Artis is a leading distributor of glassware, tableware and bar accessories to the out of home markets. It is also a joint sponsor of the social media round table at the inaugural H&C News Expo taking place in July. Here Gill Head, Marketing Manager of Artis, gives some winning tips on how the best backbar equipment will bring flair to your bar and put smiles on your customers’ faces.
The ‘theatre’ of mixology is a big part of the cocktail experience and something that most of your customers can’t replicate at home. The growing trend of countertop preparation should elevate your cocktail preparation from simply serving drinks into a pure theatre. Customers want to feel a part of seeing how the cocktail is made and savouring that first taste. So as a professional mixologist, you will need a well-stocked ‘tool box’ to make a favourable and lasting impression.
Get the right tools
Let’s start with the back bar. It’s a given that you have the right spirits, juices and garnishes. But what about your tools of the trade? These are just as important as a plumber’s wrench or a carpenter’s saw. The best bartenders have muddlers, strainers, mixing jugs, bar spoons, jiggers, juicers, bar knives, bar keeps, ice buckets, and condiment holders. These should be well stocked and always choose high quality. If you are centre stage, so too is your equipment. It is vital to have nice countertop pieces, such as dash bottles, shakers and spoons, these may just be the basics, but they are so important. The 2018 Artis catalogue is packed with hundreds of backbar items, so you have everything you need in one place.
Be on trend
Make certain you keep up with the latest trends and think how they might work in your bar. For example, the latest trend in cocktail glassware is the vintage look which started with bartenders scouring car boot sales for old mismatched cocktail glasses. Now you can mismatch by choosing new retro look glassware that comes in many different styles and types. Traditional just does not cut it any more. Look at the latest Mixology collection from Luigi Bormioli or the 1924 range of vintage glassware from Libbey. To be really on trend, consider the small – miniature deep bowl cocktail glasses such as the addition to the Speakeasy range of a ‘Nick and Nora’ glass and the 1924 two new miniatures, for those punchy stirred cocktails. Worth mentioning, too, that the iconic Hobstar cut glass style has 25% off list price on selected lines until 31st September 2018. If your establishment is more avant-garde, why not consider some off-the-wall ideas such as serving your drinks in milk bottles, jam jars or cans?
Then there is the latest sensation of copper. This is now so popular that manufacturers cannot keep up with demand – copper shakers, martini glasses, hammered mugs, jiggers, bar spoons and even showpiece pineapples. You name it, you can get it in shiny metal to make a massive impact. New in the 2018 Artis catalogue is a pineapple embossed copper plated stainless-steel shaker and the tall copper goblet with non-allergenic lining.
Is your bar creating that Caribbean feel? Then the Artis Tiki collection is a must, with mugs, bowls for sharing, skulls, pineapples and bowling balls. They are freaky, funky and fun. The latest additions are the chiki monkey, elephant and the Indian head mug.
As for glassware, elegance never goes out of fashion, so Artis offers many different styles – in fact two dozen different cocktail glasses, 22 martini glass styles and about 30 old fashioned glasses. Then there are the oversized Grande cocktail glasses that are just made for sharing! You will be familiar with the resurgence in Gin &Tonic, where presentation is a big part of its renewed popularity. It has to be served in a ‘coupe de balon ‘style glass and served with botanicals and garnish of choice. Last count, Artis has about eleven different styles of coupe de balon style glasses! Champagne glassware has also moved into the realms of the spectacular. For many years, flutes ruled, OK? That has all changed. The coupe is making a comeback. Artis sales of coupes are up by over 30%. Not all of that is down to champagne use, however. We are also seeing a rise in the use of coupes for serving cocktails. The Vinea coupe looks stunning for cocktail service.
Throw out the mundane
Beer and wine glasses needn’t be boring, either. Plain straight sided pint glasses are a relic of a bygone age, replaced by styles in all shapes and sizes with handles and stems for draught or bottles. There has been a huge surge in the craft beer market. However, it is important that you serve each beer in a complementary glass so that it ensures the customer receives the full potential of the beer in terms of taste and aroma. As an added value idea, why not offer a beer flight served on a wooden paddle? Wine glasses are a very personal choice, however, you need to select the glasses to suit your ambience. With 23 different collections to choose from, Artis offers plenty of choice from fine dining crystal styles that match their shape to the wine variety, such as the new Tentazioni to stemless glassware e.g. Alternato. With one eye on the practical, manufacturers such as Libbey are now able to produce stemware that is both robust and elegant. Just look at Brilliance or Refinement in this context.
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Artis is one of the country’s leading distributors of barware, glassware and tableware. All the equipment mentioned is contained in the 2018 Artis catalogue available now online here or to order you own personal hard copy call 0208 391 5544.