July 03, 2017

Ritual is the key to connection

In his seminal piece on the Martini, Luis Brunel famously suggested a perfect Martini was more than "the earthly assembly of mere ingredients".

The key thought here suggests that the mere creation or re-creation of a recipe doesn’t provide the alchemy to transform a drink into a cocktail experience.

The missing part is not the ingredients but the ritual that builds the drinking into an experience. 

Many consumers these days can rattle off classic cocktail recipes ad nauseum. Imagine then, if that savvy guest walked into your bar looking for more than just your best; wouldn’t that be the opportunity to offer a cocktail that’ll arouse interest and move to order.

Here are 6 considerations to keep in mind:


Ritual is a combination of visual and serve cues that elevates a drink from being simply a drink, and makes it that cocktail experience. All thanks to that powerful emotional connection between guest and bar.

In our opinion the key elements of ritual are:

Visual – watching the drink be made, seeing the presentation at the end and how these things combine in front of the guest, your audience are the raw essence of your ritual.

Contextual – how all the ingredients, the tools used to create them, the setting of the bar, the final delivery of the cocktail relate to one another, and to your customer.

Emotional – creating that connection between the customer and your business through the ritual.

Structural – the method used to create a cocktail is not only part of the theatre of it, but also part of the customer expectation, and part of the bartender’s efficiency in delivering that drink.

Psychological – how that customer feels about your business relies on the way you manipulate them to feel about it – what are you presenting them, how do you want them to feel about your business and the service they receive. The ritual will evoke a certain feeling about the experience.

Historical – what has existed in the past creates a history that gives something personality and depth – it creates meaning and understanding. The ritual shows off that history, that comfort level and expectation.

Use these key elements to help create rituals in your cocktail delivery, and make your cocktail serve much more than just an embellished drink!

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