Mixologists Adjust as Alcohol Sales Slide Downhill

According to a recent report from food service research firm Technomic, alcohol sales are taking a hit during this economic recovery period. The firm reports that sales of beer, wine and liquor have all declined over the last quarter, with an estimation that alcohol sales will end the year down 4.9%. The firm projects that total industry alcohol sales will fall another 2.5% in the coming year.

In an effort to combat and adjust as sales decline, some restaurants and bars are developing additional menu items, from the unique to off the wall. At the Red Kiva Lounge in Chicago’s West Loop, bar guests can order a VaporTini. Rather than chugging your alcohol, guests can enjoy a ‘cocktail you inhale’, with the drink served at 110 degrees, the temperature at which alcohol starts to evaporate. VaporTini creator and Red Kiva owner Julie Palmer says she was inspired to develop the drink after a recent trip to Finland. The one-of-a-kind cocktail can be ordered with a variety of liquors, including cherry and raspberry vodkas, gin, and bourbon.

Restaurants like Laurent Tourondel’s BLT and Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak are taking a different approach, adding creamy alcoholic drinks to the menu. Both restaurants are now serving decadent liquor milkshakes to accompany their fantastic burger menus. At BLT locations across the country, you’ll find great picks like Grandma’s Treat and the All Nighter, a delish shake made with Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, espresso and coffee ice cream. At Mina’s Bourbon Steak, the drink menu includes the Bourbon Malted, made with Jim Beam bourbon, salty caramel sauce and malted milk powder.

~Jennifer Heigl

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