Cocktail Sizzle and Flair; I’ll Have What She’s Having…

Transcendent glassware and aesthetically appealing garnish will make a world of difference to your cocktails!

Transcendent glassware and aesthetically appealing garnish will make a world of difference to your cocktails!

Who could forget Meg Ryan’s performance in “When Harry Met Sally.” Whether she’s having a Screaming Orgasm (one of this month’s featured cocktails), or your own house specialty, one thing is for sure – your cocktails need to sizzle! Cocktail presentation and felicitous bartender training can make the difference between your guests leaving after one drink, or having your clients buzz around the water cooler about the amazing cocktail creation they had the night before.

Companies like Milestones and TGIFriday’s have made cocktail presentation and proper bartender training a cornerstone of their beverage program, not only by dressing up their cocktails, but by “parading” a tray of drinks through the dining room at eye level to take advantage of a little free on-site marketing. So what can you do to dress up your beverage program?

1. Glassware: There are literally hundreds of different types of glassware that you can use to customize and personalize your drinks. Typical rocks glasses are fine but something as simple as a gin and tonic in an asymmetrical tumbler can make your guests feel distinguished while drinking something very ordinary. Libbey Glass has a wide variety of fun and funky glassware to help you set yourself apart. Check out for ideas.

2. Glassware Treatment: Chilling or heating your glassware ahead of time will help the drink stay at its optimum temperature for longer. If you don’t have the fridge space, frosted glassware is a great visual(unfortunately non-functional) alternative. Rimming your cocktail glasses is a fun and easy way to add elegance and decadence to your drink program. Keep in mind that if you’re going to rim a glass properly, you only moisten and rim the outside edge of the glass. This ensures that the rimming ingredient stays on the rim and doesn’t become an ingredient of the drink.

3. Garnish: Exotic garnishes like lychee and starfruit lend sophistication, and something as simple as a caramel drizzled apple slice floating atop a martini, as prepared by Milestones, is simply decadent. Michael McGillin, president, Olive it and more…, recognized a market for specialty stuffed olives. He’s created a custom line of hand stuffed olives, 19 different types to be exact. His site has some great tips and recipes for both culinary and cocktail applications.

4. Name and Colour: Provocative sounding cocktails often sell well just based on their name, the same way as blue, purple and red drinks sell well because of their vibrant colours. Mixology Canada Inc. (formerly Island Oasis) makes an extensive line of 17 all natural premium mixes that both look and taste great. For all of the flavours and solutions for your cocktail menu visit Assuming you’ve done your homework and you’ve got some great tasting cocktails on your menu, something as easy as substituting Blue Curacao for it’s cousin triple sec, can turn a blasé looking cocktail into eye candy.

5. Add some Flair: Each month, Raising the Bar will feature a new and exciting flair bartending move that won’t sacrifice your bottom line, but will leave a big impression on your guests. This month, I’m featuring two exotic cocktails each with a unique eye catching presentation. The first is a Screaming Orgasm with chocolate syrup drizzled around the inside of the glass. The second is a Blue Skyy Kamikaze – an eye catching twist on an old favourite, cool and refreshing for the beginning of patio season. Next month, I’ll be looking at the more exotic flavours that will be dominating the summer refreshments list… until then, keep RAISING THE BAR in your establishment because if you don’t, someone else will!

MOVE OF THE MONTH; Cocktail Napkin Toss:

1/2 oz. Amaretto
1/2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
1/2 oz. Kahlua
1/2 oz. Skyy Vodka
4 oz. Island Originals Ice Cream Mix Chocolate Syrup Strawberry
Method: Measure and pour ingredients into a blender cup and add 1/2 cup of crushed ice. Blend for 5-10 seconds. Drizzle chilled chocolate syrup around the inside of your glass and pour the blended drink into the middle of the glass (not down the side) to freeze the chocolate syrup in place from the bottom up.

1 oz. Skyy Vodka
1/2 oz. Bols Blue Curacao
4 oz. Island Originals Sweet and Sour Mix Orange Wheel and Cherry
Method: Add Skyy Vodka, Bols Blue Curacao and Island Originals Sweet and Sour Mix to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously 4-5 times to ensure the cocktail is properly chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange wheel and a cherry.

This entry was posted in Flair Bartending, Mixology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.