Most bars and restaurants have a list of surefire winners when it comes to cocktails that are popular and provide an ideal gross profit margin. Part of achieving this balance comes down to knowing your audience and being able to market the right drinks to the right people. One particular challenge for bartenders, especially around the holidays when champagne is often used as a celebratory drink, is creating champagne drinks that still drive profit. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to create delicious beverages with a champagne-base that are just as profitable as any other liquor.
Best Champagne-based Cocktails
1. You can't go wrong with a good mimosa. Whether you are just serving them up during Sunday brunch or you make them a more regular offering throughout the week, this popular drink uses equal parts champagne and orange juice, so the pour cost is low. If customers will also be eating, you can help ramp up sales by offering a bottomless mimosa special. While the initial gross profit margin will be lower, you have a good chance of earning more based on quantity. This approach also makes life easy on bartenders and servers who can simply refill glasses and not worry about having to mix individual drinks.
2. For the holidays, offer the Poinsettia drink on special. It is a fruity cocktail that features seasonal flavors and is relatively light on alcohol, which translates into more profits. The recipe calls for cranberry juice, a half-ounce of Cointreau, champagne and a twist or orange peel for garnish. Each drink highlights winter fruit flavors and the amount of champagne you use is completely optional. The Poinsettia will taste great even with just an ounce or so of champagne, which makes it an affordable drink to prepare. It can also be made in larger batches for easy, hassle-free serving.
3. The Bellini is the Italian version of the mimosa and provides a fruity twist on the classic drink that most people won't be familiar with, making it a great featured special. The Bellini replaces the orange juice with peach puree or nectar. It provides a bright flavor combination and a fun, new take on a more conventional drink.
Choosing the Right Champagne
Reducing costs and increasing profits also comes down to selecting the right champagne. When it comes to sparkling wine, a higher price doesn't mean a better quality or more flavorful product. Instead of going for more expensive options, look for the right kind of champagne. Typically a Prosecco will be your best option for mixing cocktails. Proseccos are made in Italy using a more affordable method, which means that you can enjoy the same flavor for less than a third of the price of a champagne from France. The overall tastes and textures are on par with champagne, and you can enjoy a better profit margin.
If you choose to go with champagnes, there are also many different brands available at varying price points. Shop around and see if you can strike a deal with a distributor.
No matter which brand you choose, stay away from sweeter champagne varieties in order to protect the integrity and flavor profile of your drinks. Brut is the driest option, which means that your drinks won't be overly sweet, especially if you are adding fruit juices.
With the right drinks and strategy, champagne-based cocktails can not only be profitable, but help generate additional business. Take advantage of this underutilized product and introduce your customers to some bubbly, tasty and affordable new drinks.