Whether you strive to be known as a master mixologist or an expert in craft cocktails, the ingredients you put into your drinks make a big difference. Forget about using well liquor—in order to have a successful career behind the bar, you have to be no-nonsense about the standard of the cocktail ingredients you use.

From the alcohol and mixers down to the garnishes and even the ice, the best mixologists in the world understand that every ingredient has to be of the utmost quality and freshness. Here are five reasons why it makes more sense to invest in premium cocktail ingredients:

  1. They Look and Taste Better

    Any bartender can get patrons drunk, but only the talented ones can make drinking a cocktail an experience that astonishes the taste buds and amazes the eyes. Fresh fruits and vegetables add vibrant color and explosively sweet and distinguished flavors. They can be used to make mixers and eye-catching garnishes.

    You should also stock high-quality and exotic liquors to delight the palates of your patrons. And don't forget to use high-quality ice for its powerful visual impact and because bad ice can easily ruin a good drink.

  2. They Lead to Repeat Business

    If you start raising the bar by mixing cocktails with only the best ingredients, customers will be pleased and come back again. They'll also likely bring friends, and then those friends will come back with their other friends. You may even find yourself being written up in a local magazine or industry publication.

    Even if you don't wind up in Bon Appetit, the bottom line is that repeat business is the backbone of any successful establishment. Make drinks that make an impact, and people will come back to try more of your craft.

  3. They Allow for Higher Profit Margins

    You might be concerned about your costs when it comes to investing in top-shelf booze, but rest assured that you'll be able to profit even more if you take the high-end route. Beverages have a high profit margin at any restaurant, but they're especially profitable when they can be marketed as a best-in-class option.

    With a strategically priced cocktail menu, you can set your bar up for optimized work flow and maximized profit potential. Try to stock at least one top-shelf variety of every spirit, and then add in an assortment of premium liquors, cordials, and exotic mixers and garnishes to truly wow your guests.

  4. They're Healthier

    Throw away that orange juice carton and get your blender out instead. The flavor of fresh juice is much better than processed versions, and it's also healthier because it's filled with vitamins and antioxidants, and has less sugar.

    Your guests will notice a difference when you use fresh fruit and vegetable juices in your cocktails, and they'll happily pay a premium price for drinks they can feel better about consuming.

  5. They Keep Your Reputation Strong

    Sure, your bar or restaurant's bottom line is very important to consider when it comes to the quality of the cocktail ingredients you use. However, the most crucial reason why you should never skimp on ingredient quality is your own reputation. Your personal career as a master mixologist should ideally trend upward. In other words, you should strive to become proficient at a wide array of basic cocktail techniques and learn how to mix different flavors and a multitude of ingredients.

If you're a mixologist, or on your way to becoming one, quality ingredients are a must. When you have the right liquor, bitters, tinctures, spices, and garnishes, you'll be able to exponentially increase your creative cocktail possibilities.