As mixology trends progress, many bartenders and drink artists are trying to find ways to protect the unique drinks and techniques they create. It's a tricky balance though-bars need to promote their original concoctions while mixologists keep their secrets close to home.
Eben Freeman, well known as "the creator of smoked Coke and 'solid' cocktails at the now-defunct Tailor in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood," says:
"In no other creative business can you so easily identify money attached to your creative property. There is an implied commerce to our intellectual property. Yet we have less protection than anyone else."
However, trademarking a cocktail is as hard as trademarking a recipe-or a song for that matter. Published recipes are indeed subject to copyright, but the 'concept' of a drink or recipe cannot legally be owned for the same reasons small-time bands can't be sued for covering famous artists' songs.