You don’t need to go to a bar to enjoy a delicious cocktail. You can have fun making unique creations at home. Here are my top tips for creating your own over-the-top cocktails…
It all begins with acquiring the right tools. You won’t be able to make a cocktail if you have no way of measuring the ingredients or serving the drink. You will need all of the following…
- Shaker – There are several different types of shakers available. I would advise purchasing a Boston shaker.
- Strainer – Both julep and Hawthorne strainers work well.
- Bar Spoon – A bar spoon will allow you to reach the bottom of a large mixing glass to stir effectively.
- Glassware – You can’t enjoy a cocktail without the right glass.
- Chef’s Knife – You will need this so you can easily cut fruit.
- Paring Knife – Great for cutting swaths of zest and herbs.
- Jiggers – This is a standard measuring device all bartenders have.
- Measuring Cups – You will need to measure to get the balance right.
- Juicer – If you like fruity cocktails, you will want a citrus juicer.
- Channel Knife – If you want to get creative with your cocktail decorations you’ll need a channel knife.
You may even want to look into hiring a kitchen renovation expert if you are going to transform part of your kitchen into a bar so that you can make cocktails on a regular basis. This is something more and more homeowners are doing.
Once you have got all of the tools you can then purchase alcohol for your cocktails. You’ll need a strategy otherwise you’ll end up buying every bottle of alcohol in the shop. Have a goal in mind. What cocktail do you want to create first? Buy ingredients based on this. Let’s say you have chosen a gin-based cocktail. You can then research other gin cocktails and buy ingredients for them.
You now have everything you need in your kitchen. So, let me tell you a bit about the mechanics of mixing before we move forward. Knowing whether to shake or stir a drink is important. Shake a drink when you want to achieve a foamy texture, stir it when you want a silky texture. For a drink with dairy, juice or eggs, shake it. If the drink is just made from spirits, you should stir it.
Stir A Cocktail: Stirring a cocktail is pretty easy, but there is a technique to it. Make sure the bar spoon touches the bottom of the glass. The aim is to move the spoon up and down the glass whilst stirring.
Shake A Cocktail: Shaking a cocktail is quite fun… unless you don’t have a tight seal and the drink goes everywhere! Make sure you close the shaker by sharply tapping the base of it. When shaking the glass do it over your shoulder and away from your guests.
Strain A Cocktail: No one will order from your cocktail list again if they have to pick bits out of their drink. Hold the strainer against the shaker; don’t put it on top of the glass.
Add A Citrus Twist: You may want to add a citrus twist to enhance the look of your drink and indeed provide a slight hint of citrus flavour. You simply need to cut off some peel and twist it over the glass before dropping it in.
You can now turn your home into a bar with the tips that have been provided. If all goes to plan, I’m sure you will have just as much fun tasting the cocktails as you will when making them.