Cocktails are not as complicated as you think they are because in reality, they really are not complicated. The favorite cocktails that you order in bars, you can actually make them yourself at home. You only need to have the tools, the glassware and the alcoholic drink of your choice and you will be on your way to pulling off easy-to-do cocktail recipes like a pro bartender. Sooner or later you will learn to prepare your homemade cocktails with deftness and then you can confidently invite the whole gang over for a cocktail party at your place and be the host and bartender at the same time.
The Preparatory Stage
First off, start by investing in some good quality glassware and alcoholic beverages. Before you buy your drinks, make a list of what cocktail drinks you would like to prepare so that you are sure that you are buying the right booze. Some cocktail recipes can be your guide to choosing your drinks. Here is a checklist of what you need to prepare:
As previously mentioned, decide first on your choice of cocktail recipe and then your choice of liquor will follow. But it is recommended to choose spirits that you think your guests will enjoy. However, if you seem unsure of what to get, just make sure to have the basics: Scotch, whiskey, gin, tequila, vodka and rum. Get at least one bottle per drink, and if still unsure of which brand to choose, go for the popular ones to be safe. You can grab a Jose Cuervo for your tequila, Bacardi or Malibu Rum for your rum, a Smirnoff or Absolut for your vodka, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniel’s, or Jameson for your whiskey and Jagermeister for your herbal liqueur.
Mixers make up one of the most important ingredients of your cocktail drink. Without it, you would not have come up with a cocktail. The most basic mixers are choices of tonic water, lime juice, ginger ale, carbonated water, and lemon-lime seltzer.
Your garnishes enhance the presentation of your cocktail, but they are usually matched according to the kind of cocktail you prepare. Some of the popular cocktail garnishes are olives, lime, cherries, lemon wedges and lemon peels.
Ice is meant to keep your cocktail drinks refreshing and cool especially on summer days. You also need ice cubes or crushed ice if you are planning to include frozen cocktails like blended margaritas.
You don’t have to worry about choosing the perfect glassware for your cocktails. You only need the basic ten or 12 ounce glasses. It will suit whatever cocktail drink you have to serve. In fact, old fashioned glasses will do.
You must have a few necessary bar tools ready for as part of your preparation. These include corkscrew, bottle opener, sponge, small towel, cocktail napkins, and wastebasket. A blender may also come in handy for blended cocktail recipes like daiquiris.
Bar Tools and Cocktail Drink Making
In addition to the necessities mentioned above, you will also need some tools which you will need in mixing your cocktails. The following must-haves should not be ready: shaker, mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer, jigger and blender.
Now the basic rule is this: any cocktail that does not have any other mixer but only the alcohol itself must be stirred. If you shake an all-liquor drink, it creates foam. Proper stirring is holding a bar spoon in correct position and making circles in a mixing glass with either crushed ice or cubes. The stirring process lets the cocktail drink turn into ice-cold and refreshing to drink.
The Cocktail Shake
If you wish to prepare cocktails with a mixer, the right way to do it is by shaking the mixture. The basic rule is to always shake an alcohol when mixed with a non-spirit component such as lime juice and ginger ale. There may be some mixed cocktails that need a little more shaking to properly combine the ingredients such as the daiquiri. In order to shake vigorously, hold the shaker in your more dominant hand with the arm positioned at a 90-degree angle. Create small circles and continue to shake with a good amount of energy for about 15 to 20 seconds until the shaker appears frosty and very cold on the outside.
This bartending procedure in cocktail making allows you to prepare your drinks, especially the straight-spirit cocktails, in large volume ahead of time, and then let it chill in the fridge in pitchers or even empty wine bottles. Batching your cocktails gives you time to entertain and mingle with your guests rather than spending all your time preparing your cocktails. Before serving, you can re-stir their individual drinks in bar glasses with ice so it is chilled when served.