Other

Stock Market for Cocktails: The Future of Bars?


New software company/mobile app determines the price of drinks, Wall Street-style

No one really likes watching the stock market rise and tumble daily, but there's one frontier that the stock market hasn't tackled — until now. A new software company, called The Drink Exchange, has taken the ups and downs of drink orders at the bar and turned it into its own market.

The Drink Exchange, founded by Charleston, S.C., entrepreneurs Cole Patterson and Todd Schram, predicts the prices of drinks using an algorithm based on which drinks are the most ordered, and the least ordered. It's a (sort of) simple premise: the more a drink is ordered, the higher the price rises; the fewer drinks, the lower the price. Patrons of the bar can watch prices rise, and fall, on TV screens and ticker screens (and buy drinks accordingly). Imagine the trading floor of the Stock Exchange, only the traders are buying booze instead of stocks. Now, with a mobile app, you can also influence the prices of drinks.

So far, the software is in 25 bars, but Schram told Wired that the team expects to be in 300 bars by the year's end. (He also shared major tips on how to score cheaper drinks using the system — you're welcome.) By the looks of Austin's Brew Exchange, the first beer-market based bar, this is one idea that's catching on.


Vintage Violet Cocktails Make a Comeback

As I've mentioned before, I live in the boonies, which is lovely but not exactly hopping with art museums, ethnic cuisine or cool historic bars where you can order a vintage cocktail. So, when I visit my family in Los Angeles (or go to any big city), I try to cram in as much of that stuff as I can.

On my latest trip, last week, I went in search of a liqueur called Crème de Violette that was recently reintroduced in the United States after decades off the market. I had read about it on the blog Rowley's Whiskey Forge, where Matthew Rowley reported that floral, especially violet, scented cocktails were all the rage at the latest Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans. Austrian distiller Rothman & Winter makes a Crème de Violette from Alpine violets that is imported by Haus Alpenz. Now, Robert Cooper of  Philadelphia-based Charles Jacquin et Cie has resurrected his family's recipe for Crème Yvette, another violet-scented liqueur that was discontinued in 1969. The company already had a hit with its elderflower-flavored liqueur, St. Germain, introduced in 2007.

The idea of violet liqueur intrigued me. I occasionally like to buy those old-fashioned violet pastilles in a tin, and, despite my earlier rice pudding disaster, I find rose water similarly appealing. Some flavors can transport you to another place the light perfume of violets somehow evokes another era of dainty gloves and nosegays. The fact that the Rothman & Winters Crème de Violette comes in a sleek art deco bottle made it all the more attractive to me. I am a sucker for good package design—even if you don't end up liking the contents, the bottle will look good on your bar.

But I wondered: Why the sudden revival of floral flavors now? Robert Hess, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail, told me he thought the resurgence was "tied up with the overall renewed interest in the old pre-Prohibition classics."

Even the venerable, though soon-to-be-defunct, Gourmet magazine had an article about violet liqueurs in its October issue. Pulitzer-winning food writer Jonathan Gold (whose column in L.A. Weekly I always read when I lived in California) wrote, "Violet-scented cocktails, once fairly common, almost disappeared 50 years ago, dismissed as auntly and old-fashioned, unable to compete with the more immediate pleasures of Mai Tais or Rusty Nails."

He wrote about a drink made with Crème Yvette, called an Eagle's Dream, that he was served at a speakeasy-type establishment behind the legendary Cole's sandwich shop in downtown L.A. (Cole's purports to be the inventor of the french dip sandwich, a claim disputed by rival Philippe's "The Original" a few miles away). So, when it turned out that my fiancé and I would be meeting up with a friend who lives a block away from Cole's, I seized my opportunity to try a violet cocktail.

The speakeasy wasn't open yet, but the regular Cole's bar—which, according to a sign outside the building, is the oldest "public house" in the city, established in 1908—had Crème de Violette in stock. The dapper bartender mixed me up a classic cocktail, the Aviation. It was made with---in addition to the violet liqueur---gin, lemon juice, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and simple syrup (a deviation from the original recipe), and finished with a gorgeous, deep-red, imported maraschino cherry (which bears no resemblance to the candied pink version you usually find in domestic bars). The cocktail was a beautiful cloudy violet color, and tasted even better than I had imagined—slightly sweet and somewhat sour, with the faintest hint of violet perfume. My fiancé said it tasted like a purple Sweet Tart, which he meant as a compliment.


Arizona restaurants look to make cocktails-to-go permanent

If passed, bars and restaurants will be allowed to sell cocktails to go, helping them earn much-needed money as they are still restricted to occupancy limits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHOENIX - Arizona restaurants are trying to convince state lawmakers to let them sell cocktails to-go, looking to make permanent a temporary right they gained during the pandemic as they chart an uncertain future.

Restaurant owners supporting the measure say it would help them get back on their feet after the pandemic devastated the industry. But others in the industry, namely bar owners and liquor stores, say it would devalue their businesses.

Gov. Doug Ducey temporarily allowed restaurants to sell alcohol to-go at the onset of the pandemic, when he ordered them to close their dining rooms.

