How To Cost a Cocktail

Let’s geek out on the least mentioned tools in the cocktail world – spreadsheets!

When taking the big step towards becoming a bar manager or a drink maker, you’ll be asked to create a cocktail and cost it out.

This week we’re going over exactly how to do that, so you’ll be prepared when the time comes.


How to Cost a Cocktail:

Here’s a link to the Alaska cocktail recipe we costed out in the video.


What’s “COGS”?

“COGS” is an acronym for “Cost of Goods Sold”. It’s the amount your bar or restaurant paid for the ingredients that went into the cocktail. Here’s more information if you’re interested.


Cocktail Cost Spreadsheet Cover - small

My Cocktail Cost Spreadsheet

Click here to get a free copy of the spreadsheet I used in this video – it’s the same one I used to cost cocktails at my bar.
Get the Spreadsheet


How to do it:

  1. Use either Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or the Google Doc spreadsheet, either works fine.
  2. Find the price of the base alcohol per bottle and any other ingredients that you will use.
  3. Convert the unit of the bottle (liters, milliliters, etc.) into the unit of your recipe (ounces in the USA).
  4. To get your unit cost, divide the price per bottle by the size.
  5. Multiply the unit cost with the units of your recipe.
  6. Get the total cost of your goods by adding them all up.
  7. Finally, to derive your menu cost, just multiply the cost of goods by 5.(assuming a 20% Cost of goods)

There are a lot of strategies involved in running your own bar program but this is definitely one of the first things that you should know.


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Filed Under: Business of the Bar, Video Blog

About the Author:

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.

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