While you’re still learning how to create cocktails, observe the following basic rules so you’ll make fewer mistakes and no alcohol is wasted.
1. A balanced cocktail should always be your starting point.
2. Generally, a cocktail should contain 50 ml of the base spirit.
3. Shake cocktails only if they contain fruit juices.
4. Never mix fruit juices with dairy products such as milk.
5. Aromatic cocktails, which are usually bitter and dry, have to be stirred with ice to dilute them.
6. Cocktails made primarily of spirits such as the Martini should only be stirred.
7. Sour cocktails, which contain fruits, cream, egg and other ingredients, need shaking to dilute the drink and add texture.
8. Long drinks are created by adding water, tea, champagne, soda and others to either aromatic or sour cocktails.
9. If you’re using egg whites, you will have to dry-shake for a maximum of 15 seconds so that egg white binds to the ingredients.
10. Use only dry ice cubes or shaven and crushed ice for cocktails.
11. Remember that the amount of ice should be on the level or above the alcohol line in your cocktail shaker.
12. Don’t twist or pound the ingredients too hard. Muddling is done lightly so that other flavors in the ingredients aren’t released.
13. Double strain the cocktail if you’re using herbs and berries. Some berries contain small seeds that need to be removed.
14. Follow the recipe by the book. Place or prepare the ingredients in proper order.
15. Start with classic cocktails while you’re still practicing. There’s a good reason why they’re called classic.
16. Create a cocktail based on the people who are going to drink it.
17. Use only a small amount of whipped cream on a coffee drink.
18. Don’t mix 2 types of eau de vie. These are colorless fruit brandy that’s distilled twice.
19. Don’t mix two grain-based drinks with wine-based spirits.
20. Double strain the egg whites if you want to create a foam on top of the drink.
21. Never use ingredients you don’t know the effects or taste are. Don’t stock up on fancy liquor you haven’t even tried yourself.
22. Presentation should come naturally with cocktails. It’s like serving food on a fancy plate to add to the appeal.
23. Strong is the main liquor in your cocktail, while the weak is the lesser alcoholic drink such as a fortified wine or a liqueur.
24. Leave your cocktail with lemon or lime for 4 hours. Their juices taste best after a while.
25. However, if you’re using oranges, fresh is the best option because it becomes bitter if left for some time.
26. Sweet means that there is more syrup and sugar in the drink than alcohol, while sour means that you have used orange, lemon or lime in the cocktail.
27. Weigh the sugar you’re going to use for your cocktail. If you measure it, the flavor might change because sugar has a different density than water.
28. When you’re going for blended drinks, you should add sugar because the cocktail is diluted with the ice.