How to Drink Sake

Sake is a major trend in the United States, as the country is now the largest importer of sake and the biggest non-Japanese sake market. The beverage is swiftly gaining even more popularity in America, making it the perfect menu addition for successful bars and restaurants that are looking to expand. Integrating sake into your establishment’s menu allows you to diversify your offerings to serve new customers. Below, we’ll show you how to correctly serve and drink sake, allowing you to properly introduce the Japanese beverage to customers.

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How to Serve Sake

Sake being poured into a glass

There are several Japanese customs related to serving sake, and they are quite unique when compared to the serving of other alcoholic beverages in America. Traditionally, sake isn’t poured by a waiter but rather by others in your group, creating a community experience. Here are some of the most important traditions to keep in mind when serving sake:

  • Traditionally, others are offered a fresh pour of sake when their cups are less than one-third full. There is a lot of courtesy and hospitality around drinking sake in traditional Japanese culture, so it is important to be mindful of when those around you might want more sake.
  • Sake should be poured with both hands, with the right hand holding the tokkuri and the left hand supporting from the bottom. Pour the sake so that it fills to the top of the cup.
  • When receiving sake, you should hold out your ochoko with one hand while supporting the bottom with your other.
  • In Japanese culture, pouring your own sake is considered unmannerly, so allow others to pour for you. Pouring sake for others and receiving the same in return is a way to show appreciation for each other’s company in Japanese culture and creates a community environment for all to enjoy.

How Do You Drink Sake?

Just like with serving sake, there are several traditions surrounding drinking sake. Practicing the way that sake is traditionally drunk is a great way to show respect to Japanese culture, and allows you to get the full experience from the drink. When drinking sake, here are a few things you should ensure you do:

  • Hold your ochoko with two hands when drinking.
  • Everyone should be served before you begin drinking. Once everyone has been served say “Kanpai”, the Japanese equivalent of a toast or cheers, and begin drinking.
  • Drink your sake in small sips similar to how you would drink brandy, rather than gulping it down quickly like a shot. Let the sake sit in your mouth for a little before swallowing, allowing you to fully enjoy the drink's flavor.

Types of Sake

Just like there are different types of beers, liquors, and wines, there also are different types of sake. These variations differ in creation, taste, and texture, leading to a variety of fantastic sake types. If you plan on serving sake at your bar or restaurant, here are some of the most common types patrons will be interested in:

  • Junmai - Sake that is made from pure rice and contains no brewers' alcohol (a neutral distilled spirit) is known as junmai.
  • Honjozo - Honjozo is sake that has brewers' alcohol added, creating a smooth flavor and aroma.
  • Daiginjo and Junmai Daiginjo - Daiginjo is made with a rice polishing ratio of over 50%. Junmai Daiginjo is the same, yet made without brewers' alcohol.
  • Ginjo and Junmai Ginjo - Ginjo is brewed with rice grains polished down to 60% junmai. Ginjo is the same yet made without brewers’ alcohol.
  • Futsushu - Futsushu translates to ordinary sake in English. This type of sake makes up the majority of affordable sake in Japan.
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What Is Sake?

Sake is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, originally made in Japan. In Japanese, the word sake refers to any alcoholic beverage, while in English the word sake refers to a specific alcoholic drink. Sake has always been popular in its country of origin, being recognized as Japan’s national beverage. People often serve and drink sake during special Japanese ceremonies, intertwining the beverage with local culture.

Bottle of sake being served for a sample

Sake Glasses

Sake is an important part of Japanese culture, and as a result there is special glassware used in the drinking and serving of the beverage. Many of these items are unique, and will only be encountered when enjoying sake or a similar beverage. Here are some of the glasses you should know about before serving and drinking sake.

