11 Summer Movie Themed Cocktails to Brighten Your Booze Menu

11 Summer Movie Themed Cocktails to Brighten Your Booze Menu

Summer movie hits are rolling in and so are thirsty patrons looking something fresh and new at the bar. Have some fun with this Summer’s movie themes and create cocktails inspired by feisty heroines, brooding heroes, aliens, and emojis.

1. Wonder Woman

Strong and sweet. Feminine, but not to be taken lightly!

  • 1 1/2 oz White rum
  • 1/2 oz Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Triple sec
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • Long strip lemon peel to serve – golden lasso of truth!

Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into martini glass or a blue glass tumbler. Serve with a lemon lasso garnish!

2. Alien: Covenant

Use charcoal infused tequila to make this black as space cocktail.  Add 2 tbsp of activated charcoal powder to a full bottle of tequila and shake to make.

  • 1 1/2 oz Charcoal-infused tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz St-Germain
  • 3/4 oz Lime juice
  • Two dashes of orange bitters
  • Three sprays of a smokey scotch to finish

Combine first four in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a tumbler with ice. Spritz with scotch before serving.

3. The Emoji Movie

This cocktail looks exactly like the classic cocktail emoji icon!

  • 2 oz Cachaça 51
  • 1/2 oz Orange juice
  • 1 oz Passion fruit juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • Lime and cherry on pick for garnish

Pour grenadine into a hurricane glass and top with crushed ice. Combine Cachaça 51, orange and passion juice into a shaker with ice. Shake. Pour over ice. Garnish with lime wedge and cherry.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spiderman may be in high school, but the rest of us can still drink! Layer this colorful cocktail to get those classic Spidey colors.

  • 1/2 oz Curaçao blue
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Splash of seltzer
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • A wedge of lime
  • Cherry to serve

Rim a tall glass with lime. Pour in the grenadine then fill with large ice cubes. Slowly add vodka, then seltzer and top with blue curacao. Squeeze lime over top and garnish with a cherry.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Island feel with a cheeky kick!

  • 1 1/2 oz Coconut rum
  • 1/2 oz Banana schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Peach schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Cranberry juice (not juice cocktail)
  • 1/2 oz Fresh orange juice
  • 2 oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • Pineapple on sword pick to serve

Combine first three into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into highball glass with ice and top with juices in the order listed for a sunset effect. Garnish with pineapple sword. Yo ho ho!

6. Atomic Blond

Looks sweet and unassuming in the glass. Little do they know…

  • 2 oz Rye whiskey
  • 1⁄2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1⁄2 oz Sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Orange bitters
  • Lemon twist to garnish

Combine a mixing glass over ice. Stir. Strain int a chilled whiskey glass. Garnish with lemon.

7. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Because Samuel L. Jackson would just order whiskey, but Ryan Reynolds needs it with a bit of a flair!

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Canada Dry ginger ale

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add ingredients in order listed. Done and done.

8. Baby Driver

A chocolaty twist on the classic White Russian. Chocolate milk for the kid, liquor for the adults.

  • 6 oz Cold chocolate milk
  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Kahlúa
  • Mini brownie bite to garnish

Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a pint glass with ice. Cut part way into the brownie and settle on edge of glass to garnish.

9. The Dark Tower

Light on the bottom; looming dark on top.

  • 2 oz Dark rum
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Spiced simple syrup
  • Cherry with stem to garnish

Combine lemon juice and syrup into shaker with lots of ice. Shake. Strain into highball glass with fresh ice. Float rum on top. Garnish with cherry.

10. Despicable Me 3

Everyone’s favorite little yellow Minion buddies – in cocktail form. Perfect for parents who need a pick me up after hearing “minion-speak” all day!

  • 1/5 oz Absinthe
  • 1/5 oz Whiskey
  • 1/5 oz Gin
  • 1/5 oz Vodka
  • 1/5 oz Cinnamon Schnapps

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into shot glass or tumbler with fresh ice.

11. Transformers: The Last Night

In honor of Optimus Prime, friend or foe?

  • 1/2 oz Raspberry vodka
  • 1/2 oz Watermelon Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 Splash Grenadine
  • 4 oz Lemon-lime soda
  • 1 oz Sweet and sour mix
  • 1/4 oz Blue Curaçao Fill

Fill tall glass with ice. Layer ingredients in order listed topping up with ice before adding soda as needed. Add the Blue Curacao carefully so as not to lose the layers! Serve with a straw.