"It was great. It’s what helped us get through some of these hard times," Matt Fulton, owner of Pigstail and the Whining Pig, told lawmakers on Feb. 9.

But a judge ended the practice in November, siding with a group of bar owners who sued to block it.

The proposal, HB2773, has divided the industry, with restaurant owners largely lining up in support and many bar owners in opposition. The grocery industry trade group, the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, also is opposed.

The pandemic is likely to accelerate a trend toward more take-home dining, which began before the coronavirus upended routines, said Dan Bogert, chief operating officer of the Arizona Restaurant Association, which supports the bill.

"When you go to make a cocktail, it gets into a craft, the artistry of the product," Bogert said. "What we’re trying to do with this bill is open the door for consumers to access that artisanal product in the comfort of their own home."

Critics say the measure would devalue the liquor licenses they’ve spent a fortune to obtain. The number of bar and liquor store licenses is limited based on population, which makes them expensive to obtain and often one of a business’ most valuable assets.

Allowing restaurants with their low-cost licenses to sell drinks to be consumed offsite infringes on the territory of expensive bar and liquor store licenses, critics argue.

"I’m here today fighting to save the value of my business," said David Delos, the owner of six bars and president of the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association, a trade group that’s opposed. "By voting yes on this bill you will hurt far more businesses than you will help."

Alcohol sales are regulated under a labyrinth of laws and regulations that date to the end of Prohibition. A restaurant license is relatively affordable to obtain, but at least 40% of the establishment’s sales must be food and the booze generally can’t leave the premises. Bar licenses are much more expensive — about $100,000 — but don’t require food sales and allow the owner to sell beer, wine or liquor in its original container for consumption elsewhere.

Liquor store licenses, which are used by grocery stores, are still more expensive, about $250,000 a pop, according to industry lobbyists.

Rep. Jeff Weninger, a Chandler Republican and a restaurant owner who introduced the bill, said his measure would give bars and restaurants alike a new right that neither has today.

The measure also would create new regulations for the delivery of alcohol, shifting responsibility from the business selling the booze to the delivery company.

The measure cleared the House Commerce Committee in a 7-3 vote on Tuesday, setting the stage for a vote in the full House of Representatives.


COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.


How A 'Stock Market For Drinks' Keeps Bar Owners And Patrons Coming Back For More

The Drink Exchange provides an interactive experience for bar patrons.

Technology is often the catalyst for creating new and innovative customer experiences, and sometimes it produces something that the world probably never knew it needed. That was likely the case with the creation of The Drink Exchange, a software that allows bars to change drink prices in real time based on supply and demand. It’s like a stock market but with drinks.

Imagine a group walks into a bar and they all order Bud Light. Demand for Bud Light has clearly gone up. If it hits a certain threshold set by the bar owner, the Drink Exchange will actually raise the price of Bud Light because demand is high – and simultaneously lower the price of Miller Lite because demand is low.

The “marketplace” appears on a big screen TV in the bar that literally looks like a stock market tracker with all of the “stocks” that are actually beverages going up and down in price. It can include all kinds of beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and even food.

The idea for The Drink Exchange was hatched, ironically enough, over a beer in the mid-1990s, and has since been expanded to 19 countries.

"Generally run as a weekly event, The Drink Exchange turns a bar into a stock exchange for an evening with a selection of drinks or food prices rising and falling every few minutes based on what is being bought,” explained Chris Dunkley, one of the founders of U.K.-based The Drink Exchange. “On top of that, we have the market crashes when at various points throughout the evening maybe all, maybe one, maybe a selection of products will crash down to a minimum price. Screens start flashing, social media notifications go out, and everyone rushes the bar to buy the products that have dropped. As you can probably imagine or picture, this is great fun for the customers.”

Bars can set minimum and maximum prices for all items and can schedule "crashes" or major discounts . [+] to keep patrons engaged.

A unique part of the business model is that The Drink Exchange only works with one bar in each city, creating an exclusive experience that maintains the interest of patrons because it can’t be replicated elsewhere. It helps create differentiation in a crowded business where most bars are dependent on neon beer signs, rotating beers on tap and happy hour specials to draw in customers. A case study on The Drink Exchange website shows one bar increasing its sales from £1,500 to £8,500 just by running a weekly stock market event over a six-week period.

But like Uber’s model of focusing on both sides of the transactional experience – the passenger’s and the driver’s – The Drink Exchange is more than just fun for the customers.

“The reason it works well is that this fun is matched by the bar being in complete control of products floated on the stock market, minimum prices, maximum prices, and all those all important market crashes, so the bar can control what is sold at what time [and] at what price,” said Dunkley. “And the clever bit being all those prices are automatically synchronized on the POS terminals making The Drink Exchange not only one of the most effective sales-driving tools out there, but also one of the easiest and simplest to implement.”

Dunkley shared as an example a bar that knows their customers tend to leave at 10 p.m., so the owner schedules a market crash just before that time.

