz Bénédictine 1 slice Granny Smith apple, for garnish 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnishes to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh one-inch cubes. Garnish with the apple slice, cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg.
For the vanilla bean sy r up :
Combine 16 ounces each of turbinado sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add half of the scraped seeds from a vanilla bean. Allow to stand a minimum of one hour at room temperature, and then store in the refrigerator.
Photo courtesy of the Water Grill
Spring 2017 • itmmag.com
‘Dram On Rec ipe cour tesy of L ou D i Nun zio, B ar Manag e r, R E X 1516 “Fall always reminds me that it’s apple season and time to break out the hard spices: cinnamon, clove and allspice,” DiNunzio notes. “So with that in mind, a simple mixture of apple Brandy, Averna (an Italian bitter liqueur that smells of holiday spices), and allspice dram seems like a good way to welcome the changing of the seasons.” The lavender garnish, he says, reminds us that everything that’s green will soon be turning gold, orange and red. • • • •
Photo courtesy of REX 1516
1 ½ oz apple Brandy 1 ½ oz Averna Amaro 2 bar spoons allspice dram Fresh lavender, for garnish
Add apple Brandy and Averna to a mixing glass, add ice and stir to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and gently pour the allspice dram over the surface. Garnish with the lavender sprig.
Apple a Day Rec ipe cour tesy of Matt Giar ratano, B e verage D irec tor, Bluebird D i stilling At this grain-to-glass craft distillery and cocktail bar outside Philadelphia, Giarratano crafts all kinds of creative concoctions from seasonal ingredients. Here, a sour apple shrub – basically a drinking vinegar – takes center stage, adding mouthwatering acidity and brightness that serves as the perfect foil for spicy Rye Whisky. • • • • • •
1 ½ oz Rye Whiskey 1 oz sour apple shrub (see note) ½ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water, stirred to combine) ¼ oz lemon juice 2 drops lavender-peppercorn tincture (can substitute lavender bitters) Apple slice, for garnish
Add the first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large cube, and garnish with the apple slice. 28
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Photo courtesy of Bluebird Distilling
For the s our apple shr ub :
Add 1 ¼ cups grated SweeTango or Honeycrisp apples, ¾ cup cane sugar and 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar to a glass Mason jar. Attach the lid and shake liberally to combine. Refrigerate for three or four days. Strain juice into a large bowl, then squeeze remaining juice from apples using a colander. Pour juice into a glass container and keep refrigerated for up to six months.
Pomegra nate / Cranberry Zesty and tart, both of these fruits evoke so many memories of the holiday season, from cranberry sauce served during Thanksgiving dinner, to pomegranate arils studding a Christmas Eve salad. In drinks, they add a gorgeous ruby hue and tangy flavor via garnishes, syrups and infused spirits.
Photo courtesy of BABA
“Little Water” Sour Recipe cour tesy of D anilo Simic , Mi x olog i st, BA BA About the Vodka Sour riff at the Serbian cocktail bar in Northern Virginia, Simic says that “egg white brings great fluffy texture and aromatic bitters [add] aroma and presentation. It will be a great libation to drink next to the BABA fireplace during the holiday season.” • • • • • •
1 ½ oz Ketel Kopper Vodka ½ oz lime juice ¾ oz pomegranate juice 1 egg white ½ oz simple syrup 3 drops Peychaud’s Bitters, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with 3 gentle drops of Peychaud’s Bitters. Using a straw, swirl the bitters into a simple design. Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
Photo courtesy of The Perfect PurĂŠe of Napa Valley
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Pomegranate Basil Margarita (pictured left) Recipe cour tesy of The Per fec t Puree Who says a batch of Margaritas needs to be sipped poolside? In this cocktail, aged Tequila lends complex agave notes, basil gives it herbal freshness and pomegranate concentrate provides that much-needed zing. • • • • • • •
1 ½ oz Tequila Cazadores Reposado 1 oz The Perfect Purée Pomegranate Concentrate, thawed ½ oz simple syrup ½ oz fresh lime juice 3 basil leaves Coarse salt and lime wedges, for rimming (optional) Orange slice, for garnish
If you are rimming the glasses, rub the outside rim with the lime wedge, coat it in coarse salt and then set aside. Add the first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain over fresh ice in the prepared rocks glass and garnish with the orange slice.
For the Fuji apple - inf u s ed C achaça : Peel and cut 8 Fuji apples. Place in a container along with a 750 ml bottle of Cachaça. Let macerate for 72 hours, then strain out solids.
Photo courtesy of Cuba Libre
Apple-Cranberry Caipirinha Rec ipe cour tesy of Angel Roque, E x ecutive Chef, Cuba Libre The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, evocative of teeny tiny bikinis and the sandy beaches at Ipanema. But it gets a winter makeover in this drink, which mixes cranberry-infused Cachaça with lime, apple cider and sugar cane juice. Christmas by the beach never felt so good.
• • • • • • •
2 oz Fuji apple-infused Velho Barreiro Cachaça (see note above) 2 lime wedges 1 tsp superfine sugar 1 splash guarapo (can substitute simple syrup) 1 splash lime juice 1 splash apple cider 2 fresh cranberries, for garnish
Put the lime wedges, Cachaça and superfine sugar in a rocks glass and muddle. Add ice and the rest of the ingredients; stir to combine. Garnish with the fresh cranberries. Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
Get a whiff of a pine or juniper tree, and there is no mistaking that fresh, herbal aroma. In the glass, it’s usually associated with London Dry gin, but that’s not the only trick for adding evergreen to your elixirs. Pine needles, Douglas fir liqueur and other ingredients give those clean, green notes to drinks.
Photo credit: Nick Voderman
Pacific Coast Highway Adapted f rom a recipe by Jim Kear ns for Slowly Shirle y There is so much going on in this cocktail, aroma-wise, that you might be apt to sniff it all night instead of sipping it. Cucumber lends freshness, pastis and eucalyptus give it a menthol aroma, while Douglas fir eau de vie and a pine liqueur evoke that unmistakable smell of walking through an evergreen forest. Drink it in. • • • • • • •
1 muddled cucumber slice 1 tsp Angala Pastis ¾ oz Fino Sherry ¼ oz Douglas Fir Eau de Vie ½ oz Zirbenz Pine Liqueur 1 oz eucalyptus-infused St. George Spirits Terroir Gin (see note) Rosemary sprig, for a garnish
Add all except garnish to a cocktail glass, add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the rosemary sprig.
For the e ucaly ptu s - inf u s ed Gin :
Add 1 cup fresh eucalyptus leaves to a 750 ml bottle of Gin. Let macerate for a day, shaking occasionally. Strain out solids.
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Holly Jolly Created by Nico de S oto for Miracle If the Mojito dressed up for the holidays, it would look like this libation. Gin is mixed with aromatic pine liqueur, sweet vanilla syrup and fresh mint leaves, topped with soda. If you have real Christmas tree envy, don’t fear – it’s garnished with a big ol’ sprig of real pine needles. • • • • • •
1 ½ oz Gin ½ oz Zirbenz Pine Liqueur ¾ oz vanilla syrup (see note) 3 mint leaves Soda Pine needles, for garnish
Smack the mint leaves and put them in a cocktail shaker with the Gin, pine liqueur and vanilla syrup. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice, top with soda and garnish with the pine needles.
