Bourbon and whiskeys are enjoying quite a moment right now. More and more people are becoming connoisseurs, and high demand means that bartenders need to be stocking their shelves and offering a great selection of specialty cocktails. While there are plenty of options, it is also essential to turn an eye towards profit and find the right combination of flavor and cost. Here are some great ideas that will keep your biggest whiskey fans happy while also driving revenue:
The Old Fashioned is a popular, classic drink and with good reason. It only requires a few simple ingredients, but it packs a lot of flavor. In fact, a sampling of Old Fashions will yield a wide range of experiences depending on the bartender and the exact brand of ingredients used. This makes it a dynamic drink that many people treat as their go-to choice for a bourbon-based cocktail.
For bartenders, the Old Fashioned is easy to make and offers a high profit margin. Depending on the type of bourbon used, the pour cost can be as little as $1.55. Most customers will expect to pay around $10 for the drink, making for a profit of approximately $8 per cocktail.
This unique drink includes bourbon, Campari, and touch of sweet red vermouth. Typically, just an ounce and a half of bourbon is used, which means that much of the pour cost is attributed to the Campari. Even then, the drink can still be made for well under two dollars and - with a price tag around $10 (depending on location) - the profit margin is excellent. It can also be a fun drink to market since most people are more familiar with the Negroni, which is a close cousin to the Boulevardier.
3. Whiskey Sour
There isn't much that compares to a good whiskey sour. The good news for bartenders is that this quintessential drink also comes with an exceptional profit margin. The right mixture of bourbon, lemon juice, Gomme syrup, and a little egg white combines to create a tasty cocktail with a pour cost of around $1.37 (depending on variables). There aren't many other bourbon-based drinks that come with such a low unit cost, making it a top choice to feature on the menu and drive profits.
The Manhattan is yet another classic rye whiskey drink that will make a well-rounded addition to any drink menu. Although this cocktail is mostly whiskey, it still offers a relatively low pour cost at around $2.25 (depending on variables). Ultimately, the price will vary according to the type of whiskey the customer prefers, but even high-quality brands will yield a strong profit margin that should come in at right around $8 per drink (depending on the market).
If you are serving up Manhattans, then it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to add a Sazerac to the menu. Simply substitute sweet vermouth with absinthe, and you have a totally different flavor profile for about the same pour cost. The Sazerac only requires about a quarter ounce of absinthe, so customers are paying for the cost of whiskey, which puts the pour cost under $2.20 (depending on variables).
Relatively low pour costs make it easy for bars and restaurants to capitalize on the bourbon and whiskey craze and drive profits. You can even make things easy by sticking to doing the classics well. Mix in a few lesser known drinks and customers can enjoy their favorites and experiment with new flavors and discover different ways to enjoy bourbon and whiskey. Perhaps best of all, your bar or restaurant will continue to earn money and attract new customers. So which bourbon cocktails and whiskey cocktails will you be serving?