How to Make a Cocktail Like a Pro
Do you want to pour the perfect cocktail?
No matter if you want to make cocktails for your own enjoyment, or you’re looking to create cocktails for your restaurant, you’ll need to understand the basics of cocktail making before you get fancy.
Let’s go through how to make a cocktail.
Learn the Words
First, you’ll have to know the basic dictionary behind cocktail making. This will help ensure that you know what you’re doing and that you never get an order wrong.
Do you know the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink? A cocktail is a specific variety of mixed drink, that usually contains both bitters and a sweet element, along with a combination of liquors.
Mixers are the non-alcoholic ingredients in cocktails or mixed drinks. The garnish is the cherry on top of a cocktail — sometimes literally.
Know the Ingredients
There are a few standard ingredients that are used in a wide variety of cocktails. The liquors that are usually used in cocktails are tequila, gin, vodka, brandy, rum, and whiskey.
If you’re using liqueurs in your cocktails, some of the options available to you include Irish cream, amaretto, RumChata, sambuca, and limoncello. You also may include other alcoholic ingredients such as vermouth, absinthe, beer, or Campari.
Of course, cocktails also contain lots of different non-alcoholic ingredients. Various types of sodas and juices are often used in cocktails.
Some cocktails only require three or four ingredients, while others may require dozens. If you’re just getting into the world of cocktail-making, you should start yourself off on the simpler side before getting into intricate, multi-step cocktail recipes.
Beyond the ingredients, you should also make sure you have the equipment you need on hand. At a minimum, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a strainer, several different types of knives, jiggers, and other measuring devices, plenty of glassware, juicers, and strainers.
Understand Mixing Techniques
When you have all your ingredients together, you’ll need to understand how to combine them. Different types of cocktails will require different combination techniques.
You’ll want to strain most cocktails before you finish off the preparation process, to remove any broken ice. That way, you’ll be able to either serve the cocktail over fresh ice or serve it without any ice at all.
Cocktails that should be shaken together include ingredients with a lot of different flavors. Usually, liquor-centric cocktails should be poured directly into the glass.
Make sure the glasses are always cold before you begin serving your cocktails. If you’re drinking at home that may be less of a problem, but it’s still an important rule in a professional setting.
Rimming a Cocktail Glass
You should also learn how to properly rim a drink. Lay your rimming ingredient, whether it be sugar or salt, on a plate, and make sure that it’s evenly distributed.
Use water or a fruit slice to dampen the rim of the glass. Dip the rim into the plate, and get the rim nice and covered. Then, you can remove any loose ingredients, and wait for the rim to dry enough to start pouring the cocktail.
Of course, you don’t have to just use sugar or salt to rim your cocktails. Consider coloring your rim to improve the presentation. Add chili powder for. a little extra bite, or cinnamon for a more complex flavor.
Once you have the rim down, you’ll be able to choose garnishes for your drink. Maraschino cherries, lemons, and limes are all typical choices. But, there are more unusual cocktail garnishes you may want to consider.
You can use the peel of citrus fruit, sculpted into a leaf or another shape that complements the drink. Plants like mint or rosemary can be a good garnish for drinks that are on the less-sweet side. You can also consider using one of the many great edible flowers out there to garnish your cocktails.
Get Inspiration for Your Cocktails
If you want to create your own cocktails, you’ll want to explore what’s out there. Look at different bars in your area. You can try out premade cocktails to go to find flavors that you enjoy.
And, there’s nothing like good-old fashion internet research to help you find new ideas for delicious cocktails. You can look at cocktails you already know you like, and research ways to change them to make them even better.
Once you get more comfortable making cocktails, you’ll be able to make some elements of cocktails yourself. This will help give your drinks a more personal touch.
For example, you can infuse your simple syrups all by yourself. That way, you can choose the perfect combination of herbs or spices. Some ingredients you may want to consider using include rosemary, fresh mint, lavender, black pepper, chamomile, or cinnamon. You can also try making your own sour mix.
You’ll probably want to squeeze your own juices, no matter what fruit you’re using, rather than using premade juice. Just make sure you strain the juice carefully so that you don’t accidentally leave any seeds in your cocktail.
Be careful when you’re creating DIY cocktails. You don’t want to accidentally injure yourself, or use ingredients that are expired.
Make a Cocktail Like a Boss: Start Now
There’s a lot that goes into creating the perfect cocktail. But with these tips, you should now have no problem when you’re trying to make a cocktail, no matter what the occasion.
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