For the vanilla sy r up:
Combine 16 ounces each of sugar and water in a small saucepan; simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add half of the scraped seeds from a vanilla bean. Allow to stand a minimum of one hour at room temperature, and then store in the refrigerator.
Photo credit: Noah Fecks
Summer 2017 • itmmag.com
Orange Whether added via citrus liqueur, freshly squeezed orange juice, bitters, an expressed peel or an infused syrup, a lot of cocktails just wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be the same without the brightening boost of orange.
Photo credit: Elegant Affairs
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Sparkling Blood Orange Cocktail (pictured left) Recipe cour tesy of Andrea C or reale , Founde r and CE O, Eleg ant Af fairs Think citrus should be relegated to summer Sangria and patio refreshers? Think again. Blood orange is actually a fall and winter ingredient, and it’s just perfect mixed with blackcurrant liqueur and sparkling wine. What’s even better is that these drinks can be mixed in the glass – no shaker required – which translates to a great welcome cocktail for hosts to whip up during busy holiday open houses. Serves 8 • • • •
¼ oz Crème de Cassis 1 ½ cups strained fresh blood orange juice 1 750 ml bottle chilled sparkling white wine 8 blood orange slices
Put ice in 8 rocks glasses. Add 1 ½ teaspoons Crème de Cassis and 3 tablespoons blood orange juice to each glass, then fill each glass with the sparkling white wine. Stir gently and garnish with a blood orange slice.
Porto Call Recipe cour tesy of Jaime Rios , Top of the Standard There are a lot of flavors going on in this Port- and Gin-based sip, yet it remains unbelievably easy to sip one – or three. Tawny Port, juniper-forward London Dry Gin and delicate blanc Vermouth mingle with blood orange juice and fragrant mint. Yup, it’s a cocktail that can please pretty much everyone. • • • • • • •
Photo courtesy of Top of the Standard
¾ oz Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny Port 1 ½ oz London Dry Gin ¾ oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth 1 oz blood orange juice ¼ oz simple syrup 1 bunch fresh mint Candied blood orange wheel, for garnish
Add the first five ingredients and 6 mint leaves to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and candied blood orange wheel.
Rumours Rec ipe cour tesy of Waites L a s eter, Root Here, the warm weather feel of Pisco and orange juice is offset by the caramel nuttiness of 20-year-old Tawny Port. Bitters add depth and shaken egg white gives it an irresistible silky mouth feel. • • • • • • • • •
1 oz Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny Port 1 oz Pisco 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice 1 dash lemon juice 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters ¼ oz egg white El Guapo Love Potion #9 Bitters, for garnish Luxardo Maraschino Cherry juice, for garnish Lemon twist and Luxardo Maraschino Cherry, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnishes to a cocktail shaker and dry shake until emulsified. Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass. Top with the El Guapo bitters and cherry juice, and garnish with the lemon twist and cherry.
Photo courtesy of Root
Spring 2017 • itmmag.com
Baking Spices Clove-studded oranges, red wine simmering with cinnamon sticks and allspice, and crunchy, zippy gingerbread – baking spices make the holidays sweet. And that’s also true with cocktails. After all, brown booze shines with the addition of a little kick.
Winter is Coming Rec ipe cour tesy of Ju stin G arc idia z, B ar Manag e r, T he Av iar y “Game of Thrones” fans, unite. Garcidiaz just loves the combination of ginger and allspice around the holidays. Rye boosts black pepper notes, Fernet Branca gives it a minty tone and maple syrup adds sweetness to balance it all. • • • • • • • Photo credit: Carly Diaz
¾ oz Primitivo Quilles Vermouth ½ oz Old Overholt Rye ¼ oz Fernet Branca ¼ oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram ¼ oz fresh ginger juice ½ oz maple syrup Orange peel, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until well chilled. Double strain over large rocks in a double Old Fashioned glass and garnish with the orange peel.
Sorcerer’s Apprentice Rec ipe cour tesy of Aaron Zieske , B ar Manag e r, Little Bird “For this holiday cocktail I wanted to highlight the toasted nutty flavors from the walnut liqueur, so adding Scotch and Sherry added nice depth and complexity,” Zieske explained. “The bitters balanced the drink with winter spice.” • • • • • •
Photo credit: Kristen Thoennes in the Mix Magazine
1 oz Islay Scotch 1 oz blended Scotch ¾ oz Oloroso Sherry ¼ oz Nocello 2 dashes allspice bitters Orange twist, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail glass, add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain it into a rocks glass over one large cube and garnish with the orange twist.
El Anticuado Rec ipe cour tesy of Alys on L e v y, Andina A Peruvian twist on an American classic, this cocktail relies on a syrup made with chancaca, an unrefined cane sugar mixed with orange and spices and used to sweeten desserts like picarones. The light coffee infusion adds another Peruvian flavor as well as a touch of bitterness to balance the decadence. • • •
2 oz coffee-infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon (see note) ½ oz chancaca syrup (see note) Orange peel, for garnish
Add the Bourbon and syrup to a rocks glass over a few cubes of ice. Add more ice and garnish with the orange peel.
For the coffee-inf u s ed B ourbon:
Soak ½ cup whole Selva Andina coffee beans in a 750 ml bottle of Bourbon for one hour. Strain out solids.
For the chancaca sy r up:
Dissolve 2 cones of raw sugar in 1 ½ cups water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons whole cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks, and simmer until the mixture is reduced to 1 ½ cups. Strain out the spices and let the syrup soak in the peels of 2 oranges for an hour. Strain out the orange peel and store the syrup in the refrigerator.
Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics or her website kellymagyarics. com.
Photo2017 courtesy of Andina Spring • itmmag.com
Single-Handedly RAISING THE BAR on Spirit Trends By Renee Lee
What do you call a bar that only has one option, but also endless options at the same time? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a trick question â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in recent years, bars across the country have been zeroing in on offering just one specific type of spirit or alcoholic beverage, all the while showcasing as many varieties as possible. These singlespirit or single-focus bars are following the trend of restaurants that have moved away from lengthy, multi-page menus to, instead, offer a more curated selection, often showcasing a central niche theme.
