Summer is here and it’s time for a drink! While outdoor dining is in full effect, your guests need a refreshing drink to cool them down.
Why is it important to update your menu? Seasons are changing and that means your menu should as well. The drinks that once worked in winter aren’t as appealing on a hot summer day. It’s time to trade out the spiked hot apple cider for a cool summery cocktail. New fresh produce is in season and summer is the perfect time to take advantage of them.
In this blog post, we’ll give you the top summer drinks to boost your bottom line. Pick a few that would appeal to your customers and pair well with your food menu. Don’t forget about the classics but you can always add a modern-day twist. From spiked sweet tea to summer spritzes, you’ll have the best-selling cocktails in no time. Below are the top 20 drinks to keep your guests cool through this hot weather. All so refreshing, it’s going to be hard to pick.
It’s Watermelon Season
Watermelon is in abundance and it’s so fresh for a cocktail. It’s a classic summer staple item that will be a big hit on your drink menu. It’s one of the most refreshing summer fruits that pair well with a variety of spirits. Tequila, vodka, gin, you name it. Giving off a red-hot color, it will set the tone for the perfect day. Right here are 5 watermelon crafted cocktails for you.
- Sparkling Watermelon Cocktail – muddled watermelon with either Sparkling White Wine or Rose. Garnish with a mint sprig.
- Watermelon Mojito – Add some watermelon puree in your classic Mojito.
- Jalapeño Watermelon Margarita – bring out the blender and classic margarita ingredients. A little spice and a Tajin rim are a must.
- Vodka Watermelon Cocktail – add freshly squeezed lime juice and sparkling water.
- Watermelon Cucumber Cooler – there’s no better pairing than these two together. Add some gin and top off with sparkling soda or champagne.
Check out our customer BKK Thai Kitchen and Bar’s creative summer lineup they had last year. They say “A summer you’ll always remember. Cocktails you’ll never forget.”
Think about it. Every first go-to drink on a hot summer day is iced tea. What better way to increase your sales by creating cocktails around this? Tea brewing times and temperatures can maximize the flavor of your drinks. Sweet tea is a favorite summertime drink, add a shot of liquor to make it better. Here are a few unique tea flavoring ideas.
- Earl Grey Simple Syrup – with vodka and fresh lemon juice.
- Iced Thai Tea – with vodka and lemon.
- Arnold Palmer Tea – whiskey-infused tea with lemonade.
- Chamomile Tea infused vodka with hibiscus and citrus.
- Jalisco High Tea- lemon verbena and reposado tequila.
Can’t Spell Summer Without Rum
As soon as the hot weather starts to pick up for summer, rum takes its rightful place in seasonal cocktails. It can be paired with an endless amount of fruit making your guests feel as if they’re in a tropical paradise. These drinks will make time fly by being so easy to drink. Summer and rum go hand in hand, who doesn’t love a good tiki drink? It’s impossible to only get one of these classic cocktails. Here are 5 drinks that will keep the buzz and blender going all day.
- Pina Colada – light rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and leaf.
- Pain Killer – coconut cream, orange & pineapple juice, and rum. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
- Mai Tai – the most famous Tiki cocktail. White and dark rum, curaço, liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice.
- Long Island Iced Tea – It has light rum, vodka, tequila, and gin. This one is a bit stronger than most.
- Dark ‘N’ Stormy – the cocktail of dark rum (the “dark”) and ginger beer (“stormy”). Garnish with a lime wedge and that’s it!
Spritz & Sangria
Looking for a drink that’s just easy to sip on? A new twist on drinks such as sangria and spritzers will be summertime favorites.
- Peach Mango Summer Sangria – peaches, mango, mint, and white or blush wine. Perfect for serving a crowd.
- Frosé – Frozen Rosé and lemon? Coolest drink of the summer for many years now.
- Aperol Spritz – easily made by mixing Aperol, prosecco, and soda water. Add an orange slice or peel and it’s the perfect daytime drink.
- Pompelmo Spritz – Like an Aperol Spritz, but with grapefruit. Add vermouth and Pamplemousse liqueur then you’re good to go.
- Sparkling Sangria – fruit forward with white grape juice, cognac, lemon juice, and sugar. Add a bottle of sparkling wine right before serving.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants pivoted to offering carryout cocktails. This initiative was much-needed to allow businesses to stay afloat. But, with the second wave of restaurant doors closing again, this may be a more long-term solution. States across the country have loosened up liquor laws to allow this and it’s working quite well. Accompanied by food and people can have mixologist-quality cocktails at home.
This new “normal” will take a while to figure out. But, until things reopen safely, to-go cocktails will be the summer's biggest hit. Make sure to abide by your state and local regulations to see if you can partake in this. It’s a great way to earn extra revenue and customers love them! Though they may not look as refreshing as they would in-house, it’s still a fun and new concept. Our customer, Capo Deli, is taking cocktails-to-go to the next level. They are now home to the “Fauci Pouchy.” Fauci Pouchy is perfect to stay cool and hydrated any day of the summer.
Summer is heating up and these drinks will keep your guests cool. Put a twist on some of these cocktails and make it your own. No harm in taking a regular Aperol Spritz and turning it into a strawberry-infused one. Summer is naturally sweeter with fruit in it. That goes for your cocktails and next week we’ll incorporate it into appetizers.
Add some of these boozy and balanced summer cocktails to your menu to boost sales right away. If you’re still able to offer cocktails to-go, get set up with online ordering so your guests can take some home. They’ll be thanking and thinking about your restaurant all summer long.