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Published on April 2nd, 2024. 

Which Cocktails Provide the Highest Profit Margins?

There’s a delicate balance between innovation and financial prudence.

Bartending and menu creation represent inherently creative pursuits. Crafting an ideal menu involves striking a delicate balance between innovation and financial prudence. Profitable cocktails not only enhance the bottom line but also provide a foundation for creative exploration. Bearing this in mind, we have curated a list of classic cocktails that not only contribute to a balanced financial ledger but also drive revenue, offering a harmonious blend of fiscal responsibility and imaginative mixology.

Understanding Profit Margins


High-profit cocktails play a pivotal role in the financial success of any bar or restaurant, as they contribute significantly to overall revenue. These beverages boast a higher profit margin, where the cost of ingredients is notably lower than the selling price. This financial advantage allows establishments to maximize earnings per sale, ultimately increasing their profitability.


Understanding the concept of profit margins is crucial in this context. A profit margin represents the percentage of revenue remaining after covering all expenses. For instance, if a cocktail costs £5 to produce and is sold for £10, the profit margin is 50%.


To calculate the profit margin, use the following formula: Profit Margin = (Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold) / Revenue


Being aware of the profit margins associated with each drink on the menu is essential for making informed decisions regarding promotional strategies and menu adjustments. This analytical approach ensures that your establishment can prioritise and emphasise cocktails that contribute most effectively to their financial success.

Cocktails that Provide the Highest Profit Margins


Margarita – The classic margarita stands out as a perennial favourite and a top high-profit cocktail. Comprising of only three straightforward ingredients—tequila, triple sec, and lime juice—this beverage boasts a low cost of goods sold coupled with a high selling price. To cater to a broader audience, variations of the margarita, such as frozen or flavoured renditions, can be introduced, further enhancing its appeal and profitability.


Old Fashioned – The old-fashioned remains a timeless cocktail that has endured through generations. Crafted with whiskey, bitters, sugar, and a citrus twist, it boasts a high profit margin attributed to its uncomplicated ingredients and elevated selling price. To further enhance its allure and profitability, variations of the old-fashioned, such as smoked or flavoured renditions, can be introduced, providing a contemporary twist to this enduring classic.


Moscow Mule – The Moscow mule has surged in popularity, solidifying its status as a leading high-profit cocktail. Comprised of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, this beverage commands a low cost of goods sold coupled with a high selling price. Expanding its appeal further, variations of the Moscow mule, including flavoured or spicy renditions, can be introduced to accommodate diverse taste preferences, contributing to its continued profitability.


Mojito – The mojito, renowned for its refreshing profile, stands as a popular summer cocktail. Crafted with rum, mint, lime juice, and soda water, this cocktail boasts a low cost of goods sold complemented by a high selling price. Broadening its appeal, variations of the mojito, such as fruity or spicy adaptations, can be introduced, catering to a diverse audience, and further contributing to its attractiveness and profitability.


Long Island Iced Tea – The Long Island Iced Tea, known for its potency, stands as a popular cocktail choice with the potential for high profitability. Comprising a mix of spirits, including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec, this beverage carries a low cost of goods sold paired with a high selling price.


Mimosa – A skilled bartender can efficiently produce numerous Mimosas within minutes, with the per-drink cost typically averaging around £1. From both a unit cost and pour cost perspective, the Mimosa stands out as one of the most economical and cost-effective options for a bar’s menu. While we may refrain from labelling it as ‘underrated,’ its well-deserved reputation as a lucrative brunch staple underscores its financial prowess and efficiency.

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