Cocktails play an important role in the dining experience, as well as the cultural and social elements of a country club.
Just like a wine list, there should be a lot of research done when creating a country club’s cocktail list. A balanced cocktail list means having an equal representation of spirits, a balance of flavors, and a good marriage to the elements of the club. And even though a cocktail list should change throughout the year, there are a few must-have cocktails members expect to always see on the list.
The modern cocktail scene is filled with amazing drinks, but classic cocktails have stood up to the tests of time and even survived through Prohibition. Classic cocktails such as the martini, manhattan, old-fashioned, mint julep, mojito, and sidecar are simple and easy. These classic cocktails require few ingredients and utilize the most basic of bartending skills.
Every country club needs its own signature house cocktail. When creating a signature cocktail, the club’s environment and what is popular with members must take priority. Members could even get involved when choosing a club’s signature cocktail. Just like a club, the cocktail should have its own personality and align with a club’s brand. Everything from the name to how the cocktail is presented and garnished should be on-brand.
For those Sunday brunches spent at the country club, a Bloody Mary is a must. Bloody Mary’s can be customizable, whether members enjoy them mild or spicy, traditional or fully loaded, and subtle or strong. It’s labor-intensive, but to add that personal touch, a Bloody Mary mix should be made from scratch. And to take this cocktail up a notch during brunch, offer a Bloody Mary bar where members can make and garnish their own drink with ingredients such as celery, pickles, shrimp, bacon, olives, cheese, tomatoes, and jalapenos.
A club’s dining menu is always changing with the seasons, and while a cocktail list might only have a few changes there should always be a seasonal cocktail offered. Having a seasonal cocktail creates a sense of urgency and curiosity with members wanting to try before they miss their chance. It can also be another opportunity for a club to reinforce its brand.
Lastly, a club should have either a frozen or dessert-based cocktail, or even a combination of both. Whether it’s enjoyed after dinner, poolside, or on the golf course, members will stay refreshed.
It’s important for clubs to stay ahead of the latest mixology trends and even put a unique and modern spin on old favorites, but clubs also have to remember to stay true to their members and their brand when creating a cocktail list.