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How To Order Bespoke Cocktails Like A Pro: The Complete Guide

A Handy Guide To Ordering A Bespoke Cocktail Like A Pro

Oftentimes, you might head to a bar and find that while they have all your classic cocktails on the menu, you are craving for something different, like a drink that is more suited to your personality and your taste preferences. And when you meet a friendly bartender, you can actually make sure you get this drink of your choice crafted using the liquors and mixers you like, and sip on a signature cocktail made just for you.

This is what constitutes a bespoke cocktail, a drink that is made to order, according to your specific flavour, fragrance and ingredient preferences.

Bespoke cocktails can be made either to suit the menu you order for dinner or as a celebratory drink when you head out for a night with your friends. But the art of ordering a bespoke cocktail means you have to be clear about what kind of spirits you like and how intense you want your drink to be. Fret not, this is not as daunting as it sounds.

All it needs is a step by step understanding of how to fix your customised drink.

Read on below for some handy tips on how to order a bespoke cocktail the next time you find yourself at a bar conversing with a mixologist or bartender willing to experiment with different boozy recipes:

A Handy Guide To Ordering A Bespoke Cocktail Like A Pro

Meal To Drink Experience

One of the best methods to choose the ingredients and spirits for your bespoke cocktail is to define your meal experience. Classical culinary traditions indicate that a fish course is often accompanied by a drink with a white wine base whereas steaks and curries are better paired with whisky, vodka or red wine drinks. If you have ordered foods packing quite a bit of heat, go for citrus-forward and sweet cocktails that will help to balance out your palate. Your favourite meal would determine what kind of spirits you can pick as base for your drinks.

A Handy Guide To Ordering A Bespoke Cocktail Like A Pro

Deciding Your Base

Once you have ordered your food and head to the bar to order your bespoke cocktail, you have to start by settling on the base spirit. This is essential because it gives the mixologist an understanding of your palate and how boozy you want your drink to be. When you order a cocktail containing whisky, the bartender would know that you are more inclined towards choosing smokier, intense notes. Whereas if your choice of spirit is tequila, it can mean you enjoy fruity and spicy tastes. This helps the bartender to craft a cocktail suited to your preferences.

Choosing Flavours

A bespoke cocktail is generally one which is tailored to your personality. This means the bartender will have to size you up before mixing different ingredients together. You can help out in this process by mentioning some of your flavour preferences to the bartender like smoky or citrus or creamy so there is a bit of clarity on the kinds of tastes you enjoy. This can also mean instructing your bartender to prepare a drink that contains specific ingredients like ginger or mint but do mention how intense you want their presence to be in the cocktail.

A Handy Guide To Ordering A Bespoke Cocktail Like A Pro

Picking Your Style

Most bartenders will ask you this question when you order a bespoke cocktail. Style defines the way you want your drink served – shaken, stirred, built or blended into a slushie. Each technique affects your cocktails and their ingredients differently such that a muddled cocktail contains more uniform flavours across the drink than a built mix. Choose your style according to the way you want to curate your cocktail experience.

Mention Your No-No List

If you are letting the bartender take the reins of preparing your bespoke cocktail in their entirety, just make sure you mention your no-no list, that is the ingredients you find unsavoury or are allergic to. This will ensure a smooth drinking experience and the bartender will be able to swap out those ingredients with other flavourful options.


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