Secret Recipes

Did you know Don used Secret Recipes?

Don the Beachcomber was such a popular spot that it attracted patrons far and wide, many coming again and again to enjoy the delicious cocktails. Thus, Don spawned many competitors wishing to emulate his style, his drinks and his success. Rival and competing bar owners would anonymously take a seat at his bar to watch his bartenders make cocktails in an attempt to reverse engineer his concoctions, postulating that if they could duplicate what he was doing then Don’s customers would patronize their business as well.


So how did Don combat this? He employed the use of secret recipes and secret ingredients. First and foremost, the drink recipes were never shared outside of the restaurant. Secondly, the ingredients the bartenders employed were secretly mixed by Don himself. For example, a drink recipe might call for 1oz of “Don’s Mix” (a secret blend of cinnamon syrup and grapefruit juice), or 3/4oz of “Don’s Spices” (a unique combination of allspice, cloves, vanilla extract and simple syrup). Thirdly, when Don really wanted to keep his ingredients and techniques secret, he started having his bartenders mix their cocktails behind a wall. The completed cocktails would then be pushed through a small “trap door” from behind this wall to the servers who would then walk them out to the customer. Lastly, in some instances, Don would assign specific tasks to specific people. For instance, Bartender A might be responsible for juicing the drinks, Bartender B might responsible for measuring the spirits and Bartender C might be responsible for presentation and garnishing, ensuring that not one person knew every component of the cocktail they were making.


Employing all of these techniques, even if a potential competitor tried to steal one of Don’s bartenders with the lure of more lucrative pay, that bartender couldn’t take Don’s drinks with him! And in keeping with tradition, we too use the infamous ‘Don’s Mix’ and ‘Gardenia Mix’ and give our bartenders bottles labeled only by color to maintain the mystery.