Every year, we notice a shift in what drinks people are ordering as soon as the weather changes. Autumn arrived here over the weekend and already we’re talking with customers about Gingerbread Latte and Pumpkin Spice Syrups. Seems like only yesterday it was smoothies and frappes!
While the major coffee shop chains such as Starbucks are sticking with their tried and tested recipes from last autumn, including their big-selling Pumpkin Spiced Latte, other smaller independent coffee shops are experimenting with what could be the next wave of autumn hot drinks. We thought we’d take a look at a few and see if they will ever catch on.
Toffee Apple Hot Chocolate
This became quite popular last year and we expect it will be even more of a success this autumn as customers become ever more open to trying new versions of their trusty hot chocolate. Sweetbird make an excellent Toffee Apple Syrup which can be added the finished drink before serving to add an extra dose of sweetness and a warm apple flavour that works so well with chocolate. Of course you can still add your own flourishes before serving, such as whipped cream, brandy snaps, chocolate sauce, whatever takes your fancy. Be careful not to overload it with toppings though, the drink will already be quite sweet as it is.
Toffee Apple Syrup
A perennial favourite, there can’t be too many coffee houses that don’t have this on their menu already at this time of year. Why not make it slightly different this year and add a shot of vanilla or cinnamon syrup, both of which work beautifully with gingerbread flavours. A little grated orange or lemon zest on the top of the foam can also work, provided you don’t overdo it!
Spiced Chai Cappuccino
Very easy to make and, in our opinion, a rather underrated recipe. It may be that many customers don’t know what to expect when it appears on a drinks menu, and may not make the connection that it’s flavoured with cinnamon. However, we sell a lot of this syrup throughout autumn and winter, so we can vouch for the fact that it’s still fairly popular. Try it on your coffee menu and it’ll definitely have a loyal following.
Frosted Mint Hot Chocolate
Nothing innovative with this one really, Costa Coffee have been serving it for a couple of years now and with good results. Add either Monin Frosted Mint syrup or try using Black Forest Syrup as an alternative – both work well in hot chocolate, as does Tiramisu. Again, your own flourishes before serving are the key to making this stand out from the competition, a few slithers of orange peel or maybe some grated nutmeg or cinnamon can transform them into something unique to you.
Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla White Hot Chocolate
OK, so we couldn’t complete a list of alternatives to Pumpkin Spice without including Pumpkin Spice? Hear us out though, this is no ordinary Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, it’s so simple you’ll wonder why you’ve not come across it before.
Make your normal hot chocolate with white hot chocolate powder instead of regular dark chocolate, and then just add a pump of Pumpkin Spice and a pump of Vanilla syrup before adding cream and a sprinkle of either cinnamon or cocoa powder. A lovely final touch is to add a few slithers of orange peel for that autumn look. Gorgeous!
Finally, if you’re stuck for some inspiration, take a look at the Monin website – they have hundreds of recipes that you can adapt to suit you. There’s no need to follow the crowd this autumn and winter, get out there and create something new – your customers will love you for it!