The remarkable customer experience is highlighted by many patrons sharing their experience on social media, bringing more attention to the company and its bar clients. And the engaging gamification for the consumer is matched by the fact that the system is also solving a real problem for bar owners, which is to raise revenues and keep costs down. Technology that helps all parties around it seems to be the most effective and long-lasting.

How can you instill a unique remarkable aspect into your business? Bars often struggle with brand identity because, let’s face it, they’re all selling the same stuff. But one bar in each city has stepped up to do something different by installing The Drink Exchange and the result is increased sales for them and a fun memorable experience for their patrons.

What’s one thing you can do in your business to stand out from the crowd?

Excerpts included from the Experience This! Show podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.


20 Easy-to-Make Cocktail Recipes That You Can Batch And Make In Advance

NO ME OLVIDES (FORGET ME NOT)

“One of my favorite distillates are Agave spirits. A 100-percent agave tequila, like Don Julio, mixed with fresh juices is a great summer quencher. I made this cocktail inspired by the petite flowers called No Me Olvides (Forget Me Not) that bloom in the summertime. At the same time, I love the name because it’s hard to forget a good drink! This cocktail is bright, refreshing, fruit forward, and a little dry with amazing cooked agave notes. I really enjoy making this drink at home for its simplicity, seasonality and amazing flavor. It pairs well with spicy food: Barbecue, or chicken and beef tacos—and guacamole. This recipe might require a little bit of squeezing and juicing, but the use of fresh ingredients will make a better cocktail. You will taste the difference! ¡Salud!” —Julio Xoxocotla, bartender at the Wayland

Ingredients (17 Servings):

  • 750 ml. bottle of Tequila Don Julio Blanco
  • 12 oz. watermelon juice
  • 8.5 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 7 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • 7 oz. agave syrup (1:1)

Method: In a large pitcher or bowl combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, watermelon juice, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and agave syrup. Stir well. To store, pour contents into Mason jars or any other clean glass container. This mix could last up to three to four days refrigerated. Suggestion: If you freeze it, you’ll be getting a slushy-like delicious drink. This is also a perfect mocktail recipe. Instead of tequila add your favorite seltzer or sparkling water to 2 oz. of the mix. (This is a large format recipe. It yields approximately 17 cocktails.)

To Make Agave Syrup (1:1): Mix 3.5 oz. agave nectar (amber) to 3.5 oz. of warm water. Stir until fully dissolved and cool down before mixing it with juices.

THE CITADELLE RESERVE GIN 50/50

“The 50/50 Martini with Citadelle Reserve Gin—created by Citadelle—might be my favorite cocktail of all time. It’s simple yet complex, pairs extremely well with food, and keeps great in the freezer for several days. The first sip is always reminiscent of my initial martini experience during a family vacation in Boston when my father took me to the bar at the Fairmont Hotel. He ordered us two gin martinis which were so big they came with a sidecar packed in crushed ice. Several times the bartender glided past with her glass stir stick and expertly spun everyone’s sidecar. All the martini drinkers looked up, had a moment together, and then went back to their conversations. My father smiled and winked at me. I was instantly and forever hooked." —Michael Goldman, on-premise manager at Maison Ferrand

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Citadelle Réserve Gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 part water
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Lemon peel garnish

Batching Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Add equal parts Citadelle Gin Reserve, dry vermouth, and water to a glass vessel (Mason jar works) and chill in the freezer. Keeps in the freezer for several days.

Preparation: In a chilled martini glass, add the batched liquid and just before serving, add the orange bitters and lemon peel garnish.

LAS BRISAS HOUSE MARGARITA

“Who doesn’t love a margarita? With the summer heat coming on strong, the pure flavors of a simple three-ingredient margarita will make you think you’re on vacation even if you’re frolicking around in a kiddie pool in your backyard.” —Michael Gaines, director of food and beverage development at Xperience Restaurant Group

Ingredients (Six Servings):

  • 14 oz. Pueblo Viejo Silver Tequila
  • 7 oz. lime juice
  • 3.5 oz. agave syrup (1.75 oz. agave to 1.75 oz. water)

Method: Combine ingredients and pour over ice. Refrigerate and enjoy for up to three days.

THE GRAYHOUND

“I love the Grayhound because of its healthy inclusion of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. You can batch it and keep in the refrigerator for several days at a time. We like to use a rosemary sprig cut fresh from Tavern’s kitchen garden as a signature garnish to the drink. The fresh rosemary gives the drink an herbaceous scent and summer freshness.” —Marsha Glazer, owner at GrayBarns, Norwalk, Connecticut

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz. vodka of your choosing (we like to use Kettle One)
  • 18 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Rosemary for garnish

Method: Combine, stir, and serve. For batching, try to use a 32-ounce swing-top glass bottle for batching (fairly close to the same size as a liter bottle). We like to use glass as it is reusable.

