Cocktail Mixing for the Beginner

Everybody enjoys sipping a cocktail, and there are literally thousands to choose from. Most bartenders have their own secret recipe that has the customers coming back for more. So how do you start as a beginner cocktail maker?

First, gather your equipment together. You need a good cocktail shaker, large but not too large to handle comfortably, stainless steel is generally the preferred material. You need a jigger, with which to measure ingredients, a muddler, for crushing sugar, a juicer, for extracting juice from citrus fruits, a long handled mixing spoon and last of all a fine mesh strainer. Of course, you will also need a sharp knife for cutting the fruit which so often features in tropical inspired cocktail offerings. As you get more experienced you will want to add to this collection, for example more than one size of strainer, a grater for nutmeg and chocolate toppings and so on.

The ideal cocktail is a balance between strong and weak alcohol, for example gin and martini, and sweet and sour flavors, for example sugar and lemon. Getting the right proportions is absolutely essential, as is consistency from drink to drink.

Start with a simple yet challenging cocktail, the Martini made with gin. Everyone has their own idea of the perfect Martini, personally I love a Dirty Martini (made with a little olive juice). Find a friend who likes Martinis, and practice making the most authentic offering. You will have no shortage of volunteers to be testers! Get a few classics like the Martini, the Highball, the Daiquiri, the Mojito, the Bloody Mary, the Margarita, the Pina Colada, and whatever you notice is a favorite in the better bars around your area, under your belt to give you confidence.

Once you have mastered these, check out some of the fancier cocktails, there are many recipe books and online recipes. It makes sense to use local ingredients where you can, for example, in the tropics, major on coconut, pineapple and mango, in colder climes, focus on warming brandy and chocolate concoctions and spicy mulled wines. You would like to obtain additional information with regards to copper cocktail shaker  kindly pay a visit to our website.

In general when you are building your own recipe, start out with the sweet element, then add the sour, then the weaker alcohol, for example curacao, and finally the strong alcohol. That way you can ensure you are getting the right balance. Don’t forget the function of ice; crushed ice and whole cubes behave very differently, and the amount of ice you use will have a big influence on the way the drink tastes, especially as the customer gets down to the bottom of the glass. Too much ice can make the end of the drink insipid, you want to leave him looking forward to the next one, not feeling as if the drink was pretty weak and not worth the money.

Whatever you do, don’t neglect presentation, try to match the glass and the decorations with the drink. A Martini definitely doesn’t need a parasol and a couple of cherries, it should however be served in a good Martini glass. Pay attention to the temperature of the glass, nothing is worse than a chilled cocktail served in a warm glass fresh from the wash! A rim of salt or sugar, a twist of lime, properly crushed ice, all these are the finishing touches. Spend time working to make sure that you have mastered the art of presentation. Tropical cocktails look especially lovely if presented with a flower, but make sure the flower are washed, you don’t want an ant running out onto your beautiful creation.

Mint and other herbs are currently very popular as finishing touches on many cocktails. Ask around local gardening friends to see if you can source small supplies of unusual things like lemon thyme and dill, which can be sensational taste enhancers and will really make your name as an expert. Remember these cocktail mixing techniques and you will be on your way to becoming a cocktail master.

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