  • Tokkuri - Tokkuri is a serving tool for sake, being transferred from the bottle to the tokkuri before then being poured to drink. Heated sake can be warmed by placing the tokkuri in a pan of hot water, with tokkuri’s long neck trapping heat and keeping the sake warm.
  • Ochoko - A small circular cup that resembles a shot glass. Ochokos are very small and are one of the most common vessels for enjoying sake. However, just because an ochoko is small doesn’t mean that sake served in one should be drunk like a shot.
  • Masu - A masu is sometimes used in tandem with an ochoko to serve sake. A masu is a palm-sized square container and a ochoko is usually placed inside. The ochoko is then deliberately overfilled, with the excess pouring into the masu. Customarily patrons will drink the sake in the ochoko before finishing the excess in the masu.
  • Hirahai - Hirahai are cups that are similar to flat ochokos. The small size and flat rims of hirahi make them the perfect vessel for tasting sake in small amounts.

What Is Sake Made Of?

Sake is an alcoholic beverage made primarily from rice. Sake rice is larger and stronger than table rice, allowing it to be polished. A fungus known as koji-kin is spread across the rice, aiding in saccharification and fermentation, two key processes in the making of alcoholic beverages. Water is also heavily used in every stage of making sake, being utilized to clean the rice before fermentation and to dilute the beverage at the end.

What Does Sake Taste Like?

Sake is a very light and smooth drink, allowing it to easily go down when drunk. You’ll experience an umami flavor from the drink’s high acidity. The flavor may sit for a short period, as sake is known to leave a bit of an after-taste. When comparing sake’s taste to other alcoholic beverages, sake’s flavor is most similar to wine.

Sake Alcohol Content

On average sake has a high alcohol content, with a typical sake hovering around 15-17% alcohol by volume (ABV). Sake will usually have a higher ABV than other drinks such as beer, hard cider, and wine, but isn’t as strong as hard liquors. Undiluted sake typically has an ABV between 18-20%, being slightly stronger. The relatively high alcohol content of sake makes the drink perfect when you want something stronger than beer, but don’t want hard liquor.

Sake FAQ

We cover some of the most common questions regarding sake below:

Sake Pronunciation

The correct pronunciation of Sake is “sah-keh”. Sake is commonly mispronounced as “sah-kee” by many English speakers. Just make sure to pronounce the end of the word with a short "e" to get close to the Japanese pronunciation of the word.

How to Warm Sake

Sake can be warmed by being poured into a tokkuri and placed in boiling water. The tokkuri’s long neck traps heat, keeping the sake warm until served. Heat your sake until it reaches between 220-235 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of sake. Sakes that have savory and earthy flavors are usually warmed, making types like junmai and honjozo perfect candidates.

What Is a Sake Bomb?

A sake bomb is a drink made by dropping a shot glass of sake into a glass of beer. The drink’s origins are said to come from American soldiers stationed in Japan after World War II, placing an American twist on the drink. Traditionally, the sake would be balanced on two chopsticks and drunk immediately once the chopsticks are removed and the sake falls into the beer. Although sake is a traditional Japanese drink, sake bombs are usually only enjoyed in America.

Sake and sushi pairing

What Is Saki?

Saki is a common misspelling of sake, but many people get confused and believe they are two separate items. Saki should never be used interchangeably with sake, as it is an incorrect spelling of the word. Spelling and pronouncing sake as saki can lead to some confusion, especially in traditional Japanese establishments.

What Goes Well with Sake?

Sake pairs with an array of different foods, and not just Asian dishes. Foods like cheeses, sushi, and shellfish are among some of the most common sake pairings. The drink also pairs well with melon, ramen, and fried foods.

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Whether you’re just starting a new bar or are just trying to appeal to new tastes, sake can be a fantastic addition to your alcohol menu. Sake is a delicious beverage with a uniqueness that sets it apart from other alcoholic beverages. When properly served and drank, your establishment can simultaneously honor the traditions centered around drinking sake while introducing the drink to new customers.

Posted in: Bars & Breweries | By Kevin Singhel

How to Get Rid of Jalapeno Hands

When you've been prepping spicy chili peppers like jalapenos or habaneros, the oil on the chilis will burn the skin on your hands if you aren't careful. The burning sensation caused by the peppers is referred to as "jalapeno hands" or "hot pepper hands". It can be very painful and may last for several hours, which is a distraction you don't need on a busy prep day. We'll cover the best ways to soothe your jalapeno hands so you can get back to bottling your own hot sauce or preparing your signature spicy salsa recipe.

If you haven't started cutting yet, take our word for it and wear gloves!

