How to Host a St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl

Although it began as a 24-hour break from Lenten dietary restrictions, Americans are responsible for turning St. Patrick's Day into a drinking holiday. If you're planning to hold a St. Patrick's Day celebration at your pub this March 17th, hosting a local bar crawl can be a great way to increase business. Establishments located in downtown areas of cities are ideal candidates for bar crawls, as potential patrons will be traveling on foot and stopping at pubs as they pass them. Keep reading for simple tips that will help you plan a fun bar crawl this St. Paddy's Day.

1. Partner Up with Other Local Bars

Your job is to make your bar stand out from the crowd, but the best way to ensure plenty of business on St. Patrick's is to partner with the competition. You can’t have a bar crawl without other bars, so give your neighbors a call and see if they’d like to collaborate for a night of St. Paddy's Day drinking that customers won’t be able to stop talking about. The benefit of partnering up is that patrons will spend time in each of your bars, rather than giving their business to only one bar for the night.

2. Make Your Bar Crawl Official

When you’ve figured out who you’ll be partnering with, publicize your pub crawl. Consider registering your crawl with pubcrawls.com so that customers can find your event and buy tickets online. Build hype by creating an event and promoting it on Facebook. Discuss a set price for the evening, which will include discounts on drinks in each participating bar as well as any fun freebies you wish to give out at the start of the crawl. Depending on what you want to offer, a price between $15 and $30 is standard.

3. Work Out the Details of Your Crawl

Ensure that your patrons have all of the information they need to get the most out of your bar crawl by providing them with a map of the participating bars. Be sure to mark bus stops and schedules on the map as well as the phone numbers of local cab services. Customers want to have a carefree night of partying, and part of that is knowing that they have a safe ride home. At the starting line, give crawlers green wrist bands (after checking their IDs) so that bartenders immediately know who is participating in the event, and send them on their way.

4. Play Up the St. Paddy's Day Theme

When your pub crawl is official, it’s time to start to plan the festivities. Perhaps you’ll want to create a special T-shirt to hand out to participants, or have them dress in their best leprechaun costume. At the starting point, have crawlers enter their name in a raffle for a gift card giveaway that gives the lucky winners an excuse to come back to participating bars. Consider playing authentic Irish music or even hiring a band for some live traditional music. Also, make sure your establishment is stocked with green beverage napkins and green plastic cups to keep the theme alive as customers filter through your door.

5. Keep Your Bar Crawl Fun

Coordinate with your partners and make sure there’s something exciting at every stop in the crawl. Try hosting St. Patrick’s Day themed games with prizes, such as green beads or free beer, or build excitement with something unique like offering St. Paddy's themed face painting to keep customers from getting bored at your stop. They’ll enjoy their time in your establishment, and their excitement will build as they wonder what will be going on at the next bar.

Here are a few examples of fun bar crawl games you can offer your patrons:

  • A scavenger hunt that spans the bar crawl route
  • Shuffleboard, darts, and pool tournaments
  • Various drinking games
  • Trivia
  • Cornhole (weather permitting)

6. Serve Guests Their Favorite Drinks

Beer, cider, and cocktails are essential to a successful St. Patrick's Day bar crawl. In addition to Irish beer standards, we've come up with a list of craft beers and creative cocktails to consider serving on March 17th:

Classic Irish Beers and Ciders:

  • Guinness Draught (4.2%)
  • Smithwick's Premium Irish Ale (4.5%)
  • Murphy's Irish Red (5%)
  • Harp Lager (5%)
  • Magner's Irish Cider (4.5%)

Irish-Inspired Craft Beers:

  • Flying Dog Brewery's Lucky S.O.B. Irish Red (5.5%)
  • Victory Brewing Company's Donnybrook Stout (3.7%)
  • Harpoon Brewery's Celtic Ale (5.4%)
  • Goose Island Beer Company's Bourbon County Brand Stout (13.8%)
  • Thomas Creek Brewery's River Falls Red Ale (5.65%)

St. Paddy's Day Themed Cocktails:

