October 1, 2021

How to Cost a Cocktail

This blog teaches you how to properly cost a cocktail for your bar or restaurant using industry formulas and math that works.
Ciprian Rarau

Ah, cocktail pricing. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of opening your own bar or have been in business for decades, determining the right price for your drinks can be tricky.

Luckily, we have a quick and simple bartender’s guide to cost a cocktail. Follow the easy process below to get started. We’ve used a gin & tonic as our example cocktail.

Using the inventory template of your choice, find the price of the base alcohol per bottle. In this case, let’s use a bottle of Beefeater gin at a cost of $15 per bottle.

  1. In addition to the cost for the base alcohol, add on your costs for any other ingredients you’ll use. For our gin and tonic, we’ll add $2 for the gin and lime.
  2. Next, convert the unit of measurement for the bottle, which is typically listed in liters, into the unit of your recipe, either milliliters or ounces. For our example, we’ll say our bottle of gin comes in at 1.5 liters, giving us 50.72 ounces.
  3. Now, divide the price per bottle by the size. That’s the unit cost. (For those following along, our unit cost is $0.30 per ounce.) Multiply the unit cost by the number of ounces required in your recipe. We’ll multiply by 3oz. for $0.90.
  4. Take the cost of the alcohol required for our cocktail and add it to the cost of the other ingredients. Our total cost of goods for this gin & tonic comes to $2.90.
  5. Lastly, to determine the price on your menu, multiply your total cost of goods by 5. That gives us $14.50, which is the final menu price of our example cocktail.
  6. Then, rinse and repeat with the rest of the cocktails on your menu.

Sound time-consuming? That’s because it is. If you’re interested in letting WISK do the hard work for you, get in touch. For more information on our beverage cost calculator, please visit https://wisk.ai/beverage-cost-calculator/.


Taking inventory should not take hours.