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What’ll it be? Whiskey? Rum? Sherry? Absinthe? Think of a spirit, any spirit, and chances are
Caña Rum Bar in Los Angeles features over 250 types of there’s a bar that specializes in it – Rum, Whiskey, Gin, Rum and requires a membership to enter and enjoy the or even bitters. Whiskey bars are especially prevalent expansive Rum collection complemented with a selection across the country, which is fitting, as Whiskey is one of of cigars. El Agave in San Diego features both a restaurant/ the top-menued spirits at restaurants. It’s found on nearly tequileria and a Tequila Museum with over 2,000 different 45 percent of alcoholic beverage menus at restaurants, Tequilas. Mezcal, a smoky alcohol made from agave, can according to Datassential MenuTrends. Bar patrons can offer consumers a different take on Tequila (both are made find large Whiskey collections at several bars dedicated to the spirit. For example, there are 1,800 bottles of Whiskey at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C., including a Whiskey Cellar offering a rotating selection of Whiskey on draft; while at New York’s The Flatiron Room, there are over 800 bottles along with a private locker system (a concept found at many single-spirit bars) that allows regulars to purchase bottles to consume at their own pace. Nashville’s Tempered Café & Chocolate turns green every weekend night during “Green Hour,” when it transforms into an Absinthe bar (the start of the event is marked by a green light in a window that turns on). Even if specializing in one spirit, Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C. many single-spirit bars have at least a few other options for customers who want something different. Seattle’s Canon bar has 2,000 varieties of Whiskey but also offers an additional 1,500 other spirits (making up the largest spirit collection in the Western Hemisphere, according to the bar). The bar’s menu, called the Captain’s List, is essentially an encyclopedia of alcohol as it spans nearly 200 pages. Whatever the size of the menu, these bars often need knowledgeable servers and bartenders who can help customers navigate the options. Why should a customer choose this Gin instead of one of the other 300 options? With such large spirit collections, many single-spirit New York’s The Flatiron Room bars are placing emphasis on servers and bartenders being able to guide customers through making a selection; assistance can also be offered with a well-organized menu (perhaps from agave but have quite a few differences). Mezcal, dividing varieties into origins or taste profiles) and options known by its marked smokiness, is the star of the show that encourage sampling (Chicago’s Longman and Eagle, at bars such as The Pastry War in Houston, which offers a whose philosophy is “Eat Sleep Whiskey,” offers a daily full list of agave spirits sourced from family-run distilleries selection of 38 Whiskeys that can be poured as $3 shots). in Mexico. The bar includes unique options such as In addition to Whiskey bars, operators focusing pairing your selection with an agave accoutrement such on spirits such as Rum (tiki drinks, anyone?), Tequila and as the Chapulines y Pina (dried, spiced grasshoppers with specialty spirits are also popping up across the nation. pineapple and tajin) as well as having the option to Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
Chicago’s The Northman (a cider bar)
pay with pesos instead of U.S. dollars. Sherry, a type of fortified wine, is at the forefront of concepts like Bar Vivant in Portland, Oregon, named one of the country’s top Sherry bars with a collection of over 100 varieties. In New York, Amor y Amargo (“love and bitters”) focuses in on another type of fortified wine, Vermouth, which is available on draft along with a variety of bitters.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Single If most bars operate with a vast selection of multiple spirits, beers, wines and alcoholic beverages, what’s the point of going against the grain in offering just one spirit? First, the trend of focusing in on one spirit resonates with consumers. Datassential covered single-spirit bars like Amor y Amargo in our issue of “Creative Concepts: Next-Level Cocktail Bars” and found that 57 percent of consumers were interested in concepts focused on one spirit. Concentrating on one alcohol can also help operators better train staff – instead of learning about a whole slew of cocktails, beers and wines, employees only need to focus on one specific spirit. Single-focus bars can hone in on a central theme that’s easy to communicate and easy to market, such as Rum bars that integrate tiki and island accents. Some corporate entities are also using single-spirit bars to differentiate themselves from others. Richard Sandoval restaurants, along with InterContinental Hotels, have used single spirits as a theme that joins together concepts under their corporate umbrella. At the InterContinental 40
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in Boston, bar patrons will find The Scotch Room (which, as its name suggests, focuses on single-malt Scotches); and in San Francisco, it’s all about Grappa at the hotel’s Bar 888. Having a single focus can even go beyond spirits into including various types of beer or brews. Mead bars, which focus on the ancient beverage made from fermented honey, are now also trending, taking microbreweries and brewpubs to the next level. With the array of upsides to focusing on a single spirit, however, come a few challenges. Often, these barriers to overcome are related to consumer perceptions and preferences. If your customer base is entirely made up of the population of consumers that say they’ve had Whiskey many times (11 percent of consumers, according to Datassential FLAVOR), that’s great. However, for nonconnoisseurs, or for those looking for a drink outside your concept’s wheelhouse, it can be a challenge to educate those consumers on your offerings. For those who aren’t well versed in how one variety of Gin differs from another, consider approachable menus with descriptions of varietals and be sure to offer plenty of opportunity for sampling. At Chicago’s The Northman, a cider bar, customers are greeted with a complimentary sample of the bar’s house cider. From there, the staff guides customers into choosing the best cider to match their tastes. This article has been provided by Renee Lee, Senior Publications Specialist at Datassential, a leading consulting firm and supplier of trends analysis and concept testing for the food industry.
Fall 2017 â&#x20AC;¢ itmmag.com
MAKING THE ROUNDS With Helen Benefield Billings
Summit at The Broadmoor Elegant and savvy, with a contemporary flair and the most dramatic chandeliers and lighting imaginable, are just a few of the first impressions I had when entering the Summit Restaurant at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs last July. This Adam Tihany-designed space gives off a decidedly modern vibe that is an unexpected but most welcome departure from the classic grandeur of The Broadmoor Hotel itself. Summit offers a dazzling blend of French bistro and American favorites, and the cuisine is highlighted by the freshest offerings from local and regional producers, as well as from the resort’s very own Broadmoor Farms. The summer menu was a delight. Particularly eye-popping was the Angry Trout entrée that is well known far and wide for its distinctive presentation. A whole trout is presented with the head still intact and 42
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twisted around to put the fish’s tail in its mouth. It was wildly different and perfectly prepared. Their creative and ever-evolving menu of handcrafted cocktails, along with the extensive global wine list, impressed us. In the adjacent Summit Lounge, a revolving wine tower is sure to catch your attention, as do the friendly, well trained bar staff. We enjoyed conversing with mixologist Christopher, who was eager to share with us the scoop or back-story on a number of cocktails and microbrews at Summit, along with his extensive travel and experiences so far in the hospitality beverage industry. So refreshing! The Broadmoor is a stunning Forbes Five-Star resort property with so much history. It also happens to be the sister property to The Cloister Hotel on Sea Island, Georgia, which was the site of IMI Agency and in the Mix magazine’s revered B4 Summit in 2012 and 2015. www.broadmoor.com
Sparkling Summit (Right) This has been on the menu since day one, with seasonal variations. • • • •
¾ oz 30-year Sherry ½ oz Cherry Heering ¾ oz cranberry juice Top with Prosecco
Stir flat ingredients with ice; strain into champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Garnish with flamed orange peel.
(top page left) Summit Lounge’s revolving wine tower. (top page right) View from the Broadmoor to Cheyenne Mountain, with fog. (middle left) Angry Trout’s dramatic presentation. (middle right) Iberico ham and summer melon salad with Black Mission figs.
Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
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Roussillon: An Ancient and Emerging Wine Region
Vineyards in Tautavel, northern Roussillon. Tautavel is a village of some 800 inhabitants in the Roussillon.
recent trip to Roussillon opened my eyes to a region that has traditionally been lumped together with Languedoc. This misleading combination resulted in Roussillon’s special characteristics being camouflaged by its much larger and more prolific northern partner. To begin with, Roussillon’s history has much more in common with its western Spanish neighbor of Catalunya, because of their shared kingdom for many centuries in the Middle Ages when ruled by the King of Majorca. It is culturally, linguistically, culinarily and viticulturally more similar to the Catalan, though it is definitely part of France’s Pyrénées-Orientales. Roussillon has 28 centuries of viticultural history, having been first established by ancient Greeks and further developed by Etruscans and Romans. Its wine industry evolved from the development of the Canal du Midi in the 17th century, and later by the railway system that interconnected France and commerce in the 19th century. Roussillon represents only 2 percent of France’s wine production but 80 percent of France’s fortified Vins Doux Naturels (VDN). The latter is not surprising because the 1284 “invention” of mutage, or fortification of wine, is credited to Arnaud de Villeneuve, the rector of the nearby University of Montpelier, and doctor to the King of Majorca, whose court was located in Roussillon’s capital city of Perpignan. 46
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Roussillon is located in the southern-most part of France bordering Spain. Its amphitheater-like shape is ringed by the Pyrenees with the dominant Canigou Mountain to the west, the Albères Mountains to the south, the Corbières Mountains to the north separating it from Languedoc, and finally, the Mediterranean Sea to the east. These mountains impact the climate of Roussillon with seven differently named winds, the most significant being the Tramontane, which, like the Mistral in the Rhône Valley, reduces the impact of fungal and insect pressure on vineyards. It is the main reason that Roussillon has the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in France. It has three major valleys formed by the Agly, Têt and Tech rivers, where many vineyards and fruit orchards are found. However, more than 80 percent of 52,880 acres of vineyards lie on slopes reaching 2,100 feet in elevation. The geological impact of mountains and uplift has resulted in the greatest diversity of soils dominated by schistous clay with calcareous limestone and gravel. Although Roussillon is small in size, its dominant geographic features result in many diverse terroirs, which are reflected by its 17 Appellations d’ Origine Protegées (AOPs) and IGPs, amounting to 16 million gallons. The vineyards are, for the most part, small family holdings of fewer than 24 acres. The 2,200 family growers combine their
By Edward M. Korry, CHE, CSS, CWE, Department Chairman, Johnson & Wales University
Grenache vines in the foreground of Banyuls, Roussillon.
resources so that 75 percent of total wine production is made by 25 co-operatives. One of the more recent changes is not only the increased determination by young winemakers to produce their own wines, but also the investments by foreigners such as David Phinney of Napa fame with his Department 66, so that there are now over 350 independent wineries. There is also an infusion of the latest natural winemaking techniques such as what we witnessed at Château de L’Ou, where small ovoid shaped fermenters and hand pigéage, or punch down techniques, were employed. In a region this small, it was somewhat surprising to discover such a wide range of styles of wines. There are 24 varieties and one of the more significant discoveries I made was just how delicious the whites made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu can be. Examples included Collioure Blanc Les Toiles Fauves and Domaine de la Rectoire’s Les Argyles. Occasionally, Grenache Blanc is blended with Vermentino. Château de l’Ou wines, made by the stylish Séverine Bourrier, and Imprint du Temps Grenache Blanc or Grenache Gris made by Ferrer Ribière, a small organic and biodynamic producer, are other superb examples. In addition to the delicious whites, Roussillon is better known for its very low-yielding Grenache Noir,
Carignan, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Roussillon has the lowest yields of any wine region of France, the average being less than half other French AOPs. This is a result of vineyards being planted on very schistous and granitic rocky slopes, the dry sunny growing season, the age of vines and the lack of irrigation. The reds not only have great balance and distinct varietal characteristics but also have the aromas of the garrigue. “Garrigue” is the French word for the scrubland one finds in southern France, which is comprised of different wild growing plants, herbs and flowers. Particularly widespread are wild fennel, wild thyme, rosemary, cistus or rockrose, lavender and olive trees. One smells these aromas in the air, and their volatile aromatic compounds attach themselves to the skins of maturing grapes, lending added aromatic complexity to the wines and giving them a greater sense of place. While we prized very many delicious Grenache red and rosé wines, for me the Carignan Noir wines were most revelatory. Normally associated with being very tannic and lacking defined fruit character, the wines based or blended with Carignan, instead, had deep violet floral notes and intense black fruit flavors with rounded spicy tannins. Examples included Ferrer Ribière’s Carignan Noir 2014 from 140-year-old vines, and Roc des Anges’ Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
Relief 2014 from the Côtes de Roussillon and Côtes de Roussillon Villages. Some outstanding blends of Grenache Noir, its clone of Lladoner Pelut, Carignan and Syrah include Domaine des Schistes Côtes de Roussillon La Coumeille, which is available in the U.S. What differentiates Roussillon from all other French regions is its tradition and variety of Vins Doux Naturels, which as noted, began in the mid-13th century. The tradition has resulted in five different VDN appellations and two broadly defined styles of a fresh non-oxidative style and an oxidative style. The appellations include Rivesaltes, Maury, Banyuls, all in oxidative and nonoxidative styles, and Banyuls Grand Cru and finally, Muscat de Rivesaltes. The wines are fortified with very high, 97 percent pure ethanol made from grape distillate, which is added in smaller quantities than in similar fortified wines such as Port or Madeira. The delightfully aromatic nonoxidative or fresh Muscat de Rivesaltes are both a perfect accompaniment to many cheeses or desserts, and provide intensity and freshness. Grenat-style wines are Grenache Noir-based fortified wines from Rivesaltes and Maury; in Banyuls, they are referred to as Rimage. They are young, non-oxidized and are lighter than Port wines but a perfect accompaniment for chocolate, desserts with dried fruits, and cheeses, particularly blue cheeses. Oxidized and rancio-styled wines are some of the most miraculous wines made anywhere. The old cellars filled with large to small barrels that are countless decades old allow wines to magically be transformed by time, temperature and humidity. We were privileged to visit Domaine de Rancy in the village of Latour de France, whose specialty is to produce dry rancio styles of wines and the more prevalent sweet Ambré wines of Rivesaltes. We tasted wines including the 1948 that had aged in barrel up to 65 years, though we were not fortunate enough to taste the 1909 vintage that was still in a small barrel. To convey a semblance of the experience, I’d say I found almost indescribable complexity in this dark mahogany-colored elixir. While there was slight sweetness, it was so balanced by the acidity and other components that one didn’t realize there was residual sugar. There were dried fruit notes of figs, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, leather, nuts, marmite, spices and, no matter the vintage tasted, always an orange peel note to the finish. You needn’t go to the extreme of purchasing such an old vintage (not that they are so expensive) because one derives many of the same aromatic and taste qualities from 20-year-old Ambré wines that are absurdly inexpensive, given their pedigree. Banyuls Grand Cru wines are another treasure from this region. The beautiful vineyards located on steep schistous slopes facing the Mediterranean offer the potential for making these wines special, not that I didn’t very much appreciate many of the Grenache-based dry white and red wines that are sold under the appellation of Collioure. The Rimage non-oxidative style of wines made primarily from Grenache Noir and Carignan had deep concentrated black in the Mix Magazine
fruit aromas of plum, blackberries and cinnamon spice, with a long persistent finish. The oxidized style of tuilé (tawny) colored style had more pomegranate and nutty aromas with cocoa and coffee notes. The L’Etoile co-op was first formed in 1921; its wines represent 100 growers and 260 acres of vineyards. The fully oxidized Banyuls Grand Cru is aged in demi-muids (600-liter wooden vats). The wines may be blended with other wines from the same vintage that were purposefully aged in clear glass bonbonnes, or demijohns, and have been exposed to all the elements such as the heat of the sun, rain or cold weather, for 12 months or more. The resulting wines, after undergoing oxidative aging for years and decades, become complex while retaining freshness. For example, the L’Etoile Banyuls Grand Cru 1993 had a slight tawny hue with dried fruit notes of figs, black cherries and dates, cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa and tobacco. This style of wine is absurdly inexpensive and provides potential customers with a unique experience. There are many readily available oxidative-style wines from Roussillon that are decades old, and who isn’t intrigued to taste a wine older than one’s self? And to find such readily available wines at very affordable prices makes it potentially an unforgettable experience for one’s clientele. For those wanting a touch of history, and to experience the product of man’s indomitable will to contour nature in order to provide deliciously elegant dry white, rosé, red or lightly fortified dry or sweet wines unique to a region – then, there are no better options than the wines of Roussillon.
