Drink recipe

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: September 2022

5 Books to Read this Month: September 2022

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s engaging and informative book selections will help you develop next-level leadership skills and dial in your drink menu.

To review August’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Your Restaurant Culture Sucks!: Stop surviving. Start thriving. Escape mediocrity

Donald Burns, the Restaurant Coach and friend of KRG Hospitality, completes his Your Restaurant Sucks! trilogy. For the third book in the self-improvement and hospitality industry leadership series, Burns tackles culture.

In Your Restaurant Culture Sucks!, Burns helps owners, operators, and leadership team members understand the importance of workplace and company culture. Instead of complaining that “nobody wants to work anymore,” look inside and find out why perhaps nobody wants to work for you. That kind of honesty helps implement real change, change that sets you apart and improves recruitment, hiring, and retention.

“All restaurants can buy from the same vendors and hire from the same labor pool. What separates the good, from the great to the outstanding is culture!”


Sometimes changing our outlook and improving our leadership skills is about streamlining.

“We pile on ‘to-dos’ but don’t consider ‘stop-doings.’ We create incentives for good behavior, but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. We collect new-and-improved ideas, but don’t prune the outdated ones. Every day, across challenges big and small, we neglect a basic way to make things better: we don’t subtract.”

With Subtract, Leidy Klotz explains how changing how we approach solutions can be life changing. Maybe we need to stop adding and start subtracting to improve our strategies.

Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em from the Award-Winning Bar

If you travel to New Orleans and you’re in this industry, you probably make sure to include Cure on your itinerary. For more than a decade this 2018 James Beard Award winner (Outstanding Bar Program) has been integral to the city’s craft cocktail scene.

Whether you’re after a deceptively simple beer and shot or a cocktail made with a rare, allocated bourbon, Cure is there to elevate your French Quarter visit. And soon you’ll be able to bring Cure home with you, and to your restaurant or bar as well. Available now for preorder, Cure includes 100 cocktail recipes that tell the tale of NOLA from past, present, and future.

Craft Beer Design: The Design, Illustration and Branding of Contemporary Breweries

Anyone who pauses to consider beer can design knows that it’s becoming nearly as important as the liquid. With thousands of breweries all over the US alone, how does a brewer stand out? How does a small, independent craft brewer grab a potential new customer’s attention in a sea of options? In part, through their can designs. Of course the beer itself is crucial and the most important element. However, a consumer has to be motivated to try a beer before they learn how good it tastes.

Craft Beer Design dives deep into craft beer design, featuring real-world examples and interviews with the designers themselves.

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Curiosity keeps us learning. The pursuit of knowledge keeps us sharp. Learning helps us improve ourselves, our leadership, and our operations. The belief that we’ve learned all there is to know, however, prevents us from learning to our own detriment.

Much like Subtract teaches us how to remove rather than add, Think Again proposes a new approach: unlearning and rethinking. Why do we get defensive when we’re wrong? Why are we so afraid of challenges to long-held beliefs? Admitting when we’re wrong and seeking facts is a strength, not a weakness.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

How One Resort Fills the Choco Taco Void

How One Resort is Filling the Choco Taco Void

by David Klemt

Klondike Original Choco Taco

We hate to be the bearers of bad news but after 40 years Klondike is officially retiring the Choco Taco, now a casualty in the supply chain battle.

According to the Klondike website, the decision to discontinue the Choco Taco comes down to demand. After four decades, the Choco Taco is falling to the wayside so that Klondike can focus on the rest of their legendary portfolio.

Unfortunately, sometimes intense consumer demand can lead to hard choices. Per Klondike, a spike in demand for their product lineup means narrowing their focus. So, we must all bid a fond but bitter farewell to the Choco Taco.

Now, lest we raise an eyebrow and cast a cynical eye toward this news, Klondike provides an assurance this isn’t a PR stunt. Cruise on over to their Instagram account and you’ll see a post denying any stunt Choco Taco retirement. Observe:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Klondike (@klondikebar)

It’s a bummer and a fake or quasi-discontinuation would be welcome. However, this appears to really be happening.

Filling the Void

Now, the great news is that restaurant and bar owners can recreate the flavors of the Choco Taco. Below, you’ll find a recipe from a casino resort offering their guests a taste of their favorite ice cream treat.

