Updated: Jun 16, 2021
One of the things we hear most frequently from our awesome clients is that they love hearing our “tips and tricks” of cocktail making. Those little nuggets of knowledge that will take your drinks to the next level, save you time, or make your life easier. So today, we’re doing our first roundup of insider info — dishing the secrets we’ve learned after many years behind the
bar. Welcome to our smorgasbord of
ten cocktailing tips!
Generally, when making a drink, add the ingredients from least expensive to most expensive. This usually means starting with a juice or syrup and ending with your spirits. That way, if you make a mistake along the way, you won’t lose some of the precious alcohol! (Of course, there are exceptions — if you need to muddle something first, or top with bubbles, etc. Follow the instructions and use your best judgement here!)
Store open bottles of vermouth, sherry, and wine-based amari in the fridge. With their lower alcohol content, they aren’t as shelf stable as a spirit. These products will start to degrade over time, especially since they are typically used in small quantities at home and a bottle will take a long time to use. Refrigerating after opening will help keep them fresh for longer. You can also purchase half-size bottles of many of the major vermouth brands — this is a good option if you’re not using it too often.
Purchase multi-pack small bottles of sparking wine, champagne, Prosecco, etc. for making bubbly cocktails at home. If you’re only making a cocktail or two that requires bubbles, opening a full-sized bottle means you will have to finish the whole thing quickly or let it go to waste. We always keep a four-pack of small bottles of dry champagne and Prosecco in the back of the fridge for when the craving for a fizzy cocktail strikes!
Speaking of small bottles...a great way to try new spirits is to shop the airplane bottle aisle of your local liquor store. So many brands now offer small bottles that will let you make a cocktail or two out of it before committing to purchasing it in full-size.
Large ice cubes are terrific for stirring a boozy cocktail or drinking something on the rocks. They melt more slowly, controlling dilution so your drinks don’t get too watered down. The molds are inexpensive and easily accessible — for example, something like this will let you make round or square cubes.
And...keep your cubes fresh. If they’re sitting in your freezer for too long, they can pick up funky odors...and no one wants that in their cocktail.
Take your drink to the next level by chilling your serving glass ahead of time. Stick it in the freezer before you start assembling your beverage and it will be lovely and chilly for your cocktail sipping pleasure.
We say this all the time, but it always bears repeating — use freshly squeezed juice! None of those little lemon- or lime-shaped plastic bottles of citrus juice, please. Trust us, you WILL taste the difference and you WILL prefer the fresh juice!
Make a batch of simple syrup, and keep it in your fridge. It will last several months when kept cold, and you’ll always have it at the ready, instead of scrambling to make and chill it before crafting a cocktail.
If you’re making drinks for guests and want to make sure that they’re 💯 perfect before you serve them, grab a straw, dip it into the drink, stick your finger on the top end, and try a tiny sample. This will allow you to make sure the drink is balanced, not missing any ingredients, and is totally tasty, while keeping things sanitary. (Please don’t sip from your guests’ glasses. Has the past 14 months taught us nothing?! 😉)
Tell us, tell us — what are your best cocktail tips? Sharing is caring! 😊