A signature cocktail is a great way to set you apart from your competition. By definition, a signature beverage embodies the personality and style of a restaurant. Anyone can follow a recipe and mix up a classic drink, but the impact of a signature cocktail comes from its uniqueness. When creating a signature cocktail, consider the drink's ultimate goal and what function it’s serving. Whether it’s a house drink at the top of your menu, or a seasonal drink for the holidays, use this goal as your driving force through its creation.
Where to Start
When it comes to creating a signature cocktail, think about what the brand is of your establishment. Signature cocktails are the perfect opportunity to express your creativity and style, and the overall unique qualities of your bar or restaurant. Starting from scratch can seem overwhelming. There are tons of different mixtures to come up with, so start with focusing on one ingredient. Think of what kind of drinks are most popular at your establishment, or what kind of drinks pair well with your food menu. If you are looking for some inspiration, rum, brandy and whiskey are some of the spirits on the rise in 2019.
Presentation is Everything
What can really make a signature cocktail stand out is the glass it is served in or its garnish on top. Presentation doesn’t just matter for food anymore, garnishing a cocktail correctly will add style and class to any signature cocktail, and drink ware elevates the presentation. Consumers today have higher expectations of cocktails, and are willing to spend more to get them. Being thoughtful in your glass and garnishment choice can take your signature cocktail from good to great (and can help with profits, too).
There is nothing wrong with wanting to try out a current industry trend in your establishment. When trying out an industry trend, make sure it reflects your establishment and what you are trying to communicate to customers. Above all, quality ingredients, proper mixing and presentation, and quality service are at the heart of the success of your signature cocktail (and your business). Finding success in your signature cocktail is finding the balance between trying something new and staying true to your brand.
Give your customers an opportunity to sample different drinks. You can choose to have a cocktail-tasting event or try out a different cocktail every week or month until you decide on a recipe. Ask your customers to vote on their favorite signature cocktail. People love to have their opinions heard and feel engaged with a business. Feature the winning beverage on your drink menu.
Creating and settling on a signature cocktail takes patience, practice, and thoughtfulness. At the end of the day, it’s all about the cocktail’s taste and what function it’s serving. Don’t rush the process, try a few different recipes and see what works best for your establishment.
Do you serve any signature cocktails in your bar or restaurant? Let us know in the comments below!