The chilly weather is a perfect time to get creative with your beverage program. Heat up sales and warm up customers with these tips for hot cocktails and other drinks.

With winter weather in full effect, customers will be craving hot beverages that warm them up this season. Boost sales with these creative, cozy potables that your guests will love.

Bombardino - Hailing from Italy, the bombardino literally means “the bomb,” and after a few sips, you’ll agree. Brandy and egg liqueur are warmed together and topped with whipped cream for a drink that can warm your bones after a day on the Italian Alps (or just a really cold day anywhere!).

Masala Chai - This Hindu creation combines black tea and spices like cardamom and ginger with milk to create a creamy, tea-based drink with loads of flavor. While masala chai is great as is, adding rum will make this classic concoction a star of your cocktail menu.

Hot Chocolate - Hot chocolate is a great jumping off point for beverage menus and a classic favorite most people love. You can go crazy with the toppings, like whipped cream or house made marshmallows, and of course, you can add a variety of spirits, from bourbon to brandy or flavored liqueurs like Frangelico or amaretto. Try Performance Foodservice’s Guest House® Premium Hot Cocoa dry mixes for a rich, Dutch chocolate flavor with a creamy texture that blends perfectly with peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, caramel, or other flavors for creative menu options. A build-your-own cocoa works great here — you can offer everything from peppermint sticks and bark to cookies, sprinkles, flavored syrups, and more.

Anijsmelk - A lesser-known (at least here in the states) Dutch drink, anijsmelk combines the anisette flavor of star anise with warm milk. This is typically a non-alcoholic drink, but it would work well with a shot of anise-flavored liquor like pastis or sambuca to take it to the next level.

Hot Tea – While not a boozy beverage, it needs to be on your menu this season, especially for those looking for a healthier alternative to sugary cocktails and coffees. Many customers will be looking for green tea. It’s a great antioxidant and works to help fight off viral infections. Matcha, which is derived from the same plant as green tea, is another great immune-boosting option to make tea or a latte.

A hot toddy is another great drink that you can incorporate black tea and either brandy or whiskey to appease customers looking for a boozy option. You can even get creative with ingredients like honey, cinnamon, lemon, blueberry, blackberry, or apple.

Performance Foodservice offers six tea varieties under our exclusive Guest House® brand, including English Breakfast, Mint Blend, Earl Grey, Chamomile, Chai, and Sencha Green, which are enveloped for freshness in premium twin flow tea bags for full flavor and enjoyment.

Mulled Wine - Like a hot sangria, red wine, oranges, and warm spices like cinnamon and cloves mull together to create a drink that’s perfect for a frosty evening. Try highlighting different wines and flavor combinations with a rotating mulled wine special.

Coffee – Ah, a hug in a mug. So many possibilities here. You can run with the popular basics like lattes, mochas, and espressos or get a little more creative with globally-inspired coffees. Serve black coffee with some whiskey, whipped cream, and brown sugar to make it Irish, serve up a traditional Kurdish coffee drink using Menegic coffee, which is made from roasted pistachio tree seeds and is caffeine-free, or consider Café Bombon, a traditional coffee in Spain, made with espresso and sweetened condensed milk. And since florals are trending, having a lavender latte, rose petal, or butterfly pea flower latte on the menu to mix it up is a fun way to entice customers to spend a little more.

Coda Coffee®, Performance Foodservice’s exclusive, premium coffee roaster, is an excellent choice for patrons who are seeking deep, rich flavors and some variety. One of only a few hundred B-Certified companies in the world, Coda prizes sustainability and offers coffee made with 100% Arabica beans, from a selection of nine distinctive flavors in light, medium, or dark roasts.

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