  • Irish Car Bomb (shots of Bailey's and Jameson dropped into a glass of Guinness)
  • Irish Coffee (coffee with Jameson and Irish cream)
  • Irish Flag (creme de menthe, Licor 43, and Irish cream)
  • Grasshopper (creme de menthe and creme de cacao)
  • Irish Julep (bourbon, creme de menthe, half and half, and mint)

7. Stock Up on St. Patrick's Day Bar Supplies

Here are some St. Patrick's Day barware essentials that you'll definitely want to purchase for your restaurant, bar, or nightclub:

8. Prepare Delicious St. Paddy's Day Foods

While green beer and St. Paddy's themed cocktails are the focus of the day, crawlers need to keep food in their systems. Your customers will thank you for keeping their stomachs full as they continue their crawl. Here are a few ideas of appetizers, entrees, and desserts you can serve at your business:

St. Paddy's Day Appetizers:

  • Corned beef dip
  • Mini shepherd's pies
  • Irish brown bread
  • Potato soup

St. Paddy's Day Entrees:

  • Bangers and mash
  • Shepherd's pie
  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • Irish stew

St. Paddy's Day Desserts:

  • Irish cream chocolate mousse cake
  • Irish coffee
  • Brioche bread and butter pudding
  • Irish shortbread

Although healthy competition among local bars is necessary, try working together this St. Patrick’s Day to have a profitable evening for every pub in the community. With drink discounts, fun games and raffles, and delicious Irish fare, crawlers won’t soon forget this St. Paddy's Day.

Posted in: Holidays | Bars & Breweries | By Nora Fulmer

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bread Pudding Recipe

Whether you run a casual restaurant, trendy cafe, or upscale bistro, chances are you've had bread pudding on your menu at some point in time. All of the ingredients in bread pudding are affordable and easy to find, so adding this dish to your lineup will also help raise your establishment's profits. To take your dessert menu to the next level, make brown sugar cinnamon bread pudding using delicious Torani flavored syrups for a tasty treat that guests will love.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Wondering how to make bread pudding? If you'd like to add this delicious dessert item to your menu, check out the recipe and video below:



Ingredients

  • 8 slices of 1/2" cubed brioche
  • 4 oz. melted unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup Torani flavoring syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Toss the bread crumbs in melted butter and bake them on a sheet tray for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a shallow dish.
  2. Combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mix to a boil and then turn your burner off.
  3. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, salt, Torani syrup, and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together.
  4. Gradually temper the heated cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking as you go.
  5. Strain this liquid and pour it over the bread crumbs.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  7. Scoop the mixture into ramekins until they're 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake using a water bath at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 1 hour.

Cost Breakdown of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bread Pudding

  • Sold on Menu - $4
  • Food Cost per Serving - $.93
  • Profit Margin per Serving - $3.07
  • What is Bread Pudding?

    This dessert is made of stale bread, butter, milk, and eggs, and is often sweetened with sugar, flavoring syrups, honey, and other sweet spices. Stale bread should always be used, as it absorbs the liquid ingredients more easily than fresh bread and helps create a soft and delicate finished product.

    We chose to use Torani Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavoring syrup in our bread pudding. This luscious yet not-too-sweet product is perfect for everything from desserts to hot specialty beverages.

    History of Bread Pudding

    Bread pudding has a centuries-old history and has long been prevalent in a variety of cultures. Ancient Egyptians made a type of bread pudding called Om Ali, which contained bread, milk or cream, raisins, and almonds, while early Middle Eastern cultures enjoyed Eish es Serny, a dish made with bread, sugar, honey syrup, rosewater, and caramel.

    In India, a popular dessert called Shahi Tudka is made from bread, ghee, saffron, sugar, rosewater, and almonds. First- and second-century Romans also made bread pudding, but they used eggs rather than custard, which wasn't invented until the Middle Ages.

    Europeans first began eating bread pudding in the early 11th century, as it allowed money-conscious cooks to use up stale bread, rather than letting it go to waste. In 13th century England, bread pudding was referred to as "poor man's pudding" because it was popular with the lower classes. Bread pudding was also beloved among 18th century American colonists and was even included in Thomas Jefferson's collection of recipes.

    Why is Bread Pudding Popular?

