Holiday

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Program for Unique Holidays: January 2023

Program for Unique Holidays: January 2023

by David Klemt

"Think about things differently" neon sign

Do you want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Change how you think about holiday promotions.

Several holidays are set against every date on the calendar, and January is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to esoteric.

Pay attention to the “weird” or unique holidays to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing? Why program only around the same holidays as everyone else?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, strange or otherwise. Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

You’ll find suggestions for promotions below. However, the idea behind our monthly holiday promotions roundup is to inspire you and your team to get creative and come up with unique programming ideas.

For our December 2022 holidays list, click here.

January 5: National Whipped Cream Day

There’s a ton you can do with whipped cream when it comes to your F&B. From garnishing shots to piling it on desserts, whipped cream is just a fun time.

This is also the perfect holiday for party spots to offer Whipshots or feature whipped cream-flavored vodkas.

January 6: National Technology Day

There are several ways to approach programming for this day. To focus on one, this would be a great day to highlight your cool bar tech. One item that comes to mind is the Ripple Maker.

For those unfamiliar, this is a device that prints images on top of frothy or foamy drinks via food-safe media. Ripple’s next-gen device, the Ripple Maker Pro II, is available now.

January 7: Old Rock Day

The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the planet. Earth is an “old rock,” after all. Two programming ideas that come to mind are: celebrating classic rock; showcasing spirits that have been on the market for decades (or even centuries).

January 10: National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

By now we all know that sustainability and responsible business practices matter to many guests. National Cut Your Energy Costs Day is a great time highlight your own eco-friendly policies, potentially raising money for “green” causes.

January 11: Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day

If you want to have some fun with your guests, print an LTO menu with F&B item names in Morse code. Include descriptions that aren’t in Morse code that give guests an idea of what to expect from each item.

There are several Morse code translators online, like this one.

January 17: National Bootlegger’s Day

This is the holiday to celebrate brands or cocktails that:

  • survived prohibition;
  • were created during prohibition; or
  • produce or feature moonshine.

January 20: Penguin Awareness Day

Are you aware of penguins? You’re not? That’s odd.

Anyway, there’s an almost startling amount of cocktails with “penguin” in their name. So, why not create an LTO menu of “penguin” cocktails? Bonus points if some proceeds can go to a penguin-focused charity.

January 21: Squirrel Appreciation Day

Do you appreciate squirrels? Well, you should—it’s believed they plant three billion oak trees every year.

Now, I bet you can guess what I’m going to suggest: celebrating the classic Pink Squirrel. And why not? It has been around since the 1940s and is an icon, after all. If you really want to go all out, slap some foods into a Jell-O mould and get crazy.

January 29: National Puzzle Day

As with other holidays, there are a few ways to celebrate National Puzzle Day. You can provide guests some small puzzles to keep them busy (and keep them at your restaurant or bar for longer). Alternatively, get your hands on a very challenging puzzle, set it up on a card table, and encourage guests to work on it together. Or even ask guests to bring in their own puzzles.

January 31: National Backward Day

Programming for this holiday can be as simple as printing your menu backwards. Of course, you can also get much more immersive—it’s all in the details and recognizing opportunities to help guests walk away with memories.

Image: Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Dec. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: December 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and December is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.” For example, I’m sure you’re familiar with Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and a little event we call New Year’s Eve.

Pay attention to the “weird” or unique holidays to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For November’s list, click here.

December 5: Bathtub Party Day

So, technically this day is about encouraging people to take a bath rather than a shower. However, this can be a great day for celebrating gin and prohibition-era cocktails.

Why gin in particular? For many, winter is gin season. Additionally, when people think of prohibition they tend to think of “bathtub gin.”

December 6: World Trick Shot Day

This is another holiday that celebrates something specific. In the case of World Trick Shot Day, it’s the basketball trick shot.

However, not every venue has basketball available to their guests. Many eatertainment venues do, but the same can’t be said for every restaurant or bar. But if your business has other bar games on offer, you can certainly adapt this holiday to encourage your guests to take their best shots.

December 8: National Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day

Yes, Halloween is over. That doesn’t mean people won’t dress up and have some fun. From Doctor Who to Marty McFly, there are plenty of characters, movies, and TV shows out there your guests can use as inspiration to celebrate this holiday.