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Hands Burning From Peppers

Why do peppers burn your hands? Peppers like jalapenos get their spiciness from a compound called capsaicin. The problem with capsaicin is that it's oily and sticks to your skin. You don't even know it's there because it can't be seen with the naked eye. If that isn't bad enough, water alone won't remove the capsaicin from your skin and can even spread the oil around to make the pain worse.

How to Neutralize Capsaicin on Skin

Thankfully, there are some simple remedies to help dissolve and neutralize hot pepper oil on your hands. Most of these methods can be performed with items you already have in your kitchen. Keep in mind that you may need to perform these techniques more than once to remove all the capsaicin oil. Check out our tips for how to stop hot pepper burn on your skin:

1. Wear Gloves

gloved hand holding a red chili on a cutting board and slicing the top with a chef knife

If you're already experiencing the pain of a hot pepper burn, this won't help you now. But keep it in mind for the next time! Wearing gloves is the best way to avoid this whole situation. Jalapenos, habaneros, and any peppers that rank highly on the Scoville hotness scale can even penetrate through some types of gloves. Instead of latex or vinyl, make sure to use disposable nitrile gloves and throw them away after your chili prep work is complete.

2. Vegetable Oil

When you've been dicing hot peppers and you start to feel a burning sensation on your fingers, reach for some vegetable oil. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, or canola oil to remove the chili oil from your skin. This method works better than handwashing alone because the oil from hot peppers is more soluble in fat than water. Pour a teaspoon of oil into your hands and rub them together for about a minute, coating your skin. Then wash your hands with soap and water. The vegetable oil dissolves the capsaicin on your skin and washing rinses it away.

3. Dish Soap

If you just handled a hot pepper and the burn is setting in, your first thought will probably be to wash your hands at the sink. Try the oil method mentioned above first, but if you don't have vegetable oil on hand, you should wash your hands with dish soap instead of hand soap. The capsaicin oil left behind by jalapenos and other peppers won't dissolve easily with regular hand soap, and you may end up spreading the painful oil to other parts of your skin. Dish soap, on the other hand, is made to break down oils. You can also use a degreasing soap made for handwashing but stay away from chemical degreasers that irritate the skin.

4. Dairy Products

Using dairy products like milk or yogurt to relieve a jalapeno burn is an old method that actually works! The protein in milk, called casein, interacts with the capsaicin molecules in chili oil to break them down and wash them away. Try dipping your hands in a bowl of dairy milk to soothe the pain. The science behind this remedy is the reason that a glass of cold milk relieves the burn from eating spicy foods as well. One thing to keep in mind, there is no casein in non-dairy milks, so they won't be as effective. Make sure to properly wash your hands after the burning subsides.

5. Alcohol

chef adding chopped up peppers to a bowl of ingredients

Rubbing alcohol is also effective at dissolving capsaicin oil on your skin to heal your hot pepper burn. Rub a small amount of alcohol between your hands, or if the burn is intense, dip both your hands in a bowl of rubbing alcohol to eliminate the chili oil. If you don't have rubbing alcohol on hand, any high-proof alcohol will work. Pour a small amount of vodka into your hands and rub them together to dissolve the capsaicin on your skin. Follow up by washing your hands with dish soap.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a product you most likely keep stocked in your kitchen. It's also inexpensive, so if you don't want to waste other products like milk and oil, baking soda makes a great solution for hot pepper hands. To soothe the burn, make a slurry with baking soda and water. Dip your hands in the paste and let it dry on your skin. When the burn starts to subside, wash your hands with dish soap. If you still don't feel any relief, repeat the process.

6. Vinegar or Tomato Sauce

Believe it or not, the spicy capsaicin in hot peppers is not acidic. Chili peppers are an alkaline food because capsaicin falls on the base side of the pH scale. This is why acidic foods like vinegar or tomato sauce can be used to neutralize capsaicin oil on your skin. Dip or rub your hands with an acidic food like vinegar, tomato sauce, or lemon juice to find relief. Wash your hands and repeat until the effects have worn off.