    Bread pudding is a quintessential comfort food, which has helped this dish make its way onto menus at both casual and upscale establishments. This dessert is also popular because it allows chefs to get creative in terms of ingredients. In addition to traditional sweet breads like challah, sourdough, and brioche, cooks can use leftover coffee cakes, danishes, muffins, donuts, and croissants as a base.

    All of the ingredients used to make bread pudding are also affordable, and your chefs will appreciate the opportunity to use up old or leftover bread. This dessert can also be made using anything from an oven or crock pot to a microwave or stovetop, so you'll have no trouble preparing it in any type of large or small kitchen.

    In addition to the United States, bread pudding is popular in countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, France, the Philippines, and Mexico. All of these nations also put their own unique spin on bread pudding by incorporating fresh, local ingredients.


    Brown sugar cinnamon bread pudding made with Torani syrups is the perfect addition to any foodservice business's menu. This dessert is light enough to be enjoyed after a large dinner but filling enough to complement a light meal or stand on its own. Best of all, its profit margin per serving will help your establishment save money and increase your revenue.

    Posted in: Foodservice Trends | By Nora Fulmer

    Impress Your Guests With This Valentine's Day Menu Special

    This Valentine's Day weekend, restaurants will be full of couples wanting to share a delicious meal with their loved one. Whether you're making a romantic dinner for two people or for one hundred people, this meal and drink combination is easy to prepare and fancy enough to please a crowd on the holiday of love.

    To resize this recipe to suit your serving needs, enter the quantities into our recipe resizer and make it for as many people as you like.

    Easy Valentine's Day Entree

    Couples are typically looking for something special when they dine out on Valentine's Day, and this meal is just that. Not to mention, it's easy to prepare, either in small batches or in bulk. Below, you'll learn how to make delicious seared scallops with a carrot puree, plus a side salad with warm bacon vinaigrette:


    How to Make Carrot Puree

    Tools used: Mercer Millenia 8" chef knife, 24" x 24" maple cutting board, and Waring Xtreme MX1200XTX blender

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 lbs. carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2" pieces
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Optional: butter

    Directions

    1. Puree the carrots, hot water, salt, and pepper, starting on a low setting and gradually working to a higher setting.

    2. Follow manufacturer instructions when adding hot liquids to your blender.

    3. Add a dollop of butter and puree again (optional).

    4. Transfer the puree to an oven-safe container and keep it warm in an oven on low heat until the scallops are done.

    How to Make Seared Scallops

    Tools used: Lodge 10" carbon steel French pan, Mercer M33183 Hell's Handle fish spatula

    Ingredients

    • 6 dry diver scallops
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tbsp. butter

    Directions

    1. Preheat pan on medium to medium-high heat.

    2. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper to taste.

    3. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to the pan, and add the scallops.

    4. Add butter to the center of the pan, and cook the scallops for 1-2 minutes per side while basting with butter.

    5. Once the scallops are golden brown on both sides, keep them warm in the oven on a plate or tray while making the vinaigrette.

    How to Make Frisee Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

    Tools used: Wire whip

    Ingredients

    • 4 oz. bacon, diced
    • 4 oz. apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. shallots, minced
    • 2 tbsp. mustard
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1 small head frisee

    Directions

    1. Fry and render the diced bacon on medium-high heat and remove it from the pan when crispy.

    2. Turn the heat to low, and mix the apple cider vinegar with the bacon grease, then add minced shallots, and simmer.

    3. Add mustard and whisk the ingredients together in pan.

    4. Turn heat off and add butter.

    5. Pour the dressing over your frisee salad and garnish with bacon.

    Strawberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe

    Tools used: Cardinal H2090 6.25 oz. sheer rim flute glass

    This strawberry champagne cocktail is the perfect compliment to the scallops and salad. By adding this to your menu as a special Valentine's Day option, you'll give your customers the impression that they're getting something indulgent for their holiday celebration. Learn how to make it below:

    Ingredients

    Directions

    1. Pour the strawberry nectar into a small glass.

    2. Stir in the vodka until mixed and pour into a champagne flute.

    3. Add champagne slowly to fill the rest of the glass.

    4. Garnish with a strawberry slice.


    Now that you have an easy recipe to wow your guests on Valentine's Day, make sure that you're stocked up on essential products. Luckily, we've got the last minute Valentine's Day supplies you need here:

    Posted in: Features | By Sabrina Bomberger

    The Best Way to Make Tea

    Have you ever wondered what goes into the perfect cup of tea? It’s not sugar and milk, but rather knowledge about minerals, temperatures, and time, although sugar certainly never hurts. Whether you own a cafe or are simply hoping to become a tea connoisseur, you can refer to the infographic below as a quick and easy guide to tea brewing. For a more detailed breakdown of how to brew the best cup of tea, read on to learn more.


