In continuing the discussion on how to build and gain revenue during the winter months sans a patio, we turn our discussion to incremental improvements that should be made to your roster of goods and services.  

We champion the notion that there is not one “cure all” in the inevitable struggle that that will be winter. We firmly believe it will take a collection of efforts and great decisions, along with some luck and a lot of trial and error, to truly move the needle in the coming months.   In the spirit of this, we cannot ignore the cocktail game, especially in take out format. The only problem is none of us have ever tended bar! So, we brought in an expert, Tony Thomas.  

Tony is a Cleveland native and has been in the bar scene at a very high level for the past 15 years. This man mixes drinks in a way that would make a chef blush.  

This discussion is centered around not only amazing cocktails, but how operators without a mixologist on payroll can roll out very strong signature drinks with amazing appeal…easily.    

Tune in for Tony’s pro-tips, us gushing a bit over his craft and to learn how to look like a rockstar in the cocktail world!  

If we can help you along please just reach out!

Butter Washed Espresso Martini

Butter Washed Vodka

                1 ltr         Call brand vodka

                12 oz      Unsalted butter

Method:  In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Transfer vodka to a mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in melted butter.  Over the course of an hour, periodically whisk the mixture to incorporate maximum flavor.  Place mixing bowl in a freezer for 8-12 hours or until butter has risen to the top and is solid.  Remove from freezer and skim the butter from the vodka.  Strain remaining butter particles using a sieve. 

Espresso Syrup

                1 cup Espresso

                1/3 cup Sugar

Method: In a saucepan, combine espresso and sugar.  Heat to dissolve sugar while stirring.  Cool. 


                2 oz         Butter Washed Vodka

                1 oz         Cocoa Lopez

                1 oz         Espresso Syrup

Method:  Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.  Pour all ingredients over ice.  Shake.  Strain.  Enjoy!

Spicy Rosalita

Habiscus “Grenadine”

                1 cup      Pomegranate Juice

                1 cup      Sugar

                1/2 cup Hibiscus Tea (dry)

Method:  In a saucepan, combine pomegranate juice and sugar.  Cook over a low heat for approximately 30 minutes or until reduced by half.  Let cool.  Transfer to an air-tight container, add hibiscus and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.  Strain using a sieve. 


                1.75 oz   Blanco Tequila (Espelon Blanco or any mild silver tequila)

                .5 oz        Ancho Reyes Liqueur

                1 oz         Hibiscus Grenadine

                .75 oz     Lime Juice

                1 ea        Lime Wheel

Method:  Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.  Add all ingredients except for the lime wheel.  Shake and strain over ice.  Garnish with lime wheel. 

These cocktails are great for “batching” meaning that all ingredients can be mixed in large quantities prior to service.  Once ordered, the server/bartender only needs to shake, strain, garnish and serve – no measuring, no mixing!

For the kegs:  Tony states that any distributor should be willing to help out with this.  If you have an existing draft system, it’s as easy as asking them for a small keg, filling it full of a batched cocktail, putting the lid on, hooking it up and letting her rip!  Contrary to what I thought, the investment is incredibly minimal.  Also, iced tea containers will work. 

Tony Thomas’ LinkedIn:


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