Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these great recipes!

cinco-de-mayo-webCinco de Mayo falls on May 5th every year, and is the celebration of Mexican ancestry and cultural pride. What started as an acknowledgement over an unlikely victory in battle, has become an national holiday where we celebrate all things from our neighbor, Mexico! It’s a great holiday to have promotions in your shop and special menu choices. To help your menu celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the team at Stockton Graham & Co. has chosen a few recipes and products to get your party started!

Whether alcohol friendly or not, Margarita’s are a must on any Cinco de Mayo menu! Stockton Graham & Co. has a Margarita mix from Jet that is delicious and a great base to any flavored Margarita your customer desires. It’s pour over, so to create virgin drinks you only need 8 oz. of Jet Margarita, 16 oz. of ice and blend. If your going to make your drinks with alcohol, substitute 2 oz. of the mix with the alcohol and blend away! Having flavored margaritas is just as easy. You can use only 4 oz. margarita mix and 3 oz. of your favorite fruit smoothie mix over ice and blend! This way strawberry, peach and raspberry margaritas can all be enjoyed at your party. If you run out of fruit smoothie mix, it’s no problem fruity syrups can be used as well! This only takes 7 oz. of Margarita and 1 oz. of the syrup of your choice. This Jet Margarita mix also comes in “Lite” for those looking to watch their figure for summer.

Where coffee is concerned be sure to to offer a “Mexican Coffee”. There are many different recipes for this, but a fun one is to add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the grounds of your coffee before brewing (we suggest Stockton Graham Coffees Organic Mexico Chiapas). After it’s brewed pour about 10 oz. of coffee into your cup. Steam milk with 2 pumps of Chocolate sauce , 1pump of Spice Brown Sugar or Cinnamon Brown Sugar syrup, 1 pump of Vanilla syrup and add to your coffee. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon! For more flavor, use Stockton Graham Coffees flavored K’lua & Cream.

Since hot chocolate was believed to have started in Mexico, it definitely deserves a spot on your Cinco de Mayo menu! Big Train, Caffe D’Amore and Cafe Essentials all offer a delicious Mexican Spiced Cocoa. You can serve them hot or cold, and since Cinco de Mayo is normally so warm, we suggest trying them iced. Put 8 oz. of the Cocoa mix into 3 oz. of hot water or steamed milk. Stir well until dissolved and pour over 8 oz. of ice. You can also add espresso to your hot chocolate for a Mexican mocha we call “Mocha de Mayo”!

Create a simple “Cha Cha Chai” to serve up iced or hot by adding 3/4 an oz. of your favorite cinnamon syrup to any chai! It goes well with liquid or powder, just be sure to stir well.

Horchata is another traditional Mexican beverage you can create for the holiday. Big Train and Caffe D’Amore have delicious Horchata Mexican Drink Mix that you can purchase from Stockton Graham & Co. special order! To create this almond and rice based beverage all you need is 2 scoops of mix and 5 oz. of water.

Torani has a Spicy Chocolate Sauce they use to create the “Mayan Mocha”. This calls for 1 oz. of Spicy Chocolate Sauce, 8 oz. milk  and 2 shots espresso. Pull your espresso into a cup, steam the milk and the sauce together and pour over the espresso. You can make this iced or warm. Add an extra 1/4 oz. Torani Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup and they call that a “Ring of Fire Mocha”.

Holidays are a fun time to add special menu items. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your customers to try new products! To find some great promotions for Cinco de Mayo, check out most recent blog on the subject! For more recipes, promotion ideas or to order call our wonderful Customer Care Associates at 800.835.5943.

 

 

Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras Promotions for your Coffee Shop!

heart2With the annual celebration of both Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras, February could prove to be a very festive month for your café! The first step in getting ready for these occasions is decorating accordingly! Be sure to put up hearts and other Valentine’s décor to get people’s hearts racing from something other than your coffee drinks! For Mardi Gras, bring your shop to life with colorful decorations and even have some carnival Mardi Gras masks laying around for photo opportunities! In addition to decorating, here are some promotional ideas from our customers to run during the festivities!

Valentine’s Day – Thursday February 14, 2013
To make sure you include all of your customers in your shop promotions, aim towards just celebrating love, over Valentine’s Day. Why not show your customers some love and offer discounted specialty beverages all day! Or have a small “treat” ready to show your appreciation, for example a small chocolate for each customer or a free flavor shot.

Create a Valentine’s mailbox, every purchase gets their name and email on a “valentine” to drop in. The idea is to draw a name for a prize, maybe a bag of your retail coffee! Ask guests if you can add their email address to your coffee shop’s newsletter or internet promotions listing. Make sure to mark who says yes or no, so you are not spamming and alienating any customers.

Encourage those who have significant others to make visiting your shop part of their date night, by offering a buy-one-get-one deal on drinks. Dim the lighting to set the mood for couples dropping by after dinner. The romantic coffee shop setting is always fun after dining out!

Team up with your community to offer great Valentine’s Day promotions. Your chocolatier or bakery could assist you in creating coffee and chocolate gift baskets for Valentine’s day! Incorporate a local florist to make flower arrangements that you could display and sell, or let them display in your shop with their sign and no cost to you! Really branch out by setting up a sampling station at the flower shop for customers to taste your coffee, while picking up their flower arrangements. This way, you are getting people to sample your coffee that may have never done so otherwise.

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday is February 12, 2013 but Mardi Gras celebrations begin weeks before.
Contact your baker and have them create a signature Mardi Gras King cake of cupcakes for your shop! Cupcakes are very on trend right now and portion sizes are easier to maintain. For a “café twist” on this classic tradition replace the baby figurine that is customarily hidden in the cake with a chocolate covered coffee bean, making all of your customers a King or Queen! Keep it classic and offer a free beverage to the customer that purchases the “good luck” cake with the baby figurine inside!

If you have the accommodations bring in a live band to entertain your customers with a Mardi Gras party! Consider operating under extended hours and offering drink specials if your café serves alcoholic beverages as well as coffee. This could be especially popular on Fat Tuesday!

Host Mardi Gras happy hour with signature drink specials from 4pm-7pm to increase some afternoon traffic! If you have a strong morning crowd, apply the “happy hour” concept from 7am-10am or whenever your busiest time is!

Perhaps bring in Stockton Graham’s Banana Foster or Pralines & Cream flavored coffee for the week as a special Mardi Gras treat. It’s something new for your customers to try, directly related to the holiday!

Holidays are a great way to connect with your customers and learn more about them. Take advantage of these two celebrations to learn more about your guests and have fun! If you would like more suggestions on coffee event planning, or have any other questions please give us a call at 800.835.5943.

Check out our other Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras themed blogs!:
Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras coffee drink recipes
Valentine’s Day Drink Ideas To Steal Your Heart!
Great Valentine’s Day Recipe: Cinnamon Twist White Mocha
Torani’s Bananas Foster Syrup Is Just In Time For Mardi Gras
Featured Seasonal Coffees for the 1st Quarter of 2012