Hear How Crystal Turned a Love of Mixology into a Successful Traveling Cocktail Catering Service in the Front Range Area of Colorado
Cocktail Caravan is a beverage catering and bartending service based out of Boulder, CO, providing delicious drinks at private parties and weddings throughout the Front Range area of Colorado. Lolita, their cute vintage trailer turned into a bar, is ideal for different types of events, and they offer fresh handmade cocktail mixers that guests enjoy.
Some highlights from the show:
Bringing experience as a bartender and working in publishing, Crystal turned her love of making delicious cocktails for events at the requests of friends, and friends of friends. After six years of creating cocktails at events as a side project while still in publishing, she decided to make the Cocktail Caravan her full time plan. Over the years her business has grown mostly through word of mouth, and she has enjoyed the connection with people as her business has grown, which has been mostly through word of mouth.
“Somebody called and it was a friend of a friend, and they had a 300 person wedding out in Lyons, CO. So we made some drinks that had margarita and fresh muddled cucumber in it, and they were very thirsty. Our arms were sore for many days after that from muddling all those cucumbers. But basically, that was kind of the beginning of it all, and from that point I just got a lot of word of mouth business on accident without even trying to. That lasted about six years, and it was just kind of a side project, and then at one point along the way, I quit the publishing job and decided I needed to get back into bartending full time. ” - Crystal Sagan
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of getting a cocktail from the Cocktail Caravan, then you have met Lolita, a vintage 1969 Alto van that has been rebuilt from the ground up and is a labor of love.
“I didn’t want to buy one that had been nicely refurbished because we were just going to have to gut it anyway to build it out. So we were kind of looking for one that was already either in really bad shape, or already gutted, and we happened to find one. So we got really lucky because it was just right down the road from us and it was totally rusted out, already gutted, and we just built it out from there. ” - Crystal Sagan
Fun New Challenges
Cocktail Caravan was recently at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver, serving drinks for two clients with booths at the show. As the largest trade show in the industry for the outdoor sports and clothing retailers, they worked with two vendors, and embraced taking on new challenges of working with the Convention Center, and drink themes for each vendor.
“The trade show was a fun and unique challenge for us. We had two clients, Bogs Footwear and Sierra Nevada Brewing. In both cases, the client actually found us and reached out to us and persuaded the Convention Center to allow us to come in. We were offering something that’s a little bit different than what the Convention Center offers with its own programming. So they felt it was appropriate for us to come in.” - Crystal Sagan
How They Keep The Drinks Consistent and Fun
With a menu of signature drinks you can choose from, and oftentimes get creative with inspiration from the hosts, and the food to be served for a selection of drinks unique to the occasion.
“We get to know what they’re interested in, and if they have a certain them that they’re going for, or we can look at their dinner menu to see what kind of inspiration we get from there. We do have a menu of standard offering, but we pretty frequently veer off that menu and just get creative to make something fun and special for people.” - Crystal Sagan
“We use fresh pressed and fresh juice so that the drinks are really vibrant, and definitely crowd pleasers, so that makes it really fun. What I learned in that very first wedding that I did with 300 people and they drank like fishes, was that I never ever wanted to muddle anything ever again for the rest of my life. So what we do now is everything gets prepped in batches ahead of time without the alcohol. So we’ll juice the cucumbers, instead of having to muddle them, and every drink we make through the night is consistent. So it makes it pretty straightforward for the bar staff, and a lot easier and faster for them, which they’re always appreciative of.” - Crystal Sagan
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