Kegged Cocktails: Drinking out of the Tap

As much as people like to complain about the eccentricities of the craft cocktail bar — the cost, the obscure and geeky ingredients, the wait times — I find it hard to tease out the inconveniences from the allure. The theatrics are there to entertain as much as deliver carefully made beverages. Does the experience change when the ceremony of mixing the drink in front of you goes away, like with the practice of cocktails dispensed from draft? Is a drink just as good on tap, and is the experience just as fun?

“It definitely helps in getting drinks out in a timely manner and it's a cool, fun way to engage the guest,” said Kevin Diedrich of Jasper's Corner Tap. Diedrich keeps two cocktails on-tap, currently a Negroni ($9, Plymouth Gin, Campari, house blended sweet vermouth) and a Grand Promenade ($11, Wild Turkey 81 Rye, Laird's Bonded Applejack, Bendedictine, yellow chartreuse). “I've found that keeping a straight spirituous cocktail on draft helps with delivery, quality and batching,” explained Diedrich, adding that using cocktails that don't use regular sugar, water, or citrus makes the most sense, since those ingredients tend to separate.

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