Finding out what mixologist look for in building a craft cocktail program with craft spirits is the key to growing your craft brand. Bartenders and Mixologist live in a state of constant competition with each other and with themselves to make bigger, bolder and better drinks daily. If you can make their lives easier with goods and training then you brands will be on their shelves at some point.


Mixologist and Buyers hate you…And here’s why!

  • Overconfidence bordering on cocky about your products
  • Your brand is run-of-the-mill but you think it’s the best thing ever
  • You fail in the details
  • You have a lack of common sense
  • You lack basic business sense
  • You overcharge for your basic spirits


Don’t make cheap goods and expect it to sell out.

A balance between how the goods are perceived in the market along with the quality factor goes into to the decision to bring on a craft brand. Consumers still drive what brands the best bars will carry and the mixologist listens to an extent. That being said if your product is perceived by the consumer to be cheap but expensive or great but too expensive then mixologist will be hesitant to carry it. Making a great product and pricing it well can open the doors to your brand in the best bars.

Will they use your recipes for new cocktails?

Suggestions and recommendations are usually welcome, flat out recipe card are not. A Mixologist spends weeks sometimes months developing recipes that fit with the theme and ambiance of their establishment. The last thing they want is to have some gin producer coming in and telling them that “our gin makes the best martini if you use these ingredients. A variety of factors and flavors go into the preparation of drinks long before it goes on a menu so take that into account.

Quality over quantity but with a good price

Budgets? Everyone at some point must deal with them. Many bar managers cannot afford to bring in too many new products just because they are popular. This forces them to look at several aspects including quality and price when deciding to buy for the bar. Where allowed producers and wholesalers can sweeten the deal with free goods, tasting bottles, staff training and trips is need be to get the sales. Make sure that the product is going into the right hands. Consumers can tell when a high-end product is misplaced in a dive bar just as easy as they spot cheap swill in a swanky lounge.

There are several things that as a craft producer you can do to get your products in front of the best mixologist…

  • Schedule a time to meet with the buyer and mixologist if they are not the same. No more popping up unannounced at 4 pm on a Friday.
  • Show up on time and with your elevator speech prepared.
  • Let them taste and draw their own conclusions
  • Be ready to make them comfortable with your product
  • Get on and stay on social media
  • Work with local bartending guilds they are great resources.
  • Hire mixologist to develop your recipes for your website so the “home” bartender can get excited about your product.