December 11: International Mountain Day

Our mountains are incredible, powerful, and crucial resources. So, on this holiday, highlight brands from mountainous regions and those committed to sustainability efforts.

December 12: Gingerbread House Day

This one can get messy but it can also draw in a lot of guests. There are a few ways to go about celebrating Gingerbread House Day, of course. One way I can think of is to encourage your guests to come by and help decorate a large gingerbread version of your restaurant or bar.

December 16: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Fine, this isn’t exactly the weirdest holiday out there. At this point, the ugly Christmas/holiday sweater is a movie and television show trope. That doesn’t make it any less fun.

Come up with your own twist to bring guests through your doors this National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. That can mean creating a particular theme for ugly sweaters, for example.

December 21: Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

When I came across this holiday I knew I’d be including it on this list. The name of the day is ridiculous, and the specificity is impressive. How could I resist?

This holiday, should you choose to accept celebrating it, is dedicated to Phileas Fogg. Who’s that? Fogg is the character in Around the World in Eighty Days who accepts the challenge referenced in the book’s title.

December 22: National Re-gifting Day

People participate in a lot of holiday gatherings throughout December. Many take place before the start of Hanukkah or Christmas Day.

That means a lot of people get gifts before December 22 that they’d perhaps rather not keep. So, encourage your guests to roll in on National Re-gifting Day for a drink, a bite, and an exchange of gifts.

December 23: National Pfeffernüsse Day

No, this isn’t a weird holiday—it’s mostly a fun word to say: “pfeffernüsse.” For non-German speakers, that’s probably a “weird” word. Most importantly, it’s a delicious, spiced cookie that makes for a great treat or fun interpretation as a holiday season cocktail.

December 30: No Interruptions Day

We all need time to disconnect, to log off and be unreachable. Your restaurant or bar is the perfect place for people to hit “do not disturb” on their devices and escape before New Year’s Eve.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Nov. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: November 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and November is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream (Thanksgiving, anyone?) to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For October’s list, click here.

November 4: National Candy Day

So, you would think we’d celebrate National Candy Day on Halloween, what with all the trick or treating. But no, we celebrate candy the first week of November.

This could be an excellent day to move any candy-themed menu items that may have somehow survived your Halloween programming. Or, hey, lean into it and garnish a number of cocktails with candy.

November 6: National Nachos Day

I know, I know—nachos aren’t weird. No, they’re one of the most fantastic foods on the planet. In fact, one could argue they’re among the culinary pinnacles of human achievement.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little weird and creative with nachos. Think outside the box (or platter), get with your back-of-house team, and come up with a unique nacho plating or two.

November 8: National Tongue Twister Day

There are a few ways to approach this holiday: create an LTO menu with tongue-twister descriptions; give menu items tongue-twister names; theme some drinks to well-known tongue twisters; or hold a tongue twister contest. Here’s one to get you started:

“Betty Botter bought some butter / But she said the butter’s bitter / If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter / But a bit of better butter will make my batter better / So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.” Good luck.

November 12: National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

I’m including this because I like how oddly specific this holiday is. No thanks to the humble anchovy, apparently!

November 15: National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

Okay, so I’m not sure I’d actually call this holiday Clean Out Your Fridge Day. Instead, consider creating and adding a specific promotion to your programming repertoire.

For example, if you’re a wine bar, consider using this day to move open but unfinished bottles of still and sparkling wine before they oxidize or go flat. I’m not a fan of operators discounting menu items but in this case, doing so is better than the alternative. This can be done once per week, twice per month, once per month, etc.

November 17: Use Less Stuff Day

This is an excellent holiday to commit to a couple different operational changes. One, do whatever is practical to reduce the waste your restaurant, bar, nightclub, or hotel generates. Two, consider reviewing your menu and simplifying where you can.

November 20: National Absurdity Day

I mean…does any day scream “WEIRD HOLIDAY!” more than National Absurdity Day? The sky’s the limit here: get as weird, wacky, and creative as you can in a way that’s authentic to your brand and market.

November 24: Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day

Have a talented team? Boast a group of talented regulars? Encourage them to show off their unique skills talent show style, offering prizes and capturing your event via social media.

