Nitro Mixology – Welcome to Draft Cocktails
If you love craft beer, you probably know that the perfect pour is all about the blended gases. The term refers to the use of nitrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) gases to carbonate beer. Imported stouts have been doing it for years and the American craft beer industry is currently creating comparable craft stouts. The result of carbonation with nitrogen gas is creamy and noticeably “heady” beer.
Now the whole drink industry is enamored with nitrogen. The process resembles the way nitrogen is used in beer. Nitrogen-infused cocktails use the gas to change the texture and mouth-feel. The result is a cocktail with a creamy mouth-feel with no impact on the overall flavor. Previously this was achieved by using egg whites. Any kind of cocktail can benefit from that texture.
Cocktails on tap are appearing on bar menus across the country, and the appeal is easy to understand. Pouring a cocktail on tap improves service and ensures consistency from drink to drink and bartender to bartender. Better yet, where there are improvements to volume and quality, revenue, and therefore profits, are sure to follow.
Cocktails on tap rely on the same draft technology as beer and wine. With the pull of a lever, batched and kegged cocktails held in cold storage (or at room temperature, in some cases) are forced by way of gas pressure through food-safe lines to a waiting glass. From there, the bartender need only garnish before presenting the drink to her customer or server.
Draft cocktails eliminate many of the elaborate motions that craft cocktails require. This means, customers receive their drinks fast, even when the bar is slammed.
Time is money. The faster your staff can prepare a drink, the less it costs your bar to make. Some of those cost savings can be passed to the customer (who may end up ordering another because they are so affordable), and some can go straight to your bottom line.
With cocktails on tap, every drink will taste the same regardless of who’s pouring. Even inexperienced bartenders can serve a perfect draft cocktail.
With kegged cocktails, menu offerings like cocktail flights are completely feasible. They also afford you the ability to pour small tastes of what’s on tap for indecisive or inquisitive customers.
Force carbonating a cocktail is difficult if you’re making drinks individually, but force carbonating a keg of cocktails is a different story.