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Three Keys to Cocktail Program Visual Branding and Presentation

Three Keys to Cocktail Program Visual Branding and Presentation

In week three of Mastering Restaurant Cocktail Program Marketing, we’re discussing alcohol beverage visual branding and presentation. Some reader will find this material basic but remember, the new bar back, student mixologist, and those being transferred into the beverage program may find it helpful.

Key One: In creation of visual branding, the creation of visual aesthetics in cocktail presentations is essential to attract and captivate your audience. Here are some tips to help you enhance the visual appeal of your cocktails:

Glassware Selection:
Choose appropriate glassware that complements the cocktail’s ingredients and style. Different glasses, such as coupes, highballs, or martini glasses, can add character and visual appeal to your presentation.

Garnish Creativity:
Garnishes not only add flavor but also serve as eye-catching elements. Use fresh herbs, citrus twists, edible flowers, or creatively shaped fruit slices. Ensure they are fresh, vibrant, and neatly placed.

Color Coordination:
Pay attention to the color scheme of your cocktails. A visually appealing cocktail often features a harmonious blend of colors. Use natural ingredients like fruit juices, syrups, and bitters to add color.

Layering and Textures:
Experiment with layering different liquids in your cocktail to create visually appealing patterns. Float liqueurs on top, add bitters with a dropper for intricate designs, or layer different fruit juices for a gradient effect.

Ice Presentation:
Ice is not just for chilling; it can also enhance the visual appeal. Use clear, large ice cubes or spheres to reduce dilution and provide a polished appearance. You can also freeze edible flowers or fruit slices into ice cubes for an elegant touch.

Rim Decoration:
Decorate the rim of the glass with sugar, salt, or spice blends to add texture and flavor. Make sure to moisten the rim of the glass with citrus juice or water before dipping it in the chosen rimming ingredient.

Glass Artistry:
Consider glass etching, frosting, or custom decals for unique glass designs. These can elevate the overall presentation of your cocktails.

Proper Pouring:
Pour cocktails with precision to avoid spills and create clean lines in the glass. Use jiggers and pour spouts for accuracy.

Craft a narrative or theme for your cocktail presentation. Incorporate props, coasters, or thematic glassware that align with your cocktail’s story.

Lighting can greatly affect the visual appeal of your cocktails. Experiment with different lighting setups to highlight the colors and textures of your creations. Soft, diffused lighting is often more flattering than harsh, direct light.

If you’re showcasing your cocktails on social media or for marketing purposes, invest in good photography equipment and techniques. Use filters and editing software to enhance the visual appeal of your photos.

Presentation Space:
Pay attention to the surroundings where you serve or photograph your cocktails. A well-decorated bar or backdrop can enhance the overall aesthetics.

Maintain consistency in your cocktail presentations, especially if you’re running a bar or a cocktail program. This helps establish a brand identity and makes your cocktails instantly recognizable.

Remember that the key to creating visual aesthetics in cocktail presentations is creativity and attention to detail. Experiment with different elements to find the style that suits your cocktails and captivates your audience. Leverage other resources for inspiration.

Key two: Designing eye-catching drink menus and promotional materials requires a combination of creativity, graphic design skills, and an understanding of your target audience. Here are some steps and tips to help you create attractive and effective materials:

Understand Your Brand and Audience:

Know your brand’s identity and target audience. Your design should align with your brand’s personality and cater to the preferences of your customers.

Choose a Theme or Concept:

Decide on a theme or concept for your drink menu or promotional materials. This could be based on seasons, holidays, or unique features of your establishment.

Layout and Composition:

Use a clean and organized layout. Ensure that the important information, like drink names and prices, is easily readable and prominent.

Consider using grid-based layouts to maintain consistency and balance.


Choose fonts that are legible and match the theme of your establishment. Use a combination of fonts for headings, subheadings, and body text.

Ensure proper spacing, line height, and font size to enhance readability.

Color Scheme:

Select a color scheme that complements your brand and the theme of your materials.

Use color psychology to evoke specific emotions or associations with your drinks.

High-Quality Imagery:

Use high-resolution images of your drinks. Professional photography can make a significant difference.

Incorporate images of ingredients or the drink-making process to showcase freshness and craftsmanship.

Illustrations and Graphics:

Add custom illustrations or icons that align with your theme.

Graphics can help break up the text and make the menu more visually appealing.


Don’t overcrowd your design. Leave enough whitespace to give the eye room to breathe and make the content stand out.

