As the autumn breeze takes over and temperatures drop, catch your customers’ eye with new additions on your to-go cocktail menu!
Whether you are able to serve cocktails in your restaurant at this time or not, it’s never a bad idea to add a seasonal twist to your menu and keep things interesting.
Many of these drinks consist of ingredients you probably already have behind your bar, just add some fall flavor and you’ve got some new offerings to share!
- Caramel apple mule – Who doesn’t love a festive Moscow mule? Stir caramel vodka, apple cider, and ginger beer together for this crowd-pleaser. Don’t forget to ice in the to-go cup to keep it cold. You won’t be serving it in the traditional copper mug, but you can be sure all the flavors are there!
- Hot toddy – For customers that prefer a light fall/winter touch to their drink, hot toddies are a great option. Use your bar’s whiskey and mix with hot water, honey, lemon, and a cinnamon stick to create this drink. These are best-made upon customer request instead of ahead of time.
- Fall sangria – Sangria recipes are a great melting pot of wine and unused fruit garnishes (helps cut down on food waste!). To make a large batch at the ready, use a wine that isn’t overtly flavorful on its own and add your fruit. There really isn’t a wrong way to make a sangria, just be sure to integrate staple fall flavors like apple, cherry, orange, or cinnamon. This drink is easy to make in batches and let sit in a refrigerated space.
- Hot Kentucky mulled cider – Add a kick to regular apple cider with a rich bourbon flavor. Combine bourbon, apple cider, dash of allspice, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. While it isn’t as straightforward to make a large batch of this cocktail, it’s very manageable to be made quickly by bartenders for to-go purposes.
- Pumpkin beer – For many breweries, this is the time to let the pumpkin brews flow! If you don’t brew your own beer, this can be a great opportunity to partner with another local brewery and serve theirs in your restaurant. This is a very simple take-out option by offering four or six-packs.
- Hot mulled wine – Chilly fall nights are perfect for spiced wine by the fire! Offer it to your customers by mixing red wine, apple cider/sugar, a splash of brandy, honey, orange, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and anise. This recipe is simple to make in a crock pot so it’s uncomplicated to dole out.
- Spiked apple cider slush– You don’t need to wrap up the slush machine just because summer is over. Start it up with ice, apple cider, and caramel vodka (plain works too!) for a cold drink that’s easy to prepare in batches. This can also be a great non-alcoholic offering for all ages if you forgo the vodka.
Adding these festive fall drinks can make customers take another glance at your to-go (or regular) cocktail menu, and get in the spirit of the season. Be sure to follow your state’s guidelines when it comes to liquor laws and that you have permits for any of the wine, beer, and spirits that you plan on serving. You’ll also need to make sure you have to-go cups (hot and cold)/lids, tape/stickers to seal, and stickers/tags of any extra additional instructions you need to let customers know about.
Now that you have some new menu items, don’t forget to promote your offerings on your website, social media, and to in-person customers. And if you are able to serve cocktails in your bar, these drinks will be even easier to make behind the bar and send to tables as needed.
Do you change up your food or drink menu based on the season? Let us know!