Menu making at a Top 50 cocktailbar

Ruby is one of the oldtimers on the Copenhagen cocktailscene. It is internationally recognized, among others, through being in the top 50 on Drinks Internationals´ ”Worlds 50 Best Bars”. Bag om baren got an insight as to how they create the menu at one of the worlds´ top 50 bars.


The guidelines are clear; each bartender has to come up with a drink, which he/she believes to be suitable for the menu. Anything goes such as homemade cordials, syrups, juices etc.

The criterias are simple, it has to be made with Dodds´ gin and it has to be a twist on the classic gin fizz.

”We do this inhouse compitition to challenge our people. We see more and more of our bartenders compete in competitions, so this helps them practice their presentation skills.

Also it forces them to think creatively. And then it is fun to have your own drink on the menu, and you feel proud to serve it for the guests.” Nick Kobbernagel, who is manager at Ruby/Lidkoeb cocktailbars, explaines.

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“Bridge `N`Tunnel” by Steve Hill                       * “Old Chestnut Tree” by Nicklas Jørgensen


The drinks are judged just like in any other competition and there are several criterias to consider:

Name: we all know that the name sells, right!

Balance: not to sweet, too sour, too dry but superbly balanced for a drink within the category of a gin fizz.

Presentation: complementing glassware, garnish and the overall visual impression of the drink.

Aroma: should be apealling and entice the drinker

Taste: well, goes without saying, it has to taste good!

Originality: innovative methods and ingredients are rewarded.

Delivery: how does the bartender present himself, the drink and the generel service and entertainment level showing both knowledge and thoughts behind the drink.

The competition is normally judged by the management team at Ruby, but this day Bag om baren had the exclusive honor of being in the judging panel too. The winner gets his drink on the menu for the next 3-4 month until the seasonal menu is changed again and a new competition is on.

Now it seem simple and maybe even a bit limited to do a twist on a Gin Fizz. However the different ideas and the creativety shown by the bartenders was exceptional. Several times a bartender presented something that sounded completely ”out there”, but when it was combined in the shaker and then poured in the glass presented with garnish it was an impressive combination of flavours that hit the palet.

Each bartender had 5 minutes to do two drinks for the judges.



* “Elichi fizz” by Martin Palmberg Clausen

In the end it was a unanimous decision between the judging panel. Jeppe Notlev and his “Elysium” will be the on the menu for the next couple of months. The combination of Dodds´ gin, homemade redcurrant/vanilla/lime cordial, lemon and cranberry soda makes this drink very well balanced and complements the flavors of the gin and at the same time adds it´s own interesting twist with smooth slightly fruity notes.

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Congrats to Jeppe who will be serving his own drink throughout christmas at Ruby and thank you to the Ruby team for giving an insight behind the curtains!

We encourage you to give “Elysium” a try!

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