Cocktail Menus

One way I could present my work is in a cocktail menu style. I have saved a couple of menus from when I was in London and I managed to find some others of places online.


Callooh Callay

This bar is renowned for its quirky style cocktail menus. They’ve had their menu in the style of a tube map (and another photo here) and paint colour chart strips. Currently their menu is a sticker album, where you can collect a sticker for each of the 28 cocktails on their menu. The stickers are of the drinks themselves. This is a more inventive way to present a menu. Although I do recall their tube map menu being slightly hard to read. There are no illustrations in the menus. I like the creativity of the menu designs and if I presented my work as a menu I would try to think outside of the box.


Discount Suit Company

I have a copy of their old menu. It lists the 9 cocktails of the time, each is represented by an illustration of the glass it comes in. It is a very simple menu which makes it easier to read and understand the drink you are ordering. There is a little touch to the menu which is that around each illustration there is a dotted line and pair of scissors. This refers back to the origins of the bar which is tailors. I like this subtlety and how it refers back to the concept of the bar.



This bar is a post-war themed bar, part of it is designed so you are seated in a train carriage of the time. The menu is in the style of a tabloid newspaper of the time. Inside lists all the cocktails which is themed around the time as well. There are a number of drinks each catergorised, there are so many it becomes over-whelming and you almost don’t know where to start. However, you could argue this is a clever marketing scheme as it makes you want to come back to try the ones you missed. Again, I like how they have consistently  stuck with theme. There aren’t many illustrations or photographs that relate to the drink itself, they more relate to the category of the drink itself.


The Shrub and Shutter

Based in Brixton this bar and restaurant serves innovative British cuisine and creative and bespoke cocktails. For example the Slumdog Millionaire comes with a garnish of a scratch card or the Fish and Chip Shop Margarita contains lime and pea shrub, salt and vinegar, cod, pea and scraps! Their menu is very plain and simply lists each cocktail and its ingredients. There are only two illustrations, nothing really to do with the menu one is a lemon and the other a light bulb which is connected to the boarder. It seems odd to have such as simple menu with such creative drinks but maybe that you are not distracted from the cocktails themselves?


Cocktail Trading Co.

Starting out in February 2014, the Cocktail Trading Co has become a successful small chain in London. Their menu is a small pocket-sized brochure. Each DPS is of the recipe and a illustration matching the description on the other side. It matches the concept of their bars – quite cosy and small – as you really have to get in close to read it, especially as the bar is dimly lit.


Hix(ter) and Tramshed

This small chain is owned by Mark Hix, a celebrity chef. Their cocktail menu is based on the classics. Each page has its own theme and starts with a small opener about what you will be drinking. Underneath this there is a small illustration of cocktails. However this is nothing really to do with the drinks on the page, it’s just a way to break it up. I think for the theme of the bar it is quite fitting to have such a simple menu.


Basement Sate

Similarly to Hix the menu is quite simple there is only one illustration, which is of a cocktail and shooter. This isn’t a description of the drink but more of a nice way to fill the space.


The Alchemist

Each page of the menu has some sort of illustration. Although I’m not sure how it relates to the menu itself as they are depicting various scenes. Some of the illustrations are in different styles too, some are more detailed than others. It does tie in with the concept of the bar.


The Nightjar and Barrio

Even though these two bars are almost at polar ends of the spectrum for bars the way they have displayed the menus are quite similar. Barrio lists all the cocktails, a simple outline illustration of the glass used and the main spirit is highlighted again. The Nightjar also shows a basic illustration of the glass used. It is a very clear way of allowing customers to understand the drink that they will be getting – whether it is long/short or is fizzy. It just gives that extra bit of info and a subtle way.


The Trading House

The concept of the bar is inspired by world travel in a Around the World in 80 Days sort of way. Although the menu has no illustrations the background of each menu is a hand drawn map reminiscent of the 1600s. It is just a very clever way of reffering back to the concept of the bar.


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