10 Minutes With: The Grand Bevy
In the past few years, the “signature cocktail” has proven it’s here to stay! For those seeking the ultimate experience in specialty beverages, look no further than The Grand Bevy. In a matter of years, The Grand Bevy has moved to the forefront of beverage service, across the U.S. and internationally. Whether they’re mixing up cocktails for multi-million dollar weddings or serving the most unique gastronomic creations at corporate events, The Grand Bevy has proven it is the best of the best. We recently sat down with founder & CEO Josh Rosenthal to learn more about this innovative business.
Tell us, how did you start your company, The Grand Bevy?
Too many times I had watched the top catering companies spend 90% or more of their resources and focus on food, leaving beverage service as a side thought. At events, I saw guests spending far more time with a cocktail in hand than a fork. So, I set up The Grand Bevy to bring some justice to the client! My goal has been to elevate the level of beverage service to a point that at the very least equals if not exceeds the level of food service.
How did you discover your passion for cocktails?
It’s not the cocktails by themselves that I have a passion for – it’s in creating a complete experience through beverages. Cocktails and our various products are just a percentage of that overall experience. Creating a beverage program and executing it complete with a unique experience is my passion!
Do you prefer the term mixologist or bartender?
Good question. At The Grand Bevy, these are two differing positions. A BARTENDER executes with speed, efficiency and a personable charm what the MIXOLOGIST has set out. That is to say a mixologist is the creator and ‘chef’ who has designed the menu. The bar tender is the ‘line cook’ who executes it. Each has a distinct set of skills. Our internal training program for all our staff defines this unique skill set that each of those two positions requires.
Where do you find inspiration for your new drinks?
Together with my National Beverage Director, we arrive at the perfect menu and derive from the places in the world we are working, the local flavors, customs and traditions. We might do a fermentation bar made from the traditional fermentations in Ecuador, etc. We draw heavily on the couple’s romantic story - how they met, where they met, what season it was, and what key moments defined their relationship. From that we can develop an entire beverage program that honors the reason we are there - the union of two people and their unique romantic story.
What have you learned from working in the beverage service industry?
Murphy’s Law is alive and well! If it can go wrong, plan for it and plan for an alternative! What people don't know about The GB is that our operation is often far more complex than catering, with multiple vendors and sub contractors under our operation, from the specialized ice services, to other parts of our business. With many moving parts, we have learned to specialize in operations as much as product development. This is crucial. Forward planning. That is 90% of it.
How does The Grand Bevy distinguish their cocktails different from others?
To be truly honest, no one does what we do both in delivery and in the quality of cocktails. Most bars don't even have the level of product quality that we have. We have kitchens that cook all the complex non-alcoholic ingredients into our GB reductions. This means we can deliver thousands of cocktails that are far more complex than the best bespoke-bars in the event world without a single guest ever waiting for a drink.
What are the 3 things every couple should ask their caterer before selecting the drinks they serve at their wedding?
What is your plan for the beverage service from start to finish? How do you intend to avoid lines at the bar and show me a detailed menu of your beverage service? I’d add one more; when are you talking to The Grand Bevy to elevate the beverage service!?
Are there any venues that you would love to set up a Grand Bevy bar?
We work with a lot of venues around the country. However, I’m always personally looking for venues in locations that are just fun to travel to. South of France, Monaco and any venue in Positano would be tremendous.
Do you have a favorite drink?
Yes. My go to is Campari on the rocks. It has a relatively low alcohol content, it balances sweet and bitter perfectly and reminds me of being on the Amalfi Coast, even when I'm not!
What is your favorite cocktail trend of the moment?
We have heavily invested into edible cocktails. We are the only ones doing them at the moment and I just think they are so delightful. You can place any kind of cocktail inside a sphere through a molecular reverse sphericatin process - think of a large caviar ball with the liquid cocktail suspended inside. It bursts in your mouth. They are really fun, elegant, cutting edge and delicate.