What to Do If You Get Pepper in Your Eye

gloveless hand holding a green jalapeno pepper

Accidentally getting hot pepper oil in your eyes is more serious than just getting it on your hands. Capsaicin on your hands doesn't start burning right away and can be unknowingly spread to everything you touch, which could include your eyes and face. As soon as you notice a stinging sensation in your eyes, try these methods:

  • Wash Hands - First of all, you'll need to wash your hands with one of our methods above to remove all capsaicin from your skin. You don't want to accidentally add more fuel to the fire by spreading more capsaicin into your eyes.
  • Rinse with Sterile Saline - Saline solution works better than water at flushing the irritants from your eye. Rinse your eyes continuously for several minutes until you feel relief.
  • Use Baby Shampoo - Normally you wouldn't apply soap or shampoo directly to your eyes. In this case, baby shampoo or "no tears" shampoo can be used to dissolve the capsaicin in your eyes. Follow up by rinsing with saline solution.
  • Cold Milk - Some experts caution against using milk or dairy products in your eye because of the risk of a bacterial infection. If you don't have saline or baby shampoo on hand and you need relief fast, try dabbing the eye with a milk-soaked napkin or paper towel. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
  • Eye Wash Station - Installing an eye wash station is an important safety measure. Many irritants in a commercial kitchen can cause damage to the eye, including hot pepper oil. But water alone won't dissolve capsaicin, so try the other methods above first. You can follow up by flushing your eyes at the eye wash station.

The best way to avoid burning your hands or eyes when you handle hot peppers is to wear high-quality disposable nitrile gloves. Even then, capsaicin oil will be present on the outside of your gloves, so handle them carefully and throw them in the trash after you're done. If you missed the memo and didn't wear gloves, try our tips for soothing your jalapeno hands. Some methods may work better for you than others, and you may need to repeat them more than once.

Posted in: Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Michale Ferguson

Understanding Candy Temperatures

Learning how to properly cook up confections is essential if you’re planning to start a candy-making business. As you create an eye-catching and mouth-watering candy menu, you’ll learn that preparing these sweets requires some precision in the cooking process. The temperature of your sugar can completely alter the consistency you need to produce delicious treats such as caramels and lollipops. That is where a candy temperature chart comes in handy. Below, we’ll explain the difference between terms like soft crack and firm ball and provide you with a sugar temperature chart you can use in your kitchen.

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Candy Making Temperatures

When making candy, the sugar temperature will determine the consistency of your confections. There are eight candy making stages that you’ll encounter as your sugar heats up. Use a candy thermometer to ensure your sugar reaches the appropriate temperature for your menu.

1. Thread Stage

Illustration of Candy Thread Stage

When sugar reaches the thread stage, it forms web-like strands when dripped 2” above the pot. It will still have a thin and watery consistency.

What Temperature Is Thread Stage?

The thread stage begins at 230 degrees Fahrenheit (106 degrees Celsius).

Thread Stage Candy:

Thread stage sugar can be used for making sugar syrups, fruit liqueurs, and jellies.

2. Soft Ball

Illustration of Candy Soft Ball Stage

The thread stage is followed directly by the soft ball stage. To test your candy temperature, you’ll want a bowl of cool water to drip the sugar into. You’ll know you’ve reached the soft ball stage when the sugar forms a small ball in the water. The ball will quickly flatten after a few moments of handling as it warms in your hand.

What Temperature Is Soft Ball Stage?

The soft ball candy stage begins at 235 degrees Fahrenheit (112 degrees Celsius).

Soft Ball Stage Candy:

You can stop at the candy soft ball stage when making fudge, fondant, pralines, buttercreams, and meringues.

3. Firm Ball

Illustration of Candy Firm Ball Stage

The firm ball stage follows the soft ball stage in the candy-making process. At this temperature, sugar creates a solid ball when dripped into chilled water. This ball can be flattened with some pressure when squished between your fingers.

What Temperature Is Firm Ball Stage?

The firm ball stage forms at 245 degrees Fahrenheit (118 degrees Celsius).

Firm Ball Stage Candy:

The firm ball candy stage is perfect for making creamy caramel candies.

4. Hard Ball

Illustration of Candy Hard Ball Stage

In the candy hard ball stage, heated sugar creates rope-like strands when dripped into water. Once in the water, the sugar will form a solid small ball that is pliable and can be squeezed or pulled.

