Bringing Craft Cocktails to Your Backyard
Cordial Craft is Kansas City’s newest craft cocktail catering service specializing in fresh, made-to-order seasonal drinks using locally sourced produce. Brandon and Alyssa Burke, the bar-savvy couple behind the beverage business, traded their belongings for a motorhome and made the journey from California to the Midwest seeking adventure.
“Cordial Craft was started almost by accident,” Brandon says. “We worked at some of San Diego’s most famed bars and restaurants and have been creating cocktail menus for almost a decade. We worked with a cocktail catering business for two years perfecting our craft, working with amazing clients and celebrities. Following a long night at our bartending job, we decided we needed a change of scenery. After tossing around ideas and drinks, we sold everything we owned and purchase an RV.”
Just four short months later, the Burkes were off traveling across the country.
“We worked odd jobs, spending weeks at a time in national parks. We were doing some cocktail design with NASCAR and planned on coming to Kansas City to work a race. We decided we wanted to stay for the fall and responded to an ad posted by the owner of Weston Red Barn Farm, Donovan Diaz. He was looking for farm help during fall festival, and our trip was all about growing and trying new things, so we rolled up in the RV for an interview. We ended up doing all sorts of amazing things in our two months there on the farm. Donovan mentioned his desire to go in-house for his alcohol catering. There really wasn’t anyone doing high-end handcrafted cocktails on the catering scene. Since we had so much experience in the field, we pitched our idea, and they loved it. After six more months on the road, we came back to Kansas City and started hashing out our business model that we finally see in action today.”
Since then, they’ve been serving the tastiest libations at numerous celebrations, like weddings, graduations, corporate events and small dinner parties in the area.
“Our goal is to bring the quality of a brick-and-mortar craft cocktail bar to people’s backyards.”
The name of their business is a play on words.
“Cordial has a double meaning—warm and friendly, and a comforting and pleasant tasting medicine. Craft means to exercise skill in making, especially by hand. This is part of who we are as a business down to the very core. Our staff is always warm, friendly, extremely knowledgeable and fun. We create pleasant-tasting beverages by hand at all of our events. We never batch cocktails; as a result of this, our clients are given the highest quality drinks 100 percent of the time.”
With this style of business, the couple agreed that Kansas City was the most ideal location.
“We fell in love with the people and the Midwest style of living. We were blown away by the passion the people had for local produce and products. Sharing those same tendencies, we felt this was the perfect location for this style of business.”
Their ever-changing drink menu is inspired by fresh seasonal produce.
“Our cocktails are designed literally from the ground up. We create our seasonal menus based on the ingredients and seasonality of the farm. Our cocktails come in all sorts of different colors that can be found in nature. We are particular about the produce and juices that we use, making our own liqueurs, simple syrups, bitters, jams and many other things. We have a small garden of herbs that we incorporate into our menu and draw inspiration from. Each of our drinks has a back story and takes way longer than the 14 seconds it takes to shake the day of the event. This is the backbone of what we do.”
To book Cordial Craft at your next event or get-together, visit CordialCraft.com
1 1/2 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce housemade blueberry syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup blueberries
1 cup distilled water
Simmer medium-high for 20 minutes and strain.
Bourbon Berry Smash
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
Smashed berries and mint
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Hint: don’t over muddle. Muddling brings out flavor and oil, but too much and the ingredients turn bitter.
Fly Me to Hawaii
1 1/2 ounces pineapple-infused light and aged rum
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
Pineapple rum infusion
1 bottle light rum
1 bottle aged rum
Let sit for 7 days then strain. Eat the pineapple—if you dare.
Hint: Shake as hard as you can for at least 20 seconds. It breaks apart enzymes in the pineapple that give the beverage an amazing frothy texture.
1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
3 muddled watermelon chunks
Shake and strain over ice.
Hint: Tajín is a Mexican chili lime salt. Rim the glass with this for a savory, spicy, sour, salty kick.