It was a dangerous game for Gut Check to discover cocktails on tap. That's right, cocktails flowing freely right next to the beer taps. You can now get such no-hassle hooch at Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Ave; 314-535-9700) and Diablitos Cantina (3761 Laclede Avenue; 314-644-4430). Gut Check spoke to the man responsible for setting up these cocktails-on-tap systems, bar manager Matt Seiter, so we could find out just what this new development in drinking arts is all about.
The cocktails-on-tap system at Sanctuaria has been in place for about a year, and when Diablitos Cantina opened earlier this year, Seiter was also in charge of setting up the system there too. Owing to its incredible success, Seiter decided to work with two friends in the business, Kevin Diedrich and Scott Huth. Together, they're putting on a seminar titled "The In's and Out's of Cocktails on Tap" at the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans on July 28.
The trio will be working together to provide information on how the cocktails-on-tap system works, how it can increase overall profits and how to implement it. To do this they will be bringing a portable system that involves a cooler with several lines hooked up to it. The taps are connected to the cooler and to the lines that are attached to cases of the mixed cocktails as well as a CO2 line. Everyone attending the seminar will be treated to cocktails from the contraption.
Of course the in-house systems are slightly more sophisticated than their portable design. Diedrich's system actually uses nitrogen, while Seiter's systems use a CO2 line. Huth had his system custom built, and it uses a combination of the two. Whatever the set up, if it's done correctly, the result is the same. You get a sleek system that increases your bar profits almost immediately -- and, of course, runs over with tasty, no-fuss cocktails. Seiter explained that the system allows you to remove beer lines and replace them with the cocktails. Since profit margins are higher on liquor, you see an automatic boost in profits. The cocktails-on-tap system allows you to buy ingredients in bulk and pre-mix the cocktails, and it gives the bar better control of portions. There is also the added benefit of minimized product loss because the pressurized system keeps everything fresh, so things such as juice don't spoil and go to waste.
Handcrafted cocktails that take less time to make and thus less time to taste and take down? Gut Check certainly cannot think of any downsides to that. Or at least we'll try not to.