    An important first step to brewing a great cup of tea is making sure you have the proper supplies and ingredients.

    The Best Water for Making Tea

    Water is obviously a key ingredient to any cup of tea, but not all water is equal.

    • If you’re using tap water, make sure it’s fresh and cold. You’ll want to avoid tap water that’s been sitting in your kettle for any length of time or that’s been previously boiled. The reason you should use cold water from the tap (as opposed to warm or hot water) is because hot tap water tends to carry more minerals, like calcium and lime, that will affect the flavor of your tea.
    • Spring water is preferable to distilled water because it contains just the right amount and type of minerals that will bring out the best flavors.

    Tea Brewing Methods

    There are so many different ways to brew tea, and many of them simply come down to personal preference. If you’re going with a loose leaf tea, there are a number of equipment options to choose from.

    Tea Ball Infuser

    Steeping with a Tea Ball Infuser

    These unique infusers are basically mesh spheres with a hinge, which allows you to fill them with loose tea and then clasp them shut. Tea ball infusers work essentially the same way as tea bags, in that you dip them into hot water, and then pull them out when it’s fully steeped. The advantage of using these handy little devices is that they can be used again and again, where tea bags must be thrown away. Another advantage is that you can mix your own blends of different tea varieties to create a signature blend for your restaurant or cafe.

    Making Tea in a French Press

    You may be familiar with a French press for brewing coffee, but you may not realize that this device can also be used to make tea. One advantage of using a French press to make tea is that you can brew several cups at once. Another advantage of this tool is that you can steep and serve in the same vessel. One of the drawbacks, however, is that you run the risk of over-steeping your tea because the leaves are not removed after brewing, but simply sit at the bottom of the press.

    Tea Brewing Strainers

    Tea strainers sit over your cup and hold loose leaf tea in a small mesh basket. Tea is made by pouring hot water on top of the leaves, allowing it to pass over them and flow through the mesh of the strainer. The strainer is then removed from the top of the cup before serving. This technique is not very popular and doesn’t give you much control over the length of your brewing time, but if you’re looking to give your customers an elegant and interactive tea experience, this is a good option.

    Using a Paper Sachet to Brew Tea

    You can purchase ready-made paper pouches for brewing loose leaf tea, or make your own from a coffee filter or other similar foodsafe paper. This option is convenient for when easy cleanup is a priority because paper teabags are disposable, which will save you time during cleanup.

    Tea Pot

    Making Tea in a Teapot

    If you’re not interested in any of the aforementioned contraptions for brewing your tea, a good old teapot is always a great choice. But, as with many aspects of the brewing process, not all teapots will deliver the same results. Many teapots have built-in strainers that assist in the infusion process, but others will require the use of a separate straining device. Another major factor to consider is how the material of your teapot retains heat and what tea brewing temperature is ideal for your type of tea (which we’ll get into a little later).

    • Iron - Teapots made of iron are common for serving Asian-style green teas, but keep in mind that iron retains heat for a long time, making it a better option for teas that need to be brewed at a higher temperature, such as black tea.
    • Glass - Glass teapots not only beautifully showcase the color of your tea but also retain heat well. This means they will deliver the ideal green tea temperature and are great for white tea, as well.

    Factors that Impact Tea Flavor

    As with any culinary endeavor, there are several factors that will affect the flavor of your product. Knowing the way in which each of these factors impacts your tea will help you come up with a brewing system that works best for you.

    Tea Brewing Temperature

    A common mistake when brewing tea is to let the water come to a rolling boil. The state of boiling releases oxygen from the water, which prevents your tea from reaching its fullest flavor potential. Different types of tea also taste best when steeped at different temperatures. For example, green tea temperature should be different from black tea. The temperatures in the table below are shown in Fahrenheit.