What Temperature Is Hard Ball Stage?

The hard ball candy stage forms at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius).

Hard Ball Stage Candy:

At the hard ball stage, you can prepare marshmallows, toffee, nougat, rock candy, and gummy candy.

Firm Ball vs Hard Ball

The difference between the firm ball and hard ball candy stage is that in the firm ball stage, sugar can be flattened with some pressure between the fingers while it requires a bit more effort in the hard ball stage. The firm ball stage is used for creamy candies while the hard ball stage can be used to make gummy candies.

5. Soft Crack

Illustration of Candy Soft Crack Stage

You’ll see the soft crack candy stage begin with the appearance of small bubbles rising to the surface of the sugar. At this stage, the sugar will separate into brittle threads that bend slightly before breaking when handled.

What Temperature Is Soft Crack Stage?

The candy soft crack stage begins at 270 degrees Fahrenheit (132 degrees Celsius).

Soft Crack Stage Candy:

The soft crack stage is perfect for making delicious butterscotch, taffy, and candy apples.

Hard Ball vs Soft Crack

The difference between the hard ball and soft crack candy stage is that sugar is still rather pliable in the hard ball stage while it will bend and break in the soft crack stage. You can make soft candies, like marshmallows and toffee, with the hard ball stage and tougher candies, like taffy and candy apples, in the soft crack stage.

6. Hard Crack

Illustration of Candy Hard Crack Stage

In the hard crack candy stage, sugar will spread into brittle threads in the cool water. When handled, these threads will snap easily.

What Temperature Is Hard Crack Stage?

The candy hard crack stage takes shape around 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celcius).

Hard Crack Stage Candy:

You can make hard candies like lollipops and brittle once you reach the hard crack stage.

Soft Crack vs Hard Crack

The difference between the soft crack and hard crack candy stage is that, while you can bend sugar in the soft crack stage before it breaks, candy in the hard crack stage snaps quite easily when force is applied. The soft crack stage is used for semi-tough candies like taffy and butterscotch, while the hard crack stage can be used to make hard candies, such as lollipops and brittle.

7. Light Caramel

Illustration of Light Caramel Candy Stage

As the sugar warms into the candy light caramel stage, it will develop a light golden brown hue. When dropped into cold water, the sugar will form a solid chunk that requires some effort to snap.

What Temperature Is Light Caramel Stage?

Light caramel will form at 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celcius).

Light Caramel Stage Candy:

You can stop at the light caramel candy stage if you are preparing flan or making caramel cages for a stunning visual presentation.

8. Dark Caramel

Illustration of Dark Caramel Candy Stage

As light caramel will turn to dark caramel, the firm chunk that forms in cool water will turn a dark amber color. The sugar should be removed from the heat at this stage or it will be prone to burning.

What Temperature Is Dark Caramel Stage?

Dark caramel forms at 340 degrees Fahrenheit (171 degrees Celcius).

Light Caramel Stage Candy:

The dark caramel candy stage is excellent for making caramel sauce and treacle, often used in British treats.

Dark Caramel vs Light Caramel

The difference between light caramel and dark caramel is mainly in color and flavor. Dark caramel will have a dark amber color with a reddish hue and a slightly more bitter taste than light caramel.

Candy Temperatures Chart

Use this sugar temperature chart to prepare an array of sweet treats for your candy shop.

Candy Temperatures Printable Chart

Testing Your Candy Thermometer

To ensure that you achieve the desired results with your candy sugar, you’ll want to make sure that it is reaching the appropriate temperature. Use the following steps to learn how to test your candy thermometer with the boiling water test:

  1. Insert your candy thermometer in a pot of water so it does not touch the sides or bottom if the pot.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Leave the thermometer in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  4. Check the temperature, the thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celcius). Water starts boiling at this temperature if your location is at sea level.
  5. If your thermometer is accurate, you can begin your candy-making process.
  6. If the reading is higher than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll want to adjust the temperatures in the recipe to reflect the discrepancy.

High Altitude Candy Making

Because of the lower atmospheric pressure at 3,500 feet above sea level, bakers and confectioners are required to make certain adjustments for high-altitude cooking. The boiling temperature of the water will be lower at higher altitudes, so you can either use the five-minute boiling water test listed above or make a few calculations.