MAYAHUEL

“One of my all-time favorite flavor combinations of lime, pineapple, and cinnamon shine through in this cocktail that turns a normal margarita into a refreshing summertime sipper. This cocktail really hits the spot on those warmer days.” —Chris Chernock, beverage director at Broken Spanish, Los Angeles

For a Single Cocktail:

  • 0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • 1.5 oz. serrano-infused tequila
  • 0.5 oz. agave syrup
  • Grated cinnamon

For a Large Batch:

  • 1 bottle tequila blanco infused with 2 serranos (sliced) for 2 hours
  • 8 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 8 oz. agave syrup (agave nectar cut with water 2:1)
  • 8 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • Grate fresh cinnamon over finished cocktail

Method: Combine ingredients and stir well before serving.

CRANBERRY LEMONADE REFRESHER

“This cocktail is like a dreamy pink lemonade from your childhood but with a grownup spirit. It’s the perfect cocktail for batching because it comes together easily and will keep for several days in the fridge. When ready to serve, just garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs. It reminds me of barefoot summers and getting a cool drink from a neighbor’s lemonade stand. If you want to make it kid friendly, just leave out the vodka.” —Kim Daniels,professional food photographer, recipe developer, and owner of Every Day Gourmet in Camden, SC

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Natalie’s Natural Lemonade
  • 1.5 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Lemon slice, for garnish
  • Club soda (optional)
  • Fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)

Method: Scale up measurements to batch. In a cocktail shaker combine Natalie’s Natural Lemonade, cranberry juice, vodka, simple syrup, and lime juice. Add ice. Shake well. Strain mixture into a chilled rocks glass. Top with a splash of club soda if desired. Garnish with a lemon slice and fresh herbs. Makes one cocktail.

THE KILBEGGAN COLD BREW

“A piping hot Irish coffee has been my go-to cocktail since quarantine began back in March, when we were still in the depths of Chicago winter and in need of a comforting warm cocktail. Now that summer is here and temperatures are warming up, I’ve switched to this refreshing cold brew version made with Kilbeggan Original Irish Whiskey. The fruity notes in the whiskey stand up beautifully in the cold coffee. I always make a batch while making my regular cold brew so when I’m ready for something a little stronger, all I have to do is add freshly whipped cream and a touch of nutmeg and I’m ready to go.” —Michael Egan, U.S. brand ambassador at Kilbeggan Distilling Co.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 parts Kilbeggan Original Irish Whiskey
  • 0.5 parts simple syrup
  • 3 parts Cold Brew

Pre-Batching Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar. The Mason jar should be filled to the top in order to keep out as much air as possible. Refrigerate. Concoction will last for three to five days.

Preparation: Remove mixture from fridge, pour into a glass with ice (if desired). Top with a drizzle of fresh cream and a shake of nutmeg.

FOOLS GOLD

“Fools Gold is the ideal refreshing cocktail made perfect for enjoying a summer afternoon or evening outside. Whether spending time in the garden or kicking back on your patio, the cocktail’s lavender flavors stimulate relaxation while also bringing great floral notes to a classically sour cocktail. When made in a 16-ounce Mason jar, Fools Gold will yield four drinks and can be kept in the fridge for three to four days to be enjoyed wherever and whenever. This simple three ingredient libation is a quick and easy recipe that all home cocktail enthusiasts enjoy this season.” —Steve Walton, beverage director at High West Distillery

Ingredients (Four Servings):

  • 6 oz. High West American Prairie Bourbon
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz. lavender honey (Available at most grocery stores. Or regular honey works too!)
  • Lavender buds, for garnish

Method: Add all ingredients into a 16-ounce Mason jar. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass of your choice. Garnish with a sprinkle of lavender buds.

NICE & EASY

“One of the main reasons I like this cocktail (other than it being delicious) is that it doesn’t have too many ingredients. It’s quick, delicious, and you do most of the work ahead of time. This batch makes five cocktails ready to go whenever you feel like having one.” —Elmer Mejicanos, Bar Manager at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

Ingredients (Five Servings):

  • 10 oz. El Tesoro blanco tequila
  • 5 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 10 strawberries cut in half
  • 1 whole lemon cut into quarters
  • 1 rosemary sprig

Method: Add all ingredients into a large container and let it rest covered in the refrigerator for two days. Strain out all fruit and herbs on day two. In a Collins glass add 2 ounces of the batch, fill glass with ice, and stir quickly. Top with sparkling water or tonic water, if available. Garnish with fruit or flower of your choice, or enjoy as is! (Nobody can judge your cocktail presentation at home.)

KRI KIRI

“This cocktail is super easy to make with spirits that are easily available at your local market or nearby liquor store. There is no need for equipment—all you need to do is mix the same portion of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Add a few drops of bitters, mix, and keep in the freezer for two to three hours. Then it’s ready to drink! Add ice, or enjoy as is.” —Chetan Gangan, mixologist at ROOH, San Francisco

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (such as Cocchi Barolo Chinato)
  • 3 dashes Hella Bitters smoked chili bitters

Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Combine and mix all ingredients together in a large container and store in the fridge for up to two to three hours prior to serving.

