How to make seasonal or summer drinks and why
Updated: Apr 28, 2023
What makes a great customer experience and are seasonal drinks a part of it?
This question can easily be answered by yourself probably. What was an experience, you really valued and you love thinking about it, maybe even recommend the place or person who has provided this great experience to you.
And what made this experience excellent?
For me, it was visiting Maybe Sammy, one of the world's 50 best bars and owned by my friend and role model, Martin Hudak.
But why do I cherish this memory so much?
It was a combination of:
Friendly greeting when coming inside the venue
Attentive bar staff
Great quality of drinks
Great delivery of drinks
Of course we can’t all be like one of the world's best bars, but when it comes to elevating your menu, I have a couple of great tips for you.
Why is it important to offer seasonal drinks?
Seasons change and so do our preferences in what we consume. Iced and cold drinks make up to 80% of a businesses revenue on a hot summer's day, when in winter it might only make 20%. So if you want to be as profitable as possible, you provide a wider range of cold drinks in Summer and vice versa in the colder months.
Seasonal drinks can also be a great marketing strategy to lure customers in the shop, especially when they are new or something the customer hasn’t tried in a long time. Customers are curious and most of the time more adventurous than you might think. Best case scenario: you create a new trend and more and more new people will visit your venue and might become regulars after time.
How important is the visual presentation of my seasonal drink?
Looks are very important for seasonal drinks, as they are the opportunity for you to make your menu more colourful! Coffee drinks are usually pretty monochrom and except for beautiful Latte Art, the colour spectrum is pretty much 50 shades of brown. Even a Matcha Latte can add a pop of exotic to your menu!
When it comes to creating your drink, you can be super creative and you can integrate the whole team!
How to build a seasonal or signature drink?
Involve the whole team.
The best experience I’ve ever had when it comes to inventing new drinks was in Australia. The company I worked for organised mini competitions with regular customers as judges to crown for example “best milkshake of the month”. My coworkers got really competitive and it was just so entertaining and motivating.
Of course you don’t have to always organise a whole event if you want to change the menu, you can also just create a poll online of what the staff wants to serve, what customers want to drink and maybe collect some ideas on a mood board for everyone to participate.
2. Take inspiration from the internet
Most drinks I make are inspired from ideas I saw somewhere. Sometimes it are real life experiences and often it is just the internet!
So just save some of the drinks you see online and collect them in a separate folder, it will help you to create a mood board and to organise the vision you have for the new menu.
Sometimes even the glassware will inspire you to find new ways of presenting your drinks. Don’t underestimate the impact of visuality of your drinks. If customers take pictures of your drinks that can work as free advertisement!
3. Create easy recipes
Your signature drinks should not interrupt the workflow at the bar and should be easy to make. Preparation in key. If you want to use ice cream in your drinks, research if there is an option of small 100-120ml packaging. This way you always have the same amount of icecream and the staff just have to rab a single portion out of the freezer. It really speeds up your workflow immensely and is very hygienic. Make sure all your ingredients are easy to get, easy to prepare and that the drinks are easy to make. This way your bar staff will be very excited to recommend these drinks! I always recommend not using more than 4 ingredients to create a new drink.
4. Think outside the box
If your venue isn’t allowed to sell alcohol or you just don’t want to serve it, you can still offer a wide range of alcohol free mocktails that will make your menu more diverse. Alcohol free mix drinks are getting more and more popular and look very classy, spreading the vibe of an expensive bar at any coffee shop.
I will be publishing a list of summer drinks on the 26th of may 2023, on the day of my summer drinks special worksop in berlin. If you want to join this workshop, register now via:
Until then, have a great time and try out lots of different recipes to make your summer menu 2023 pop!