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4 fruit-forward recipes to elevate the bar menu

Photograph: Shutterstock

Race into a favorite restaurant at the end of a busy Friday and most people are ready to belly up to the bar and toast to another week in the books. What better way to enjoy the experience than with a new and delicious twist on a classic cocktail?

Beyond making the expected happy hour drinks such as an old fashioned or a dirty martini, bartenders have started switching up the standard bar menu by adding fruit purees. These purees allow bartenders to create new cocktails and mocktails, with minimal extra work. Fruit purees make these thirst-quenching drinks crisp and refreshing, adding a fresh and elevated taste to the standard pour. They’re great for both cocktails and non-alcohol drinks alike, and best of all, they’re easy to thaw and use quickly. They’re the perfect additions to scratch-made drinks—something that customers love.

Customers are always looking to quench their thirst with something fresh and mouthwatering, and having fresh-made options is great for business—according to Technomic’s 2018 Beverage report, 43% of consumers have ordered a mocktail in the last month, which means there’s great potential for success when they’re on the menu. Add a splash of a diner’s favorite spirit, and that drink goes down even smoother

Menuing unique flavors allows bartenders and restaurant owners to expand and elevate the menu options. As restaurateurs know, the profit margin in beverages is high, so it’s beneficial to offer a variety to diners to capture those dollars. In fact, Technomic’s Beverage report finds that 18% of consumers say that they drink an alcoholic beverage as a dessert at least once a week; 33% say they drink fruit juice as one. By using fruits, fruit juices and fruit purees on the cocktail menu, restaurants can offer both at the same time.

Recipe inspiration

Each of the drinks below is quick to prepare and uses uncomplicated ingredients to result in a fantastic, refreshing treat. Using real fruit purees elevates the drink to a new level. 

  • Berry Smash: This distinct cocktail features DOLE® Chef-Ready Frozen Strawberry Puree, tequila, ginger-flavored liqueur and fresh agave sour mix, topped with cinnamon-sugar and lime zest.
  • Spirited Peach and Mint Cooler: This begins with muddling thawed DOLE Chef-Ready Cuts Diced Peaches and mint in a shaker. Pour Southern Comfort liqueur, lime juice and agave nectar into the muddled peaches and mint, then top with ginger ale and ice. This cocktail can also be made without the liqueur for a non-alcoholic treat,
  • Cucumber Chili Mango Switchel: This drink features cucumber-chili tequila with DOLE Chef-Ready Frozen Mango Puree and switchel mix. What’s a switchel, diners might ask?  It’s a drink made of water mixed with vinegar and often seasoned with ginger and sweetened with honey, brown sugar, simple syrup, maple syrup or molasses, and when added to a drink adds a delicious, unexpected twist.
  • Blushing Dole: This fruity mocktail is perfect for those who want a treat without imbibing alcohol. This sweet sip mixes easy-to-use DOLE Chef-Ready Frozen Strawberry Puree with pineapple juice and lemon lime soda. It’s great for kids or anyone else looking for a refreshing option that’s alcohol-free.

Using fruit on the bar menu provides an exciting and interesting edge to cocktails and mocktails alike, and by using ready-made purees, kitchen staff and bartenders don’t have to worry about when they’ll get it all done.

Get a free sample of Dole’s frozen fruit purees!

This post is sponsored by Dole Packaged Foods

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