Calling Atlantic City home, Oceans Casino Resort and their F&B team are the masterminds behind the Chocotini. This $11 cocktail is available at Oceans now through the end of August.

Wisely, Oceans is making the Chocotini available to guests via four locations on property. Guests can order one at the Lobby Bar, restaurants Distrito and Makai, and the property’s Topgolf Swing Suite. Notably, Ocean Casino Resort boasts the largest Topgolf Swing Suite in America.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ocean Casino Resort (@theoceanac)

In fact, Oceans recently completed a $15 million property improvement—and has committed to investing a further $85 million into the resort. With amenities like HQBeachclub, this casino resort rivals Las Vegas night- and daylife. Sets by Tiësto, DJ Snake, and Steve Aoki near the Atlantic City Boardwalk? Yes, please, and hand me a Chocotini.

Of course, you and your bar team can also create a creamy, chocolatey Martini to provide guests with a Choco Taco-like treat. I recommend also testing out a non-alcohol version for a tasty and booze-free sip.


Oceans Casino Resort Chocotini

Recipe and image courtesy of Ocean Casino Resort

First, prepare a Martini glass by striping the interior with chocolate syrup. If preferred, place in refrigerator to chill glass and harden syrup striping. Add vodka, liqueurs, and cream to a shaker with ice. Next, shake until well chilled and strain into prepared Martini glass. Top with whipped cream, and garnish with chocolate chips and waffle cone piece.

Image: Klondike

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Rabbit Hole Resources: Bourbon 101

Rabbit Hole Resources: Bourbon 101

by David Klemt


Bunny painting or graffiti

Those who want to learn about bourbon can access free resources from a credible and knowledgeable source: Rabbit Hole Distillery.

When it comes to learning about a particular spirit, those producing them tend to know the most. So, seeking education straight from the source is a smart move.

Now, hospitality professionals have a reliable, informative resource to add to their toolbox. Learn About Bourbon is Rabbit Hole’s ever-growing bourbon resource.

Bourbon Basics

If your restaurant or bar has bourbon on the menu, you’re likely at least familiar with the basics:

  • To carry the “bourbon” designation, one must produce the liquid in America.
  • The mashbill must consist of at least 51 percent corn.
  • It’s not permissible to use any additive except water.

Similarly, you are likely aware of some bourbon myths:

  • Only distilleries in the state of Kentucky can produce bourbon.
  • The name “bourbon” comes from Bourbon County.
  • The whiskey must be at least two years old to be bourbon.

As you can see from the first bullet point at the start of this segment, bourbon can come from any state in America. As far as the second myth, the origin of the name “bourbon” is a bit murky.

Interestingly, the third myth is somewhat true. To include “straight bourbon” on the label, the bourbon must be a minimum of two years old. Otherwise, once new-make whiskey comes into contact with the oak barrel in which it’s going age, it’s bourbon.

Rabbit Hole bourbon barrel rolling into rickhouse

Learn About Bourbon

Rabbit Hole goes far beyond simple definitions on their Learn About Bourbon page.

Instead, the distillery dives deep into every element of bourbon production. As important, this page receives regular updates. In other words, much like bourbon itself, this resource gets better with age.

To give you an idea of how in-depth Rabbit Hole gets, let’s look at the Bourbon Barrel Char / Charring section. It’s essentially an article in and of itself at nearly 400 words. Additionally, there’s a link within this section that leads to an even deeper dive into toasting and charring barrels.

Elsewhere on the Learn About Bourbon page you can learn about esters. In fact, there’s a list of over a dozen esters for you to—yep, I’m gonna make the pun—go down the rabbit hole.

Rabbit Hole Blog

Now, it turns out that the distillery isn’t content with offering one bourbon education resource. There’s also the Rabbit Hole Blog.

Looking for bourbon cocktail recipes? Check out the brand’s blog. Currently, the top recipe posts feature the Golden Ponzu and Strawberry Bourbon Lemonade.

Curious about cooking with bourbon? How about a recipe for nasi goreng with a Rabbit Hole bourbon ginger sauce? As a bonus, this recipe should perform well with guests looking for plant-forward dishes with small amounts of animal protein.

Of course, there are also Bourbon 101 articles. For example, this link will take you to an article about wheated bourbons.

