Drinks (some) bartenders hate to make. And now Mojitos are banned from NY.

In 2006 the newspaper San Francisco chronicle published an article about 5 drinks (some) bartenders hate to serve. I don’t agree with the reasons they give, neither with the idea of “hating” to serve a drink. You can find the original article here and in this other blog  as well (a good blog BTW).

Now in 2012 there’s is an article in the NY post where some NY bartenders confess that they hate making Mojitos because it is “simply too time-consuming to make, while at labor-intensive cocktail bars, it’s been deemed out of fashion” (yes Mojitos!, that iconic flavorful money making drink!).

For example: “It’s a matter of basic economics” …“Time is money. You can make six or seven other drinks in the same time [it takes to] make three mojitos,” he (Freddy Thomas, 41) says.

A good mise en place and proper technique allows you to make Mojitos quickly, I am a bartender myself and I can testify this. But most important: they are missing a key point of pricing strategy (and basic economics): people are willing to pay an extra 50 cents for a Mojito, because they like it and because it has added value over a Rum and coke. Added value is the same reason why guests are willing to pay more for freshly squeezed juices than juices from a carton box. Added value is why they go to your bar.

Another reason they give for not serving Mojitos: “Once one person is seen with a mojito, others are inspired to order it. “It’s like a disease,” says [downtown bartender Freddy] Thomas.”

But, isn’t that what you want in your business? People consuming high profit margins items?  And if it encourages others to order it, is it out of fashion?

A Mojito is a happy drink. A drink that makes people talk to each other not only about their lives but about the drink itself, they’re talking about your product. It is a drink that brings positive energy to your business. How can you refuse to serve a jewel of the crown?

It is worth remembering that there is a bar in Paris called “Mojito Lab”, where it mainly serves…well, you guessed! Mojitos! Or the bars “La Floridita”, from Cuba to the world over. Bacardi’s marketing campaign is based on the Mojito itself and, God they know about selling rum!

If a Mojito is time consuming, will they ban Dry Martinis as well?

My minty advice: have a talk with your front of the house staff and make sure you’re surrounded with the best staff you can afford. It is your business, get rid of lazy bartenders and bring on those who want to work an help you build profits making your guests happy.

Be my guest, Lucas Ranzuglia.


About lucas Ranzuglia

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11 Responses to Drinks (some) bartenders hate to make. And now Mojitos are banned from NY.

  1. Nice Post Lucas. Cheers from Perú!

  2. MariannaF says:

    how interesting to read your point of view. Im no bar tender, but def agree with the idea of mise-en-place: it’s in anycase the key to success in cooking as well! Anyway, my personal experience has been it depends where you’re having your drink. Some bars it’s “normal” to wait for a good 10 minutes to watch your drink being prepared lovingly to then drink it full of excitement and other places it feels like a factory- bar tenders shaking up cocktails in seconds in a rush!

    • Yes it’s true, in some bars you have to wait longer because they’re or either too crowded or maybe because they lack organization, or it’s too late at night and stamina is not the same.
      An order of 2 Mojitos shouldn’t take more than 1 minute an a half to make. But there are techniques and alternatives that allow you to make a very tasty mojito in 25 seconds garnish included.
      Let’s say a Sazerac that involves 2 glasses and different techniques in the same drink may take 1 to 2 minutes maximum, including the orange peel a la minute….

      Tks for your words!

  3. Well said!
    This topic alway mind boggled me. Such an easy cocktail with proper mis en place. I’m from the school of light muddle or even no muddle to the mint if your shaking and not building in the glass. Made properly this is one of the most Happy and refreshing cocktails out there. Thx for the note on FB

    • I agree with you Willy, light muddling is enough for mint, such a “generous” herb! I believe that some bar staff just hate doing the Mojito mise en place, but again, there are techniques that allow you to clean the mitn very quickly.

    • Chris Hoy says:

      Well said, no need for muddling !!

      • Chris Hoy says:

        If you look at the spine on the back of a mint leaf, this is where all the bitter oils are so give it a miss !!

  4. Chris Hoy says:

    I think once you have learned the basics of bartending, working at speed, cleanliness is next to godliness, how to use your everyday tools etc etc, Its all about 2 things which kind of relate to each other, 1. The Guest and their perception of the bartender & the bar they work in, (no-one is going to tip a miserable bartender who looks like they genuinely don’t want to be there) do they trust the bartender with making a drink that is going to cost £7-9 or do they stick to a safe bet like a beer or spirit & mixer ? & 2. How to make your own life easier as a bartender, being organized so you have everything close to hand and stocked ready for your busy shift, finding ways to make ‘difficult’ drinks (is the Mojito really that difficult to make well at speed ? Not really !!), we are more and more hearing ways to make the dreaded ‘Old Fashioned’ in under 5 minutes, if it tastes as it should then whats the problem, & don’t forget we are in this business because it is a … business. If you don’t like it then easy you have a choice … get a job selling phones !!

    1 . Clap your mint, fresh lime juiced, barspoon dropped in the bottom of your glass, crushed ice over the top, pour in your rum, churn, top with ice, splash of soda … whats the problem ?

    Chris Hoy
    Bartender with over 16 years experience

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