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Why You Should Never Hesitate To Cut Guests Off

Why You Should Never Hesitate To Cut Guests Off

If your establishment serves alcohol, you have experienced at least one drunk customer. He or she ordered drink after drink, getting louder and sloppier with each one, and you were faced with a dilemma. You wanted to keep the customer happy, and clearly you are there to provide what the customer asks for. However, the drunk customer quickly became a problem. When you are faced with this situation, you should never hesitate to cut a guest off, and here is why:

1. The Other Customers

In a seated restaurant, there are few things worse than sitting near a drunk and belligerent diner, unless it is sitting next to a drunk and over-friendly diner. They are loud and intrusive. Your other guests want to relax and not worry about the person next to them stumbling into them or getting into a shouting match. If your other guests are uncomfortable, they leave early, possibly not ordering things they normally would have.

They aren’t wrong to do this, either. Drunk guests present a danger to other people, knocking into them and starting fights. They also get into car accidents. Sober customers that drive will want to get out of the parking lot before the drunk guest gets in a car and drives into someone.

Your other guests want to relax and not worry about the person next to them stumbling into them or getting into a shouting match.

2. Your Waitstaff

Drunk guests are hard to serve, and the waitstaff’s job is hard enough. No one gets paid enough to clean up after someone who got sick from too much alcohol, fend off someone who is drunkenly hitting on them, or trying to help customers stumble out the door. There just isn’t enough money in the world to make up for dealing with that sort of thing all the time, and it can contribute to employees quitting.

3. Your Reputation

It never takes long for the locals to figure out where they can sit and imbibe all day. This attracts the type of guests who monopolize bar stools and scare away other paying customers.

People do not take their kids or parents to a restaurant where they think they will have to watch somebody drink themselves sick. They don’t want to take their dates places where they would be subjected to somebody tottering around drunkenly. It only takes a few bad apples to drive away people, and cutting off guests early keeps those bad apples in check.

It only takes a few bad apples to drive away people, and cutting off guests early keeps those bad apples in check.

4. The Customer’s Safety

With each drink, customers become more prone to accidents. They become more vulnerable to robbery and more prone to bad judgment. All this means that it isn’t just the other customers who are in danger when one customer gets drunk. The drinker could decide to drive home and get in an accident, they could drop glasses and cut themselves, or any number of bad scenarios.

5. Liability

Many states hold responsible the last person to serve alcohol to someone if that person gets into a car accident. The local law enforcement officers will track the driver’s movements until they reach the last establishment they were at and charge the restaurant or bar with overserving that person. That puts you in a world of legal hurt that you just don’t need.

Even if such rules were not on the books, a restaurant or bar is open to legal trouble when drunk guests act out. If the police are constantly showing up to deal with misbehaving guests, you are going to have some trouble renewing your liquor license. At the very least, the neighboring businesses and residents will give you grief. Your guests would be scaring away other business’s customers, after all, and we all rely on our neighbors sometimes.

These factors hurt your bottom line, hurt your community, and hurt your guests. Servers can avoid all of this by cutting a guest off before they drink themselves sick. It may be hard to stop filling a drunk customer’s order, but it is always the right thing to do.

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From Yeast to Malt, This is Where Alcohol Comes From

From Yeast to Malt, This is Where Alcohol Comes From

Alcohol, specifically ethanol, is the stuff we drink. Beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, tequila, schnapps, it doesn’t matter. The alcohol itself is all the same. But where does ethanol come from? Yeast. Yeast makes alcohol. How they do it is pretty amazing.

Yeast is a microorganism, a living thing. Like all fungi, they have some plant characteristics and some animal characteristics. Yeast makes alcohol through a biological process. Sugar, dissolved in water, is ingested by the yeast organism. The sugar is metabolized, generating energy for the organism’s life processes such as reproduction. The waste product it discards consists of alcohols (primarily ethanol) and carbon dioxide.

This process is called fermentation.

Since yeast eats sugar, it is easier to make alcohol from sugar sources (fruit, honey, sugar cane juice) than from starch (grain, potato). Saccharification is the process of converting starch into sugar, thereby making it something yeast can eat. It is a prerequisite for making beer and whiskey.