November 25: Blasé Day

The holiday season is stressful. It’s go, go, go, family, family, family, friends friends, friends, for several weeks. So, create a “lazy” promotion that provides your guests with a calm escape from their holiday stress. Be the oasis they need as the year closes out.

November 30: National Mason Jar Day

Ah, the mason jar. Its wide mouth and fit in most people’s hands is both rustic and comforting. They’re also perfect for a wide array of garnishes. In fact, consider serving over-the-top Bloody Maries in your mason jars…or moonshine cocktails…or beer cocktails… just great cocktails.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Possess this Scary Spirit for Halloween

Possess this Scary Spirit for Halloween

by David Klemt

Harridan Vodka Paranormal Reserve hero

If you truly want to imbue your cocktails and the guest experience with the otherworldly this Halloween, you need this spirit.

In fact, this bottle likely contains the most “spirit” forward spirit one can possess. It’s also one of the rarest. Oh, and it took a rest for 30 days inside the Occult Museum.

On October 13, Harridan Vodka will launch their Paranormal Reserve officially. And if you’re after a true small-batch vodka, you’ll want to keep an eye the Paranormal Reserve countdown timer.

This is your opportunity to create and host a frighteningly unique Halloween LTO promotion.

Conjuring the Halloween Spirit

Does the Occult Museum sound familiar to you? If so, you’re likely a horror film fan or into the supernatural.

For those who don’t know, the Occult Museum was started in 1952 by Ed and Lorraine Warren. The two paranormal investigators collected a vast array of artifacts that they claimed came into contact with evil.

One of these objects is Annabelle, a cursed Raggedy Ann doll. According to lore, the doll is so dangerous it’s kept inside its own glass case. A sign attached to the case reads, “Warning, Positively Do Not Open.”

So, what could possibly be frightening about a Raggedy Ann doll? Well, this one is said to have an interesting “attachment.” That is, a demon in search of a human host that has attached itself to the doll.

To keep the demon from achieving its goal—which it reportedly began pursuing in 1970—Annabelle’s case has been blessed. The case has inscriptions of the Lord’s Prayer and Saint Michael’s Prayer. Also, it’s said that Ed Warren would recite a binding prayer over the case from time to time to ensure the demon couldn’t escape.

Supposedly, Annabelle nearly killed a priest who mocked it when he visited the Occult Museum to scrutinize the Warren’s claims of its demonic possession.

This story and more are told in The Conjuring movie series. In particular, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and Annabelle Comes Home. Given that it’s October, it’s the perfect time to watch the first installment and doll-focused movies of The Conjuring universe.

In fact, this would be the month to design a promotion around The Conjuring watch parties with themed LTO cocktails.

A Frightful Rest

Okay, so I can already hear some of you asking what this has to do with Harridan Vodka. Well, calm down—I’m getting to it.

The Warren Occult Museum, located in Monroe, Connecticut, closed to the public in 2019. In other words, if you didn’t get to visit prior to its closure, you’ll most likely never have the chance to see Annabelle or the other occult artifacts contained within.

But you can purchase a bottle of 44-percent ABV vodka that rested for 30 days inside the Occult Museum: Harridan Vodka Paranormal Reserve.

Just 666 bottles are available, and 665 took their 30-day slumber right next to Annabelle. These bottles will retail for $199 on Thursday, October 13.

 

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A post shared by Harridan Vodka (@harridanvodka)

Obviously, that leaves one bottle we need to address. Bottle number 666 was rested inside Annabelle’s case. And while the other 665 bottles are housed inside black Ouija-themed boxes, number 666 is contained within a glass case similar to Annabelle’s.

Of course, this unique bottle comes with an appropriately otherworldly price tag: $13,000. And, hey, the person who makes this bank-balance-slashing purchase might just be in possession of the world’s only vodka infused with evil.

If you’re one of the few who manage to get their hands on these Occult Museum-rested Harridan Vodka bottles, it’s fair to say you can name your price for the opportunity for guests to buy an ounce.

Happy Halloween, ya filthy animals!

Images: Harridan Vodka

by krghospitality krghospitality No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Oct. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: October 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and October is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream (Halloween, anyone?) to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For September’s list, click here.

