Now Trending: Cocktails on Tap

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Cocktails on tap are a big trend that countless establishments nationwide are implementing into their bar programs. The trend ranges from purchased pre-mixed tap cocktails to bartenders mixing up their favorite concoctions on site. A lot of bars are focusing on classic cocktails but others, such as Montana Bar in Seattle are putting everything from espresso coffee to passion fruit in their tap mixes. There are positive and negative aspects to having cocktails on tap and the decision to implement these should be based on the needs of your specific enterprise.

The Pros and Cons of Cocktails on Tap

Some pros include:

  • Speed of Service - which will increase the venues revenue

  • Portion Control - eliminates over use and over pouring of stock (some dispersal methods only)

  • Consistency based on quality control - the cocktail is constant no matter the bartender

  • Innovation - Customers crave a new creative way to drink their cocktails

Some cons include:

  • Potential Waste - cocktails mixed in big quantities have an expiration date or if bartenders make mixing batch mistakes

  • Loss of Showmanship - patrons like seeing their cocktail being mixed by the bartender

  • Limited knowledge of products used - bars do not always publicize the label being used for cocktails on tap.  So that top shelf gin being used in your regular Negroni might be swapped out for a well gin in the cocktail on tap.  

Cocktail on Tap Suppliers 

Since designing their first cocktail on tap (COT) dispenser 12 years ago, Innovation Dispense Solutions (IDS,) a company based in California had observed a steady increase in sales, until now. Only recently has the trend caught on and exploded at events, cocktail bars, nightclubs and restaurant markets. There are many options for venues to choose from based on their individual needs and financial plan. The dispensers range from $1,400 to $34,000 in value, which gives individual companies flexibility and options on which product serves their needs best. IDS offers an assortment of dispensers ,along with an option to design and customize one to suit any company’s needs. Their marketed dispensers are:

  • Stationary cocktail dispensers

  • Clamp on event dispensers

  • Portable faucet box dispensers

  • Shot tap dispensers

  • Spirits on tap cocktail bar, tee tap dispensers, and barrel dispensers

  • Portable carbonated cocktail dispensers

Features and benefits vary depending on the dispenser and range from installation processes to multi-dimensional dispensers. 

IDS recommend California Premium Cocktail Mixers to be paired with their dispensers. This is a “light body” mixer that enhances the drink without masking it. They offer over 30 mixers, including Bloody Mary Sangria, Mojito, Pomegranate Margarita, and many more.  

How Montana Bar Serve Taptails

Montana bar in the trendy and hipster neighborhood of Capital Hill in Seattle offers several options, their fun and unique taptails, as they refer to them.  Some of their taptail concoctions feature premium spirits and liqueurs fashioning dangerously easy to drink combinations.  If you are going to engage in taptails at Montana, you should get ready to have a fun night. It’s the simple things that are usually forgotten or overlooked that highlight this program. Medial responsibilities, such as taps being rotated weekly, juice that is freshly squeezed, and creative concoctions often combining inventive ingredients like red pepper and beer juice make a huge difference.  

The menu of current and past offerings are:

Photo Credit: Montana Bar

Photo Credit: Montana Bar

  • Cinnabear - Rum, Orange, Chartreuse, and Cinnamon

  • The T-Dock - Vodka, Passion Fruit, Mango, and Lemon Juice

  • Cold Brew Cocktail - Cold Brew Coffee, Rum, Sugar, and Cream

  • Negroni - Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth

  • Beet Down - Mandarin Orange, Gin, Beet, and Lemon

  • Firlock - Cold Brew Coffee, Sugar, and Fernet

Cocktails on tap are being embraced by consumers and bars alike, which is strongly fueling this trend. From customized dispensers to creative batch cocktails and everything in between. COT have paid off for bars, restaurants, and event companies who have decided to invest in a cocktail on tap program. The trend has amplified, with high end dispensers to premixed mixers– the options are infinite.  

Have you had a cocktail on tap yet?