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Whiskarita: A Trademark Cocktail

Whiskarita joins the list of cocktails to be trademarked in the United States of America. Cocktails are rarely trademark due to nature (a drink) unlike clothes brands which are easily trademark and trademarking them is regarded to some as contentious.

The first question to ask is what is trade mark ?

A trademark is basically a symbol, word or words legally registered by use as representing a company or product. .

The essence of a trademark is to protect the investment that goes into making a product; the reputation a company has built over time. It also offers a guarantee function; for example, you want to buy a hard seltzer, once you see the name on the can you are sure of the maker and the quality. These same functions apply to trademarked cocktails.

The goal of a trademark is to protect the reputation and ensure taste consistency of the Dark N Stormy (another trademarked cocktail in the USA)…The trademark not only protects the integrity of the cocktail.”

By Malcolm of the Gosling rum

Let say I make a cocktail that becomes famous and I call it Hake; there is a possibility people would try to remake or throw random ingredients and call it Hake. What of the reputation of hake, what of the consumers who are expecting hake and have something else this is what trademark seeks to protect.

What is being trademarked is the name, not the recipe neither can the ingredients be trademarked. This is due to fact that everyone in the trade has a right to use those ingredients. Not to worry the recipe falls under another branch of Intellectual Property called business secrets. What happens when there is a breach of the trademark; the person may be liable for infringement and action could be instituted for damages by the trademark owner or a trademarked owner can institute a cease and desist letter to any establishment that does not meet its drink specifications.

The trademark owner also has a right to make sure a drink meets its specification, for example, if a bartender mixes a rum with ginger beer and calls it Dark ‘N stormy he may be liable for any infringement of trademark although if it is not called dark ‘n stormy the bartender may not be liable.


Whiskarita is described as a margarita that replaces tequila with whiskey. It was trademarked by 291Colorado whiskey Michael Myers, CEO and founding distiller of 291 spoke about Whiskarita in a press statement “I created the Whiskarita before I started my distillery and it was the first cocktail served in our tasting room it has been a best seller since …White whiskey is an American spirit which mixes well in cocktail” 291 distilleries has been making the whiskey cocktail for events since early 2011.

291 fresh whiskey is made from corn malted rye and malted barley mash designed for mixed drinks specifically cocktails that don’t normally utilize whiskey .The whiskey is a small batch aged whiskey diluted in cooper pot still.

Whiskarita Recipe

  • 11/2oz of 291 of Fresh Colorado whiskey.
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup
  • 3/4oz Triple sec 
  • 11/4oz Lime juice

Shake the ingredients in a tin within strain over into a Collins glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge .

Whiskarita is also named the official cocktail of the Colorado spring sesquicentennial. Other trademarked cocktails are Dark ‘N Stormy, Sazerac, Pain Killer, Hand Grenade:

  • Dark ‘N Stormy: First trademarked in late 1970 by the Gosling Rum group. It is made with gosling black seal rum, ginger beer and lime. It is regarded as Bermuda official drink.
  • Sazerac:  called the first all American invented cocktail was trademarked in 1900. Sazerac company owns the trademark. The proper base for the cocktail is Sazerac rye whiskey with the addition of Peychaud bitters, sugar cubes and Herb saint.
  • Painkiller: trademark in the US and UK in 2003 the mark also extends to restaurant and business service. It is made with Pusser rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice and fresh nutmeg.
  • Hand Grenade: composed of a secret recipe that combines a mix of spirits with melon liqueur by Tropical Isle family New Orleans.
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