GOLD RUSH

“The Argonaut Gold Rush is a simple and beautiful idea: The tart lemon is balanced by sweet and earthy honey—then rounded out with Argonaut Fat Thumb. I personally like this for a batched cocktail during these summer months, it can turn an un-airconditioned apartment into a mini vacation.” —Briggs Brown, bartender at The Varnish, Los Angeles

Ingredients:

Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Measure out all ingredients in a glass and stir to combine.

COLD BREWED BOULEVARDIER

“Who doesn’t enjoy some kick and mixing it up in their daily routine, especially now? Try pairing your bourbon with a shot of espresso or a splash leftover from your morning coffee. Why? Due to the higher rye content, Russell’s Reserve has a spicy component in their bourbon that leaves a pleasant tail on the palate, which pairs perfectly with something strong like a well-roasted coffee bean. The smell alone can be a burst of energy which I know we all need.” —Lucinda Sterling, managing partner and beverage director at Middle Branch, New York City

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. Braulio Amaro or other amari
  • 0.25 oz. coffee

Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Mix all ingredients together. Pour over ice into a rocks glass. Serve with a twist of orange. To make large batch: multiple each ingredient by 4 and combine and store in a large container. Serve one cocktail at a time.

REBELLIOUS RED SANGRIA

“Apothic’s Rebellious Red Sangria allows you to experiment with different flavor combinations and explore seasonal flavors year-round. The base recipe is delicious on its own, but you can also swap out the traditional brandy for a flavored version, like E&J Peach. When paired with the citrus-forward flavor of Lemon Lime Soda, it offers you the ability to complement the batch with seasonal fruits and herbs. I especially like using this formula for outdoor summer evenings around a fire. For the perfect campfire sipper, swap out the traditional brandy for E&J Vanilla, top with Ginger Beer, and complement the batch with brandied cherries and cinnamon sticks.” —Christopher Chamberlain, national beverage development manager at E. & J. Gallo Winery

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Apothic Red
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • Lemon lime soda or ginger ale or ginger beer
  • 5 blood oranges and plums, sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded

Method: Mix ingredients in a large pitcher, stir and pour over ice.

GOLDEN HOUR

“While home during our COVID-19 closure, I have been embracing aperitivo hour as the online business day winds down, but it’s not quite time to make dinner. While I've been happy to serve folks their early evening cocktails for year, it’s rare I get that pleasure. So I’ve been keeping a stock of ‘Golden Hour Batch,’ which is inspired by the negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, Campari) but lower proof. What I love about this is that it’s delicious on its own, but will keep in the fridge for a month—if it lasted that long. But it’s suited for an easy creative flex, like adding club soda or Prosecco on top. Right now it’s Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit that I’m splashing on top. So it can be seasoned or unseasoned, as I’ve been asking myself at Aperitivo Hour for one!” —Meaghan Dorman, bar director at Raines Law Room and Dear Irving, New York City

Ingredients (Three Servings):

Method: Combine ingredients in a 12-ounce Mason jar. Stir or gently shake jar to combine. Keep sealed in fridge and serve over ice. Optional garnish of orange or grapefruit slice. Feel free to “season” with prosecco.

STONED IN SOLITUDE

“What originally made me fall in love with the spirits industry were the stories behind every bottle—because those stories represented unique individuals, most often from a long family lineage. I try to be mindful when creating cocktails to not just make something that tastes great but to also incorporate spirits from all over the world, blending in perfect marriage to tell a story in your glass (Mexico, France, Trinidad and Tobago in this case). This cocktail is a bit on the strong side because, let’s face it, we all could use a stiff drink right now. Its taste is lighter from the various fruit notes, in hopes to lift your spirits to continue to fight for brighter days. Each ingredient is available at most liquor stores and easy to batch at home. The batch will even keep in your fridge for up to a couple weeks! That way when the time comes, you just need to grab a book and kick your feet up, you already have a cocktail waiting for you.” —Megan Radke, bartender at Canon, Seattle

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts El Tesoro Blanco Tequila
  • 1.5 parts Lillet Blac
  • 0.25 parts apricot liqueur
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel, for garnish

Pre-Batching Method: Combine the El Tesoro Blanco, Lillet, and apricot liqueur into whichever airtight vessel you’ll be storing in the fridge. I recommend doing the math ahead of time for how many cocktails you want to keep batched, it’ll last in the fridge for a couple weeks at the very least. Scale up measurements to batch.

Preparation: Pour 3.75 oz. of the batched cocktail and add 3 dashes of bitters. And you can either stir over ice or strain into a coupe. (I prefer the coupe to avoid over-diluting while I sip on it for a while.) Or if you’re looking for something even simpler, go ahead and just toss in a few ice cubes, give it a couple swirls with a spoon and then let nature do the work for you. Express an orange peel into your drink and you’re all set!

SEAGRAM’S SWEET TEA ARNOLD PALMER

“The Seagram’s Sweet Tea Vodka Arnold Palmer is a perfect cocktail for batching to keep things simple when you’re looking to unwind. After a hard day, when you don’t want to spend time looking for ingredients and mixing up cocktails, it’s so much better to have a few of these batched in the fridge ready to go, especially during the warmer months. Consider using store-bought lemonade to make this a balanced, simple two-ingredient cocktail.” —Natalie Migliarini, founder at Beautiful Booze

Ingredients:

Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Combine Seagram’s Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade over ice in a highball glass. Stir then garnish with mint and lemon.

