Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ Revealing New MenuJuly 26, 2010 By: Alissa Ponchione
It’s a stereotype, it’s cliché, but it’s also true: Bartenders know everyone’s secrets. Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the Arlington, Va.-based company, is exposing those secrets with the launch of its newest edition, the “Confessions of a Bartender” cocktail menu, distributed to all 233 locations.
After the success of the “History of the Cocktail” menu, Bradley Moore, director of food & beverage operations for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, and his team decided to enhance the cocktail experience once again with “Confessions of the Bartender,” which launched this June. The book-style menu features different cocktails on each page alongside a bartender confession, adding mystery and intrigue to the task of ordering drinks.
Although the updated menu’s concept is unique in reflecting “trade secrets,” it’s the vibrant photographs of the cocktail creations that keep guests’ attention, Moore explains. “The photography was intentionally done with subtle and natural-looking backgrounds, which allows the drinks to stand out.” Of course, the creative drinks make the menu appealing, but it’s the confessions — each secret related to a specific menu section — that provide the humor and telling nature of a bartender’s career secrets.
Each confession, created by Patrick Henry Creative Promotions and the food and beverage team at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, opens a different segment of the menu. The Martini menu shows a shot of the Pomegranate Martini (ABSOLUT Citron Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur with lime juice and grenadine) with the bartender confession: “A stiff Martini will keep the unhappy from their thoughts and will ensure company for the cheerful.” Another, located on the Classics with a Twist section, showcases the Basil Lemondrop photo (Milagro Anejo Tequila and DeKuyper Triple Sec muddled with fresh basil) and confession No. 626: “I don’t like checking your I.D. anymore than you like me knowing your real age.” The Signature Creations page shows a picture of the Cucumber Rosemary Cooler (Hendrick’s Gin and DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker muddled with fresh cucumber and rosemary) and the confession, “Having control of the liquor bottles is NOT overrated.”
Other confessions include: “Tequila maybe a road to nowhere but at least it’s a scenic route,” for the Paradise @ the Bar creations and “Rule #1 – The bartender is always right. Rule #2 – If the bartender is wrong see rule #1.”
The poignant (and funny) confessions, the stunning photography by Tim Turner and the libations, created by Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, contribute to Interstate’s contemporary cocktail menu while also entertaining guests. However, Moore says this menu is in reverence of bartenders, whose job goes far beyond mixing drinks. “This is a bit of a change for our bartenders,” Moore says, “so the Confessions menu also pays homage to their trade and creates a connection for them to these new featured cocktails.”
All these components add multiple layers to selling cocktails and satiating guests.
With the success of the well-received “History of Cocktail” menu, and the already popular “Confessions of a Bartender,” Moore says he hopes “to demonstrate the level of commitment that Interstate Hotels & Resorts has to food and beverage creativity and excellence,” but also, he says, these conceptual menus motivate Moore and Interstate Hotels to “raise the bar with every future menu” idea.
The simple ingredients have guests marveling “at how deliciously the flavors come together,” says Moore, while the visually stunning photography cause guests to salivate over the libations, and the final touch of each bartender’s confession parlays this menu from merely a concept into a tangible, and ultimately, fruitful reality.