For years, brunch bars and restaurants have offered Build Your Own Bloody Mary bars, where drinkers get a glass with vodka in it then can help themselves to the juices and mixers at a salad bar of sorts.
But in this era of custom ordering cocktails, I think the concept can be extended. In a recent story for FSR Magazine, an industry publication for full service restaurants, I cover what some restaurants are doing and propose some suggestions.
Various restaurants around the US are doing Build Your Own:
- Champagne Cocktail
- Boozy Lemonade
- Martini (your choice of bitters)
Plus other venues give the option of creating one's drink from a chart or list of ingredients, but ultimately having the bartender put them together. It's the same thing a customer could order on their own, but by listing the options on the menu, bars make it more fun and interactive. Some bars are doing Build Your Own Negroni or Old Fashioned.
And finally, I offer a few suggestions for ones I haven't yet seen, such as build-your-own versions of the Spanish-style Gin & Tonic, Paloma, and Michelada (for which you could just leave out the Bloody Mary ingredients).