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Barney Wolf

Getting Schooled in the Art of Pizza

Pizza seems like it should be such a simple business. Make some dough, add tomato sauce, cheese, and some toppings and spices, and eccolo, you have pizza.If only it were that easy.With the American expansion of high-heat, quick-cooking pizza ovens, many of which use a traditional Italian, brick style, it has become increasingly important for chefs and operators to understand the best techniques for making Neapolitan and other types of pizza.

Boost Your Bottom Line with Brunch Cocktails

Brunch is viewed by Americans as a special, even decadent, weekend ritual, so it’s no surprise that cocktails have become an integral component. Mimosas and bloody marys are synonymous with this lazy, breakfast-lunch repast, but mixologists are developing new and unusual takes on these classics while also creating new concoctions for brunch-goers.

Why Shrubs are Dominating Cocktail Menus

Shrubs are sweet and tart vinegar-based syrups, also known as drinking vinegars, created with sugar, fruit or vegetables, spices, and herbs. These mixtures are increasingly popular in both cocktails and soft drinks.

The Artisanal Cocktail Trend Includes Ice, Too

With so much focus on the spirits, juices, herbs, and spices in creating a cocktail, it’s easy to lose sight of one of a drink’s essential ingredients: ice. This modicum of frozen liquid—formed into a cube or sphere, cracked, crushed, or as part of a slush—can easily make or break any cocktail.

Large-Format Cocktails are Trending

To enhance the group dining experience, a growing number of establishments feature communal cocktails served in everything from punch bowls to coconut shells. “These large-format drinks bring with them the spirit of conviviality,” says Kyle Chamberlin, publications manager at market research firm Datassential, which recently included the trend in its Spring 2018 issue of TIPS.

How to Incorporate Vegetables into Cocktails

In response to an increasing number of guests adopting plant-forward diets, the nation’s chefs and mixologists are adding more vegetable-centric options to menus. Even beverage menus are on trend: The National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot list—culled from a survey of chefs—found culinary cocktails containing fresh, savory, herb-infused ingredients as one of the top alcoholic beverage trends for 2018.

Activated Charcoal Cocktails: Welcome to the Dark Side

When culinary folks talk about charcoal, it’s typically in terms of a heating agent for barbecued and grilled food. Increasingly, however, mixologists and chefs are looking at one form of the substance—activated charcoal—to provide color, flavor, and texture to their menus.

Exploring the Diverse World of Mediterranean Cocktails

Labeling something Mediterranean can be a bit simplistic. The Mediterranean Sea Basin encompasses parts of three continents, numerous nations, and various cultures, topographies, and agriculture.“The Mediterranean may have a single meaning, such as geographic, but in culinary terms it is so much more,” says Juan Coronado, brand ambassador for Bacardi.

Inside the Luxurious Rise of Chocolate Cocktails

America loves cocktails, and it loves chocolate. So, with both products experiencing growth, why not put them together? The result has been an evolution of chocolate martinis, chocolate Manhattans, and numerous cocktails featuring products that range from chocolate-infused spirits and chocolate liqueurs to chocolate nibs and Oreo cookies.

Pairing Cocktails with Food: Everything You Need to Know

Pairing food with alcohol has a long tradition, but it’s usually mentioned when combining wine with a meal. Increasingly, however, other hard beverages like spirits are being considered for matches. As mixologists become ever more innovative, the idea of putting together cocktails that go well with the chef’s creations is intoxicating.

Bringing Some Heat with Cocktails

There’s a lot more to hot cocktails than toddies.As mixologists become ever more creative, and customers seek more experiences, beverages that employ heat—not just temperature, but also spiciness and smokiness—are becoming more numerous.

Getting the Real Dish on Food Delivery

Delivery has long been a component of America’s pizza parlors and Chinese food purveyors, but now—as time-strapped consumers demand convenience—all manner of restaurants are offering door-to-door To-Go services.

Snapchat Brings Guests Into the Restaurant

As restaurants ramp up their social media programs, operators typically consider the most popular platforms—Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest—to connect with consumers. But Billy Dec, founder and chief executive at Chicago-based Rockit Ranch Productions, has added another social media arrow to his overall marketing quiver: Snapchat.