    Tea Type Ideal Tea Steeping Temperature
    White Tea 175
    Green Tea 175
    Oolong 195
    Black Tea 195-205
    Mate 208
    Rooibos 208
    Other Herbal 208

    As you can see, many types of tea taste best when brewed just before the water reaches its boiling point (of 212 degrees Fahrenheit). Even if your water has reached a boil and cools down to the ideal temperature, it still will have released oxygen, so it’s best to start over with new water at that point.

    Tea Steep Time

    Hot Tea

    Determining the brew times for tea can be tricky because times can vary widely depending on the type of tea you’re using. On top of that, there are subtle flavors that will emerge as your tea steeps, and many people have different preferences as to which of those flavors is most appealing to them. So, even though there may be a broad guideline for each general variety of tea, it’s suggested that you test out any tea that is new to you and taste it every 30 seconds as it steeps to find the flavor that is best for you. Taking the time to explore these flavor developments will also give you valuable knowledge that you can use while describing each tea to your customers. Explaining the nuances of your teas will impress customers and can help them decide which teas they’d like to try.

    Amount of Loose Tea Leaves

    Many people think that the longer you brew your tea, the stronger it will be, but the truth is that extending your steeping time will only bring out bitter flavors. If you want your tea to taste stronger, add more tea leaves.

    The basic rule of thumb for tea proportions is to use 2 grams of tea for every 8oz of water (more if it's a fluffy variety, like chamomile.)

    How to Brew the Best Iced Tea

    Classic Southern Sweet Tea

    You can use the same tea leaves that you would use for hot tea to make delicious iced tea. There are a few different ways you can brew iced tea, but regardless of which method you choose, you should always double the amount of tea leaves that you would use for a hot cup to ensure a robust and flavorful iced drink. As for iced tea-making techniques, the three most common include:

    • Hot brew - This is likely the most common technique for brewing iced tea, and it basically entails creating a concentrated batch of hot tea that you then pour over ice and refrigerate. When using a hot brew method, you should add your sugar or honey while the tea is still hot so that it dissolves more completely.
    • Cold brew - This method does not entail heating at any point in the process, but rather relies on time to draw flavors out of your tea leaves. Simply place your chosen infusing device in a container of cold water and let it sit in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. As for sweeteners, agave or simple syrup are a good choice for a cold brew, since they dissolve more easily than regular granulated sugar.
    • Sun brew - You may have heard of “sun tea.” This technique is pretty much as simple as it sounds. Just place your tea bag or tea ball in a translucent container of cold water and set it in the sun for a few hours. You can finish your sun tea with fruit juice for a concoction that is entirely your own.

    Tea Brewing FAQs

    How can I avoid tea leaves settling at the bottom of my cup?

    The truthful answer to this question is that if you’re using loose leaf tea, there is no surefire way to prevent some straggler leaves from escaping. The best thing to do about this problem is to simply change your attitude about those pesky little leaves and instead embrace them. The art of tea leaf reading is a magical tradition in many cultures. And in most tea-drinking cultures around the world, it’s customary to leave a centimeter or two of liquid at the bottom of your cup because that’s where the leaves stay, and that’s okay!

    Can I make tea in the microwave?

    Making tea in the microwave is not recommended because the sharp increase in the temperature of your water impacts the flavor and can cause bitterness.

    Can I use the same tea leaves more than once?

    Yes. Most kinds of tea stand up well to multiple steepings. The flavor and caffeine won’t be as strong, but as long as it’s not oversteeped or brewed at too high a temperature, you shouldn’t have to worry about bitterness.


    As you can see, there’s more that goes into the perfect cup of tea than meets the eye. Also, the more you know about your different varieties of tea, the more prepared you’ll be for answering any questions customers may have. So, next time you go to brew a cup of tea, keep in mind these simple tricks that will enhance the natural flavors of your tea and help you get the most enjoyment out of your hot beverage.

    To find other great information about the difference between types of tea, be sure to check out our buying guide.

    Posted in: Coffee & Tea | By Jessica Wieser
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