Winter Trends: Hot Drinks & the Beverage Equipment You Need

Hot drinks become more and more attractive as cold weather sets in. Winter blues may start to get you down, but the winter months don’t just bring a drop in temperature. They usher in the opportunity for creativity and innovation as we look for ways to beat the cold.

Embrace the winter chill with a warm and inviting cup of deliciousness. From the aromatic allure of spiced beverages to the interactive charm of hot chocolate bars, the winter months can bring a wave of innovation to your hot beverage station.

Join us on a journey where cozy flavors, creativity, and seasonal inspiration blend seamlessly. Let’s delve into some trends that promise to make this winter’s hot drinks as memorable as the season itself.

1. Spice it up with Elevated Hot Drinks: Spiced Hot Beverages

Spiced hot beverages have become a trend due to their ability to evoke warmth, comfort, and a sense of seasonal festivity. The incorporation of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and ginger add depth and complexity to traditional hot drinks. This helps create a sensory experience that resonates with customers during the winter months.

These hot drinks work alongside customers desires for cozy treats, making them particularly popular during colder seasons. The aromatic and flavorful nature of these drinks not only appeals to taste buds but also engages the others, creating a multisensory experience.

Hot drinks are enhanced by these common spices.

Equipment Upgrade

  • Blend up fresh spices quickly and easily thanks to the Waring WSG30 electric grinder. Grind your spices fresh to ensure the highest quality for your signature drinks.
  • This Vitamix countertop mixer is great for thoroughly mixing spices or syrups into liquids.
  • Consider investing in a commercial syrup dispenser to easily incorporate and dispense various flavors. Check out our wide collection of syrup pumps here.
  • Keep your beverage areas clean and organized thanks to these 3-tier bottle organizers.

Tip: Experiment with spice combinations to create signature winter drinks. Offering a “spice of the month” can encourage customers to return to try new flavors.

2. Non-Alcoholic Hot Drinks: Winter Mocktails for Any Celebration

Winter mocktails are non-alcoholic beverages crafted to capture the essence of the colder months, featuring festive flavors that evoke the spirit of the season. These trendy beverages have gained popularity for several reasons.

Winter mocktails offer a delightful alternative for individuals seeking flavorful and creative drinks without the effects of alcohol. Their popularity also stems from their versatility, allowing for innovative combinations of seasonal ingredients like cranberry, pomegranate, cinnamon, and spices.

These non-alcoholic drinks enable everyone to partake in the festive atmosphere of social gatherings, accommodating non-drinkers, designated drivers, and those with dietary restrictions.

Equipment Upgrade

Tip: Use seasonal fruits and herbs to add a fresh touch to your mocktails. Hosting a weekly or monthly “mocktail hour” can attract customers who enjoy unique non-alcoholic drinks.

3. Create a Cozy Drink Station: Customizable Hot Chocolate Bars

Hot chocolate is a winter staple. It annually gains popularity during the colder months for its ability to evoke feelings of warmth, comfort, and maybe some nostalgia. With its rich and velvety texture, hot cocoa satisfies that craving for something warm, tasty, and cozy.

This delightful combination is often associated with holiday festivities and winter traditions. Its versatility also contributes to its trendiness, allowing for creative variations using spices, flavored syrups, marshmallows, whipped cream, and more.  

Set up a dedicated hot chocolate station with dispensers for different types of hot chocolate (dark, milk, white). A customizable hot chocolate bar allows you to cater to many diverse tastes.

Equipment Upgrade

Tip: Offer a variety of milk options including dairy and plant based alternatives to accommodate all dietary preferences. Also consider providing sugar-free syrups and toppings.

Find the perfect gift for the culinary enthusiast in your life.

4. Brewing Warmth: Winter Teas to Warm the Soul

During the winter months, several types of teas become hip as people seek comforting and warming drinks. This trend caters to those looking for comforting and aromatic alternatives to traditional coffee.

Chai tea, with its rich blend of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger, is particularly popular for its aromatic and cozy qualities. Ginger tea, known for its zesty and soothing properties, is another winter favorite that not only warms the body but is also associated with immune-boosting benefits. Additionally, herbal teas featuring ingredients like peppermint, chamomile, or cinnamon provide a caffeine-free alternative, often appreciated for their calming effects, making them perfect choices for cozy evenings.

Equipment Upgrade

  • Invest in high-quality commercial tea equipment to prepare fresh and flavorful tea blends allowing for proper steeping of spices and herbs.
  • Update your tea serving capabilities with these insulated and aesthetically appealing tea pots and servers.
  • Make sure everyone gets a cup by purchasing a box of these high-quality tea cups.

Tip: Collaborate with local tea artisans to offer exclusive, locally-sourced tea blends. Hosting tea-tastings or “meet the maker” sessions can encourage customer engagement.

5. Cold Brew with a Twist: Innovations for Winter Festivities

Cold brew coffee’s popularity transcends seasons, making it a trend even during winter months for several reasons. First, cold brew offers a smoother and less acidic flavor profile compared to traditional hot coffee, appealing to a broad range of preferences.

During winter, the versatility of cold brew becomes evident as it serves as a base for various seasonal beverages. Many coffee shops introduce winter-themed cold brews, incorporating spices, flavors, and even serving it warm. This adaptability allows cold brew to align with the cozy and festive atmosphere associated with winter.

Equipment Upgrade

Tip: Introduce seasonal cold brew infusions like cinnamon, caramel, or pumpkin spice, to add a festive twist to the classic cold brew. Educating customers on the brewing process through workshops or informational materials can also enhance their appreciation for cold brew coffee.

As the winter season wraps its icy fingers around us, there’s no better time to transform your beverage station into a place of warmth and comfort. Upgrading to embrace the trends we’ve discussed is not just about crafting drinks; it’s about creating experiences that resonate with the season’s charm.

Being creative and innovative with your beverage stations, will keep customers happy all year round. So, here’s to the timeless joy of a well-crafted warm beverage, a companion through the frosty days and chilly nights.

Get everything you need to serve great hot and cold drinks.

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