October 5: Chic Spy Day

Of course, there’s one holiday this month that simply will not allow anyone to ignore it: Halloween. So, why not lean into it early? Encourage guests to show up looking like a chic spy, perfect your Vesper Martini, and show spy movies. In other words, task your guests with really getting into the spy theme, and create a menu that shows off your creativity as well.

October 6: National Orange Wine Day

No, there aren’t any oranges used in the production of orange wine. Rather, it’s white wine with which the grape skins and seeds remain in contact. The result is an orange hue. And as we all know, orange is one of the key colors of October and Halloween. To celebrate National Orange Wine Day, put some orange wines on your menu.

October 7: National LED Light Day

They say there’s a holiday for just about everything. The existence of this holiday points to that sentiment being accurate.

To wow your guests and get them in the mood for your ultimate October promotion, a Halloween bash, drop food-safe, waterproof LEDs into cocktails for a “spooky,” otherworldly effect.

October 13: National Train Your Brain Day

You know what’s an excellent way to train your brain and stay sharp? Trivia! And do you know what a lot of guests like to do at bars? Trivia! Guest what you should plan for National Train Your Brain Day…

October 17: Wear Something Gaudy Day

I mean, it’s Halloween month and people want to dress up. Guide their costume ambitions by encouraging them to get gaudy and tacky on Wear Something Gaudy Day.

October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Okay, so this isn’t a weird holiday. There’s nothing strange about chocolate cupcakes. What they are is delicious, and your kitchen staff can always decorate chocolate cupcakes with fall and Halloween themes.

October 20: International Sloth Day

Ah, the sloth. It really has the right idea most days: slow down. On this day, encourage your guests to slow down and relax at your restaurant or bar. Comfort food, delicious beer, and classic brunch cocktails are the order of the day.

October 21: National Count Your Buttons Day

There are several ways to celebrate this day. However, I think a good, old-fashioned “Guess How Many Buttons are in This Jar” contest is the way to go. Give away a bottle, a meal, a bar tab, etc. The sky’s the limit.

October 22: National Make a Dog’s Day

Is your business dog-friendly? Can your kitchen come up with dog-safe menu items? Then encourage your guests to come in and pamper their pooches.

October 25: National Greasy Food Day

There’s no point in competing or programming against Halloween. Not for most operators, anyway. So, celebrate this debaucherous, indulgent day with greasy bar and comfort food ahead of your Halloween promotion.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Get to Know Grenache and Garnacha

Get to Know Grenache and Garnacha

by David Klemt

Red wine on table at a restaurant

There aren’t as many wine holidays in September as there are in August but this month we celebrate International Grenache Day.

This year, International Grenacha Day falls on September 16, a Friday. That’s excellent for operators: You can lure guests in with a wine promotion to kick off their weekend.

Of course, it will help you and your front-of-house team to know about Grenache ahead of this holiday. After all, the best way to remove wine-timidation and upsell guests is by sharing interesting information.

To that end you’ll find pertinent information about Grenache that will help you and your team succeed with this red wine.

Grenache 101

Reiterating a crucial detail from above, Grenache is a red wine varietal. Additionally, it’s one of the most widely grown grapes in the world.

You’ll find vineyards growing Grenache in:

  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • USA
  • Rumors indicate a presence in China as well.

Now, you may be more familiar with another name for this varietal: Garnacha. Interestingly, it’s also known as Garnatxa in Spain. As an aside, many experts believe that’s Grenache’s country of origin.

For the most part, Grenache is a still red. However, you can find rosé and sparkling bottles as well. Grenache (or Garnacha) also has a tendency to find its way into red wine blends. Most often this is to add body and sweeten a blend’s flavor profile. There’s also Grenache Blanc, and there are fortified wines that use Grenache for sweetness.

In short, Grenache’s defining characteristics are:

  • Medium body and acidity.
  • Medium to high ABV.
  • Lighter in color than some other reds.
  • Smoke, tobacco and herbal notes in Old World versions.
  • Candied fruit, strawberry, raspberry, and black cherry in New World versions.
  • Some people detect a note of blood orange.

Succeeding with Grenache

Now, you and I both know that it won’t be enough to just throw some Grenache or Garnacha on your menu. You’ll have to make more of an effort than than.

