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Cocktail
Jun 10, 2024

Top Tips For Planning A Cool Cocktail Menu For Your Event

Written by THE ART OF SHAKING

Last update: Jun 10, 2024 -

2 min read

Index

Whether you are a keen amateur cocktail crafter or a professional bartender with a mixology degree, you will know that a well-designed drinks menu is key to the success of your event. It can be difficult to second guess the tastes of your audience and the vibe on the night, especially if the guest list is extensive or they are not your usual crowd. 

With some planning and preparation, it’s possible to put together a creative and enticing menu that will elevate your event into a memorable occasion. Here are some tips and tricks. 

Understand your audience

Find out who will be attending the event in advance. If you are not sure of the nature of the audience, see if you can conduct an online survey of the guest list to find out their preferences. Failing this, prepare a good mixture of classics and contemporary drinks with a range of flavours. 

For example, a younger crowd may prefer sweeter fruit-based cocktails with fun garnishes, while an older or more conservative crowd may enjoy more serious and sophisticated classics such as a martini or whisky sour. Include some lighter or non-alcoholic options so everyone is catered for. 

Does the event have a theme?

Consider if the event has a theme that provides an obvious opportunity to tie in to the drinks menu, such as a movie theme or a tropical summer party. For example, a summer theme will perfectly suit pina coladas, mint juleps and mai tais, whilst a movie theme will inevitably call for martinis, white Russians, screwdrivers, or whatever references you can come up with.

Use seasonal ingredients

If there is no obvious theme to the event, you could use the season to shape the drinks menu. In summer, use fresh berries, herbs, and citrus fruits in your drinks. Autumn and winter events are well matched with spicy ingredients such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and seasonal produce such as apples, pumpkins, and blackberries.

Be realistic about tools and ingredients

It may be tempting to put together an impressive menu of cocktails with snazzy names and a long list of hard-to-get-hold of ingredients in an attempt to drum up that wow factor. However, you need to work with the tools you have available and avoid promising what you cannot deliver.

Make a realistic assessment of the type and quantity of ingredients you have available or have the time and budget to put in place; what bartending kit and glassware you have available; the space you will have to operate in on the night; and your level of knowledge and experience or that of your bartending team. 

It’s best to focus on fewer than ten drinks that you and your team can produce well and are established crowd-pleasers, rather than aim too high too soon. 

 

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