Archive for October, 2013

Getting ready for the cold nights with a Winter Warmer….

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013


With autumn finally appearing and mother nature reminding us that we live in the great white north, that chill in the air can often be remedied by the comfort of a warm beverage, to warm both the hands and the insides of your guests and welcome them to your establishment.

It’s a great way to make a positive first impression in the frigid months of the year and there is nothing quite like the decadent aroma and taste of a warmer to warm the spirit.


Cocktail warmers are often an afterthought, something that your guests might indulge in if they have room in their belly and their wallet at the end of the meal, but in a climate like ours, there is no reason why warmers can’t step in for cocktails as a starter beverage or a drink with dinner. With freshness and exotic flavors in mind, warmers are as exciting as flavored martinis and bartenders across the country are coming up with tasty new ways to mix and serve warmers which offer guests that elusive “something different”


Consumers are more interested in quality and complexity of flavor than ever. With a coffee shop on every corner, even the most common coffee shop now offers gourmet hot beverages. Considering the popularity of coffee in our society and the fact that those same coffee shops are making millions on iced coffees in the summertime, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be making coffee warmers a cornerstone of your winter cocktail program, regardless of whether or not you already have one.


It’s important to note the most common difference between warmers and cocktails when you’re considering designing your menu. Most cocktails are built on a base spirit, and then modified with liqueur mixers and garnish. In the case of warmers, you’re most often going to start to a base mixer, and modify spirits and liqueurs accordingly.


When mixing coffees, you might try Tia Maria, Baileys, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, Amaretto and Frangelico. All are traditional mixers for coffee warmers and if you add to that repertoire Chambord and crème de menthe and Navan, a delicious vanilla liqueur made from Madagascar vanilla beans, there are literally dozens of flavor combinations.


Coffee is now so popular that it represents almost one out of every three beverages sold in Canada. Hot tea is also a growing market in North America, with increased public awareness to tea’s healthy antioxidant qualities, North Americans are discovering the wonders that make tea the planet’s most widely consumed beverage.


Tea warmers should not be ignored, nor should hot chocolate warmers and ciders. There are more than a few other options that you could include on your menu, and there is no reason that these drinks need to be warmed over versions of old favorites. Don’t be afraid to experiment, you are only limited by your imagination. If you find yourself staring at your back bar wondering what you can make with all those ingredients try entering your current inventory into the online cabinet at and watch the recipe wizard suggest new recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand.


Here, two delicious winter cocktails for you: try them, enjoy them and remember to spread the word!