Highlight Specials and Promotions:

Use visual cues like borders, colors, or icons to draw attention to special offers, promotions, or featured drinks.


Maintain a consistent design style throughout all your materials. This helps in brand recognition.

Paper and Printing:

Choose high-quality paper or materials for printing. The tactile experience can enhance the overall perception of your materials.

Digital Compatibility:

If creating digital materials for websites or social media, ensure the design is responsive and looks good on various screen sizes.

Test and Get Feedback:

Before finalizing your design, gather feedback from colleagues or customers. Make necessary revisions based on their input.

Print and Display:

When printing, choose a reputable printer or service. Consider laminating or using special finishes to make your materials more durable and appealing.

Update Regularly:

Keep your drink menus and promotional materials up-to-date. Update them with seasonal offerings or new promotions.

A/B Testing (Digital):

restaurant redemption for shared spirits

For digital materials, consider A/B testing different designs or layouts to see which one performs better in terms of engagement and conversion.

Remember that the goal of your drink menu and promotional materials is not only to look good but also to effectively communicate information and entice customers to make purchases. Balancing aesthetics with functionality is key to creating eye-catching and effective materials.

Key Three: Creating Instagram-worthy cocktails for social media marketing involves a combination of visual appeal, creativity, and storytelling. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you craft eye-catching cocktails that will attract attention on Instagram. It’s imperative in developing the three keys to cocktail program visual branding and presentation.

Choose Your Cocktails: Start by selecting cocktails that are visually appealing and on-trend. Look for colorful, unique, or aesthetically pleasing drinks. Popular options often include vibrant, fruit-forward cocktails, elaborate garnishes, and signature creations. Three Keys to Cocktail Program Visual Branding and Presentation.

Ingredients and Presentation:

Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh, high-quality ingredients. Fresh fruit, herbs, and top-shelf spirits can make a big difference in both taste and appearance.

Glassware: Select stylish glassware or unique containers that complement the theme or concept of your cocktail. Different glasses can create different visual effects.

Garnishes: Elevate your cocktails with creative garnishes such as fruit slices, edible flowers, herbs, or even mini-umbrellas. The garnish should enhance the visual appeal.

Layering: Experiment with layering different colored liquids to create visually stunning ombre or gradient effects. Pouring over the back of a spoon can help achieve this.

Color and Contrast: Pay attention to the color palette of your cocktails. Colors that contrast well with the drink’s hues and the background can make the photo pop. For example, a bright red cocktail against a white background can be visually striking.

Lighting: Good lighting is crucial for Instagram-worthy photos. Natural light works best, so try to shoot your cocktails near a window during the day or use soft, diffused lighting for a more professional look. Avoid harsh shadows.

Composition and Styling:

Rule of Thirds: Use the rule of thirds to compose your shots. Place the cocktail and key elements off-center to create a balanced and visually pleasing composition.

Background: Choose a clean, uncluttered background that complements the cocktail without distracting from it. You can use props related to the drink theme or a consistent background style for branding.

Props: Add relevant props like cocktail shakers, stirring sticks, or cocktail napkins to tell a story and add context to your post.

Angles and Perspectives: Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture your cocktail’s best side. Overhead shots, close-ups of garnishes, and shots from the side can all provide unique visual perspectives.


Filters: Apply filters or presets that enhance the colors and mood of your photo. Instagram itself has a range of filters you can use.

Editing Apps: Use photo-editing apps like Adobe Lightroom or VSCO to fine-tune your image. Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness to make your cocktail stand out.

Storytelling: Craft engaging captions that tell a story about your cocktail. Share the recipe, the inspiration behind it, or any unique aspects that make it special. Use relevant hashtags to increase discoverability.

Consistency: Establish a consistent style for your Instagram feed to create a cohesive brand identity. This includes consistent color schemes, filters, and visual themes.

Engagement: Interact with your followers and respond to comments on your posts. Collaborate with influencers or other accounts to increase visibility.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t look as Instagram-worthy as you’d like. Keep experimenting and refining your cocktail photography skills to create stunning visuals for your social media marketing.

So here you have it. Three keys elements on visual branding and presentation of your cocktail menu. The little details will make a significant difference in the experience you deliver to customers. As a result, the price point will rise and so will your margins!

If you’d like to learn more about how Shared Spirits grows revenue with tools for marketing your beverage program, schedule a chat!

By Shared Spirits

Liquid to Lips Marketing. Drizly and Venmo met. They mixed it up in a cocktail called Shared Spirits!

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