A few years ago, I wrote an article on how expensive „fresh“ lemon juice can be. Especial during summer time. Lemons price go up in summer like 4 times compared to some winter month. Calculating the work time in, exspecially when it comes to more educated and hopefully higher payed bartenders juicing them, I ended up in 20 € per Liter an more.
So, when the business of your bar increases, and you demand your fresh juices is growing, you starrt thinking about this details like preparation times and costs. First of all: It is not about the wrong „compromises“. A Daiquiri, a Whisky Sour and a Gin Basil Smash, at least in my bars, always deserve a fresh juice. No discussion on that.
But currently we also take care about bars from Hotel Groups and have the possibility to create totally new concepts. Also this operations go sometimes up to a few millions in sales a year, which, if you do not make clever menus can end up in very much prep time. So, for sure we are focusing on crating drinks which cut prep time and also the among for for example fresh juices.
And it is not our solution to go „cheap“ roads, taking industrial lemon juice for example. Its about getting more creative. Over the last years, more an more alternative acidity scores have become „common“ in the bar world. Forms of vinegars and shrubs can give nice acidity to drinks. Verjus is another way to do it. Powdered citric acid, malic acid, or lactad naming a few more . This all started years ago in small bars, bartender playing around with ingredients.
My Question to you is: Which methods on alternative acidity have established in your opinion? Which method has made it into your menu on a regular base. Also: Which „commerical“ products have become successful filling this gab in your bar? Whats brands and style you rely on, when it comes to alternatives to fresh lemon and lime juices?
Would love to hear your experience.