However, it is wise to add or otherwise bottles to your menu. Equally as smart is creating a specialty LTO menu with three to four Grenache wines by the glass. Of course, bottle purchase prices should be listed as well.

With your by-the-glass and bottle LTO done, you can move to food. As you know, guests love a pairing, particularly with wine.

Below are some of the best Grenache and Garnacha food pairings:

  • Grilled meats
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Garlic and herb French fries
  • Spicy dishes
  • Goat, Emmental, Camembert, Gruyère, and Colby Jack cheeses
  • Pastas in a red sauce with cheese

So, this is an excellent holiday to wow with barbecue foods or hearty Italian dishes. Oh, and never forget the cheese on a wine holiday.

Happy International Grenache Day!

Image: Helena Lopes on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

6 Bar Hacks Bourbon Episodes

6 Bar Hacks Bourbon Episodes

by David Klemt

Gold microphone and laptop

We have the honor of speaking with some of the best and most engaging people in the hospitality, foodservice, and drinks industries on the Bar Hacks podcast.

Several of our amazing guests have come on to talk about one of our favorite spirits: bourbon. To celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month we’ve rounded up most bourbon-focused Bar Hacks episodes.

Cheers!

Episode 25

One of our favorite people in the industry—and in life in general—popped by to speak with Bar Hacks. Megan Breier is one of the most engaging, entertaining and knowledgeable educators in the hospitality and spirits industries.

In this episode, Megan explains what sets Maker’s Mark apart from other bourbons, some of the amazing activations she’s executed, Private Selection, Maker’s 101, Margie Samuels’ contributions to the brand and industry, and more. Listen now!

Episode 28

Lyre’s Spirits crafts alcohol-free spirits that masterfully mimic their full-proof counterparts. Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt sits down with Lyre’s brand ambassador, bartender and buddy Tim Rita to chat about the brand.

On episode 28 you’ll learn about one of the fastest-growing brands in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. How is an alcohol-free brand relevant on World Whisky Day? Lyre’s makes American Malt, a zero-proof take on bourbon.

Episode 32

One of the most iconic bourbon producers is undoubtedly Woodford Reserve. So, when we were given the opportunity to speak with Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Michael Toscano we leapt at the chance.

Michael stops by to talk about the Kentucky Derby, crafting the perfect Mint Julep, maximizing the operator-brand-rep relationship, and more. Check it out now!

Episode 39

Anthony “Terry” Bohlinger, national brand ambassador for new William Grant & Sons whiskey brand Fistful of Bourbon, drops by Bar Hacks. Terry talks about launching a brand during a pandemic, representing an irreverent brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the hilarious videos Fistful of Bourbon created to introduce the brand, lessons learned during his journey in hospitality, and more. Listen here!

Episode 52

Lynn House, national spirits specialist and portfolio mixologist for Heaven Hill, drops by Bar Hacks to speak with host David Klemt about the second annual Old Fashioned Week.

Lynn and David also discuss bourbon, rye, hospitality, building balanced cocktails, and how trust plays a role in educating guests so you and your team can introduce them to new drinks and experiences. Listen now!

Episode 59

Whiskey expert, spirits judge, and sommelier Theo Rutherford stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk about Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon, a prominent addition to the Deutsch Family of wine and spirits. Rutherford shares the Bib & Tucker brand story, what sets the brand apart from other bourbons, and why the 6 Year expression appeals to all categories of whiskey drinkers. He also shares tips for tasting bourbon, including how easily Bib & Tucker wins over non-whiskey drinkers.

Listen now to learn why Theo wants you to smell everything and stop swirling your whiskey at tastings.

Image: Seej Nguyen on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

KRG Hospitality’s Top Bourbon Articles

KRG Hospitality’s Top Bourbon Articles

by David Klemt

Glass of bourbon whiskey next to fire

To inspire and help you program for National Bourbon Heritage Month, enjoy this roundup of our top bourbon articles.

For bourbon lovers specifically and those who appreciate whiskey in general, this is an exciting month. You can leverage that excitement throughout the month of September.

From limited time offers to pour specials and offering guests to try new bottles, National Bourbon Heritage Month is perfect for becoming a person’s go-to bourbon bar. Our resources below will help you achieve that status.

