Drink Menu Insert, opinions?

The client wanted me to make drink menu inserts for their Mexican restaurant. Approx 4’’ x 5 1/2’’.
I had a lot of freedom to make them anyway I saw fit, which was fun but also challenging, because it was hard deciding on an approach.
Since it’s a mom & pop place, the decor is colorful, and they stress authenticity, I thought I would make the drink inserts look similar to the type of painted signs you see in Mexico.

Any feedback and criticism is greatly appreciated, thanks!

I think this looks really good. My questions/comments:

  • Will there be prices listed?
  • The texture hinders readability, especially in the description for the El Marador. Can you soften the the brick texture beind the text a little bit?
  • I love the white space, but I’m curious if there is something else you could add there. I’m thinking drink specials could go in the bottom right, or even a call-out that shows a drink in profile.

Not to defend the omission of prices, but it’s painfully common practice now to present a menu of specialty or “signature” cocktails, sans prices. You’re supposed to want it badly enough to pay whatever they’re charging, and use the opportunity to demonstrate how secure you are in your fiscal solvency by ordering without concern.

@HotButton, I understand this and it makes sense – for the restaurant. I was asking more out of curiosity as to if the client requested the prices to be listed or not. If prices have to be included, there might be some issues with this design.

Overall looks nice. The photos look good. The headline type with the painted brick effect looks good. My only concern is that the small black type is too hard to read, especially since the overall size of the piece is only 5.5". Make sure you consider the size of the type and the contrast to the background.

Right; a valid concern.

Clamato. Why, why, why for the love of everything’s that holy and good is clamato still around.

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Because the appreciation of goodness and decency requires an evil counterpart. Clamato juice is the vile antichrist in a world full of enjoyable beverages that have no need to include the bodily fluids of juiced bivalve organisms.


Good start. I like how you’ve used different coloured headings and cocktails on each side. Otherwise people might miss at a glance that they are not the same menu on both sides.

I would superscript the ® symbol.

Have you printed this out at 100% size? The body copy looks like it might be too small.

I’m wondering if this would work if you bolded the ingredients? It might make it horrible to read or it might make it a whole lot better.
e.g. Tequila, cranberry juice, a splash of freshly squeezed lime, a touch of triple sec, ice and strained into a martini glass.

the bodily fluids of juiced bivalve organisms.


¡Me encanta Mexico! I’m ready to order a drink! Fabulous job!

The pics, colors and typography are really excellent! It really says “Mexico” (one of my face places and cultures). I love how you alternated the color of “Cócteles” with the color used in the drink pic and headings. On the second one, I’d probably do what you did in the first one; use the same color from the title in the drink names to distribute the color more on the page.

I like the suggestion for making the ingredients bold. However, there is a lot of negative space below the drink pics, so perhaps you could put a checkmark (or other icon) next to each ingredient and have them in a list under each drink. That would occupy more space, but then you could have one drink listed under the pic of the drinks.

Otherwise, maybe you could put a pic of something else below the drink, like another drink? Or maybe it could be a slimmer insert?

I would make sure the ® is in superscript and that the text is a tad more legible.

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Thanks everyone for the responses!

They don’t want prices listed.
I will fix the background that’s making the legibility a little tough.
I like the idea of putting something below the photo. They have a Happy Hour but it only includes house margaritas & 3 different appetizers, none of the specialty drinks featured on the menu. That’s a lot of qualifiers to put in that little space. Maybe a simple “Ask about our Happy Hour”?
I like the drink-in-profile, but none of the stock images of these drinks match how they serve them, and they’ve had problems in the past with using stock images and customers saying, “How come my drink doesn’t look like that? Where’s the umbrella/pineapple wedge/etc”

It didn’t feel right including it in the description. I’ll find another way to describe that ingredient.

I will change the ® symbol.
I’ve printed it out, and the legibility is decent. I was smaller before.
But it would be better to make it larger. Only problem is that I either have to either reduce the margins/safety area, shrink the photo, and/or increase the amount of lines from 3 to 4.
I like the idea of highlighting key ingredients. I feel like it’s a lot of text that makes it kind of boring. I’ve seen other drink menus only list the ingredients, so that might be another option for me, in order to increase the text size.

Thank you!
I’ll try matching the colors on the second one. I was worried that it’s too much red, and would make that side feel too “warm” and lessen the cool, refreshing hue of the green.
That’s an neat idea of the icons.
I can’t change the size of the insert as these will be put in some kind of plastic holder. It’s a little frustrating because most drink menus are either narrow but really tall, or have multiple pages.

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Three things.

  1. Cóctel, with the accent on the “o” is used in South America and Spain, not in México. In México it would not have the accent, because Coctel it is a word “Aguda” vs a “grave” pronunciation.

2… It is just my opinion. You are clearly using a rustic wall, with clear bricks on it… Those types of bricks would not be used as a table, so, the realistic integration with the shadows, are challenging the laws of gravity. But the overall composition looks nice.

  1. Probably you need to put " " on “El Jefe” Margarita. It is a Margarita nickname “El Jefe”. Just maybe.

Thanks Rafa!
I made those changes.
Here’s what I’ve done so far with everyone’s input. Partly a mock-up for now.

