5 Easy Tips to Make Your Cocktails Better
As cocktails are getting as popular as ever, the sophistication of drinks is reaching new fascinating limits. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. However, besides drinking in cocktail bars, many passionate spirit lovers (myself included) are trying their mixing luck at home. But there is more to it than just following a simple recipe. Here are some easy tips to improve your cocktails.
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Keep it fresh
There is no need to start with flair bartending, if you don’t stick to the simplest rules. While some cocktail recipes might be more elaborate than others, beginners tend to simply buy all ingredients. However, in order to get a better taste, you should try to make as many ingredients as possible. Freshly-squeezed lemon and lime juice should definitely be a standard in your home bar. Buying a juicer will get you a long way too. Don’t be intimidated by syrups, as many can be made very quickly. If you want to take it a level further, you can even infuse your own liquors.
One of the biggest mistakes home bartenders make is to not measure properly. Countless times I have seen people pouring spirits into the mixer. How can you improve your own creations, if you don’t even know how much of what went into the drink? Although professional bartenders know measurements by heart, even they occasionally use jiggers. So keep track of what you do.
Starting and maintaining a well-stocked home bar can be expensive. The tendency to buy cheaper bottles is therefore very strong. However, every good bartender will tell you that your cocktail is only as good as your worst ingredient. If you use really cheap vodka, it will affect the taste of your cocktail. Instead of buying the most expensive bottles of very kind, you should start with only a few. If you are into gin and vodka, then buy those first and leave the premium whiskies for later.
Often neglected but just as important than the spirits themselves is the ice. While in the beginning you might just throw some ice into your drinks, you will soon realise that ice and the temperature of your drink can have a big influence on the taste. Try to keep the ice in a separate compartment, away from food. If you have a drink with ice, you should also chill your glass, as the dilution is slower.
Many cocktails demand fresh fruits either as garnish or squeezed into the drink. Don’t keep the fruits in the fridge though, as they will dry out and you will get less juice out of them. Although it won’t directly affect the quality of your drink, you still want to get the best out of them.