Most people suck at making #cocktails at home - why? well the same reason we go eat out to the restaurants. Because the food shows up, nicely done while the professionals chop, stew, sear and serve for us. All the ingredients are
1. Skip Vodka, use Gin.
Sacrilegious? Perhaps but think about it. When you start with vodka there is a lot more pressure to add flavor to the cocktail. And there is where things go wrong - either
a) you end up ultra boring 'vodka-juice', 'vodka-tonic' concoctions which frankly taste like .... juice or tonic. Hardly Imaginative, hardly delicious.
b) you try too hard, and end up with one of those college spring break beauties which taste like a fruit-stand exploded in your cup - and not in a good way.
Instead, find a style of gin you like. Of course, we are partial to big California-Style gins like Blade Gin that are well balanced and add an entire symphony of flavors. So even if you chose your two-ingredient cocktails, you will make something special and unique - Classic Gin&Tonic is still one of the all time favorite with a twist on a summer day. #ginrules #bladegin
2. Stick with 3 or less ingredients.
When you see an over-indulgent recipe with a half page of recipes which includes tinctures, muddling, egg whites etc. - pass. This is not something you want to be making for your friends while trying to barbecue and catch up on you friend's latest news or sporting event excitement. If you are compelled to do something creative for the party, consider a great punch, or premix ingredients. (Hint: Professionals spend hours juicing citrus and prepping before you show up at the bar , so unless you will seriously prepare and practice, go simple).
The days of the movie "Cocktail" are over - eyeballing and speed pouring very rarely make good, balanced and consistant cocktails. Good cocktails are balanced, where someone took time to measure ingredients and grace you with a formula for something palatable. Even if you use a speed-pour, still measure, measure, measure. If you think that measuring will be difficult during a big party - pre-measure and premix a larger batch (no ice) and shake it fresh before serving.
4. Use good ice
There is nothing more disturbing than tasting frozen salmon and mistery cake in your Aviation cocktail. Most refridgerators recycle air from fridge and freezer so if you have that lonely half-open bag of ice, guess what: you get to enjoy all the garlic-fries aroma captured in your ice. The answer is simple - Plan ahead - for $5 you can buy a bag of fresh ice and eliminate anoher variable in your cocktail making.
5. Use good, fresh ingredients, premium spirit, top shelf mixers, particularly tonic
I assume you no longer buy cheap vodka or industrial well gins. If you are that cheap, perhaps you should not be reading this anyway. And for the love of holy spirits, dont spend $40-60 for premium spirit and then get a supermarket brand of cheap juice, tonic, ginger ale etc. Your cocktail will be 80% whatever else you put in. I see people get Blade gin and then ruin it with grocery store Tonic Water- please dont - there are great tonics out there like Fever Tree and Fentimans that will make your cocktails shine. Get good stuff - the result will be pennies more expensive, but overall cheaper than going out and a lot more enjoyable
6. Get appropriate glassware
Even the best cocktail tastes crappy out of a coffee mug or a wine glass - invest in a nice set of cocktail coupe's or hunt some down at your local thrift stores and estate sales. Oh and they dont have to match - in fact a cacophony of vintage glassware will make things fun for your friends who may actually remember which glass is theirs.
These few tenets will help you keep things simple and get better results. There are a number of great recipes, on our cocktail page and our social media, relatively simple and impressive. FInd a few simple ones you can perfect, plan ahead and prepare for a rush of repeat customers.