Bartender preparing a bespoke cocktail

How To Order A Bespoke Cocktail Like A Pro

Bartender preparing a bespoke cocktail

If you've ever been to a bar and ordered a cocktail, you may have noticed that some cocktails are made specifically for you, based on your personal preferences. This is what's known as a bespoke cocktail, and ordering one can be a bit intimidating if you're not sure how it works.

If you are adventurous enough to try out some unique cocktails, you can go to your local bar and ask for their in-house beverage creations. Whichever the case, your overall takeaway is the wealth of experience you gain from these cocktail tasting sessions.

In this blog post, we'll walk you through the process of ordering a bespoke cocktail like a pro!

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The Meal-Drink Experience 

Some restaurant and bar visits may require reservations, so research some dining spots you may want to patronize. They will likely give you relevant information on their website. This info will help ensure you have an excellent meal-drink experience.

For instance, if you visit, you can overview what to expect and the steps you may take for a better experience. Overall, your meal-drink encounter at any given place would start from that stage where you’ll book the reservation.

This meal-drink experience is enhanced depending on whether you’re at a restaurant or a bar. While the restaurants involve ordering straight from the menu, the bar is where you can explore your adventurous spirit.

You might order straight from the menu. However, you can explore your palate with a custom cocktail. Most bartenders want the challenge of creating a cocktail to your taste, but you may need to give them a few pointers about your ideal drink.

How can you tell your mixologist what you want without first learning what it is? Here are a few pointers:

How to Order a Bespoke Cocktail

Establish Your Base

Different types of alcohol 

Even though this would be the primary question from your bartender, volunteering it in advance wouldn’t hurt. The alcohol preference would allow you to have a common ground with the bartender. It also gives him an idea of your palate.

Having a base also means you can work around the ingredients that can complement the characters of your favorite alcohol.

For example, if you mention that you prefer a whiskey-based cocktail, it can mean your taste is towards a bit of smokiness. On the other hand, a gin-based can indicate something refreshing and citrusy. With this in mind, your bartender will have an idea about what bespoke cocktail to serve you.

Mention Your Palate Preference and Flavor Profile 

What’s your flavor? 

Even though the type of alcohol you prefer can indicate your flavor scale, it’s still a vast ground to tailor the right cocktail for you.

Giving out some specifics like creamy, smoky, or citrus can narrow things a bit. In so doing, you allow the bartender to know what ingredients can bring out your flavor of choice.

Be specific when mentioning some flavors. For example, ginger and chili may achieve a spicy flavor. Therefore, give a clarification when this occurs. Also, if you prefer something revitalizing, you can specify if you want a citrusy or tropical refreshment.

Letting your mixologist know your desired flavor is crucial so that you can enjoy a delicious drink tailored just for you!

Choose the Cocktail Style 

Bartender showing his technique 

By default, a bartender may ask you how you would prefer to have your cocktail. Mostly, this can be shaken, built, or stirred. However, you can still request that your cocktail be blended, muddled, or layered.

For example, layering the B-52 cocktail allows you to get a visually-catching beverage. It also lets you enjoy the flavors of each ingredient independently while enhancing the mouthfeel of the whole drink.

When selecting a cocktail style, it’s important to note that each technique can affect the ingredient flavors differently. While some ingredients can taste good when stirred or built, they may taste better when shaken.

On the other hand, some cocktail ingredients may be delicate and can lose flavor when shaken. Of course, if you like a refreshing crispy and fizzy cocktail, it would be practical to have it built.

You can easily pick your style depending on the ingredients and your preference. Even if you can’t settle on a specific style, your bartender should be able to help point you in the right direction.

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Don’t Forget to Mention What You Don’t Want

Woman refusing a drink at the bar

When ordering your personalized cocktail, don’t forget to mention what you dislike or what ingredients you can’t ingest. This can be a personal preference or something that can trigger an allergic reaction. Otherwise, they will just serve you with another generic drink off the shelf, which is no longer considered bespoke.

This is important because the bartender would create a cocktail based on the palate, flavor, and base. And this may include ingredients you don’t consume.

For example, if you want it smoky and creamy, the cocktail may include egg white. If you’re allergic to eggs, it would be safe to tell your bartender in advance so that he’ll look for a way to make it smoky and creamy without including egg whites in the cocktail.


So, what are you waiting for? If you feel adventurous and want to try something new, ask your bartender for a bespoke cocktail. Even though the cocktail-making process would require the mixologist’s skills, you can customize your drink like a pro with the tips we gave you. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your order—after all, that’s what mixologists are for!

What base, flavor, and style do you like your bespoke cocktail to have? Share your thoughts below.

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