To adjust your candy-making temperature for high altitude, subtract 2 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 ft (300 m) above sea level. For Celsius, subtract 1 degree for every 900 ft (2743.3 m) in elevation.

Get your candy business off the ground by mastering the fundamentals of candy temperatures. Use our candy temperature chart in your shop to help your staff prepare stunning and delicious candy and dessert options with ease.

Posted in: Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Janine Jones

How to Make Cocktail Mixers and Bar Ingredients

If you are looking to open a bar, one way to personalize the cocktails on your menu is to use homemade ingredients. By making your own bar ingredients, you can save money for your bar and add a unique twist to simple drinks in order to help your business stand out from the competition. The most commonly used bar ingredients are bitters, simple syrup, grenadine, and maraschino cherries. Keep reading to learn how to make cocktail ingredients for the drinks being served at your bar.

If you want to skip ahead to a specific bar ingredient, click below:

1. How to Make Bitters

Bitters are one of the most popular bar ingredients to have on hand at any establishment that serves alcohol. Some cocktails that use bitters are the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Sazerac, Champagne Cocktail, Pisco Sour, a Martini, or even a Daiquiri. These drinks are relatively easy to make as long as you have the right bar supplies. To make your own bitters, you only need a few ingredients, measuring spoons, and measuring cups.

Herbs and Spices for Bitters

Before you make your bitters, think of what kind of drinks you would like to add them to. This will help direct what kind of roots, herbs, and spices you should use to craft your bitters. If the end flavor is going to be fruity and fun, use vodka as your base alcohol with a combination (or all) of a fruit peel, chamomile, lavender, or lemongrass. If you would like to use bitters in a darker, more savory drink, use a type of whiskey as your base alcohol along with herbs and spices like sage, thyme, allspice, and cloves.

How to Make Bitters Video

Check out this video to learn how to make your own bitters:

Bitters Recipe

Follow our easy-to-use recipe to learn how to make bitters for your bar.

How to Make Your Own Bitters

Ingredients and Materials:


  1. Gather all of the spices, herbs, and flavorings you would like to use in your bitters. If you are looking to make multiple kinds of bitters that use a few of the same ingredients, it will be best to separate them into small jars during infusion and then later combine them in the dropper bottles. If not, you can infuse all of your ingredients together.
  2. Next, pour your choice of alcohol into the jars and tightly secure the lids.
  3. Label all of your jars with the date and the contents within.
  4. Remember to shake your mixtures daily to distribute the flavors throughout the liquid. Test your mixtures every few days to see if they have reached maximum infusion. The mixture is ready when it smells just like the main ingredient(s).
  5. Strain the contents of the jars through a cheesecloth and into a clean jar or jars (if separated).
  6. Using your small funnel, pour your mixture into the storage bottle that has the eye dropper. If you separated your ingredients, choose which tinctures you would like to combine and pour them into the storage bottle.
  7. If you taste your bitters and think they are too strong, you can add a sweetener or use distilled water to soften the taste.

Many bitters are made to be strong and only need to be added to drinks a few drops at a time to achieve a prominent taste. Have fun experimenting with many different kinds of herbs to develop a perfect concoction and enjoy crafting drinks around the flavors you create.

How to Infuse Bitters

As a common rule of thumb, use 4 ounces of alcohol for every teaspoon of herbs, spices, or roots that you want to infuse. Once combined, the entire infusion process will take about 2 weeks (give or take depending on your ingredients) to come to completion.

2. How to Make Simple Syrup

Like bitters, simple syrup is another main ingredient used behind the bar. Simple syrup is used in drinks like the Lemon Drop, Whiskey Sour, Daiquiris, and Mojitos. Just like the name implies, simple syrup is very simple to make and requires only two ingredients and a few minutes of time. Read on to find out how to create an easy simple syrup that will sweeten up your drinks.

Simple Syrup Recipe Video

Learn how to prepare simple syrup with the help of this video:

Simple Syrup Recipe

You can use the following recipe to make your own simple syrup.

