Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the excitement of enjoying patio drinks on warm, sunny days. As a restaurant or bar owner, it's essential to update your drink menu to provide customers with light and refreshing cocktails that embrace the season.
This article provides some exciting cocktail options that will help revamp your cocktail menu, while offering your customers a delightful springtime experience. But before recommending some tasty drinks, let's explain why you should update your cocktail menu for the spring.
Restaurants need to update their cocktail menus for the spring for several reasons, including:
Now that you understand the importance of switching up your cocktail menu, let’s get to the fun part; the cocktails.
One of the most popular spring cocktails is the Margarita, a tequila-based drink perfect for sipping on a sunny day. While the origins of this classic cocktail are unclear, the most popular story is that it was created by a socialite named Margarita Sames in 1948. She mixed tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau, serving it to her guests in Acapulco, Mexico. This classic drink is refreshing, zesty, and easy to make, making it a crowd favorite.
The Mojito is another classic cocktail that's perfect for springtime. This cocktail originated in Cuba in the late 1800s and was initially called "El Draque" after Sir Francis Drake. The original recipe was made with tafia, a low-grade rum, but it evolved over time to include white rum, fresh mint, lime juice, and soda water.
This Italian aperitif is a popular choice for springtime drinking thanks to its bright orange color and bitter-sweet flavor. It was created in Italy in 1919 and was originally used as a digestive aid. The Aperol Spritz became popular in the 1950s and 1960s when it was marketed as a light and refreshing summer drink. It is made with Aperol, Prosecco, and soda water, typically served over ice with a slice of orange.
This classic cocktail is a little more complex than other drinks on this list, but it's worth the effort. It was created in the early 1900s and named after the French 75mm field gun used in World War I. It was originally made with cognac, but gin became the preferred spirit during Prohibition in the United States. Today it is made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne.
The Paloma is a famous Mexican cocktail that was created in the 1950s. It is believed to have been invented by Don Javier Delgado Corona, the owner of the La Capilla bar in Tequila, Mexico. Made with tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and soda water, this drink has a refreshing flavor that's perfect for spring. Adding grapefruit juice gives it a unique flare that sets it apart from other tequila-based cocktails.
Sangria is a fruity wine punch perfect for sipping on a sunny patio. It originated in Spain in the 18th century and was initially made with red wine, brandy, and fruit. Today, there are many variations of Sangria, and you can use white wine or rose. Popular fruit combinations for Sangria include oranges, lemons, apples, strawberries, and peaches.
This British cocktail is a favorite for springtime sipping. Featuring Pimm's No. 1 Liqueur, a gin-based liqueur, it was created in the mid-1800s by James Pimm, a London oyster bar owner. It is mixed with lemonade, ginger ale, and fresh fruit like strawberries, cucumber, and mint, making Pimm's Cup a refreshing and flavorful choice.
Many people enjoy frozen drinks during the spring and summer months, and having at least one frozen option on the cocktail menu can be a great way to cater to these customers. Here are some popular frozen cocktails to add to your cocktail menu this spring.
The Daiquiri is a classic frozen cocktail perfect for sipping on a hot day. It was named after a beach near Santiago de Cuba and was originally made with white rum, lime juice, and sugar.
Another classic frozen cocktail, the Pina Colada is made with rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream. The Piña Colada was first created in Puerto Rico in the 1950s. This sweet, creamy, tropical drink tastes like the perfect beach vacation.
The Mudslide was invented in the Cayman Islands in the 1950s. It is a creamy, frozen cocktail that's perfect for those with a sweet tooth. This delicious, indulgent drink is made with vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and ice cream.
The Mai Tai is a tropical drink that's perfect for sipping on a warm day. Victor J. Bergeron, the owner of a bar in Oakland, California, created it in the 1940s. Fun fact about the Mai Tai, it was so popular that it is rumoured to have depleted the world’s rum reserves in the 1940s and ‘50s. It is made with rum, lime juice, orange curaçao, and almond syrup. This drink is fruity, refreshing, and perfect for a day at the beach.
Add a flare of creativity to your menu by crafting a speciality house cocktail. It should embody your brand and pair nicely with your other menu offerings. This allows your customers to have a memorable experience and feel like they're trying something unique that they can't get anywhere else.
This could be a signature drink with unique ingredients or an innovative twist on a classic cocktail. Creating a unique cocktail can set your establishment apart from the competition and build a loyal customer base.
Updating your drink menu to include spring specials is crucial for any restaurant or bar owner. Your cocktail menu should be light and refreshing, combining classics like Margaritas and Daiquiris with in-house specialty cocktails. Some recommended cocktails for your spring menu are Margarita, Mojito, Aperol Spritz, French 75, and Pimm's Cup. Frozen drinks like Daiquiri, Pina Colada, and Mai Tai are also great options.
Finally, remember to create a unique cocktail menu that embodies your brand and the ambiance of your establishment. With these tips, your customers will have a memorable experience that will keep them returning for more. Cheers to a sunny and busy spring season!
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations