The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Part II


5. Cinnamon Candy Apple

Red and green are layered into a festive shot that looks as good as it tastes! Start the fun early with its sweet and spicy kick.

Cinnamon Candy Apple

Recipe

  • .75 oz. sour apple schnapps
  • .75 oz. cinnamon whiskey or tequila
  • Red food coloring
  • Pour sour apple schnapps in shot glass
  • Color cinnamon liquor with food coloring
  • Layer over the schnapps by pouring slowly over the back of a spoon

6. The Snowflake

Combining an indulgent creaminess with a light and refreshing fruity punch, this playful beverage is all the fun you need for your grownup snow day!

Snowflake

Recipe

7. Mulled Wine Sangria

Abounding with natural wintery fruit flavors that are infused into a deep red wine, this sangria is sure to warm up any holiday crowd.

Mulled Wine Sangria

Recipe

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 apple sliced
  • 1 pear sliced
  • 3 mandarin orange slices
  • Handful of cranberries
  • Sugar to taste
  • Pour all but 1 cup of wine into a pitcher with brandy, triple sec, and fruit
  • Combine remaining wine, orange juice, and spices in a pan and bring to a simmer
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes then strain through a cheesecloth and strainer
  • Add to pitcher and refrigerate overnight
  • Optional: You can add sparkle and sweetness by topping with a splash of 7-up or sprite, or just use club soda for the sparkle without any added sweetness

8. Whipped Caramel Hot Cocoa

Topped with a dollop of whipped cream, this hot and steamy drink is perfect for cuddling up after a long day out in the bitter cold!

Whipped Caramel Hot Cocoa

Recipe

  • 7 oz. hot cocoa
  • .75 oz. whipped vodka
  • .75 oz. caramel vodka
  • Whipped cream
  • Dark chocolate
  • Stir the vodka into the hot cocoa
  • Top with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings


Check back on Friday for the last four recipes in our 12 drinks of Christmas, and be sure to take a look at Part I for our first 4 drink recipes!


Next time…

  1. Salted Caramel Martini
  2. Chambord Kir Royale
  3. Eggnog Cocktail
  4. Santa Hat Martini
Posted in: Holidays | By Ashley Kufera

The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Part I

With the winter holidays fast approaching, it's time to get into the festive spirit and celebrate. So after you're done hanging lights, eating a hefty dinner, and kindling the fireplace, keep your holidays buzzing with a few spirits of your own, courtesy of WebstaurantStore's drink aficionados!

All 12 Drinks of Christmas


1. Winter Sea Breeze

This refreshing drink includes a quick jab of vodka with the bitter bite of grapefruit juice, topped off with a hint of mint.

Christmas cookies

Recipe

  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. tonic water
  • Pour mixture over ice
  • Stir in glass
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds, cranberries, and mint

2. Red Stag Dirty Shirley

With Red Stag bourbon, cherry syrup, and a cherry garnish, you can't get much sweeter than this winter nightcap.

Christmas cookies

Recipe

3. Peppermint Hot Cocoa

This dark, rich beverage harmonizes chocolate and peppermint for a perfect evening in front of the fireplace.

Christmas cookies

Recipe

  • 1 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • 5 oz. hot chocolate
  • Pour into glass or mug
  • Stir in glass or mug
  • Toast marshmallows
  • Garnish drink with torched marshmallows

4. Winter Sangria

Made with a wide variety of ingredients and flavors, this recipe requires overnight refrigeration to marinade correctly — so you might as well make a lot of it!

Christmas cookies

Recipe

  • 1/3 cup triple sec
  • 12 oz. Sprite
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 2 chopped apples
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 small box red raspberries
  • Simple syrup to taste
  • Mix all ingredients except Sprite in pitcher
  • Refrigerate mixture
  • Add Sprite to pitcher before serving
  • Garnish each glass with rosemary sprig

Check back on Wednesday for the next four recipes in our 12 drinks of Christmas!


Next time…

  1. Cinnamon Candy Apple
  2. The Snowflake
  3. Mulled Wine Sangria
  4. Whipped Caramel Hot Cocoa
Posted in: Holidays | By Christopher Zook

Preparing Your Bakery for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again – work holiday parties, a class winter party for the kids, one family dinner after the other, ugly sweater parties, cookie exchange parties, and more parties, parties, parties!

"RSVP with a dish or dessert you’ll bring."

"Don’t forget your tray of cookies for the exchange."

"Please take note of little Jimmy’s peanut allergy."

But with all these gatherings and our other day-to-day obligations, who has time to slave in the kitchen for hours perfecting their great, great grandma’s holiday candy recipe? Not many; and that’s why you, our amazing bakers, have bakeries buzzing with customers caught up in the hustle and bustle that comes with the season. We’re here to give you some tips for preparing your bakery for the holiday season rush and to share some favorite holiday baking ideas that give us that nostalgic feeling of celebrating at home with family and friends!

Cookie Trays

Christmas cookies

As far back as we can remember, cookie baking and decorating has always been a holiday tradition in many homes, leading to the even more favored cookie exchange. Many of us here look forward to bringing in our own family recipes to share with coworkers every year, sometimes leading to competitive battles in search of the best snickerdoodle! But in today’s busy society, not everyone has the time or desire to whip out their mixing bowls, spatulas, cookie sheets and cutters to start baking, let alone, clean it all up! So now it’s up to our favorite bakeries to craft the ultimate assortment of intricately decorated, oddly shaped, great tasting, traditional and non-traditional assorted cookie trays! Consider some of these suggestions to ensure your tray not only looks professional, but has a cookie to hit everyone’s sweet tooth.

  • Incorporate at least one traditional holiday cookie. Nobody wants to upset grandpa at family dinner because someone forgot to invite the gingerbread man! Dating back to the Middle Ages when Queen Elizabeth I of England decided to shape and decorate gingerbread cookies to resemble her favorite courtiers, gingerbread cookies have become a cookie staple during the holiday months with their cute shape, deliciously spiced flavor, and infinite decorating possibilities.
  • Icing, sprinkles, and toppings galore. Nothing makes people happier than a tray of intricately decorated sugar cookies! Add the gumdrop buttons. Use colored sprinkles. Add coconut flakes to resemble snow or bring a snowman cookie to life. Dye dough and swirl the different colors together into pinwheel or candy cane themed cookies. Be creative!
  • Make transport and delivery easy. After all that hard work, it would be a shame if you set your cookies onto a cheaply made tray. Holiday baked goods are not something to mess around with! Be sure your serving trays and platters provide support and look nice enough to sell. And don't forget to arrange your cookies into a flattering assortment. Don’t just pile them on top of one another – after all, you put so much hard work into decorating!
  • Holiday Candies

    Holiday candies and chocolates

      Beginning as a solid white sugary stick, the candy cane is believed to have developed into its modern curved shape around 1670 when they were supposedly passed out to young children as a sweet treat to keep them satisfied during the lengthy Nativity scene. Whether or not this tale is true, it’s definitely evident that candy making has evolved into another holiday tradition as people continue to give homemade candy as gifts, not only this season, but throughout the entire year. From chocolate dipped fruit and drizzled pretzels to peanut butter balls, caramel turtles, and chocolate lollipops, homemade chocolate candy is a beautiful option for catering or gifting.

    • Candy molds are sweet to have. From chocolate covered cherries to caramel turtles and lollipops, you can make tins full of candy in no time. Invest in the type of candy mold your customers want. Melt chocolate wafers to paint molds that have an engraved design. Let it harden; fill with desired fillings – maraschino cherries, cherry flavored syrup, nuts, etc. – and then top each individual candy well with more melted chocolate using a squeeze bottle. Place molds in the refrigerator, and after everything sets, take out your finished candies.
    • Don’t be afraid to use your hands. It can be as simple as mixing up a giant bowl of peanut butter with powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Roll the mixture into 1” diameter spheres, cover in melted chocolate, and voilà, you have peanut butter balls, also commonly known as buckeyes!
    • Be economical. Everyone loves the flavor combo of sweet and salty. For an economical candy option, dip hard pretzels in melted chocolate. This is one of the simplest yet tastiest options. You can make them look gourmet by drizzling white chocolate, chopped nuts, or candy toppings on top and still make a huge profit.
    • It’s the whole package. Great for gifting purposes, sell your candies in individual, decorated boxes. Whether customers purchase for their own consumption or they want to hand them out at the office, well-packaged candies make a great sale.
    • Cupcake Assortments

      Holiday-themed cupcake assortment

      Have you noticed how popular cupcakes have become and how they’ve evolved in just the past few years? Bakers have become incredibly skilled at transforming an ordinary cupcake into a decadent masterpiece. Cupcakes make great holiday baked goods because they’re easy to share, and they make a great display. Customers will be drawn to your bakery cases filled with carefully frosted, mouth-watering cupcakes, ordering their supply for their next… you guessed it, party! Here are some ideas to add holiday cheer to your treats.