(above) Domaine de Rancy in the aging cellars with vintages in barrels going back to 1909. (right, above left and right) Banyuls resting in demijohns (bonbonnes) to allow them to oxidize. They remain in these for 12 months. (right, lower left) A Banyuls Grand Cru was among the wines Ed tasted. (right, lower right) Severine Bournier of Chateau de l’Ou
Fall 2017 â&#x20AC;¢ itmmag.com
Interviewwith withBarry RichFieldman Povak Interview Chief Operating Officer Co-Managing Partner Smart Bar USA
Smart Bar USA manufactures and distributes a patented automated cocktail dispensing machine, the SmarTender. There is a portable, fully selfcontained version as well as a modular, fixed installed machine. Neither system requires any bartending experience. More than six hundred types of drinks can be made at the push of a button. All Smart Bar products are made in the USA. The company was launched in 2012. Today, the company has installations all over the U.S. 50 4
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ITM 1: Are the units easy for the operators to use? Do you help train them? Barry: The whole purpose of the proprietary software inside the SmarTender is to make the machine user friendly and simple to operate. The primary users of the SmarTender are cocktail servers and waiters/waitresses. If you can read the name of a drink and press a button, you can operate the machine. When your SmarTender is delivered, it includes full training on the machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capabilities and use. ITM 2: The portable unit must have a lot of applications. How are your portable units being used in the real world? Barry: Today we have installations in movie theaters all over the U.S., including many Regal Cinemas. We have installed numerous units in hotel casino gaming properties (both American Indian gaming and nonAmerican Indian gaming). The SmarTenders are deployed at service bars, pool cabanas, theaters and restaurants. We have also placed our SmarTenders in
private suites at major stadiums including those for the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins. Cruise lines are currently looking into using our machines as well. Portable SmarTenders are also currently utilized in banquet and catering halls. Really, anywhere you would like to serve a cocktail, you can place a full service SmarTender quickly and efficiently. ITM 3: The SmarTender must have a lot of advantages for bars. What are those advantages? Barry: First of all, both the portable and modular SmarTender units fully mix hundreds of cocktails and can be programed to a customer’s own recipes, allowing for crafted cocktails as well. The SmarTender does not need an experienced bartender – the servers prepare the cocktail and serve the customer without the necessity of any interaction with a bartender. The SmarTender is placed in a service bar area either in front of the house (end of the bar), or in a back-of-house service bar area utilized by servers. The order is placed into the customer’s POS (we integrate with most POS systems) and the SmarTender prepares the drink for the server upon demand. The portable SmarTender has the whole bar stored in its on-board computer, and it currently utilizes 16 liquors, 12 mixers (bag in a box), water and CO2. It also takes care of waste and includes an ice bin and carbonator. Just plug it in and press a button. The modular SmarTender can be mounted on a bar top in the service area and connected to an existing bag in a box and CO2 that is normally provided by Coke or Pepsi. A liquor drawer is installed under the counter or close by, housing the 16 different liquors. Our modular units also fully integrate with both Berg and Easy Bar pump room installations, which are normally found in many hotel casinos. ITM 4: Tell us what the software on the machine can do. Barry: The proprietary software installed into our dispensing head is very sophisticated and does many things. The SmarTender has a builtin, on-board POS for systems that do not wish to integrate into their own systems. This is useful for portable units in catering or remote locations. The software mixes and dispenses BOTH the
liquor and the mixer, per the user-programed recipes, while dispensing the drink into the customer’s glass. The software also prevents unauthorized use by automatically locking the system after each user’s order is complete. Each user is provided an access code or employee swipe card, and all drinks prepared by that access code are stored and recorded in the on-board management screen. Management can have remote access to see how many drinks are being served and by whom. There is a portion control screen allowing management to adjust portions of liquor (shot, or shot and a half ) in 1/10 portions. The SmarTender can also be a self-serve soda machine, as the software allows for the liquor drinks to be locked out. It really is an amazing product and can’t be fully appreciated until you actually see one in action. ITM: How does using a SmarTender improve operations in service and in the bottom line – earnings? Barry: The SmarTender will not replace a bartender who serves those customers seated at the bar; that is part of the relationship a proprietor has with a customer. There are many applications where a customer orders a drink and never sees it made by a bartender. In these cases, a service bar is utilized and a “service” bartender prepares drinks for servers. SmarTender can eliminate the need for that extra bartender, thereby affecting labor costs. The servers do not share their tips with a service bartender because there isn’t one – this makes the servers happy. The customer gets their drink faster (keeping the customer happy and more drinks sold) because the server is in control and not dependent on a service bartender. All drinks are made the exact same way every time, as the same recipe is being followed for every single drink. Studies have shown that the average drink manually poured might tend to be off by 1/8 of an ounce, resulting in inconsistent drink flavor and expensive, wasteful use of alcohol. Fewer mistakes save money and deliver a drink made exactly to the recipe every time. Lower labor costs, less waste from over-pours and mistakes, happy employees, happy customers – all make happy owners with better margins. Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
Summer 2014 • itmmag.com
Vice President, Food And Beverage Operations
In early August I flew up to meet with Bradley and interview him live at the Interstate Hotels & Resorts headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. I have known Bradley for the past 10 years and have worked directly with him on many occasions. He is confident, calm and funny, a pleasure to work with. Here is what we talked about.
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Spring â&#x20AC;˘ itmmag.com Photo by James Jackson. Taken at the Hamilton Crown Plaza in 2017 Washington, D.C. 53
Mike: How long have you been with Interstate Hotels & Resorts? Bradley: Twenty-five years! MR: Wow, really? That’s a long time! BM: Believe it or not, it’s been my third management company. I’ve been around for a while. I worked for Lance McFaddin, who was the nightclub guru of the ‘80s and ‘90s, with probably no less than a dozen concepts. From there I went to my first hotel company, which was Ocean Properties. They had these very large nightclubs that anchored all their hotels, predominantly on the East Coast (Florida). They needed nightclub guys to run these things. MR: That was a big outfit. BM: They were, very much so. I was doing a nightclub for them up in Palm Beach and the VP of Food and Beverage for Interstate, Don Stanzcak, came through there. We got to talking and I was working for him three months later. They were just getting into the nightclub business and had six that were completed and another six in the works. When I joined them, they only had 12 hotels. MR: What year was that? BM: I met Don in ‘91 and went to work for him in ‘92. MR: Only 12 hotels. Compared to how many now? BM: 430 MR: Do you manage all of them? BM: We do. We have two different companies – we have Interstate Hotels & Resorts and then we have a Select Service arm called Crossroads. Now they all have some kind of food and beverage component, and in most cases, do not have the expertise in the F&B field at the property level, so we are involved. A lot of times the brands influence the F&B in these hotels, so we try to stay in front and above of the Mary at home in Phoenix with brandsone requirements with ourRachel. beverage program as of her pet chickens, well asRachel our purchasing. is an Aurucana and she lays blue eggs!