Six light-colored cocktails in various glasses

Ingredients and Materials:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • A sauce pan and spoon
  • A medium sized bottle for storage


  1. Pour water into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add sugar and reduce heat.
  3. Stir sugar continuously until dissolved.
  4. Allow syrup to cool and then transfer to a bottle that can be sealed tightly.

For a more flavorful simple syrup, add in raspberry crumbles, lemon or lime zest, or a few dashes of ginger or cinnamon. These little additions will give your simple syrup a unique edge and bring your drinks to life. Refrigerating your simple syrup will help it keep for about a month.

3. How to Make Grenadine

Instead of giving your customers a dose of red food coloring and high fructose corn syrup in their drinks, delight them with the natural sweetness of homemade grenadine! Learn how to make grenadine for your bar with this recipe.

How to Make Grenadine Video

Use the following video to learn how to prepare grenadine for your cocktails:

Homemade Grenadine Recipe

Brew up the vibrant and delicious cocktail mixer by following our grenadine recipe.

How to Make Your Own Grenadine

Ingredients and Materials:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cups of 100% unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz. of lemon juice or to taste (optional)
  • A saucepan and spoon
  • A small funnel
  • A jar for storage


  1. Pour juice and sugar into your sauce pan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir mixture to help dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Be careful not to over boil.
  3. Turn the heat down and allow the liquid to thicken.
  4. Allow everything to cool and slowly add a few drops of lemon juice.
  5. Continue tasting and add more lemon juice if the syrup needs a little added tartness.
  6. Pour mixture into the jar and screw the lid on tightly.

Enjoy putting this homemade grenadine in many alcohol beverages. Maraschino cherries are often paired with grenadine in drinks. Use our maraschino cherry recipe in the next section to impress your customers.

4. How to Make Maraschino Cherries

Top off your signature cocktails with homemade maraschino cherries! Maraschino cherries and grenadine are the perfect pair needed in many alcoholic beverages. Maraschino cherries may not be something you would first think of making on your own, but they are easy to make. We have the perfect recipe for you to make your restaurant's own maraschino cherries, which are perfect to use as a garnish on drinks like a Tequila Sunrise, a Shirley Temple, and a Cherry Smash.

How to Make Maraschino Cherries Video

Use the following video to learn how to prepare maraschino cherries for your bar or ice cream shop:

Maraschino Cherry Recipe

Prepare fresh maraschino cherries for your bar with the following recipe.

Ingredients and Materials:

  • Large stock pot
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Large container with lid
  • Strainer
  • 6 lb. of sweet cherries (pitted)
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 2 tablespoons of pickling salt
  • Large saucepan
  • 9 lb. of sugar
  • 6 cups of water
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 ounces of almond extract
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)
  • Mason jars for storage


  1. Bring 4 quarts of water and pickling salt to a boil. Stir water until salt completely dissolves.
  2. Remove from stove and allow to cool (about 30 minutes).
  3. Place cherries in a large container and pour the salt water mixture over the cherries. Cover with lid and let sit for 12 hours.
  4. Next, strain cherries and rinse with cold water to wash off any leftover brine.
  5. Put cherries back in their large container.
  6. Combine sugar, water, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) in large saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  8. Pour over cherries, add the cinnamon stick (if you would like), seal container, and let them soak for 24 hours.
  9. Drain cherries, but save the juice and put it back in your saucepan.
  10. Bring the juice in the pan to a boil, remove from heat, and stir in the almond extract.
  11. Ration cherries out into their jars, pour in juice (optional for added flavor), label, date, and store in the fridge.

These maraschino cherries will keep for up to 6 weeks when stored in the fridge. If you would prefer to preserve the cherries in jars by canning them, you can sterilize your jars before filling and seal them using a water bath.

Now that you have made four key ingredients to use behind your bar, try incorporating them into your menu to keep up with the latest bar trends! Your customers will be sure to love the homemade bitters, simple syrup, grenadine, and maraschino cherries that you offer. Making your own bar ingredients will not only make your customers happier, but it is also a great way to cut costs for your establishment. Enjoy many different drinks made with these DIY cocktail ingredients!

Posted in: Recipes | Bars & Breweries | By Angalena Malavenda
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