If you want to boost your bourbon knowledge and update your food and cocktail menus, check out Rabbit Hole’s blog and Learn About Bourbon page today.

Image: Vincent Pelletier

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Raise a 7&7 to National Dive Bar Day

Raise a 7&7 to National Dive Bar Day

by David Klemt

Dive bar or neighborhood bar

We celebrate one of the most hallowed of drinking establishments on July 7, also known as National Dive Bar Day.

Look, we love a visit to a high-end, luxurious cocktail bar. But there’s nothing quite like discovering a casual, comfortable, unpretentious bar that feels like home.

Often times, the local watering hole is a cornerstone of a given community. So, we’re looking forward to the fifth annual National Dive Bar Day in just over two weeks.

You should have plenty of time if you’re a dive or neighborhood bar owner to create your National Dive Bar Day promotion.

A Little History

It’s hard to believe that National Dive Bar Day is a mere five years old. In fact, Seagram’s 7 Crown launched the first annual celebration in 2018.

Not only does this holiday honor a true institution, Seagram’s donated $25,000 to the National Trust for Historic Preservation on its inception. (This year, Seagram’s 7 Crown is supporting Main Street Alliance.)

This makes a lot sense when you think about it. After all, dive bars are often located in a historic building or are landmarks themselves.

Some people may not like it, but drinking culture is an integral part of many a community across not just America, not just North America, but the world.

Not so long ago a bartender could set beers and shots in front of two people with opposing views and they’d find common ground to bond over. The optimist in me hopes we can return to those days, visiting our local neighborhood bars and focusing on what we all have in common rather than letting ourselves grow further divided.

Where some people see a “just” a dive bar, those of us in the know see social and cultural centers that support neighborhoods and communities.

Given their commitment to unpretentious and welcoming service, we need to support and protect our local dives.

What Makes a Dive Bar?

There are some key elements that set dive bars apart from other drinking establishments.

Characters on both sides of the bar, inexpensive drinks, familiar bar food, and an approachable feel are, I would say, the hallmarks.

Now, there are those who think a dive bar also includes an “earthy” smell, to be generous. They may also feel that they call dirty buildings with questionable structural integrity home.

However, “dive” doesn’t have to mean filthy. First and foremost, a dive bar needs to be comfortable and welcoming. Filth tends to give off an unwelcoming, dangerous vibe. That’s not exactly the spirit of hospitality.

Just as a great dive bar should be clean, it should also have a solid F&B program. Inexpensive doesn’t have to mean cheap. Oh, and no, the staff doesn’t have to be surly and untrained.

Dives are Neighborhood Bars

When I first learned about Nickel City, as an example, I saw what a dive bar should be. Both locations, Austin and Fort Worth, are described by co-owner Travis Tober as “anytime bars.”

Nickel City commits to serving the community, and they’re open when people need them. In fact, as you’ll learn during episode 50 of the Bar Hacks podcast, Tober made sure they were open to serve people during the infamous winter storm of 2021 that shut down much of Texas.

In speaking with Tober and reading other interviews with him, I learned that he prefers the term “neighborhood” to “dive.” Due in part to the negative perception some have of dive bars, I can understand his preference.

In my opinion, the difference lies in subtle but important nuances. However, I’ll probably still refer to neighborhood bars as dive bars.

Either way, Nickel City is a dive bar done right and a concept that other operators should certainly study. Nickel City is exemplary, a standard that dive/neighborhood bars should aspire to reach.

The 7&7

As far as Seagram’s is concerned, the 7&7 is “the quintessential Dive Bar drink.” It’s difficult to argue: it’s a highball, it’s fast and simple to make, it’s refreshing, and it shouldn’t be pricey.

But, hey, if you’ve never made or ordered one, here’s the recipe:

Simply prepare a highball glass with ice, add Seagram’s 7 Crown and 7UP, and stir. Then just stir, garnish, and serve.


Image: Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: June 2022

5 Books to Read this Month: June 2022

by David Klemt


Flipping through an open book

These engaging and informative book selections will help you develop next-level food and beverage skills, and motivate you throughout June, 2022.

To review May’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Doctors and Distillers

As the historians in our industry have known for a while, cocktails were once considered medicinal. Of course, in some ways that’s still the case.