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MR: You work with both arms of the company, right? BM: I do. The full service gets the predominant attention, but you have to pay attention to the Selective Service. There are almost 300 of them. MR: How do you keep track of everything? BM: It’s, well, it’s incredible. You start talking about the beverage program and how we manage that and it will make your head spin. It’s a lot of work. (Editor’s note – If you look up the Interstate properties on the Web, 130 show up under the Interstate Hotels & Resorts site and the others show up under the Crossroads website.) MR: California, New York and Florida have the most hotels. That’s typical, but I was curious to see Minnesota and Pennsylvania in your top states and you have hotels all over the country. BM: Pennsylvania, I think, has always been in the top five. We got our start in Pennsylvania before we came here to D.C. And about Minnesota – honestly, over the last year and a half or so, Minnesota has been hot. We have two new ownership groups that have big concentrations in the Minnesota area. MR: The twin cities are on fire right now. BM: The food scene up there is cool. I just got back, I was there two weeks ago and I’m going back in three weeks. You’ve got the Super Bowl coming there in February, and you’ve got the Final Four college basketball finals coming in March, both in the new stadium. MR: It’s nice up there? BM: I got to tell you, when I was there, it was beautiful weather – no humidity, blue skies, perfect! MR: Are all the hotels managed, owned or both? BM: Now, it’s truly managed. There was a time that we had owned properties, had joint ventures or a percentage. What happens is you get into a downturn economy and we ended up becoming a percentage owner, but we are now completely 100 percent managed.
o with your palate
Elouan Rosé delivers intense fruit flavor and a fresh vibrant taste. It’s a delightful and versatile companion for dining outdoors, relaxing poolside and keeping summer alive all year long. It goes particularly well with good friends so enjoy this Rosé well-chilled and often. …And always go with your palate.
Golden Tiki , Las Vegas
Photo by Krystal Ramirez
Summer 2017 • itmmag.com
Makerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mark Old Fashioned from The Bar Movement cocktail book by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Photo by Tim Turner.
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MR: I was looking at your food promotions on the IHR side. How often and when do you decide to do those types of things? I saw some really nice ones. BM: Thanks. I think it is what sets us apart from a lot of different management companies. We spend a lot of time looking at the menus, doing analysis and looking at trends. We update the menus twice a year and when we do this, we are updating the menus with these promotional items if they are successful. A perfect example would be the hamburger. We changed it about four years ago. We had the typical frozen, 8-ounce hockey puck. We switched to a fresh 6-ounce ground chuck with an 80/20 blend that just ate incredibly. We saved about $1.20 per plate. The hamburger is the number one selling item in our hotels. So, by changing the hamburger, we instantly brought $2 million to the bottom line. MR: You’d think it would cost less having the frozen product. BM: Well, it went from ground beef to ground chuck, so that’s less. It has a higher fat content, which enhances the flavor – that’s why it tastes so good. The trend was that people weren’t eating these gargantuan burgers anymore. They wanted a richer premium burger. It is fresh, with a 21-day shelf life, and because it was the number one selling item in our hotels, we weren’t worried about that. The biggest problem we had was keeping the cooks from squeezing the spatulas down on them because they were used to working with a frozen product. We had to put out training videos, literally, to show them not to squeeze all the juice out of it. So the promotions are really to change the menus out, and what happens is, if successful, the items stick onto the menus and become core items. That’s why we do them every six months. MR: When you roll these promotions out to the hotels, what kind of marketing materials do they receive? There must be a lot of work involved in laying out the graphics and design. Not to mention training. BM: We are typically six months ahead of ourselves, because we have to be. The number one marketing item they would get would be new lunch and dinner menus. Whatever new item we’re putting on the menu,
that item would be encapsulated in a box to draw attention to it. Then you have things like banners for the lobby, table tents for the guest rooms and bar area, stuffers for the key packets – we’ve done it all. MR: I saw a street sign in front of the outside cafe here at the Hamilton Crown Plaza where I stayed last night, that said “The Mocktail Revolution Hits D.C.” BM: We do everything we can do to get items in front of the guests, tastefully. MR: This varies by flag, I would imagine? BM: Yes. We are the number one franchiser of all the 40 U.S. brands (Marriott, Westin, etc.), so we know the brand standards and we are trying to set our programs above what the brand is asking us to do. We have great relationships with all of them. There are certain times where it’s give and take, but we are a very large company with a very large purchasing program, so we can offer product based on our buy for much less than other companies can offer. Therefore, we’re more profitable. That brings in the data and the analysis of the data. We really looked at that hamburger (chuckling) – that hamburger was a year in the making. And with this new promotion we are doing now, we have some incredible data behind it and I think it’s going to be a huge home run. MR: Can you tell me what that is going to be? (Laughing) BM: I can! We are going to launch it in December for a January implementation. Having gone through our menus, we found that less than 12 percent of our hotels offered a vegan or vegetarian offering. Vegan and vegetarian, plant based, is just blowing up. The Millennials are driving it and if we don’t have it in our hotels, not only do I lose your business, but I’ll also probably lose your associates you’re traveling with. In a few weeks, we are going to Cleveland to one of the biggest farms in the mid-west, the Chef ’s Garden, and we’re taking fourteen chefs. We are going to work on vegan and vegetarian recipes and we’re hoping to come back with two of each. Right next to the farm is the Culinary Vegetable Institute that has a tremendous kitchen where we are going to cook and develop recipes for the hotels. We’re really excited. Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
When you have a veggie burger for $8.00 as a menu offering and you’re selling steak for $36.00 and chicken at $28.00, we are encouraging people to trade down who will pay anything to eat healthy on the road. So we need to come up with this upscale vegan fine-dining entrée, where you could maintain your price point with that customer, as opposed to only offering salads and such. MR: Sounds great. So the same thing goes for your beverage program, promotions, special holidays, and events. I’ve seen a couple of them, like flights with Kendall-Jackson wines. Is there anything coming up for the fall or holiday season you can share with us? BM: We created unique fall menus that just hit the hotels last week so they are in time for the first preseason football game. There were six different versions of footballs based on what type of hotel you are and what tier of the beverage program. I think we printed 3,200 of them. We also did the tees for them to sit on. MR: When you’re talking about footballs – it’s an actual football? BM: Oh yes. It’s that foam football sitting right there (in his office). So we put the menu on it and depending on what kind of hotel you are is what product you would carry. So one hotel may be Jack Daniel’s and one might be Jim Beam, and so on. They put them on the tables Saturday, Sunday and Monday. MR: My first question is who’s throwing these things around? (Laughing) This thing feels nice, like a Nerf ball. I mean, you can chuck this thing! BM: Who cares? My boss said to me, “Someone is going to steal them.” I say I’ll send them another 25! The point being, the very first thing you do when you sit down is pick it up. Everyone at the table wants to feel and look at it. Now I’ve put a menu in your hand, just like that! We’ve used helmets also; they work well, too. MR: Who could resist it? It feels good; it’s a nice ball. The helmets are nice too. BM: So we try to switch it around from year to year. We’ve done old leather ones, a couple of years back. 58
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MR: Those look expensive. BM: You know, everything is expensive these days. You just have to know how to shop for them, and we do. We’re also doing a fall promotion with Boston Beer’s Angry Orchard Cider featuring cider cocktails. That will hit the hotels about the second week of September. MR: Do you do a lot of holiday themes or is that something you leave up to the properties? BM: It depends. You want to do something during the holidays to help the catering department. We have to be really far out because bookings start in August and September for space. We’ve done punches during the recession when everyone was doing away with the open bar, so we were selling a lot of these alcoholic punches as a welcoming beverage as they came in. This year we’re doing Christmas cookies matched with a cordial. MR: 2018 will be the next time you revamp the tier list? BM: The new program starts June 1, 2018. We’ve already started on it. When I joined the company, we had 12 hotels and we had one tier. Today we have 430 hotels with eight beverage tiers. It’s all based on the hotels’ annualized outlet sales. What we learned from the recession is a lot of these asset managers and owners are now paying great attention to inventory levels. We’ve really looked at the amount of inventory that needs to be on a Courtyard shelf as opposed to a Marriott shelf, for example. People ask why we do it every two years. The honest answer is it’s a lot of work. MR: I can imagine. You couldn’t do it every year or it would suck up all your time. BM: By the time you look at the data from what you’re buying and selling, incorporating what’s trending, go through all the tastings, meetings with the partners – it takes awhile. MR: What are some new key trends that you are looking to add to the program? BM: The starting point is, you go back and look at the previous or current program, and you look at the tiers and you evaluate if there are any holes. Is there anything we missed? Two years ago we added a rosé by-the-glass and it was a huge home run.
