The Spirits are Calling. Will you answer? Join us July 15-19, 2015 as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.
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Thursday, July 16 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
The Cost of a Cocktail

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Determining pricing for cocktails, a seemingly basic process in the bar business, can be far difficult than anyone would imagine. Sure, you’re house Aviation spec is bangin’, but what happens if you’re preferred gin doesn’t come in on today’s liquor order? What if citrus prices skyrocket? What if you work in a market where the ceiling doesn’t allow for double-digit cocktail prices? We’d bet you a bottle of vintage crème de violette that Hugo Ensslin, the first person to publish a recipe for the Aviation AND head bartender at the New York City’s Hotel Wallick, cared just as much about the cost of his cocktails as he did the famous cocktail’s house spec.

All of these issues are challenges that bar managers face daily, but fortunately, as cocktails become a more consistent part of the bar business their profitability is more open for discussion as well. In this seminar, we will discuss the basics of cocktail cost calculation, factors that can contribute to cost fluctuation, and strategic perspectives for pricing.

The basics of determining cost in a cocktail seem basic, but including the varying labor associated with different types of drinks or straws, beverage napkins and other overlooked elements can often be the difference in substantial profits over the course of a year. Attendees will receive access to the inventory sheets that we have perfected at Anvil Bar & Refuge and a comprehensive explanation of cocktail cost.

Additionally, we will consider basic choices that impact cocktail cost including spirit selection, citrus pricing and sourcing of dry goods. Citrus alone has many variables for consideration – seasonality, yield, etc. – with many strategies for dealing with them – packers cases or buying in futures. Each single factor that goes into the construction of a cocktail has far more variables and options that what would be initially expected.

Finally, this pricing discussion will lead to a broader conversation about menu strategy and pricing. Frequently, these conversations fail to consider the diversity within the global bar market and the varying expectations of guests. This seminar will utilize this global diversity to emphasize lessons about menu pricing that have strategic implications for bar owners. We will discuss single cocktail pricing versus pricing each cocktail independently, happy hour pricing, and determining how pricing can impact your perceived niche in a market.

Overall, we hope to give bar managers more tools to increase the profitability and guests experience in their bars.

avatar for Bobby Heugel

Bobby Heugel

Owner, Anvil Bar & Refuge
Bobby Heugel is an owner and operator of eight bars and restaurants in Houston, Texas through his company, Clumsy Butcher, which partners with talented industry professionals to develop concepts that reflect their personalities. In addition to these establishments, Bobby also consults... Read More →

avatar for Terry Williams

Terry Williams

General Manager, Anvil Bar & Refuge
Terry Williams is the General Manager of Anvil Bar and Refuge in Houston, Texas where he has worked for almost three years. In addition to overseeing daily operations, Terry coordinates training of the Anvil staff, which is one of the most rigorous and structured programs in the country... Read More →

avatar for Citadelle Gin

Citadelle Gin

Alexandre Gabriel, president of Maison Ferrand, guided by his interminable quest to create fine spirits, set out in 1997 to create one the world’s finest Gins – and he truly means to give Gin a capital G. At the time, gin had largely become an industrial, mass-produced trendy... Read More →
avatar for Pierre Ferrand Cognac

Pierre Ferrand Cognac

In the heart of the famous “Golden Triangle” in Grande Champagne lies the production of one of the world’s most venerated Cognacs, Pierre Ferrand Cognac. Not only is this Cognac considered the “Premier Cru de Cognac” but the house of Cognac Ferrand is lauded as a Grande... Read More →
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Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Those who say beauty is in the eye of the beholder can appreciate the story of the Curaçao orange. Too bitter to eat, with a dimpled, wrinkled exterior that would never win a beauty contest, these homely pieces of citrus become absolute magic when used to create Curaçao liquor... Read More →
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Plantation Rum

Alexandre Gabriel is a man with a singular focus from which he has not wavered in the 20 years he has been the head of esteemed Maison Ferrand. His focus and philosophy are simple – to produce special, unique spirits, gems so distinctive and revolutionary that they set the bar for... Read More →

Thursday July 16, 2015 12:30pm - 2:00pm CDT
La Nouvelle Orleans East at the Hotel Monteleone 214 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130