Creating A Signature Cocktail

As of late, fresh craft cocktails and craft brews are dominating the beverage category. Signature cocktails are a major draw for any restaurant or bar, sometimes becoming an icon of the overall brand. It’s something you may imagine for your own restaurant or bar, though when it comes time to mix up your cocktails, the recipes don’t seem to flow. Maybe you’ve had trepidation about creating cocktails because you fear copying a similar style already out there.

When you create a cocktail that reflects your brand, you’ll be able to market it as something uniquely your own. To help with this endeavor consider hiring an experienced restaurant consultant for guidance and support. Following are 4 easy steps to consider when developing that brand defining drink!

1. Keep the Cocktail Simple

One thing likely holding you back on creating a branded cocktail is the misconception that your cocktail has to come with a certain degree of complexity. This isn’t really the case. You don’t need a mixologist on your payroll to come up with something customers like.

The best cocktails are ones with no more than a few fresh ingredients. Four or five ingredients, at most, are usually acceptable with a base spirits of bourbon, vodka or gin and modifiers such as flavored liquors or fruit juices. Adding unexpected garnishes gives the cocktail character and represents its name or your brand.

2. Use Quality Ingredients

To create something truly delicious and attractive, use fresh squeezed juices, house infused syrups and quality single barrel liquors. We have found the best liquors are typically independently distilled from local distilleries. In addition the glassware and ice you use must showcase what you’ve created. The proper ice can make all the difference in how a cocktail drinks.

3. Apply Social Media to Promoting Your Cocktail

Since cocktails make visual statements as well as flavorful ones, you’ll want to promote your new cocktail on social media as much as possible. You can also gauge your guest’s opinion on your creation by showcasing it on places sites such as Instagram.

It’s a good idea to ask people what they want in a cocktail, allowing you to tap into the personas of your guests. Doing this helps you scope out details so you can match your cocktail with the characters and personalities of your regular patrons.

4. Finding at Least One Unique Element

If you find yourself repeating what other local restaurants or bars do, at least create one element in your cocktail that’s unique. All it takes is just one small thing to make it stand apart from a competitor.

Whether it’s a garnish, or a particular fruit juice, you can sometimes tweak the taste to give a new twist on an already existing drink. In some cases, it may only require using a specialized glass for a sense of branding. Never overlook the little things in making a cocktail look appealing above its taste.

5. Reflecting Your Existing Brand

After you’ve created your cocktail, how close does it match the brand message you want to send? Again, the smallest details can matter here, even if it’s using a fresh fruit garnish, house cured olives, house soaked cherries or a dusting of ingredients showcasing your restaurant’s logo.

What’s also important is having fun with the name of your cocktail. What connection does the name have with your brand? Don’t just create something out of the blue since your guest has to correlate it to something familiar (or personal) rather than something known only to you.

Visit us at Gilkey Restaurant Consultants so we can help advise you on cocktail creation and much more to keep your restaurant successful.