Cheers!

9 Bottles for Bourbon Heritage Month

Nine awesome bottles in three separate pricing categories. Here you’ll find bottles that retail for less than $25, several under $100, and a few that cost up to $150. Click here to read.

The 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge

In 2011, bourbon devotee and advocate Patrick Garrett founded Bourbon & Banter “to spread the Bourbon Gospel.” One way they accomplish this mission is through 30 Days of Bourbon. This challenge is simple but intriguing: Try a different bourbon every day in September. Click here to learn more.

National Bourbon Day: 2022 Trends

The history and heritage of bourbon is important. As America’s native spirit, bourbon’s history is particularly important to the nation. However, innovation and trends are crucial to the future of bourbon. In this article we examine four important 2022 bourbon trends. Click here to read.

7 Whiskeys for National Bourbon Day

Before we celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month each year we celebrate National Bourbon Day. It’s always fun to see what new and exciting bottles are available, like these seven bottles from 2021. Click here.

8 Bottles for Bourbon Day

Of course, we’re celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month 2022 this year. So, here are eight bottles worth checking out and adding to your inventory. Click here to review these bottles.

8 Bourbon Cocktails You Need to Know

Contrary to what some purists will tell you (whether you ask them or not), bourbon is great in a cocktail. From the ubiqutious Old Fashioned to the modern classic Billionaire, this article dives into eight bourbon cocktails you and your bar team need to know. And, of course, they’re perfect for National Bourbon Heritage Month limited time only menu. Click here to learn more.

7 Great Books About Bourbon

Sure, it’s awesome to enjoy a bourbon with friends. But what about pouring a dram of your favorite bourbon while reading about bourbon? Grab one or more of these books, pair them with a beautiful bourbon, and start expanding your whiskey knowledge today. Click here for our book recommendations.

Rabbit Hole Resources: Bourbon 101

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. Rabbit Hole is creating, curating, and growing free bourbon resources. Have a question? They’ve got the answers, and then some. Click here.

Image: Thomas Park on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Sept. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: September 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and September is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For August’s list, click here.

September 5: Be Late for Something Day

You know what’s a great reason to be late from something? Enjoying an awesome meal or some great drinks with friends. Your bar or restaurant can provide that awesome meal and great drinks.

September 6: National Read a Book Day

As you know if you’ve been visiting KRG Hospitality throughout the week or subscribe to our newsletter, we love recommending good books. Cookbooks, cocktail books, hospitality industry history books, leadership books… We’re all about learning.

This is an excellent day to promote swapping books, recommending books, sharing books, etc.

September 8: National Ampersand Day

If there was ever a day that demands food/and or drink combos, it’s National Ampersand Day. For example, this is the perfect bar holiday to create a beer and shot limited-time offer menu.

September 13: National Positive Thinking Day

Restaurants and bars are the cornerstsones of their communities. One way operators and their teams can support their community is by ensuring they provide a positive experience.

On this day, encourage your community to stop in for a bite, a drink, a chat, and an overall happy, healthy time.

September 14: National Eat a Hoagie Day

No, hoagies aren’t weird…in Philadelphia. Everywhere else, it can sometimes be a “weird” thing to call a submarine sandwich. At any rate, guess what food you should create an LTO around on this holiday.

September 17: National Monte Cristo Day

You don’t have to agree with me, but this weird sandwich is my favorite. Sure, burgers are cool. But have you ever dipped a ham’n’cheese or turkey’n’cheese in egg, fried it, then dusted it with powdered sugar? Even weirder, have you used corn flakes as breading and then fried it? Put a few Monte Cristos on your menu to celebrate this glorious sandwich holiday.

September 22: Car Free Day

This one’s pretty simple: Encourage and incentivize your guests to use any mode of travel that isn’t a car/truck/SUV to come to your restaurant or bar. I, for one, will be opting for my motorcycle, which I don’t need to mention here but I’m going to anyway because I love it.

September 24: Innergize Day

First, a disclaimer: This isn’t a day celebrating a “performance” drink brand. Rather, Innergize Day is about relaxing and recouping. I’m sure you can see where your restaurant, bar or hotel fits in with this holiday.

