A new cocktail menu brought a need for staff retraining, and resources to assist with this. There was a need for simple cocktail specs that could sit under the bar, and give all the needed recipe information at a subtle glance if needed.
The specs are designed to give bar tenders all the basic information to jog the memory, however needed to come with preexisting skills and understanding of the cocktail list.
The original final product featured 12 bespoke cocktails, created for/by the hotel site. The bar had two cocktail stations, which mirrored each other. This meant that two mirroring documents were made so that the location of the cocktails on the sheets mimicked the location of their ingredients in the cocktail station.
Each cocktail's box is made up of three sections; the method information; the presentation information; and the ingredient information. The way each section communicates its information is tailored to the information it provides.
The method information is displayed through icons. The order of the icons is consistent: the cocktail's glass on the left, the method of making the cocktail in the middle, and the ice that the cocktail is served with on the right. A series of icons was created for all potential needs on the site. These are described below. Each cocktail is also given a colour code. This is to easily spot the cocktails on the spec sheets.
The presentation information is shown through photographs. A large photograph of the cocktail at its perfect serve takes up the bulk of this section, and is positioned to best display the cocktail as a whole. These photographs were supplied by the bar manager. A small, clear photograph of the garnish used then sits in the bottom corner, for a clear and legible description.
The ingredient information is displayed in clear text. The cocktail name sits at the top, with its text filled in line with the cocktails colour code. Then each ingredient sits below it in order of use - it is best practice when making cocktails to use the cheapest ingredients first in case of errors. The measurements and ingredients are displayed in different weights for cleaner differentiation. The fonts used are those of the hotel's brand.
Symbols for Glasses
The glasses icons were chosen based on the need of the hotel. These were the glasses that were stocked and used for cocktails. The height of each icon played a crucial role in order to be able to easily differentiate the glasses. Each icon was drawn on Illustrator, and moved into InDesign with a Satin effect applied.
Symbols for Methods
There are several ways to make a cocktail, and these were the methods used at the hotel. The icons were designed to be easily recognisable, with the required tools clearly displayed in the way that they would be used. The icons are made of partly drawn and partly traced elements, with a Satin effect applied in InDesign.
Symbols for Ice
The ice symbols needed to be easily distinguishable, but also recognisable. They consist of traced elements, with a Satin effect applied in InDesign. It was made clear in training that this is the ice that the cocktail is served with, not made with.
Expanded Recipe Cards
A document of expanded recipe cards was also supplied to each staff member. These combined the images, icons, and ingredients with additional information so that the recipes could be learned away from work too. Supplying these sheets also helped teach the definition of the symbols to the team. The spec sheets use shortened names for ingredients, where these recipe cards use the full names with expanded descriptions of each ingredients (such as brands etc).
Gin & Garnish Combinations
Sitting alongside the cocktail specification are gin pairing references. This sheet shows which gins pair best with which garnish as their perfect serve. The initial sheet also offers information about the gin's origin, however this was removed when the gin list was updated. The redesign puts more emphasis on the on the image of the bottle and garnish - whilst also enhancing the text for easier legibility.