Speeding up service times & Elevating drink consistency
What stands out on the menu to you?
Let’s talk about dining out the offerings that grab your eye from a menu. Besides the specific dishes, personally, I’m attracted to words and phrases like: local, “house made,” and “house batched.” It just catches my eye, am I alone?
Obviously not everything can be made in house or local, because of sourcing, resources and costs. But I’ve noticed more businesses are batching ingredients on site. Of course places like bakeries already do this with their pastries, and the realization of the benefits are catching on within the beverage world as well.
When a business has a seasonal special promotion or LTO beverage it will hopefully sell a lot per day. Pre-batching this drink may have a lot of benefits, I’m not suggesting that all offerings should be pre-batched, but some of the big sellers can be, let’s look at why and how.
Benefits of batching drinks
Consistent flavor delivery, a huge benefit, in my opinion more important than service times. A big urn of the daily special can be pre-batched, taste-tested, then everyone knows for sure that it will delight customers.
Faster service times, when everything is prepared you can pull or pour the item quickly.
Less dishes to wash, may seem like a small benefit, but think how many times items like spoons or measuring pitchers need to get washed between drinks.
Batch during slower times, such as being part of the nightly closing routine, or slower afternoon.
Considerations of batching drinks
Need a big urn or pitcher, which could mean increased storage needs. Also its another item to buy, and if its not pretty to look at then where should it be stored?
Keeping it cool can be of concern, there are great machines that are designed to circulate and keep cool, or storing in a refrigerator works.
Guests may not feel its made special for them, its possible to lose that theatre of preparation in front of a guest.
Ingredients that don’t batch or hold well
Carbonation doesn’t last forever. When I batch drinks, like mojitos, I will measure all ingredients besides the ice, soda water, and garnishes. There is still a huge time saving factor by having 4 of the 6 ingredients prepared for me, I just add the last details and pieces.
Pay attention to expiration dates. Remember that the beverage you scale up will expire when the first ingredient goes bad. Batching is great for daily operations, the idea is to batch enough for one day only.
Garnishes always enhance a beverage, but you can’t batch orange slices and expect them to come out when needed. Batch all your liquids and place the finishing touches as you normally would.
Ice presents some interesting factors. If making a cocktail ice serves as a chiller and as a diluting agent. Ask yourself if the drink needs a little water in the recipe to replicate ice melt.
Other things to think about
I made a punch that needed a little water in it to replicate ice melt. I batched it up perfectly, then to keep it cold I had put the empty urn into a freezer the night before, and separately froze five pint glasses with the punch in it. Day of the event I filled the ice cold urn with punch, then added the pint-cubes, which kept it chilled and also melted without diluting further.
What about hot beverages you ask? If the hot drink has texture, like a latte, it will not work the same in a vacuum system like an airpot or pump pot. Heated spinners are an option. Sometimes just preparing a batch, having it chilled, then heating on demand is still a big time saver. The longest I’ve let a hot pre-batched drink with dairy sit out for sampling was four hours, I don’t know at what point the milk spoils, so I was tasting hourly, then decided to dump it all and start a fresh batch.
Using a granita machine or bubbler is really like making a big batch of beverages. But I wanted to warn you about too much agitation in a machine. I have heard of someone batching a high fat drink into a machine that turned the whole drink into butter. Wouldn’t that be a surprise?
Pre-batching drinks has saved me lots of time, it is very efficient to use when setting up and preparing for a party, event, or just a popular drink that is made frequently. I wish you the best, and as always if you have questions, please email me directly, Levi.Andersen@Kerry.com.
Try this OJ Peach smoothie recipe. Something fun, smooth and familiar for your morning. More than just a beverage, a delicious start for a warmer day and a compliment to your breakfast. You know, its also a great little snack as well. The DaVinci Gourmet Invigorator base has green coffee extract in it so you get a small boost of caffeine from it. So enjoy your morning, its going to be a good day.
Taking a very familiar dessert flavor and combining it with a less common flavor of Matcha. This is a fun twist for a whole new blended beverage experience.
Talking to Levi Andersen, the Beverage Product Specialist for Kerry (DaVinci Gourmet, Big Train, Oregon Chai brands), had this to say about the genesis of the beverage recipe:
“Lately I’ve been playing around with matcha tea, its a whole new ingredient to me. As I was playing with matcha I found that the deep and more bitter flavors of matcha go very well with sweeter beverages such as this Cookies n Creme base. Together they create a balance.”
Cookie Covered Matcha Tea
2 scoops (8 tbsp) Big Train Cookies ‘N Crème
1 tbsp matcha green tea
5 oz milk
12 oz ice
You can top it with crushed up cookies. Notice these cookies were smashed together with the creme filling still inside. Doing it this way helps the chunks to remain rather larger and clump together. If you don’t like the way that looks then remove the filling before crushing the cookies. You may even want to use crushed cookies (without the filling) and add in white sugar to achieve a great black and white balance.
Bubble Gum Milkshake
4 oz milk
12 oz ice cream
2 scoops (80 g) Big Train Kidz Kreamz Bubble Gum
Spindle or blend together
This Bubble Gum Milkshake was a surprise to us. Amazing how it delivers on that nostalgic flavor! Levi Andersen, the in-house barista had this to say: “I was playing around with milkshakes recently and wanted to do something totally different that I had never done before. Spindling a powder into the milkshake base was wonderful!”
All of the Kidz Kreamz flavors work in this recipe. The Bubble Gum works with chunks of fruit or a little DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovations syrup as well. What bubble Gum combos have you tried before?
16 oz beverage:
2 scoops Big Train Kona Mocha powder
1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Red Velvet syrup
4 oz water
12 oz ice
Add ingredients into blender in order, blend till smooth, pour into cup and serve
You will notice that I took the liberty to make the drink POP a little more. In the picture I actually added milk instead of water, and put the flavoring into the cup, both striking the cup with chocolate, or letting the Red Velvet pour into the bottom. Putting syrup on the very bottom is a lot of fun for a few reasons. One of them being that as you pour from a blender you can pour fast or slow and change the level of color infusion in the body of the blended drink. Kind of like how someone pours latte art and has a dark contrast.
“In honor of Valentines Day I’m calling this the ‘Cold Heart Frappe.'” Said Levi Andersen, the Beverage Product Specialist and in-house Barista for Kerry. “I also wanted to call it something in-tune with how cocktails have amazing names. So I was toying around with ‘Love from a Distance Frappe.’ Because its delicious, beautiful looking, sweet, but its cold as well.”
Also pictured is the Cold Brewed Whipped Cream. Yummmmmmmm. This was 4 oz of cold brew, 1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Madagascar Vanilla, 11 oz heavy whipping cream, charged in a whipped cream dispenser. Have you tried cold brewed coffee in a blended drink before?
Our Beverage Product Specialist, Levi Andersen, was in the Beverage Suite playing with chai and caramel today. Here is a recipe that he came up with and wanted to share.
Caramel Spiced Apple Chai
2 scoops Big Train Spiced Apple Chai
14 oz hot water
1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Caramel Sauce
Stir till dissolved
Optional: garnish with green apple slice, a cinnamon stick, or rim your glass with caramel sauce.
“If you don’t already have the Spiced Apple Chai, you can use Spiced Chai and substitute water for half hot water and half apple cider.” Says Levi Andersen. “Or play around with it! There’s a lot of little things you can do to bring out great flavors. Lately I have been dusting cayenne or cardamom powders on the top of seasonal favorites to enhance the flavor.” Talking about home use: “You can actually make a big batch of this recipe in a crock pot if you’re having a party. Just make sure to stir before portioning out a serving.”
Give this one a try and and let us know what you think. What little changes did you make to the recipes?