UMAMI SOCIAL

“Quarantine life has allowed me to pay more attention to indoor gardening. I have a flourishing basil plant in my AeroGarden that needs constant room for growth. Plucking the fresh basil leaves sends the phenols around the room, and reminds me of eating at my favorite Italian restaurants. The basil is nicely complemented by the earthy umami notes of Iichiko Saiten and Fever-Tree Pink Grapefruit's floral and citrus complete the experience. The cocktail can be refrigerated and consumed well into the fifth day and can be made stronger by adding more of the main alcoholic ingredient, or boosting it with an ounce of another light spirit, because Iichiko mixes well with gin, vodka, and tequila.” —Lucinda Sterling, proprietor at Middle Branch and Seaborne, New York City

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. agave syrup (1:1 agave nectar to water)
  • 10–12 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 oz. Iichiko Saiten Shochu
  • 4 oz. Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit

Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Combine ingredients in a 12-ounce Mason jar and let steep for one to seven days. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh cracked pink peppercorns and a fresh basil leaf.

EL MOMENTO #1 (BOOZY VERSION) and EL MOMENTO #2 (REFRESHING VERSION)

“If this quarantine has revealed anything to me, it’s that humans are fickle creatures. It’s part of the reason we can’t seem to get comfortable in our favorite chairs these days. The same thing happens with my drinks these days: I don’t know if I want something big and boozy—or something refreshing and light. I fight this small battle on a weekly basis and I don’t want to fuss over my bar stock. This cocktail was my solution. With a few bottle acquisitions and a bit of prep, you can have a drink that will be there, even when you can’t make up your mind. It’s about what feels right in the moment. El Momento #1 is the bold, boozy tequila old fashioned you’ve been craving nightly as we enter this long summer. Vibrant El Tesoro tequila, spicy ginger, and a touch of cherry give you a fantastic uplifting sipper for those days when only tequila will give you the kick you need. All you need to do is pour it over some ice and garnish with a lemon peel. El Momento No. 2 is where the road forks: When you need a sip for those long, languid days, look no further. It begins as our pre-batch, but the addition of bubbly buddy will bring a bit more sunshine into your life. Pour some of our prebatch over some ice and top with Stiegel Radler for a citrusy kick. (For a drier experience soda water and a squeeze of lime works great here too.)” —Alejandro de la Parra, bar manager at Teardrop Lounge, Portland, Oregon

Ingredients (Eight Servings):

  • 12 parts El Tesoro Reposado Tequila
  • 3 parts ginger liqueur
  • 1.5 parts Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 6 dashes of Angostura bitters

Pre-Batching Method: Scale up measurements to batch. Add all ingredients to a Mason jar or other airtight container. Shelf stable indefinitely. Makes approximately 8 drinks.

Preparation for El Momento #1: Pour 2 ounces of prebatch over a large ice cube. Stir and garnish with a lemon peel.

Preparation for El Momento #2: Pour 1.5 ounces of prebatch into a tumbler over some small ice cubes. Top with a lemon Stiegel Radler (or soda water with a squeeze of lime). Garnish with a mint sprig.

THE GOLDEN HOUR

“I'm not so sneakily sneaking in a really fun syrup to make. It’s utilizing most of the citrus, so you’re throwing away very little during the concoction of this delicious cocktail. It’s important to me to be as sustainable as possible. This syrup will last months in your fridge but the coolest thing about it is that it adds all this amazing fresh lime and mint oil flavor that is usually so hard to maintain in a large format cocktail. A little extra effort will totally make it worth it, especially on a hot sunny day when all you have to do is go to your fridge and pull out this ready to rock, ultra-refreshing tequila quencher. I usually prefer to drink fresh citrus cocktails right away, but the sugar helps stabilize the lime juice in the oleo so it doesn’t oxidize too quickly. I have bar friends who swear by week old citrus, everybody’s tastes are different—and maybe you’re one of those people too! There is no wrong or right answer when making drinks, make them the way you like them to taste. Want more sugar? Go for it! Want less, that’s great too!” —Emily Mistell, beverage director at Hey Love, Portland, Oregon

Ingredients:

  • 1 750 ml. bottle El Tesoro Blanco Tequila
  • Honey oleo syrup*
  • 1 to 2 bunches of mint (pick the leaves off the mint and set aside with the lime peels. Save a handful of the full mint leaves for garnish)*
  • Topo Chico
  • Finishing salt (My go to is Jacobsen’s Salt Co. They’re right in my backyard and they make fun infusions that are fun to play around with.)