Family-owned in Napa Valley since 1948
ÂŠ2017 Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA
Trinchero Family Estates began in 1948 as a small, family-run Napa Valley winery with one storied brand: Sutter Home. Now in its third generation, the company has grown into one of the most respected family-owned wine and spirits companies in the industry, with over 45 award winning global brands. Today, Trinchero Family Estates remains an independent, family-owned business committed to quality and value.
Fall 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ itmmag.com
South of France from The Bar Movement cocktail book by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Photo by Tim Turner. 60
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MR: You mentioned sparkling wines might be a category to build on? BM: When we look at national trends, then look at our program, a sparkling rosé was one thing we denoted could be a nice addition. Speaking of rosé wine, I have two rooftop bars that sell Frose (frozen rosé) in the typical New Orleans slushy machine if you will. One of them, Hotel Erwin, sits right at the foot of Venice beach. We do 600 glasses of Frose a week. MR: How about craft beers? BM: I think we’ve been pretty ahead of the curve when it comes to craft. We give the hotels their first draft handle to do something local. There are one or two changes in the beer category each time we redo the program. MR: What is going on in your head about the spirits program for the 2018 plan? BM: I want to be a little careful here – I’m not far enough down that path yet. And also, all my partner meetings are in January so I want to keep my cards a little close to my vest for the article. (Laughing) MR: How about the cocktail program – thoughts on that? How are you trying to fit into the craft cocktail movement without limiting your movement? By that I mean, your movement behind the bar; they take so long to make. BM: We hire a third party to do recipes for us but the key to our success is the amount of steps required to make the cocktails. We are not PDT in Manhattan! I was in Chicago this past weekend and had a horrible bar experience. They were trying to be too cute; it was overdone. Who wants to wait 10 minutes for a cocktail? MR: Nobody. BM: So, with that in mind, we try to keep it to three or four steps. We do a lot with ice, we do a lot with prebatching and marinating, but the reality is keeping it to three or four steps. Granted, we have 430 hotels. There are hotels out there executing the most difficult drinks and doing it quickly and doing a wonderful
job. But, for a Courtyard, that person who is making you a cocktail could have been the same person that checked you in. So you have to write the cocktail books for the tiers. Otherwise, we’d be just shooting ourselves in the foot. Either they can’t make them, or they would make them so poorly that we would never sell them. MR: And now, trying to find bartenders is not the easiest thing either. It used to be that you would work years and years at your trade to perfect it and advance. Three or 4 months in the trade now and they’re moving up and around, looking for the best situation for themselves. It must be hard to keep the bar staff in place for very long these days. BM: It is, so what we do is make cocktail recipe books that are on our internal company site. We roll it out to the management team via a webinar and distribute all of the materials needed to train their bar associates. MR: What are some obstacles to changing the program? BM: One thing you have to be careful of, when it comes to change in hotels, is that it takes awhile. You have to be mindful that they have inventory on the shelves. They don’t want to buy anything new until they sell the old. With companies as big as us, it’s like a super-tanker – making it turn takes a while. So the change is subtle; it can’t be dramatic. We help them with suggestions on how to burn off product that has been changed. When we add something like that rosé, it’s easy. We know what we’re buying and we know what we’re selling. For the first time in 25 years, I have a really good number. We’re fed that daily. We hired a beverage analyst; we have our purchasing in Fintech as well as an Avero system that extracts the sales data and brings it all up to a cloud where we can analyze it. I can go in and see we sold x-amount of Heinekens last night, for example. MR: In a nutshell, how does the selection process work for Interstate Hotels & Resorts? BM: We start off with tastings. The team here in Arlington has a pretty good feel for what we need to Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
do. We have partner meetings; we have solid partner relations after 50-odd years. It is a two-way street with the partnerships and I think given our compliancy numbers and everything we do, we are good partners. We’re very proud of our compliancy numbers. And they know the amount of money we spend on menus – menus sell. If it takes putting a crazy menu out like a football or a helmet or even a baseball bat, I mean we’ve done everything. We struggle as an industry with bottle sales. Typically Sunday through Thursday, it’s the individual business traveller as guests, so it’s wines by the glass. That plays heavy on how the whole thing gets structured. MR: You won a 2017 VIBE Vista award for responsible service. Can you tell us how you work with TipS on this and how important it is to be responsible these days? BM: It’s incredibly important. It directly affects our liquor liability and insurance. To be able to keep those down means so much to ownership groups. About three years ago, we actually created an automated system where the hotels have to go on by the tenth of the month and report the number of servers or sellers of alcohol.
We include sellers because in a lot of our Select Service hotels, we have kiosks behind the check-in area where they may sell beer or wine. If they don’t report in by the tenth of the month, it sends a note to the GM or HR Director to get their numbers put in. If that is late, it goes to the regional person to make sure they get their information in the system. We average about 95 percent of the hotels reporting each month. Our compliancy is about 85 percent, which is huge in the industry. Nobody can touch that. MR: Are these report numbers people that are trained by TIPS? BM: Yes, trained. What we do is track new servers and sellers; within 30 days of hire you have to be trained. If they are not trained and we don’t have a TIPS certification number for them, then we take them off the schedule. It’s a list in Interstate you do not want to be on. If your hotel did not report or you’re not at least 85 percent compliant, then we have issues. To answer your question, it’s a huge deal for our company and to be recognized by the industry was even better.
(from left) Mike Raven, in the Mix Magazine Editor with Bradley Moore 62
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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PARTY AND A CELEBRATION. No other cocktail embodies a celebration like the Manhattan. We added our own twist with the bittersweet flavors of Amaro Montenegro. The result is timeless. Enjoy in good company.
