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NCB Author

Robert Plotkin

Contributing Editor

Robert Plotkin

A judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Robert Plotkin recently authored his 16th book, Secrets Revealed of America’s Greatest Cocktails. See his site at

Oranges Article
Sun-Drenched Orange: The Color of Cocktail Success   September 26, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

In a country that adores Margaritas, it was only a matter of time before public scrutiny locked in on lowly triple sec. While conventional triple sec still may have a place behind the bar, it doesn’t belong in classy cocktails prepared with top-shelf brands.

Backbar Article
Make More Money With Backbar Management   September 26, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

In need of a financial shot in the arm? Consider taking a page from the beverage consultant’s playbook and revamp your backbar. Regardless of the size or concept of your operation, the backbar is your principal and most effective marketing device.

Bartender female Article
The Savvy Art of Barmanship   September 26, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

Most beverage operators insist success in the bar business is predicated on creating human connections and ensuring customers feel welcome, comfortable and well-treated. That unwavering standard of care for clientele is at the heart of building repeat business and sustainable profitability.

Keith Caywood Article
Keith Caywood, Man of Steel (Nerves)   September 26, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

Keith Caywood is exactly who you’d want manning your bar when it’s three deep, two kegs have blown and the POS system is acting up. The more pressure-packed the situation, the more efficiently the steely nerved Caywood performs.

Whisky Article
21st Century Malts   September 12, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

When it comes to marketing Scotch, intrigue sells. This past year or so has featured the release of new and exciting blends and malts. Instead, line your shelves with genuinely intriguing whiskies. The following honor roll provides an excellent start.

Robert Plotkin Blog
Is Stress Killing Your Staff?   September 12, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

Karoshi. It’s the Japanese word for working oneself to death. Whether you realize it or not, some of your bartenders may be committing karoshi on a nightly basis. There are a number of things you can do to help alleviate the stress affecting your bartending staff:

McDonnell Article
Duggan McDonnell, the Perfector of Pisco   September 12, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

Looking to build a successful career? If so, there’s a great deal you can learn from tracking the unfaltering rise of Duggan McDonnell, who has spent the better part of his life behind bars honing his craft and palate.

Muddler Article
Muddling for Fresh Profits   September 12, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

The truth about drink making is that the fresher the ingredients, the more enjoyable the cocktail. Mixologists and bar chefs are increasingly reaching for the bar muddler when looking to elevate their cocktails to new heights.

Whiskey Article
Irish Whiskeys Sizzle With Contemporary Appeal   August 29, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

Ireland’s standards of quality are so high, there is no such thing as a mediocre Irish whiskey. When demand for super-premium spirits is soaring, Irish whiskeys are hot commodities. The strategy is clear: Give the people what they want and order more barstools.

Cocktail Advice Article
Cocktail Advice From the Pros   August 29, 2011
By: Robert Plotkin

If you only had one opportunity to pass on three pieces of advice to a rookie bartender about making cocktails, what would they be? Be prepared rookies, many of the pros' answers may well surprise you.

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