Grains are seeds. To grow, new sprouts need sugar, just like yeast do. So at the beginning of the germination process, the new sprout produces diastatic enzymes that convert the starch surrounding it into sugar. The process of sprouting grain to capture those enzymes is called malting. Any grain can be malted but barley is particularly good. The enzymes produced are so effective that a relatively small amount of malt (about 10%) will convert a mash of unmalted grains.

In Scotland, the law requires that only barley malt is used in the production of whiskey. In the United States, enzymes derived from other sources may be used and sometimes are, but most whiskey-makers use malt. Some use both.

All of the alcohol we drink is still made the old-fashioned way, by feeding sugar to yeast.

Enzymes are proteins that promote chemical reactions. All chemical reactions within cells are controlled by enzymes, so enzymes are also involved in the biological process by which yeast makes alcohol. You might think that modern science could just synthesize all of these different chemicals and make alcohol in some kind of machine. Maybe it can, but all of the alcohol we drink is still made the old-fashioned way, by feeding sugar to yeast.

All of these processes take place in water so before anything else can happen the starches have to be dissolved. First, they are ground to the consistency of corn meal, then water is added. Most starches have to be cooked to fully dissolve. This is especially true of corn, the main ingredient in bourbon whiskey.

Some solids, mostly cellulose, remain undissolved. Most brewers and some distillers discard the solids. Bourbon makers typically do not and they continue through the distillation process.

Regardless, in the end, after the yeast and sugar are mixed and mashed, we have alcohol and it’s delicious!

This article originally appeared on the Chuck Cowdry Blog.

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Why Mixology is a Real Trade and How it Enhances the Dining Experience

Why Mixology is a Real Trade and How it Enhances the Dining Experience

What’s the difference between a bartender and a mixologist? Well for one there is a difference between pouring a beer and enhancing the overall dining experience with precision and craft. While bartenders are certainly beneficial for restaurants, mixologists shouldn’t be ignored. Particularly in restaurants that want to be recognized for their unique drinks and/or their impeccable drink and dining pairings.

Here are some key reasons why mixology is a legitimate trade, one that restaurants should support if they want to give their guests a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Science is involved

Mixology isn’t exactly like biology, physiology or any of the other science-ologies out there. But it does require some science to be a great mixologist. That’s because mixology involves a certain understanding and knowledge of the chemistry of drinks.A great mixologist studies the chemistry and history of cocktails to create new flavors. They also need to understand how particular flavors in a cocktail will enhance flavors of food to add depth to diners’ entire experience.

Mixologists adapt to your menu

A great mixologist can create new work when they are presented with a new menu. If your menu changes seasonally, a mixologist can prepare new cocktails that match the seasons and also compliment the menu. They can have different specials for brunch, lunch, dinner and even special events.

A great mixologist studies the chemistry and history of cocktails to create new flavors.

Mixologists can also be hired on a consulting basis. If you only need a mixologist once a quarter to craft a new drink menu, you can hire one on the side instead of keeping one in-house throughout the year.Many mixologists make a great living this way. In fact, they might have a greater range of knowledge and experience than mixologists who work for one location. Considering they have had to craft new and unique drinks for a wider variety of establishments.

Mixologists are your “behind the scenes” bartender

Think of bartenders as your customer-facing alcohol experts and your mixologist as your “behind the scenes” expert. Mixologists focus on the quality of the drink rather than the speed at which it is poured. Use your mixologist to craft seasonal and otherwise unique drinks that match your restaurant’s atmosphere and theme.

Your bartenders will be the ones mingling with the guests, pouring drinks and making recommendations based on the carefully crafted drink menu your mixologist has prepared in advance.

Advanced training really does help

Bartending isn’t exactly the easiest job out there. People who are naturally social and have the ability to multi-task can make a decent living without getting any type of additional certification or degree.

A certified mixologist has gone through extensive training to learn the ins and outs of crafting exquisite drinks. Their training has taught them the science and background they need to know to work with your dining menu and create new concoctions. Don’t underestimate the knowledge gained through mixology certification or degree programs.

Contrary to popular belief, mixology isn’t a term that was coined by hipsters. Its root dates back to the 1850s, and it has been used in cultures worldwide, from Hong Kong to England.