The Monte Manhattan
AmaroMontenegro USA @AmaroMonte Please Enjoy Responsibly. Amaro Montenegro, 23% Alc/Vol. Produced and bottled by Montenegro S.r.l. Imported by Total Beverage Solution, Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Fall 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ itmmag.com
Start By: Lou Trope
s the old saying goes, “timing is everything,” and nothing could be truer when planning successful holiday cocktail promotions. If you are putting out your Halloween candy and have not finished your programs for the holidays and New Year’s, the window of opportunity may have already closed. The fall and winter holidays, from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, are great opportunities to drive revenue, attract new customers and get your name out in the social media space. However, it is a very crowded time with everyone pitching similar ideas, so how do you stand out and find success? Clearly, it all starts with an idea. Although it sounds simple enough, it is far from easy. Hundreds of ideas come up year after year that all fall into the white noise of endless Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. So the key is to do something so unique that you truly stand out from the pack. Consider Derek Brown’s complete transformation of his three Washington, D.C. bars in 2016 into The Christmas Bar, serving all theme64
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inspired, master crafted cocktails. However, it wasn’t as clear-cut as it sounds. The first bar, Mockingbird Hill, was Chrimukkah; the second, Eat the Rich, was Stranger Things (yes, the Netflix series); and the third, Southern Efficiency, was a Christmas Carol all tied together under the auspices of The Christmas Bar. They received an incredible amount of local and national press for this unique and somewhat disruptive idea. This promotion was so successful that he has since followed it up in the spring with a Super Mario/Cherry Blossom pop-up and, most recently, with a “Game of Thrones”-inspired venue. All these ideas were greeted with lines of customers around the block and an avalanche of media hits. So, clearly it is all about the idea, to start. Now, we all can’t shut down our establishments and invest thousands of dollars to create a pop-up but there are certainly other avenues to explore. However, it is critical to set a plan in place and understand how the PR cycle operates. The simple rule of thumb is to be prepared with all documents at least one
quarter ahead of the event. Knowing that the holidays are extremely active periods with multiple operators all pitching at the same space (e.g., Thanksgiving, Black Friday, holiday parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, and Valentine’s Day), it is extremely important to be fully prepared and differentiated, in order to get noticed. For winter holidays, it would be safe to assume that planning should start in early autumn, or at least four months out.
you want to make an impact, you need to be bold and unapologetic about your ideas because that’s where great ideas live. There are several paths to explore to inspire the creativity. One is by researching the legacy and origin of a place, cocktail or spirit and working that line to build a story. Others are exploring unique seasonal products that are only available for a certain time; curating a longlost tradition that has special meaning for that time
First and foremost, let’s concentrate on what’s in the glass in relation to the significance of the events that are being targeted. The usual holiday promotions feature Champagne, cider, Bourbon, Martinis or warm cocktails. These are all fine and can have great success, but is that enough? The challenge is, how do you break away from the pack and create something that is truly unique, interesting and Instagram worthy? This starts with defining your purpose behind the promotion. Are you doing it to check off something on a to-do list that corporate gave you? Trying to drive revenue? Inspire new customers to try your establishment? Reaffirm your concept direction? Show off talent? Just get some media attention? All these are valid reasons. Maybe not the check-off-the-list one, but that’s a story for another time. If a promotion is engaged with passion, skill and to some extent a controlled recklessness, it is possible create something truly memorable. When developing your ideas, it is imperative to embrace recklessness! Do not be passive about your ideas because, in truth, nobody cares about “easy” or “safe.” If
of year; or looking to pop culture for inspiration and connection. Do something completely contradictory and slightly disruptive. Some have had success with absolute indulgence, with thousand-dollar cocktails laced with luxury accouterments. Embrace or invent a luxury or celebratory ritual or experience. Curating a unique service experience that is both temporary and one-of-a-kind and limited can create buzz. Regardless of the path chosen, there must be an underlying yet visible connection that ties back to your venue, brand, region or concept. If it is just putting something out there for the holidays because it will work for New Year’s Eve, but you cannot bring it back to connect to the essence of your establishment, then it is just a one-shot event for short term revenue but may not contribute to the long term strength and reputation of your brand. Linking the story to the experience is what will get the public’s attention. As you are developing your drinks, simultaneously you should be crafting the story that articulates the relevance to the event and your Fall 2017 • itmmag.com
venue. Ask hard questions like why anyone would care about this. Are your truly differentiated from your competitors or just doing a different version of the same thing? Can we connect it back to who we are as a concept? The key is to find separation from your competitors and stand out in a crowded market. Your story must be short and concise. Get right to the point and be ready to defend it in writing or in person. If it takes more than seven words to describe it before someone understands what you want to accomplish, you are not there yet. Being articulate and direct with a compelling story is the path to success. Getting the attention of the right people in the PR world can be a very difficult task. It’s important to build relationships with key publications, bloggers and segment producers throughout the year. Branding and marketing expert Jayne Portnoy of JP Consulting recommends, “Crafting a smart relationship with local editors and segment producers can help take your brand from something they talk about once in a while to being their go-to expert in the field. So it is important to nurture the relationships year round.” Needless to say, when pitching ideas to editors it is recommended to utilize a PR or marketing professional unless you have built strong personal relationships. Jayne suggests reaching out and finding who is the right editor to contact. Then call ahead to find out what their calendar is like and the process for being pitched. It is also good to know that you are reaching out to the right editor and that their publication is the right choice for your intended target market. It goes without saying that before you start pitching ideas, the program must be fully vetted and finished. This must include high-resolution professional pictures, not those taken with an iPhone. Be prepared to share recipes that have been tested and are correct and formatted to match the promotion design style. All websites showcasing the promotion must be updated with correct information and ready to receive new customer information. If you will be sharing recipes and other information, your website must be designed to allow downloading of recipes by multiple devices. Unfortunately, these details are sometimes overlooked and can end up causing guest frustration, and having the exact opposite impact than is intended. Property activation is where the rubber hits the road. Be prepared – if your promotion gets picked up, the first question a blogger or editor will ask is, “Where can we get this?” Above all, it is absolutely necessary that the property operators are fully trained and informed about the promotion. There is nothing worse than a travel writer coming into your establishment 66
in the Mix Magazine
after you sold them hard on how great your holiday promotion is, and the bartender has no idea what they are talking about when they ask for it. Again, it goes back to being fully prepared and having meticulous planning. All operations teams should be fully trained on any holiday promotion prior to its start. This includes conducting taste panels with new items, discussing the differentiating aspects of the program, ensuring that all items are available and ready, as well as testing bartenders on the new recipes for accuracy and quality. In addition, all menu revisions and/or collateral are at the property and POS systems have been updated and are in place. In cases of server incentives, ensure that all aspects have been clearly communicated and there is the ability to track results. The more the team is engaged and excited about the program, the better likelihood for success. Creating holiday promotions and working with talented PR teams can be very rewarding, both professionally in providing an outlet for unbridled creativity as well as in bringing new clientele into your establishment. However, in spite of all the efforts of the team to create an amazing program, all that can be lost with poor timing and irrelevant messaging. It comes down to four basic ideas. First, embrace reckless creativity to develop something that is truly unique and will differentiate you in a crowded space. Second, understand the PR timing cycle – know who to pitch and when. Third, ensure your message is on point and will resonate not only to your target market but also to those editors, bloggers and segment producers you are trying to engage. Finally, make it happen! It’s all about execution and providing that amazing creative experience that you have promised to deliver. Just remember: It’s never too early to start thinking about the next big thing and let creativity run wild!
NOW! Lou Trope is President of LJ Trope & Co. LLC, an independent consultant working with the hotel industry to provide innovative restaurant concepts, operational assessments and b2b beverage strategies.
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