I still remember my beginner days of making cocktails and not really understanding why the drinks were not turning out how exactly I wanted. Here are a few tips that you can use in your home bartending that I wish I knew going in day one.
- Always measure your drinks.
This is the most important tip because if you measure your drinks you can remake recipes the same way every time. Especially if you’re trying to make something new or make an alteration to a classic measuring cocktails is essential so when you find the perfect ratio for you, it can be just as delicious every time you make it.
Side Tip: Even when recipes say, “Top With” be sure and measure
- Always use fresh juice.
This is extremely important specifically for citrus juice, the bottled lemon and lime juice take away so much from the intricacies and the flavors in classic cocktails. A classic lime daiquiri is a great example of this. Making that drink with bottled lime juice from the store versus fresh squeezed lime juice is a night and day difference. I understand fresh juices can be a little more expensive then the bottled juices, but there are always good deals to find and it makes such an enormous difference.
Side Tip: One lemon produces about 1.5 oz of juice, one lime produces about 1 oz, and one grapefruit produces about 8 oz
- Find a Reputable Source for Recipes.
A good cocktail book or a great website with simple classic recipe is a lifesaver when beginning mixology these recipes have ratios dialed in very nicely and make fantastic and impressive cocktails. There are plenty of books out there, and while they are more expensive than free websites, they often have truly unique recipes I have never seen online. Once you get a hang of a few recipes start making tweaks to see what you like best.
Side Tip: “Shake. A new perspective on Cocktails” (a book in my collection) can be found fairly cheap, used on Amazon.
- Stock the bar the right way.
This tip is much more detailed then I can explain in this short paragraph. A couple basic principles buy what you like to drink, and don’t buy spirits for one drink try instead find spirits that are multi-purpose. If you do you really want to make a drink that requires an odd liqueur and bitters try making your own. Making your own can really expand the available flavors for your cocktails without breaking the bank.
Side Tip: The difference between bottom and top shelf vodka is mostly the company’s marketing and the bottle.
Thanks for reading, I hope your first months of making cocktails are as fun and delicious as mine!