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How to Create a Successful Cocktail Menu

Creating a great cocktail menu will elevate the customer experience and deliver significantly increased sales in your bar. Discover expert tips and a free downloadable tool to help with creating the perfect menu.

Author: Rob Libecans, Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne (#23 World's Best Bars 2023)

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

5 Expert Tips for Creating a Successful Bar Menu

Building the perfect cocktail menu requires skill to ensure it is balanced, caters to customer preferences and profitable for your bar. Follow these 5 key tips from Rob Libecans, owner of one of the world’s best bars, Caretaker’s Cottage, to create a successful cocktail menu for your venue.

  1. Keep it fresh – Once you’ve made a cocktail menu, keep evolving it. Guests have become more demanding when it comes to quality and choice when drinking out-of-home, so it’s important to continually update your menu to capture their interest attention and to encourage return visits. One option is to have a seasonal menu focused on local ingredients.
  2. Focus on Classic Cocktails – classic cocktails are a guest favourite, so ensure your menu dedicates a section to this category. This could include twists on the classics if there is an appetite among guests to try something new.
  3. Diversify your spirit offering – Use a wide range of spirits in your cocktails to meet the growing trend for flavour exploration. Try to include at least one aromatic cocktail, a citrus-focused one and a fruity one. Look at the latest trends for an insight into the most popular spirit categories among guests and focus a section of your menu towards these.
  4. Consider your profit marginit’s crucial your cocktail’s make money. Aim to maintain a 20-25% margin across the menu.
  5. Get Creative – Creative cocktails create talking points and lead to increased trial and experimentation. So, get creative with your cocktail menu. Take inspiration from your bar’s concept, if you’re about sustainability look to nature for inspiration, if food is your thing look at current chefs and create a cocktail menu using shared techniques.

How to Create a Profitable Cocktail Menu

Access this free download on how to create a profitable menu and unlock tips for crafting a cocktail menu that will generate more revenue.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating a well-balanced cocktail menu can increase revenue.
  • Seasonal changes, such as adding local ingredients to your cocktails, can keep your menu fresh and sustainable.
  • Include classic cocktails to cater to all tastes and try a twist on the classics if you think there is an appetite for something new.
  • Update your menu regularly - this rewards regular customers with new experiences and ensures you remain current.
  • Be creative with your menu and make sure it feeds into your bar’s overall concept.

To master this essential bartending skill and improve other areas of mixology become a member of the Diageo Bar Academy and access quality resources curated by industry leaders for free.