Industry author, speaker, and educator Camper English shows us how medicine and alcohol have long been connected throughout human history in Doctors and Distillers. Have you head of using wine as a dewormer? How about treating wounds with beer? Would you ever consider using spirits to heal a snakebite? Well, humans have done those things and more with booze. Pre-order this book today!

A Bartender’s Guide to the World

I’m just going to be blunt here: Lauren Mote probably knows more about spirits, liqueurs, and cocktails than you. That’s not a slam—she loves sharing her knowledge and helping people improve their craft and business.

Available for pre-order now for an October launch, A Bartender’s Guide to the World shares not only Mote’s journeys around the world but also more than 75 cocktail recipes. The book’s recipes are organized by their base ingredient. Additionally, there’s an entire chapter just addressing alcohol-free drinks.

The Portugal Cookbook

Chef Leandro Carreira shares well over 500 recipes in The Portugal Cookbook. These dishes range from traditional Portuguese cuisine to modern recipes.

Every region throughout Portugal is represented in this informative and mouth-watering book, including the Duoro Valley and Algarve coast. Portugal is known as a global destination for foodies and this book will definitely help you add some delicious, on-trend recipes to your menu.

Hacking the New Normal: Hitting the Reset Button on the Hospitality Industry

The world around us has changed. The food & beverage industry has changed. The hospitality industry has changed. But will some ways of life change for the better? In Doug Radkey’s second book, Hacking the New Normal, he asks the following: “Do you think you can hit the reset button on your approach to business? Do you think you can help hit the reset button on this industry? I have made the decision to do so. The question remains, have you?”

Trust and Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others

Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust, addresses the leadership crisis we face today. As the author of Trust and Inspire points out, the world is changing but leadership styles remain the same. That simply won’t work moving forward. It’s crucial we change how we view leadership, and develop new leadership styles and strategies if we’re going to succeed from now on.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Drinks for Your World Whisky Day Menu

Drinks for Your World Whisky Day Menu

by David Klemt

Whiskey in Fine & Rare NYC glass

This Saturday is the eleventh annual celebration of World Whisky Day, the perfect day to highlight your whisky and cocktail menus.

One revenue-generating method of drawing in guests is a promotion showcasing popular, lesser-known, or rare whiskies. Operators can also create a whisky and beer combo promotion.

Of course, there’s also the specialty cocktail menu. There are a few different approaches to this promotion.

An operator and their bar team can focus on one specific cocktail, offering three or four “takes” on it. Another way to make this work is to take the same cocktail and feature a different whisky in each one.

A different approach is to create a World Whisky Day menu consisting of three or more of the most popular whisky cocktails. To help you identify which drinks to feature we looked into the top whisky drinks. Check them out below.

Old Fashioned

C’mon—you knew this was going to be on the list before you read past the title of this article. Drinks Digest ranked the Old Fashioned the number-one cocktail of 2021.

VinePair‘s list didn’t rank their most-popular cocktails overtly but this classic got its expected mention.


Just like the Old Fashioned, you expected this drink to make this list. While it can certainly be made with bourbon or an array of single malt American whiskies, the Manhattan shines when made with rye.

Whisky Sour

As Drinks International points out, the Whisky Sour may not be the top drink in most bars. In fact, it may not make it into their top three.

However, the simple but refreshing Whisky Sour is at least in the top ten of several bars, making it a solid choice for your specialty menu.


Want to get some of the cocktail aficionados among your guests to flip out? Tell them loudly and confidently that the Boulevardier is better than the Negroni. That’ll certainly get them talking.

Or, hey, don’t do that. Just perfect this bourbon cocktail, a cousin of the Negroni, and highlight your build for World Whisky Day.

Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby may be over but summer is just around the corner. People are still craving this centuries-old cocktail and VinePair called it “essential” last year.


Like many classics, the Sazerac was “medicinal” when it was first created in the 1830s. In 2008, this drink was made the official cocktail of New Orleans by the Louisiana state legislature.

The Sazerac is another cocktail recipe that VinePair said was an essential one for bars in 2021.

Vieux Carré

It’s difficult to overstate the important role New Orleans has played and continues to play in American cocktail culture.

The recipe, created about 100 years after the Sazerac, combines American whisky (rye, traditionally), Cognac, Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, and Peychaud’s bitters.


