The Challenges with Serving Cocktails on Tap

Nearly every bar owner wants to find ways improve profitability while maintaining or improving beverage quality. Pre-shift cocktail batching is one answer that bars have been turning to for decades.

The challenge with batching drinks is the waste that comes with the unsold product at the end of the shift. But in recent years, the cocktail world has been figuring out how to extend shelf life and drink quality to cash in on this systemic approach to high-volume hospitality.

The answer they came up with, no surprise, is kegged cocktails.

Kegged cocktails have shown up as one of the hottest drink trends of the last four years with their potential just barely tapped into. In many cases, bars are offering multiple draft cocktail options to their guests because kegged cocktails extend shelf life, lower costs, increase throughput, and increase consistency.

Several new concepts have flourished all over the world that focus solely on serving draft cocktails. Draft cocktails even reduce a bar’s waste/carbon footprint. Cocktails on tap seems like the perfect solution.


How to Solve Common Challenges with Serving Cocktails on Tap

But to anyone not a part of the inner circle of the craft cocktail world, putting mixed drinks on tap has been intimidating and riddled with headaches like sourcing and creating a custom system, and then trying to make it all work.

And what does that entail?

From having to source a list of equipment from both a home brewing store and a restaurant supply store to the know-how to build and maintain your own system, draft cocktails have historically been a risky venture and a big hassle.

You can’t just dump a cocktail into a keg. You need special draft lines and special kegs, and because there’s never been specialty equipment designed just for kegged cocktails, operators needed complex recipes with special-order fruit acids and all kinds of custom hacks and equipment workarounds.

Who wants any of that?

And if that’s not enough, even for those with the time and know-how to build a custom kegged cocktail system, you still had more challenges to deal with in every keg, all night long:


The number one issue with putting mixed drinks in kegs that doesn’t translate to beer and wine is that mixed drinks and cocktails separate. The heavier liquids like syrup, agave nectar, and liqueurs sink to the bottom, while the high-proof spirits float to the top.

But together, Perlick and Tobin Ellis solved this challenge once and for all. There’s no more need to have a bartender or bar back attempt to ‘hand-agitate’ the kegs by shaking them every 20-30 minutes — all shift — or stick to ‘force-carbonated’ drinks. No wonder more bars haven’t tapped into the power of cocktails on tap.

Those days are over.

Introducing the Tobin Ellis Signature Draft Cocktail System

Perlick, the industry leader in high-quality draft beer and wine systems for 100 years, proudly introduces the Tobin Ellis Signature Draft Cocktail System. This turn-key system is as straight-forward as it is innovative: a proprietary 4-port ’Corny’ keg combined with an NSF-approved, circulating pump that draws the beverage from the bottom of the specially designed cocktail kegs, pulls it through a pump, and then returns it back down to the bottom of the keg.

The system comes with a pump timer so you can dial in precisely how much or little agitation you want for each keg. Together, these components maintain proper blending and aeration without over-agitating the beverage. Any drink you can make at the bar, you can now put on tap.

Learn more about this new system in the Intro to the Tobin Ellis Signature Draft Cocktail System from Perlick.

Discover more about the benefits of draft cocktails, read about some of the traditional challenges, and then find out how to solve them in this comprehensive introduction.