Drink pricing continues to be one of the most important drivers of a bar’s profitability, and thus one of a bar manager’s biggest challenges. We built our Drink Price Calculator to make that problem easier to solve for the industry. And so far, users have responded: tens of thousands of cocktails, wine glasses, draught beers, and shots have been priced and repriced for drink menus around the world.
These drink recipes provide a glimpse of the drinks that bar managers are tinkering with. And as the data makes clear, some drinks are more prevalent on the Drink Price Calculator than others.
Why? Managers sometimes focus on particular drinks because they’re served more often. Sometimes it’s because they present more opportunities for experimentation. And sometimes it’s because they represent the biggest opportunity to reduce pour cost.
Whatever the reason, we wanted to analyze the data to see which cocktails were being priced the most often. These are the most popular cocktails on BevSpot’s Drink Price Calculator.
The following material aggregates about five months of Drink Price Calculator user data ending in May 2017. 86% of these users were located in the United States and Canada. All figures represent percentages of cocktail recipes priced using the tool.
Here are the top seven cocktails that are currently priced most commonly in our Drink Price Calculator. Read on for a full breakdown of each one.
7: Cosmopolitan (1.0% of Cocktails Priced)
It may not be the ‘90s anymore, but the Cosmo is still an ubiquitous request for bartenders everywhere.
Though not to the same extent as with other cocktails on this list, we do see bar managers experimenting with their recipes for this drink: trying different vodka brands, using the French and Dutch variants, or even adding grapefruit or blood orange into the mix. And since the cocktail’s one of the more-profitable classic vodka cocktails, it might be worth trying to sell a few more.
6: Negroni (1.0% of Cocktails Priced)
Since it’s only become popular stateside within the past few years, we don’t see much divergence from the “classic” Negroni on the Drink Price Calculator; more than 70% of Negroni cocktail recipes we observed were for the original recipe.
Still, as time passes, any popular cocktail is bound to see creative iterations upon the original spread. Here are a few that we suggest.
5: Mojito (1.1% of Cocktails Priced)
The Mojito is another classic recipe that commonly sees experimentation with fruit infusions. Commonly-used fruit flavors include guava, pear, and strawberry.
4: Old Fashioned (1.6% of Cocktails Priced)
Many of the cocktails on this list see heavy use on our Drink Price Calculator because they have many recipe variations. Margaritas, for example, are common subjects for bartenders’ experimentation along dimensions of tequila brand, tequila type, and flavor.
The Old Fashioned is different. Variations on the original cocktail are rare, though they do exist. This drink makes the top 7 cocktails on our Drink Price Calculator because it’s so prolific.
3: Manhattan (1.8% of Cocktails Priced)
As we’ve shown before, the Manhattan is one of the most costly classic cocktails, mostly owing to the whiskey that accounts for 60-70% of the drink by volume.
Because the whiskey presents the biggest opportunity for improving the recipe’s pour cost, it’s unsurprising that much of the variation we see among Manhattan’s on the Drink Price Calculator comes from the choice of whiskey brand: Bulleit, Rittenhouse, Seagram’s, and many more.
2: Margarita (3.3% of Cocktails Priced)
The Margarita is a popular drink, though not as broadly so as, say, the Manhattan or Old Fashioned. But while bars are unlikely to brand themselves “Manhattan bars” or “Old Fashioned bars,” evidence suggests that a segment of the industry does specialize in Margaritas.
And of the bars that do specialize, there are often many, many variations. Not just between tequila brands like Patron, Jose Cuervo, or Patron, but between different flavors, usually fruit-based: Blood Orange, Cucumber, and Raspberry Margaritas are common variations.
1: Martini (3.8% of Cocktails Priced)
Accounting for almost 4% of cocktail recipes, the Martini is popular on the Drink Price Calculator not just because it’s so well-known, but also because it’s so easy to experiment with. We don’t just see users trying out recipes with different gin brands, but with different vodka brands.
We also see various concoctions of the drink that experiment with adding additional flavors: recipes for Espresso, Apple, and Chocolate Martinis are some of the most prolific. With so many ways to mess with the formula, it’s no surprise that this is the most commonly-priced cocktail.
Did you have any opinions on the results of our report? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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