Created by Sam Ross when he was behind the stick at Milk & Honey, this is my favorite whisky cocktail. The recipe was one of Punch’s most popular last year, and it was on Drinks International’s top 50 list for 2021.

On a personal note, this is one of my all-time favorite whisky cocktails. In fact, the Penicillin is one of my favorite cocktails in general.

Honorable Mentions

These may not be top sellers for most bars (if any) but they’re worth consideration for World Whisky Day.

The Chauncey is a 1:1:1:1 combination of rye whisky, Cognac, gin, and sweet vermouth plus two dashes of orange bitters, served up.

Of course, there’s also the Mule, which lends itself to an incredible number of riffs. Select a whisky or two to come up with specialty Mules of your own.

Irish whisky stands out in an Irish coffee, which can be served iced/frozen when it’s hot outside.

And then we have the Rob Roy. If you want to be glib about it, this is a Manhattan made with Scotch rather than rye whisky.

Your Own Data

There’s an excellent resource for determining what drinks to feature at your restaurant or bar. It’s quite literally at your fingertips: your POS.

If you want to know what your guests are drinking and what they want, run a report.

How deep you get into the data is up to you, of course. Monthly, quarterly, seasonally, annually… There are myriad methods to determine your World Whisky Day’s best options.

Sure, you can probably safely assume that your top whisky cocktails are the same as those above. But why not be absolutely certain with your own data? You invest money and time into your POS—wring everything you can out of it.

Also, your bar team and servers. Ask them what whiskies guests have been asking for that you don’t have.

Use your POS to identify the whiskies gathering dust in your stockroom, then find a way to move them quickly (a well-priced LTO should work) and replace them with what guests want.

Image: YesMore Content on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: May 2022

5 Books to Read this Month: May 2022

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

These engaging and informative book selections will help you develop next-level beverage skills and motivate you throughout May, 2022.

To review April’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Rum Rebels: A Celebration of Women Revolutionizing the Spirits Industry

Written by authors Martyna Halas and René van Hoven, Rum Rebels raises a glass to women in the rum world. Readers will learn the inspiring stories of Lorena Vasquez from Zacapa, Joy Spence of Appleton, and more women driving rum forward and shaping this iconic spirit’s flavors, aromas, and textures.

In addition, this book serves as a masterclass in rum production, from tasting to aging. And since that’s enough for these incredible and ambitious authors, Rum Rebels also contains rum cocktail recipes.

Drink Lightly: A Lighter Take on Serious Cocktails

Operators, bar managers, and bartenders should see value in the driving ethos behind this cocktail book. Drink Lightly, authored by Nitecap bartender Natasha David, pairs precision drink-building techniques with a relaxed drinking experience.

Drinking lightly doesn’t mean sipping drinks bereft of complexity and depth. Along with 100 recipes, readers will enjoy a foreword by Alex Day of Proprietors LLC, whose concepts include Death & Co. and Nitecap.

Call Me Chef, Dammit!: A Veteran’s Journey from the Rural South to the White House

Hospitality is rooted in sacrifice and a commitment to serving others. Chef Andre Rush and his story embody service. Call Me Chef, Dammit! is the inspiring story of Chef Rush.

The storied chef has led an incredible life which includes a career in the US Army that spanned 24 years, advocating for military personnel and veterans, and winning multiple awards as a chef. Oh, and Chef Rush and his 24-inch biceps have also worked in the White House for four US presidents.

While there are no recipes in this book, there is one hell of an inspiring story in these pages.

The New Kindred Spirits: Over 2,000 All-New Reviews of Whiskeys, Brandies, Liqueurs, Gins, Vodkas, Tequilas, Mezcal & Rums from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal

Anyone looking for a spirits bible need search no further. F. Paul Pacult’s The New Kindred Spirits includes over 2,400 in-depth reviews spanning a wide range of spirits. This tome evaluates a massive number of brandies, gins, liqueurs, rums, tequilas, vodkas, and whiskeys.

This all-encompassing compilation of spirit evaluations doesn’t just cover the usual suspects. The New Kindred Spirits also takes a deep dive into the craft side of the beverage industry.