Four different versions for the front side. I’ll add the other side shortly.
I still have to clean up the background behind the text to make the ingredients more legible


I love the second and third ones. How about “Cocteles” in the green and the headings in red? “Cocteles” is prominent so it doesn’t technically “need” the red, but the headings would stand out more in red. But they look wonderful—and delicious! :slight_smile:

I like the 1st and 2nd design. I wonder how will it look if you add a new layer background for the menu?

Clamato is Clamato and unless your actually GOING to call it the bodily fluids of juiced bivalve organisms, I’d stick with Clamato.

The title of the thread is “Drink Menu Insert, opinions.” No one — including me — bothered to ask what this drink was to be inserted into (a larger menu, maybe). It might have been important to consider the design of the larger menu and the need for the insert to complement it in some way?

Anyway, given that this is a 2-month-old thread, I suspect Agent008 is done with this project and the menu is already being used to order Mazatlan Mojitos (which sounds pretty good right now — without the clam squeezings, of course.)

Doesn’t a drink menu insert most often imply that bent plastic thing that sits on the table that you slide (or insert) a piece of paper into.


I’ve noticed drink menus in three different forms: like in your photo, as an added insert into a folded menu and as a separate menu. We have a history of wacky and always-changing liquor laws here in Utah, so what I’m used to seeing might not be the norm. Our state legislature, by the way, has always been composed mostly of non-drinking Mormons who regard drinking as a sin, have no experience with alcohol, and pass erratic liquor laws that reflect both their ignorance and beliefs.

Wacky Utah drinking laws tangent follows:

For a long time, there were no places in Utah that served more than low-alcohol beer. There were no bars that served hard liquor. All liquor and beer with more than 3.2% alcohol had to be purchased at a state-owned liquor stores and carried from the store in a brown paper bag and consumed at home.

Then something called liquor locker clubs came into legal existence. They allowed card-carry members to bring their own unopened liquor bottles into the club. Those liquor bottles were kept in lockers and served to their owners upon request in mixed drinks, but there were still no actual bars.

Then the law changed again to allow private clubs (regular bars serving liquor) where one needed to be sponsored by an existing member, apply for membership, endure a waiting period and then receive a card permitting the holder of the card to enter the bar and order a drink.

After a few short years, it became apparent that Utah was losing tourist and convention dollars because of these restrictive laws, so that realization prompted a never-ending series of revisions from one year to the next by our clueless state legislature.

People were then allowed to bring their own wine bottles (covered in a brown paper bag) to a restaurant and request that it be opened by an authorized wine opening staff member. Similar requirement were in place for liquor, but no mixed drinks were allowed unless the customer just wanted to order, say, a Coke then pour some rum into it from the bottle inside the brown paper bag.

Laws were then passed that allowed certain licensed restaurants to serve drinks with meals in certain segregated areas of the restaurant. A restaurant customer, after ordering a meal, was allowed to go into a special segregated room to order drinks from a bar tender who would mix the drinks with no alcohol. The bartender would then give the customer a mini bottle (like the ones in airliners). The customer would be required to take both the drink and the mini bottle back to the table in the restaurant. At the table, the customer was allowed to open the mini bottle and pour the liquor from the mini bottle into the drink. The empty mini bottle was then promptly removed by the waiter or waitress in an effort, I suppose, not to expose others to the site of a liquor bottle.

Then the law changed again to require that the restaurant customer mix the mini bottle contents at the bar (literally on the bar) in the presence of a supervising bartender before taking the drink back into the main part of the restaurant.

Then, after three or four more years, the law was changed to require these establishments to hide all their mini bottles so that they were never visible to any customers except when mixing the drinks at the sectioned-off bar area of the restaurant.

The law was changed again to require that only the bartender could pour the liquor from the mini bottles into the drink.

Eventually, the state legislators were told that one mini bottle per drink made an unusually strong drink, at which point the state legislature immediately banned all mini bottles from both private club bars and restaurants. In their place came measuring dispensers that only allowed a small amount of liquor to be mixed per drink by the bar tender.

The law was changed again to prevent restaurants from mentioning that they served alcoholic drinks. The customer was, first, required to ask if the restaurant served liquor with meals. At this point, the waiter or waitress was allowed to answer the question and give the customer a special drink menu that enabled them to order from a waiter or waitress over the age of 21 one drink per meal. Depending on the restaurant’s license, the customers might be required to move to a special liquor-permitted area of the restaurant with special waiters and waitresses who could legally serve the mixed drinks or beer with more alcohol than 3.2 percent.

At about this point I began to lose track of the ever-changing laws since I rarely order anything but a beer with pizza or Mexican food at the restaurants I know have licenses to do so. I haven’t been to an actual bar in several years, so I don’t know what the situation is there either any longer.

It’s still not possible to by liquor or wine in anything other than a state-owned liquor store. No beer can be sold in stores with an alcohol content over 3.2 percent, but the legislature in this last session was debating whether or not to allow stores to sell regular beer since some popular beers are no longer brewed to the Utah-mandated low-alcohol content requirements. I’m unsure, but I think any changes were pushed forward to next year to provide time for the non-drinking legislators to educate themselves about beer.

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