      • Twist it up. You don’t always have to use your traditional buttercream frosting recipe. Try mixing two unique flavors together, like cherry and white chocolate. How does mixing red and white for a candy cane twisted icing sound? You can do this very easily by using a duo decorating pastry tube. You can also add a fun homemade topper to each cupcake, such as connecting mini marshmallows to make a snowman.
      • It’s all about the batter. Tis the season to experiment with festive, wintery cake flavors. Use traditional yellow cake with a complementary icing, or switch it up and try a ginger spice cake mix with a brown sugar buttercream frosting!
      • Make festive displays. Another fun idea, great for catering holiday parties, is to frost cupcakes with a basic icing that’s dyed green. Assemble them onto a cupcake stand shaped similarly to this one, and it will resemble a holiday tree. What a great centerpiece for the dessert table!
      • Posted in: Bakery Supplies | By Ashley Kufera

Holiday Party Catering

Holiday catering can be a major boost to your business. Whether it's an in-house gig in your hotel or you travel to rented locations, attracting the attention of a whole company for a catered evening means they're working with a bigger budget and you're making bigger profits. This extra cash is the main reason why catering during the holidays is so essential. It also gives you a chance to create specialized holiday party menus that can appeal to specific demographics, including ones that serve holiday-themed foods (like Christmas and Hanukkah), or a secular menu that simply uses a wintry theme. Regardless of what you choose, holiday party catering is one of the smartest moves your company can make — as long as it's done right.

Menu

During the winter, your menu will vary depending on what holiday is coming up next. Thanksgiving is a pretty quick one with the standards of turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, and similar foods lining your chafers and filling up your holding cabinets. As long as you have the staples that everyone has come to know and love, you can easily please anyone with a fine catered turkey dinner.

Menu

A Christmas holiday party menu is also a quick fix with ham, goose, turkey, crab, and more as potential entrees. To go along with them, gingerbread, au gratin, salad, and fresh-baked pies are all excellent choices to fill out the sides and dessert portions of your self-serve area. Add in a few carving stations with a cook on hand to slice cuts of beef as customers walk by, and you have a fully functional and memorable Christmas-themed buffet.

New Years dishes have their own traditions as well with foods like pork, sauerkraut, and fish, all of which were at one point considered to be good luck foods back in the day. People originally chose pork because pigs symbolized progress, while some cultures chose sauerkraut, believing that more greens led to better fortune in the New Year. Traditions can change easily from culture to culture though, so if you're catering a party for a specific nationality, make sure you do a little googling.

Theme

A classic non-denominational theme for a catered holiday party is the "winter wonderland" idea, utilizing colorful blues and whites in your décor and employee uniforms to create an engaging atmosphere. This is a safe bet for any party that includes a range of people from different backgrounds and with different traditions. This neutral, everybody-wins kind of setting not only ensures you won't leave anyone out, but it also gives you a chance to start a tradition for your customers — a thematic holiday party that they enjoy from the same caterer every year.

Other neutral theme ideas can include a classic winter setting using memorabilia that everyone can recognize, like nutcrackers, sleds, snowmen, strings of lights, and fireplaces. You can complement these symbols with apple cider, hot chocolate, and a variety of other beverages as well, getting your guests in the winter spirit as they move about your party. This kind of atmosphere is sure to leave a lasting impression, increasing the chance they'll contact you again for the next party they need.

Menu

Last, there's the non-traditional take on holiday parties, some of which don't even have to include wintry themes. There is always the casino, the town fair, and even the masquerade — and they all have their merits. The casino gives you a chance to engage customers directly while offering fun prizes, and the town fair can include nostalgic carnival games. The masquerade — which includes every party attendant wearing masks — can be turned into a night-long guessing game about each others' identities, creating a great conversation piece for all of your guests and common ground they can use to kickstart conversation.

Basically, when it comes to theme, the sky is the limit. Whether you try something new or stick with what works, picking out the right theme for your holiday party can turn a so-so work function into a memorable evening.

And if the customer likes it enough, then they might even make you a part of their holiday party tradition.

Posted in: Catering Supplies | By Christopher Zook
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