September 25: National One-hit Wonder Day

This one’s simple: Commit to playing only one-hit wonders. People love nostalgia, particularly when it comes to music. Either create a playlist or hire a DJ, and if you’re feeling creative, put some themed drinks on your menu.

September 27: National Crush a Can Day

You don’t have to encourage your guests to literally crush cans to celebrate this day. Really, this is a great way to make people aware of your craft beers, RTDs, canned wines, and other canned beverages on your menu.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

End the Month with this Sour Cocktail

End the Month with this Sour Cocktail

by David Klemt

Sour cocktail on table in high-end bar

End the month of August with a promotion focusing on one of the most popular members of the iconic sour cocktail family.

As I’ve been saying in several of this month’s articles, August is full of bar holidays. This month we celebrate Albariño, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Prosecco. And that’s just the wine holidays, which also include National White Wine Day and National Red Wine Day.

Additionally, National Rum Day and Mai Tai Day in August. Apparently, however, eight bar holidays just isn’t enough. And that’s awesome.

You see, we have another bar holiday to celebrate this month. National Whiskey Sour Day takes place on Thursday, August 25.

The Sour Family

Family, category, type… There are several ways to distinguish groups of cocktails.

And depending on your source preference, there are either a handful of families or at least twenty. Hey, why make things easy when we can obsess over minutiae and argue with our peers?

One of the most popular lists of families comes from Gary “Gaz” Regan, an icon in his own right. Sadly, he died on November 15, 2019. Regan’s 2003 book Joy of Mixology identifies “sours” amongst 19 other families.

In 1862, Jerry Thomas included several sours in his book The Bar-Tenders Guide. (a.k.a. How to Mix Drinks). You’ll find the Brandy Sour, Gin Sour, Santa Cruz Sour, and Whiskey SOur. However, a cocktail need not include “Sour” in its name to be part of this cocktail family.

Consider the characteristics of a sour: a base spirit, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener. In some cases, also egg whites.

So, those defining elements place the Collins, Daiquiri, Margarita, French 75, Gimlet, Mojito, Paloma, Rickey, Sidecar, and Southside in the sour family. However, some would place the members of this group that call for a carbonated element into either the Champagne or so-called “sparkling sour” family.

Now, if you really want to get pedantic, the Whiskey Sour could be a member of the Punch family as well.

The Whiskey Sour

So, does it surprise you to learn that we don’t know the exact origin of the Whiskey Sour? As in, we don’t know precisely who to credit for creating this classic?

Well, it shouldn’t, as cocktail history is quite often murky and mysterious at best.

However, we know that the first appearance of the Whiskey Sour recipe is from Jerry Thomas’ The Bar-Tenders Guide. So, that means the cocktail was known in 1862.

Yet, it’s believed that this recipe was known for at least a hundred years prior. Interestingly, one can argue that the Whiskey Sour is sibling to Grog. In the 1700s, British Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon commanded captains to allow sailors to purchase sugar and limes to make their watered down rum rations taste better.

Hey, sounds like a base spirit, lemon or lime juice, and sweetener to me.

Alright, that’s enough history for you to share with your guests. To celebrate National Whiskey Sour Day, create a handful of LTOs. This can be as easy as offering a Whiskey Sour menu featuring an array of bourbons or other whiskeys. Additionally, you can menu a signature Whiskey Sour and have variants such as the New York Sour or Penicillin accompany it.

Also, if your local legislature permits the discounting of alcohols, you can offer a discount on Whiskey Sours. For food pairings, consider barbecue pork dishes, Cheddar cheese, or brie.

“Gaz” Regan’s Cocktail Families

For the curious, below is the list of cocktail families according to “Gaz” Regan, in alphabetical order:

  1. Beer- and Cider-based
  2. Bottled
  3. Champagne
  4. Cobblers
  5. Duos and Trios
  6. French-Italian
  7. Frozen
  8. Highballs
  9. Hot
  10. Infusions
  11. Jelly Shots
  12. Juleps
  13. Milanese
  14. Muddled
  15. Orphans
  16. Pousse-cafes
  17. Punches
  18. Snappers
  19. Sours
  20. Tropical

Image: Ambitious Creative Co. – Rick Barrett on Unsplash

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