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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Up to now, my home tiki bar's menu has been a list of all my rums and other spirits, with the cocktails currently being served listed on the back. I've been using one of those simple clear plastic sleeve menus, like you might find in a cheesy diner. But I'm trying to look like a nice tourist trap, not a mediocre tourist trap! So I'm redoing my menu, starting with the cocktail list.

I've found it challenging to keep that cocktail list up-to-date. Each party has a different selection of drinks (usually two), often selected somewhat last-minute, and re-drafting and re-printing the cocktail menu is always a low priority during party prep -- which means it doesn't happen, and I'm always having to explain to guests that "the cocktail list is a lie!" On top of that, guests often get distracted by the spirits list and forget to pick out a cocktail, blocking others' way to the bar.

So the goals with a new drink menu system: nicer in appearance, very easy to update even at the last minute, and easier for guests to see their options. I decided to make something modular, with semi-permanent cards for each drink in my repertoire. New cards must be easy to make quickly, too. I considered creating something with variable height, but opted instead to create a fixed-height frame and create optional "filler" cards with decorative details.

And here's what I created!


Here's a peek at the construction. The top and bottom carved pieces are Gorilla glued onto two steel 10" mending plates. Each 6" x 2" drink card is printed onto cream card stock, which is then glued onto a piece of black chipboard. Two 1" square self-stick magnets are positioned on the back of the card to line up with the mending plates. The whole thing rests on a vintage brass bamboo easel.

Here are a few different views of the drink/graphic combinations. The graphics match our bar's custom glassware.





BT

Too classy for low brow :)

Nice work!

H

On 2014-07-26 13:49, Badd Tiki wrote:
Too classy for low brow :)

That's about the nicest compliment you can give me, Badd Tiki. :) Mahalo!

Very up-scale indeed. You did a nice job on the carvings and the overall design is brilliant.

H

Mahalo! The proof of the pudding is in the tasting, as they say, and time and use will tell if it stands up functionally. But my hopes are high!

Saw the carving on the other post a few days ago, very nice. What a great idea and perfect execution. Well done!

H

It looks just perfect in its surrounding, nicely done Humu.

Outstanding
Simply awesome
Two cannibal tiki thumbs up

Jon

S

What MadDogMike said.

P

Great solution!

Very classy, Humu!

I'm impressed with your talent.

Awesome Job Humu!! I love it!!!

Very snazzy idea, and well executed. Ten points!

H

Thanks, everybody! One week from tomorrow will be its first time in action, we're having a party. I'll let you know if I learn anything that would make me rethink the design.

M

That will be one of the most stolen ideas on TC, thank you!

H

Well, the drink menu made it through one party safely! It seemed to work really well. I feel like my visitors had a much easier time making a drink choice (splitting the distracting spirits list out to a separate menu really helped, too).

I just made four new drink cards, and that went smoothly, too. The menu will be seeing a lot of action this month: four parties in three weeks! If I learn anything new from the upcoming parties, I'll let you know, but so far it seems like this design is a winner.

How's the menu working out 18 months later? Seriously considering doing something similar for my home bar.

H

It's been perfect! There's nothing I would do differently. It's easy enough to make new drink cards that I've kept up with it, I make new cards all the time, and now I have dozens of them. Super fast to set up for parties, easy for people to read and tell me what they want, and it has held up just great, the cards are sturdy and aren't showing any wear and tear.

Now my spirits list... that is a disaster. Keeping up with inventory is hard!

On 2016-03-15 21:29, Humuhumu wrote:
It's been perfect! There's nothing I would do differently. It's easy enough to make new drink cards that I've kept up with it, I make new cards all the time, and now I have dozens of them. Super fast to set up for parties, easy for people to read and tell me what they want, and it has held up just great, the cards are sturdy and aren't showing any wear and tear.

Now my spirits list... that is a disaster. Keeping up with inventory is hard!

Excellent! I need to find someone who can carve up something for me then. We are going to use something like this for our specials.

G

Jeff Bannow, you need to contact Dave Hansen (aka, Lake Surfer on TC). He just carved a version of Humu's drink menu card holder and posted a pic on Facebook. It turned out mighty nice if you ask me. :)

On 2016-05-04 11:04, GatorRob wrote:
Jeff Bannow, you need to contact Dave Hansen (aka, Lake Surfer on TC). He just carved a version of Humu's drink menu card holder and posted a pic on Facebook. It turned out mighty nice if you ask me. :)

Good news - he made it for me. :)

BUMP
I was thinking about this awesone idea today. Because I play home bartender SO infrequently, I don't remember ingredients and measurements. It would be cool to have the abbreviated drink recipes in large letters on the back of the modular drink cards so I could see them from behind the bar. Then I would look suave like I knew what i was doing without having to refer to a phone app or 3x5 cards :lol:

MDM - Fabulous idea!

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