Holiday Flavors to Use This Season in Your Restaurant

/ Holiday, Restaurant Tips / November 10

Holiday Drink with Candy Canes-5 Holiday Flavors to Use This Season in Your Restaurant

Winter is right around the corner, and that means the beginning of multiple holiday seasons to celebrate. Food is a big part of the season, so creating a holiday menu for your restaurant is a good way to bring in more customers. If you’re serious about revamping your offerings, this list of holiday flavors for restaurants will give you the inspiration you need to create some holiday magic that’s sure to impress your guests.


Forever associated with Christmas, gingerbread is a staple this time of year. From gingerbread cookies to cakes and coffee, it’s absolutely everywhere. Gingerbread can be used in a multitude of warm drinks and desserts, and adds a “Home for the Holidays” touch to any menu. So consider incorporating it into cheesecakes, mini gingerbread loaves, coffee drinks and more.


Eggnog Cocktail with Star Cookie Garnish - Holiday Flavors to Use This Season in Your Restaurant

Eggnog’s a perfect flavor to use in decadent cocktails.

Another classic holiday flavor is eggnog, popular for its incorporation of festive spices and its creamy texture. Not only can you drink eggnog, but you can also add it to just about every item on your dessert menu! Use it to make indulgent pancakes or French toast for breakfast-lovers, spike it for happy hour, or incorporate it into frosting on some festive desserts.


No holiday menu is complete without at least a dash of peppermint. This sweet, frosty flavor is the perfect treat to enjoy during the cold winter months, evoking images of snowy Christmas mornings. Pair peppermint with chocolate in a variety of ways, from mochas to hot chocolate and desserts. Incorporate peppermint schnapps into your cocktail specials and compliment them with a mini candy cane. You can even use peppermint as a garnish for that added festive flair.

All Things Cookie

From cookie butter to sugar cookies to cookie dough and snickerdoodles, these cookie-based flavors provide a rich baked good quality to lattes, cold brews and desserts. This sweet and creamy flavor profile has become immensely popular in recent years.

Especially popular in coffee drinks, cookie flavors evoke those cozy vibes that only your grandma’s kitchen could produce. These flavors can even be incorporated into after dinner cocktails. Or, if you’d like to keep things simple, you can offer your own homemade cookie butter concoctions or your signature cookies on your menu as an easy treat for guests to enjoy.


Cranberry is often the unsung hero of the holidays, but its sweet and tart flavor is an excellent compliment to many savory dishes. Cranberry also pairs exceptionally well with orange, and can be used on cooked ham for a tangy glaze. You can also use cranberries and oranges to make delicious scones. While cranberry can hold its own, it definitely works well with others, so try pairing it with other flavors like apple, cinnamon, maple or even gingerbread.

Red Velvet Cake with Cranberries - Holiday Flavors to Use This Season in Your Restaurant

Cranberry pairs well with other holiday flavors like white chocolate.


Hazelnut has always been a popular flavor for the colder months. From nut spreads to coffee syrups, this festive flavor can be added to almost any menu item. Add a crunch to any dish by incorporating chopped hazelnuts to the recipe or offer hazelnut coffee to go along with the after-dinner dessert. Hazelnut spreads or nuts can be added to cookies, scones, cakes, rolled cakes and more. They add a new layer of flavor to those sweet treats.   


The flavor of warmth, cloves are a great spice to add if you are looking for a cinnamon alternative. This warm spice is used in chai and with orange during the holiday season to really pack a punch in drinks and food. Offer chai lattes and hot toddies that are filled with the spicy and soothing flavor of cloves. Or try grinding the spice down to add it to any pie or dessert. For the dessert menu, add cloves to spiced cake along with the usual spices or throw it in gingersnap cookies to give them a little more kick. Clove mixes well with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg, if you are looking to slowly add it into the recipe. 

White Chocolate

White chocolate pairs beautifully with a whole host of drinks and desserts from classic white mocha lattes to coated eggnog truffles. This flavor adds a light creaminess that’s akin to sweetened milk but isn’t overpowering. White chocolate can also accompany many of the other flavors mentioned in this list.


An oldie but a goodie, chestnuts have been associated with the holiday season for decades, but are often overshadowed by some of the other aforementioned flavors. Perfect for both sweet and savory dishes, use chestnuts in dishes like soup, dressing, cakes and even in lattes or hot chocolate. Or, if you really want to throw it back, offer roasted chestnuts for that classic Nat King Cole Christmas touch.

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