by Maggie Shea, Chef Magazine

Summer may be winding down, but there are still plenty of diners looking to capitalize on al fresco dining and cocktails before the first frost hits. Here Chef has rounded up some beverages to serve up ice-cold alongside small plates or a refreshing salad, as well as a few products for enhancing cool cocktails and mocktails in the dog days of summer.

This spring, EWG Spirits & Wine debuted L'Esprit De June (June), the world's first vine-flower liqueur. Made in the heart of the Cognac region of France, this elegant new spirit captures the fragrance of French grape vines, which flower for just three to five days during the month of June. L'Esprit de June is a blend of carefully selected ephemeral vine flowers from Ugni Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other grapes. The flowers are swiftly handpicked and prepared with a grape spirit base. An exciting new tool for mixologists, June complements the flavor profiles of a variety of other spirits, including gin, whiskey, vodka and champagne. Visit

Real Sangria, the producers who brought you Real Sangria Red, have recently introduced Real Sangria White to the U.S. market. Real Sangria's latest introduction is a wonderful blend of natural citrus fruit flavors and fine Spanish white wine. Light-bodied, fruity and refreshing, it is ideal for serving chilled in a pitcher on the restaurant patio or pouring alongside a light appetizer of tapas. Real Sangria White can also be incorporated into a variety of thirst-quenching recipes along with fresh juices, fruit and a variety of spirits. Visit

Restaurants can now serve organic unsweetened iced tea without having to brew it in-house. B.W. Cooper's Organic Unsweetened Iced Brew Tea is the first bag-in-box (BIB) tea on the market made with organic tea leaves. It received USDA organic certification earlier this year. It is brewed, concentrated using a proprietary process, and then packaged in a convenient BIB format for easy use by the foodservice industry. BIB teas offers several operational benefits: no labor required to brew tea, no need to throw away stale tea, no need to brew additional tea during the rush hour, flexible dispensing options and enhanced food safety. Visit to learn more.

Monin Gourmet Flavorings, a leading provider of premium syrups and flavoring products, has introduced a smooth, classic European style bitters that offers wide taste appeal. A staple bar ingredient, bitters has been used to accent cocktails since the 1800s and is staging a comeback in bars and restaurants across the country. Monin Bitters has an herbal aroma and flavor with fruity notes and is lightly sweet with cherry undertones. Monin also offers over 200 specialty syrup, sauce and puréed products designed to add flavor and profit. Visit

Two Leaves and a Bud tea company recently introduced a new iced tea program for restaurants and cafés featuring three teas that are just as richly flavored as its award-winning line of whole leaf tea sachets. Organic Black Iced Tea, Alpine Berry Herbal Iced Tea and the newest addition, Organic Tropical Green Ice Tea, are all available in 1-ounce filter bags and 3-ounce loose tea packets, for brewing 1 gallon or 3 gallons of iced tea, respectively. The three teas suit a variety of tastes. Organic Black Iced Tea is smooth and well-balanced, Alpine Berry Herbal Iced Tea has a refreshingly fruity taste without caffeine, and the new Organic Tropical Green Iced Tea has a tart green tea flavor mellowed out with the taste of goji berries for a smooth sweetness. For point-of-sale promotion, Two Leaves and a Bud also offers table tents as well as waterproof stickers for iced tea dispensers and pitchers. These stickers are unique to each variety of tea available. Visit