Drinking & Knowing Things

Author and certified sommelier Michael Amon would like to know a couple things from those considering picking up Drinking & Knowing Things. “Do you want to uncork a bottle of whoop-ass on every winedouche and uppity sommelier?” And, “are you too lazy to spend any time whatsoever learning things?”

Anyone who answered “yes” to either or both questions needs this book. Amon says that readers who commit to spending five minutes reading the weekly wine recommendations found in Drinking & Knowing Things will give sommeliers a run for their wine-knowledge money. Wine intimidation? Not after reading this book.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Be Different this Valentine’s Day

Be Different this Valentine’s Day

by David Klemt

Red graffiti heart with black outline on weathered, worn wall

When people are considering spending time and money on a holiday two years into a pandemic, they’re seeking unique experiences.

This is particularly true of holidays that traditionally involve an evening out at a restaurant or bar.

Sure, the tried and true will still probably work. After all, the pandemic has driven comfort and comfort foods to perform well.

However, a significant percentage of guests want to experience something new when they leave their homes. Below you’ll find two Valentine’s Day drink recipes and an example of entertaining programming.

When it comes to beverage programming, most people expect bubbles or rosé wines. And of course pink wines, Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wines should be on hand.

But offering a Valentine’s Day cocktail that isn’t a French 75 can help your holiday menu stand out. One recipe leverages a spirit that may knock vodka off its throne this year. The other showcases a spirt that various industry experts have been hoping claim the number one spot for years.

Kiss from a Rosa

Tequila, particularly premium and ultra-premium expressions, is crushing it as a category. This Valentine’s Day cocktail is made with Código 1530 Rosa, an ultra-premium blanco tequila.

Rested for one month in uncharred French white oak barrels formerly filled with Napa Valley Cab, this unique tequila is characterized by a rosé hue.

Kiss from a Rosa tequila cocktail from Codigo 1530 for Valentine's Day

  • 1.5 oz. Código 1530 Rosa tequila
  • 0.5 oz. Cointreau
  • 0.5 oz. Raspberry syrup
  • 0.5 oz. Lemon juice
  • 1 Egg white
  • Pink sugar or raspberries to garnish
Build it: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake hard for roughly 30 seconds, until the ingredients form a foam. Add ice to the shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with pink sugar or raspberries on a cocktail pick.

Bacardí Old Cuban

I’ve lost track of the number of people who have predicted (hoped is probably more accurate) that rum will “finally have its year.” With tequila projected to potentially crush vodka and Irish whiskey performing so well, it’s unlikely rum will dominate 2022.

However, the category may still experience even more growth this year. Reserva Ocho is based on the Bacardí family’s reserve rum.

The eight-year-old premium rum’s dried fruit, spice, and vanilla notes play well with Prosecco. This cocktail also features a pairing that many guests wouldn’t expect to work: rum and Prosecco.

Bacardí Old Cuban rum cocktail made with Bacardí Reserva Ocho Rum

  • 2 oz. Bacardí Reserva Ocho Rum
  • 2.5 oz. Martini & Rossi Prosecco
  • 4 Mint leaves
  • 1 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1 oz. Lime juice
  • 2 dashes of Bitters

Build it: Combine all the ingredients except Prosecco in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then double-strain into a coupe. Top with Prosecco and garnish with a mint leaf float.

Both cocktails above can easily justify premium pricing.

Dueling Axes Las Vegas Valentine’s Day

Featured on episode 41 of Bar Hacks, Dueling Axes offers an upscale axe-throwing experience. Of course, being upscale doesn’t mean the venue is stuffy.

Rather, Dueling Axes emphasizes fun and unique experiences. Their Valentine’s Day programming is an example of balancing the familiar with the unexpected.

From February 13 through February 15, couples will be treated to two free glasses of Champagne. Groups of four or more will receive a bottle of Champagne for free.

On February 13, however, Dueling Axes is offering an attention-grabbing promotion.

Targeting Galentine’s Day guests, the venue is encouraging people to bring in photos of their exes. The staff will hang the picture on the bullseye to motivate throwers to ace their tosses.

A bit aggressive? Sure. A tad dark? Yep. Memorable? Absolutely.

The recipes and programming above illustrate that simple deviations from the expected can help your venue stand out. This Valentine’s Day, strike a balance between the expected and unique.

Image: Tengyart on Unsplash