Alcohol Food and beverage

Biggest Bang: Fancy Cocktails

Find your Biggest Bang for your Buck at the Fanciest Bar in Town

It’s a Friday night, time to go out with the girls to that new cocktail hipster bar. The one with the incredible decorations and charming waiters. In these alternate realities, buying one drink for $16 is reasonable and expected. Although, you may have plenty of cash in your checking, there still is a part of you that will hurt when seeing the $16 drink in a tiny glass with a 2-inch ice cube taking up more volume than the liquor. Have confidence when the bartender passes you a sleek and elegant cocktail list and order the biggest bang for your buck.

Let’s find the BB4YB cocktail that will not only make your wallet happy but you a little tipsy.

The Old Fashioned $9.00

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Considered one of the most popular cocktails in America, the Old Fashioned can seem very strong but in actuality it is the least costly whiskey-based cocktail for the bartender to make. The classic ingredients include simple syrup, water, bitters, bourbon whiskey, ice and an orange slice. The Old Fashioned typically has a 13.8% pour cost while having a high sales rate. If a bar isn’t capitalizing on Old Fashioned’s then it must have missed a day of school in cocktail profits. What does all of this mean to the typical Friday night consumer, well your BBFYB might be found on another page of that leather-bound cocktail book.

Moscow Mule $10.50

Moscow Mules have become very popular for cocktail menu’s and are usually placed on the first page or the top because of the familiarity they have with customers. However, the Moscow Mule has a very low pour cost to the bartender and is also priced higher than other cocktails. The signature copper mug and refreshing taste is satisfying to most customers but in actuality, the customer is receiving less liquor and more pazazz than they realize. The simple three ingredient cocktail is a breeze for most bartenders and the ginger beer can easily over come a lower quality vodka, just saying. Next time you’re at the bar check to see if the Moscow Mule is featured more than others! It’s most likely located on the first page, happy hour menu or the top listed cocktail. In other words, definitely not your biggest bang!

The Manhattan $12.50

Finally, a cocktail that is worth our dollar. With one of the highest pour costs to the house, the Manhattan can be quite a banger for a consumer. Paralleling to the ingredients of the Manhattan, the cost can be higher than other cocktails. Ingredients for the common Manhattan are bourbon or rye, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, orange bitters, and a brandied cherry. Bars are not looking to sell out of Manhattans and they will rarely make a happy hour menu but if this is your type of drink then it is always a good choice.

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Negroni $11.00

Classic. Italian. Gin. Here is a zesty cocktail that will sneak up on you. With ingredients of gin, campari, sweet vermouth and orange, the Negroni can be refreshing, alcohol heavy and worth your money. With an increase in interests in bitters the Negroni has grown in popularity and is usually priced with top-shelf spirits. Watch out for up-charges and expensive premiums for this trendy cocktail.

Margarita $8.00

This classic cocktail can be a great Friday night investment. With tequila being the main player, most Margarita’s are not the most profitable drinks for a restaurant. As long as you stay on the lines of a traditional, classic or Cadillac Margarita you will be winning. Once flavors like strawberry, watermelon and pineapple start to mix in, you will see your profit margin falling and the bar manager’s growing.

Note: Always go with an “on the rocks” Margarita. The frozen mixes can cut the alcohol potency nearly in half and dilutes a drink more than stirring does. Don’t be a tourist and order a frozen strawberry margarita in a 1’inch thick glass goblet!! Come on! 

The Last Word

When picking a cocktail out from a 5 star restaurant or a smokey speakeasy, it can be helpful to have pour cost in mind. However, there are many attributes that go into a great cocktail other than the restaurants profit margins. It is also important to look for unique ingredients or twists on classics, the skill and labor of the bartender, quality of the liquor, type of glass it comes in, elaborate garnishes and of course the taste. Always pick a drink that you expect to enjoy, especially at the beginning of the night. By the end, its not a horrible strategy to switch to cost-friendly and low-alcohol mixed drinks/cocktails to ensure tomorrow will be agreeable.

So what is the Biggest Bang for your Buck Cocktail? Well, skipping over super boozy drinks like Long Island Ice Tea’s, Mai Tai’s, and Jungle Juice. The fancy, classy and oh so worth cocktail is the classic Martini. With an option of gin or vodka, the Martini can be a very alcoholic drink since made with 100% alcohol. Most Martini’s come with a low-alcohol content vermouth which can always be removed, making it a Bone Dry Martini.

Martini $12.00