Put a Unique Spin on Your Summer Drink Menu

Brighten your summer drink menu with some unexpected, delightful flavors from Monin

The team at Monin offers some tips to help your hot-weather drinks stand out.


Photos courtesy of Monin

When summer and flip-flop weather are truly upon us, who doesn’t love an iced mocha, vanilla cold brew, or frozen lemonade? These tried-and-true seasonal favorites are beloved for a reason: They’re delicious! But café operators might do well to consider livening up their summer menus with some unexpected drink flavor combinations that make their shops stand out from the crowd.

On the hunt for summer drinks developed decidedly out of the box, we reached out to Stasha Johnston, senior vice president of marketing for one of the most esteemed syrup and sauce companies around, Monin. Stasha was kind enough to share her ideas for unexpected drink options for summer menus. Getting creative with warm-weather offerings isn’t just fun, it’s important: Increasingly, specialty cafés are crafting inventive seasonal drink menus, which is why making your coffee shop’s rotating list of drink choices stand out from the crowd is crucial—you just don’t want to go too far outside the box.

Summer drinks like the Arnold Palmer can be given a twist with Monin's Caramel Apple Butter syrup pictured here.
Everyone loves an Arnold Palmer, so why not give it a twist with Monin’s Caramel Apple Butter syrup? The Caramel Apple Palmer will soon be a crowd favorite—recipe below.

“Today’s café patron is looking for unique options, but nothing too esoteric,” says Stasha. “They don’t want to risk spending money on something that they may not like or that sounds too far out of their comfort zone. These flavors (in the recipes detailed below) give cafés a simple way to serve up novel menu items that deliver just the right amount of uniqueness.”

Stasha recommends starting from a place that’s comfortable and familiar, and putting a slight twist on it. Not only is it an easier sell for a customer who might be inclined to stick to the familiar, but the uniqueness of the substitution also makes the drink feel more premium. “Having a pistachio versus a hazelnut, or caramel apple butter instead of caramel, comes with a perception of an upgrade that is immediately satisfying,” Stasha explains. “It could even make guests feel empowered with their adventurous and trendy order.”

Lavender Lemon Sparking Lemonade pictured here can be a great addition to a summer drinks menu.
As delicious as it is pretty, the Lavender Lemon Sparkling Lemonade couldn’t be more refreshing in the heat of summer. Recipe below.

While some cafés have taken to making sauces and syrups in house, using a tried-and-true brand known for sourcing quality ingredients and producing a consistent product certainly has its benefits. “Plus, in-house syrups often have short shelf lives and come with a higher cost and sometimes even additional equipment,” Stasha notes. When café owners and baristas choose Monin syrups instead of trying to make their own, they “skip the labor, the time, and the hassle all while serving a premium, authentic beverage for [their] guests.”

Monin’s drink development team has come up with some distinctive and delectable summer drink recipes that we’re delighted to share with you here. Use them verbatim or as a jumping-off point for your unique summer drink menu—and stand out from the crowd and increase sales while you’re doing it!

For more creative summer drink recipes (not to mention recipes for every season), visit monin.com.


Whip up a batch recipe of Caramel Apple Palmers for a fun twist on the much-loved Arnold Palmer.

• 12 oz. Monin Caramel Apple Butter Syrup
• 66 oz. tea
• 50 oz. lemonade
Garnish with apple slice, cinnamon stick, lemon slice, and/or mint sprig.

1. Pour ingredients into suitable mixing container in order listed.
2. Whisk well to mix.
3. Portion into appropriate storage container(s).
4. Cover, label, day dot, and store refrigerated.


This fun spin on an iced mocha will have your customers clamoring.

The Cookie Butter Iced Mocha—just try to resist this.

• Ice
• ¾ oz. Monin Cookie Butter Syrup
• ½ oz. Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce
• 2 shots espresso
• 5 oz. milk
Garnish with cinnamon stick.

1. Fill 16 oz. serving glass with ice.
2. Pour ingredients into mixing tin in order listed.
3. Add ice from serving glass.
4. Cap, shake, and pour back into serving glass.
5. Add garnish and serve.


Add some delicate floral notes—not to mention a gorgeous hue—to a standard lemonade.

• ¾ oz. Monin Lavender Lemon Syrup
• 4 oz. lemonade
• 2 oz. club soda
Garnish with lavender sprig and/or lemon slice.

1. Fill 16 oz. glass with ice.
2. Pour ingredients into serving glass in order listed.
3. Add garnish and serve.


Give almond and hazelnut a break by
throwing some Pistachio syrup from Monin into your iced lattes.

For your customers who think they can’t do without their iced hazelnut latte, offer them this delicious variation for a guaranteed wow foctor.

• 1 oz. Monin Pistachio Syrup
• 2 oz. espresso
• 5 oz. whole milk
• Ice
Garnish: Chopped pistachio nuts and/or whipped (or ice) cream.

1. Fill 16 oz. glass with ice.
2. Pour ingredients into serving glass in order listed
3. Pour mixture into mixing tin and back into serving glass to mix.
4. Add garnish and serve.

About Sarah 933 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.