Drinks Programme

Focussing on the bar’s approach to their drinks, including overall menu concept and its appropriateness to the venue concept as a whole, ingredients, techniques, presentation, inclusivity, environmental considerations, and menu coherence.

We do not and could not expect any bar to achieve a perfect score in their submission form, but by asking a wide variety of questions we hope that any bar that applies for a PIN has the chance to show the parts of their drinks program that they are the most proud of. Thoughtful consideration and relevance to the overall concept will result in the highest scores. Menus will be collated as part of the submission process and assessed for the balance of offering, value, inclusivity for all guests, and an appropriate spread of suppliers.

Not all questions are evenly weighted, and some are simply there for reference when the reviewers visit – and so do not have points attributed.

If you feel any of these questions are inappropriate, unnecessary or not in-depth enough, we would love to hear that and will take all feedback into careful consideration.



1. Please explain the concept behind your current cocktail menu.

2. What is the process behind the creation of your cocktail menus? (e.g. where does inspiration come from, do you involve your whole team, how do you choose suppliers to support you, etc.)  

3. How often do you change your menu?

4. Is there one spirits house/portfolio that you work with more than others?

5. Is there one spirits supplier/distributor you work with more than others?

6. Please describe the physical menu itself (include details of materials, designer, illustrator, etc.)

7. How much nutritional information do you offer your guests? (e.g. allergens, ABV, calories, etc.)


8. Do you specialise in a certain style of cocktail?

9. Do you specialise in a certain category of spirit?

10. Please list your house pour spirits? (vodka, gin, whisky, etc.)

11. Does the venue have a “signature serve”?

12. What’s the best selling cocktail on the current menu?

13. Do you serve any cocktails that do not appear on your menu?

14. Is there anything about the presentation of your cocktails that you are proud of? (e.g. styles of ice, glassware, theatrics, etc.)

15. How many non-alcoholic cocktails do you have listed on your current menu?

16. Is there anything about your non-alcoholic offering that you are proud of (e.g. extensive, varied, clearly promoted, etc.)

17. Is there anything about your wine or beer offering that you are proud of? (e.g. locally sourced, sommelier-written, specially-brewed, etc.)


18. Are there any ingredients that you create in-house that you are proud of? (e.g. fresh juices, syrups, shrubs, etc.) and how do you manage consistency in production?

19. Are there any techniques used in the creation of your cocktails that you are proud of? (e.g. foams, airs, smokes, etc.) and how do you manage consistency in production?

20. Are there any uses of ice within your cocktails that you are proud of? (e.g. hand-cut, stamped, etc.) and how do you manage consistency in production?

21. Does your business have to make compromises with regards to ingredients and techniques because of what is available to you, and what do you do to fix that?


22. Have you made consideration for the environmental and social impact from your spirit suppliers? (e.g. their delivery methods, their carbon impact, the packaging they use, their sourcing, B-Corp accreditation, small scale producers, global majority or female-owned businesses, etc.)

23. What considerations do you make for the provenance of your ingredients (e.g. use of local produce, seasonality, traceability, environmentally positive farming methods, etc.)

24. What do you do to reduce your wastage? (e.g. careful ordering, preservation methods, etc.)

25. Do you use plastic straws, stirrers or single use vessels within your venue?

26. Are there ecological or social considerations you make for your non-spirit products? (e.g. eggs from cage free hens, Fair Trade coffee / sugar, sustainable farming methods, etc.)

27. Is there environmental consideration for the water you serve? (e.g. using a filtration system, sourced and packaged in the country you operate in, etc.)


The Drinks Programme is one of the most important elements of the in-venue anonymous review. Reviewers will be asked to order two cocktails from the menu and will be marking them to industry-standard, competition style score sheets. We’ll be asking their overall impression of the entire drinks experience – from when they open the menu, to when they finish their second cocktail. Where appropriate, they will also be verifying some of the information provided above.

Anonymous Reviewers will be looking for and assessing the following (where relevant), in relation to appropriateness to the venue and concept.

MENU : Impression of physical menu / impression of full cocktail list / ease of understanding of menu content

DRINKS : Glassware / garnish / washline / aroma / taste / balance / ice / temperature

OVERALL IMPRESSION : Value / overall presentation / overall taste / environmental considerations

You are invited to send feedback directly via hello@thepinnacleguide.com – feedback closes on 15 June 2023.