As the holidays approach there’s more demand than ever for high-quality cocktails available for takeout or delivery.
Developing a successful to-go cocktail program can be tricky: not all cocktails do well after transit, and there’s the creation of experience to consider. To learn more about how to create a successful to-go program, we caught up with Tyson Buhler, National Beverage Director for Death & Co. to learn more about their holiday offerings.
How did you decide what types of cocktails to use for the To-Go packages?
Outside of carbonated cocktails, pretty much any drink can easily be formatted for To-Go. Carbonated drinks can certainly be done but require some more equipment to do well. Drinks without citrus, think Manhattan’s, Martini’s, Old Fashioned, are the ideal drinks to travel as they don’t contain anything perishable. Citrus drinks have a shelf life of a couple days on them. Even with the sugar and alcohol helping to preserve, after a day or two, the citrus loses its pop and there is a noticeable difference in the flavor.
Can you share some tips for creating a successful to-go cocktail?
It important to think about how the cocktail will drink in a few days. While we can ask that the guest drinks it immediately, the reality is that it may sit in the fridge for a few days. Does it still taste good then? The other important aspect of a To-Go cocktail program is the packaging. The packaging is your opportunity to create a wholistic experience for the at home drinker. Most drinks can be made at home with a few bottles and little prep; what people want is to feel like they’re in your bar which is where the packing comes in to play.
Do you see the to-go and RTD drinks remaining popular post Covid?
To-Go drinks continuing popularity really depends on the local governments allowing them to continue but should that happen, I think there’s more room to grow. RTD’s on the other hand are just picking up steam. We’ve slowly seen them gaining ground over the past few years and the pandemic has only accelerated their popularity. Many bars are jumping into the category and it’ll be very interesting to see how it evolves of the next few years.
So, what will Death & Co be slinging this holiday season? Their lineup currently includes Vintage Eggnog (made with Old Grand Dad 114 Bourbon, Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, Madeira, Egg, Cream) paired with Grandpa’s Drunken Cookies (Couverture chocolate, banana, and rum). Or a Hibernal Toddy (made with Suntory Toki Whisky, Calvados, Cinnamon, Honey, Angostura Bitters) paired with a local pie with a different flavor for each market – Cinnamon Apple for NYC, Butternut Custard Tart for Denver, and Lemon Tart for LA).