Boston Cocktail Summit: Ideal to Real
You sit down at a bar. You look at the cocktail menu. What’s the first thing you notice? For me, I generally look for something that I think will be well-balanced, with the base spirit that I’m in the mood for. You might do something similar, or maybe you look for totally different things. But have you ever wondered how that cocktail menu came to be? Ever consider that each cocktail was placed on the list with a purpose?
Chad making a punch bowl of Champagne Juleps
- Location: Trendy neighborhood or classic, well-established? In the middle of the city or more towards the suburbs? Across from a sports stadium or in a financial district? Location will affect what type of guests will come in, and your cocktail menu needs to appeal to the correct crowd.
- Clientele: Obviously this could very well be affected by your location, but beer-drinking sports fans are looking for different drinks than craft cocktail enthusiasts.
- Skill behind the bar: If you are going to fill your menu with craft-cocktails, you better have the staff behind the bar that can consistently produce. If your menu features drinks without ingredients to encourage a conversation, your bar staff best we well-versed in spirits.
- Volume: How much time can your staff dedicate to each drink? If tables need to be turned because volume is high, a complicated drink with 10 ingredients might not be the best idea. In a setting of enthusiasts who understand that a really well-balanced creative drink takes time to build, then you can get away for more complicated drinks..
- Cost effectiveness: Sure, it’s great to have a feature drink with exotic or hard-to-find ingredients, but unless you’re charging $16 dollars, you might want to balance that drink out with something that’s cheaper for the bar to make.
- Suitable for a server to answer easy questions about the drinks.
- Drink list without ingredients to encourage discussion between guest and bar staff.
- Self-explanatory list that the guest can easily navigate on their own with little staff interaction.
- Fun to read, with tid-bits of fact or comical notes.