For the Honey Oleo Syrup:

  • 10 oz. lime juice (this is roughly 9-10 limes, peel the limes before you juice and set aside in a sealable glass container, tupperware, jar, or whatever you have handy.)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup honey

Pre-Batching Method: To make the honey oleo, combine white sugar, honey, citrus peels and mint leaves in a sealable container. Stir everything together until all white sugar is dissolved. This can sit for up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more of the oil flavor you will have. Once the sugar is dissolved, strain the fruit out of it and set aside until ready to assemble your Golden Hour. There are no rules when it comes to the citrus peels you can put in your oleo base—throw a grapefruit or tangerine peel in! Once the honey oleo is finished, assemble everything (save for the Topo Chico and finishing salt) into a pitcher or bottle. Reuse your El Tesoro bottle or any other resealable glass container you may have in your recycling. Agitate until all ingredients are completely mixed together and put into the fridge. This can be made at least two to three days ahead of time.

Preparation: When you’re ready to serve, fill whatever glass you like with ice, pour in the premade Golden Hour with an inch or so of room from the top for Topo Chico. Garnish with a mint frond—give the frond just a little squeeze before you pop it into the drink and it will release the amazing mint aroma. Sprinkle a little bit of that finishing salt on top and enjoy!

NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S MARTINI

“Martinis are a beautiful cocktail. They’re perfect for every season. When making a martini, especially during summer, I always reach for Tanqueray No. Ten. It’s strong but smooth, which is perfect for a martini. It is a wonderfully balanced gin that is rich with flavors like grapefruit, coriander, and lemongrass. Pairing those flavors with a summertime melon like cantaloupe makes perfect sense. What’s a strange but delightful pairing with cantaloupe? Salt. That’s why we are splitting our dry vermouth with a fino sherry that is high in salinity. The salt makes the cantaloupe and gin really sing. Freezing the cocktail will make it silky smooth on the mouth, making it the perfect summertime patio martini.” —Deke Dunne, bartender and manager at Allegory in the Eaton Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Tanqueray No. Ten
  • 0.75 oz. Fino Sherry
  • 0.75 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • Water
  • Cantaloupes

Method: To scale this cocktail, take 4 cups of Tanqueray No. Ten and add it to a container. Add 2 cups of fino sherry, 2 cups of dry vermouth, and 2 cups of water. (Add in the water so you don’t have to worry about stirring or shaking with ice.) Cut up an entire cantaloupe and add the diced pieces to the container. Seal and let sit for 24 hours in the fridge. This will infuse your cocktail with those delicious melon flavors. Remove the container and strain out the cantaloupe. Pour into an empty bottle, cap it, and place in the freezer. Once the cocktail is hyper chilled, pour into a glass and garnish with a melon ball. Enjoy!


Other Home Bar Tips and Tricks

With the basic liquors, mixers and supplies covered, you can move onto the final necessities and need-to-knows for stocking a successful home bar. Then sit back, relax and enjoy that specialty drink you just mixed in your pajamas. We won’t tell.

1. Prioritize Your Favorites

Stock your bar with the things you like — that is, the things you’ll actually drink. Love a negroni nightcap? Grab some gin and vermouth. Have friends over once a month for weekend brunch? Keep a bottle or two of champagne and orange juice at-the-ready. You’ll get far more enjoyment from your home bar when it’s used to its full advantage and not just there for show. Plus, home bars don’t serve its full purpose when you only buy bottles and brands to impress future guests that end up wasting away on the shelves, opened once a year at best. It’s your home bar, after all. Make it a reflection of you.

2. Opt for Quality Over Quantity

Alcohol and drink mixers work like other recipes. The higher the quality of each ingredient, the better the finished product.

Regardless of your personal budget, aim for selecting quality spirits or name brands you enjoy. Build around those selections, then buy fresh ingredients to spruce up your drinks as you go. The same logic works for your home bar’s essential supplies. Quality over quantity means investing in a few core pieces — such as a good cocktail glassware set, shaker and strainer — then adding supplementary accessories and measuring tools along the way.

3. Start Somewhere

You don’t need to drop a week’s paycheck to start stocking your home bar. In fact, you don’t even need a traditional bar area. Mobile and stationary home bar carts are sold in-store and online at nearly every major furniture retailer, meaning that empty room corner can easily be your new drink-making station. Fill it with two to three bottles of your favorite liquor, a small bowl of lemons and limes, a go-to mixer, then voila. You’ve just made a home bar.


4. Waste Not, Want Not

And swapping fresh ingredients isn’t the only way to save on costs. Be mindful of your spirits inventory, as well. Challenge yourself and your bartenders to create recipes using ingredients of which there’s a surplus. For example, if you ordered a liqueur for a drink that didn’t sell well on your winter menu, find a way to use up the rest of that product in a spring cocktail.

Don’t cut corners when tracking inventory or rush when placing orders. Take the time to create data-driven estimates of how much you’ll go through before ordering. When possible, use the same product more than once on a menu. In most places, buying more cases gives you a discount. Navigating this market can be confusing, but bartenders can leverage invaluable relationships with importers and distributors to get information on new products, discounted samples and bulk-ordering deals.

“Our suppliers definitely help me keep prices reasonable by giving me good pricing on the bottles and support us by sponsoring various events that we host here,” says Hah. “I always want to give as good as I get, so I work really hard to make sure that the brands shine and that the cocktails are really tasty, so I can move product for my brand partners.”