It has historical roots

Contrary to popular belief, mixology isn’t a term that was coined by hipsters. Its root dates back to the 1850s, and it has been used in cultures worldwide, from Hong Kong to England. The fact that it has historical roots doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a more legitimate term than bartender. It does point to the fact that we are not the first generation to have identified a difference between a mixologist and a bartender though.

Think of a mixologist as the person who makes your drinks beautiful, the person who knows how a drink can compliment every dish on your menu. Whereas a bartender is a person who charms your guests and simply pours their drinks. There is a distinct difference between the two, which is why restaurants should have both on hand to create the ultimate dining experience for their guests. Check out Sirvo for all open bar positions and become Denver’s next great mixologist! 

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Implementing Responsible Alcohol Service in Your Establishment

Implementing Responsible Alcohol Service in Your Establishment

Each state regulates alcohol — from its manufacturing, to selling, and the actions resulting from its use. This includes assessing the liability of any violations. If you serve alcohol in your restaurant, it is important that you and each staff member are aware of the laws, rules, and best practices in your state. Serving alcohol involves many risks. 

The failure to act responsibly may result in fines, loss of your liquor license, increased costs of insurance, or even imprisonment. Ultimately, it could result in losing your business.

Consequences of Serving an Intoxicated Guest

In almost every state, it is illegal to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person. There are numerous types of liabilities associated including criminal, administrative (liquor control commission), and broad civil liabilities via the Dram Shop Law. Therefore, it is imperative that you develop specific policies that ensure the responsible serving of alcohol in your establishment. This includes having a clear concise process for the difficult situation of denying service to an intoxicated guest.

Alcohol Awareness Training

Most liability insurances now require that all members of a restaurant, bar, or tavern staff undergo this type of training. Additionally, it is important because it helps underscore the importance of responsible service as well as the consequences of failing to do so. It also provides bartenders and servers with a factual base that enables them to make informed and often difficult, service related decisions with confidence. In addition to outside training, it is important that you have internal policies that define what to do when faced with these judgment calls.

The failure to act responsibly may result in fines, loss of your liquor license, increased costs of insurance, or even imprisonment.

Situational Awareness Training and Empowerment

Each member of your staff, no matter if they serve alcohol are important in the success of these policies, as often situations like these can be prevented. Train your staff to be observant. They should be listening and watching what is going on in your restaurant. Encouraging them to use their best judgment, empower each staff member to report any person or group they believe may present a problem. This is the best opportunity you have to prevent an incident from occurring. Once a report has been made, that is the time to have a manager or the owner drop by the table, speak to the patron, further assess the situation, and perhaps intervene.

Other Preventative Measures

  • Servers and bartenders keep track of how many drinks have been served.
  • Don’t serve drinks ordered for someone who is not yet present. As this person could already be intoxicated or perhaps even underage.
  • Have a visible authority presence in the bar area. This could be security or management.
  • Have signage posted with your policy

…it is important that they have the trust and support of management.

Tips to Refusing Service to an Intoxicated Patron

Because this is a judgment call that servers and bartenders are in the best position to make, it is important that they have the trust and support of management. Having a written policy that outlines the process is also helpful. These factors make it easier for them to exercise good judgment of how and when to refuse service. Robert Plotkin, founder of Bar Media offers the following advice on how to cut off an intoxicated guest.

  • When in doubt – don’t serve- Make this your policy. Because of the potential liability, isn’t it better to err on the side of caution?
  • Keep it simple- In the fewest words possible, explain that as a matter of policy, you will not be serving any more alcohol.
  • If possible, be discreet- There is no need to cause a scene that may embarrass the patron and potentially provoke an incident.
  • Utilize tact and diplomacy- Avoid using inflammatory language, disapproval, or criticism.
  • Remain firm- Once you have committed to this decision there is no turning back. To do so would undermine your credibility and authority.
  • Keep everyone in the loop- Notify the other staff and servers so that they do not mistakenly serve the guest additional alcohol.

For general precaution, management on-duty should be notified to take any further action needed, allowing the bartender or server to resume their regular roles. Management should determine whether to offer and arrange alternate transportation for the patron.

Keeping the patrons safe from harm and your establishment safe from liability is a job that falls to every employee. Knowing when and how to cut off an intoxicated guest is a judgment call often left to the bartender and servers. It is sometimes awkward and difficult, however, with proper training, guidelines, and internal support it can be accomplished with dignity and tact. 

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