Armando Rosario and Livio Lauro of Southern Wine & Spirits presented a seminar with a focus on essential cocktails. While it would be easy to simply run down a bullet-pointed list and call it a day, let’s focus on two important categories for your summer drink menu: the beer cocktail and sparkling wine cocktail. These cocktails are important for your bar for myriad reasons.
The beer cocktail – or beertail, if you prefer – is fantastic because it offers interesting, complex flavors and endless experimentation. The Shandy, the number one beertail, is much more a classic than people realize. A light alcohol drink featuring pilsner or lager and lemonade, the Shandy should be on your menu because it’s sessionable. Instead of just one or two, your guests can stay in your bar (particularly if you have good bar food available) and enjoy three or four over time.
The second category that should be on your menu, in particular if you’re operating a wine bar, beachside venue or simply want bubbly on offer, is the champagne cocktail. As we enter summer, sparkling wine cocktails such as the mimosa (Champagne or other sparkling), Bellini (Prosecco) and French 75 (Champagne) will be in high demand. If you open early and/or offer brunch, these cocktails are not just refreshing and delicious, they’re essential to your success.
It’s also a great idea to keep Armando’s words in mind: “All classic cocktails are easy to make and duplicate.” There’s a reason we call them classic…