Regional Insights

Asia Pacific was the largest regional market in 2019 and accounted for a share of over 35%. Bubble tea was first served and introduced in Taiwan. Thailand is one of the major consumers and according to the ASEAN Post, in December 2019, the average consumption of bubble tea in the country was six cups per person per month.

Europe is anticipated to be the fastest-growing regional market from 2020 to 2027 owing to increasing demand for healthy hot beverages. U.K., Germany, and Italy are some of the major contributors in the European regional market. North America is also estimated to experience steady growth over the next few years.


A Q&A on CBD Cocktails with Maxwell Reis

What inspired you to mix CBD oil into cocktails at Gracias Madre?

Cannabis use wasn’t unusual where I grew up in Northern California, and by the time I was an adult, I had experimented a lot with it, incorporating it into culinary techniques and practices. At the time, Jason Eisner (the former beverage director at Gracias Madre) and I often discussed ways of introducing it into the mainstream, so when CBD became more commonplace in the medical cannabis community, then made its way from the dispensaries to high-end health stores, the next step seemed obvious. I presented Eisner with the idea, he consulted with the restaurant’s legal team, and CBD cocktails were on the menu a week later.

What would you say is the effect?

Unlike THC, which is the cognitive component in marijuana, CBD is typically associated with feelings of euphoria and relaxation while alleviating nausea, anxiety, and other physical discomforts (for most, this is a welcomed addition to a cocktail). That being said, it affects everyone differently—the same cocktail may make one person extremely chilled out, while another will feel nothing.

You use both CBD oil and CBD tinctures in your cocktails. What’s the difference?

The difference is that CBD oil is, unsurprisingly, oil-based, while CBD tinctures are alcohol-based. Outside of the flavor of the base CBD (which can be tailored depending on brand), the two forms do integrate differently into the cocktail itself. Oil floats on top of the drink, which can be great if you want those enjoying the cocktail to see the oil and smell it as they take a sip. It also integrates well into any cocktail with a healthy foam or head on it, trapping it in the upper layer. Although there is a benefit to smelling the floating oil as you take each sip, it can often leave some oil at the bottom of your glass after the cocktail is finished. Tincture integrates into a cocktail seamlessly just like any other alcohol, so you get every last drop! I like the option of both at my disposal, but I find myself using tincture 90 percent of the time.

It varies from person to person, but most CBD brands recommend starting with 25 mg and increasing or decreasing your dose from there. Because we’re mixing it with alcohol, we usually stick to 15 mg per drink. That being said, we keep our ears to the ground as product knowledge evolves, and we always recommend that anyone using CBD (medicinally or recreationally) do the same.

Do certain spirits work better than others? And is there a way to tailor the drink for a desired effect— i.e., more CBD oil and less booze for a mellower buzz?

Spirit-wise, it’s mainly to your personal taste, but I would pay attention to ABV, which stands for alcohol by volume and measures the amount of alcohol in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage, just as you would when making any cocktail! The more alcohol in the drink, the more you’ll feel affected by it—and the less you’ll notice the effects of the CBD. Too much CBD, you might get a little out of it and sleepy.

Do most CBD oils have a strong taste? And if so, do certain ingredients pair better with it than others?

CBD oils have varying intensities of cannabis flavor, from basically no taste to a full-fledged vegetal citrus flavor commonly associated with the plant. From a culinary aspect, I find extracts with a bold flavor more exciting—I just don’t see the fun in mixing with a product that tastes like nothing! The flavor of cannabis is distinct and unique—why not utilize it? It can be used to enhance flavors with similar qualities like hops, basil, mint, and matcha, or just impart a unique flavor to any cocktail that could use some vegetal nuance!

Do you have any tips for sourcing good-quality CBD oils and tinctures?

There’s no better place to find high quality CBD than at a medical cannabis dispensary. There, you can discuss what’s available with people that have experience with different people, and various brands, and find a CBD that’s right for you. Health food stores also often carry CBD extracts these days, and the staff can be quite knowledgeable, but I usually find that the best product is in dispensaries. If you’re using CBD in the quantity we are, reach out directly to individual CBD producers to get an in-depth look at the product, process, and of course, tailor it to your needs.


Guava and Sage Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bottle ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc (half of the profits go to Save Our Planet)
  • 1/2 bottle ONEHOPE sparkling wine (half of the profits go to End Childhood Hunger)
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 1/4 cup Pureed guava (use guava juice if fresh guava isn’t available)
  • 1/4 cup Pear juice
  • 1/4 cup Cranberry juice
  • Thinly sliced orange spheres
  • Strained cranberries
  • Fresh sage

Preparation: Combine ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc, 1 cup of the ONEHOPE sparkling wine, all of the Cognac, guava, pear juice, cranberry juice, sliced oranges and cranberries into a sangria bar carafe, stirring as you go. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Serve on the rocks, garnish with fresh sage, cranberries, orange slices and top with a dash of ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine.