Tapping into the draft cocktail trend

Branding could be an issue for tapped cocktails. Looking at beer, each pump has the name of the brewery, beer name and brew style on the label. But Taptails only has the cocktail name on the tap, leaving consumers with no idea what brand of spirit is inside. This won’t be an issue in high-volume venues, but premium bars could be different, especially with the modern consumer being thirsty for a better understanding of what’s in their cocktails.

World of Zing has a different approach. Mody says: “We aren’t precious about our branding, we work with the Diageo Reserve range in our pre-batched cocktails and we wouldn’t hide this on our tap labels.”

Brands will always want more on-trade exposure, and if they’ve already lost their bottle on the back bar due to cocktail taps, you can bet they’ll want their name somewhere else. Millin adds: “Tapped cocktails are still a relatively new concept but over the next two or three years they could really take off.”

And when they do, it will not only be a gimmick for premium cocktail bars, but an efficient revenue stream for multinational brands as well as bespoke suppliers such as World of Zing or Taptails. More consumers who don’t like waiting for drinks will gain access to a quick cocktail, possibly at lower prices. However, not only could the romance of bartending be lost – in the same way screwcaps aren’t popular in Bordeaux – there could yet be a different landscape for the bar industry if taps do take off. Fewer bartenders will learn how to make drinks traditionally, making staffing in the premium category much more difficult – and tips will be few and far between.