Wanna know how to mix a great drink? You don’t have to be a bartender to mix like a pro. Here’s a few cool tips and tricks for mixing perfect cocktails... sure to impress your friends.
Bartenders know there’s an art to preparing a great martini. Remember, a true martini is made with gin, but today vodka martinis tend to be the most popular. If you are unsure which one your guest desires, ask. Also, dry martinis tend to be the most popular. To make an exceptional dry martini, and do it with style, try this trick: Instead of adding dry vermouth to the shaker along with the gin or vodka and ice, simply rinse a chilled glass with a bit of vermouth and then pour out the excess. Shake the liquor to chill it, strain it neatly into the glass, and garnish appropriately.
For a dirty martini, follow the directions above, only substitute olive juice for vermouth. If your guest wants extra olive juice, swish it around in the glass but simply refrain from pouring out the excess.
If you're new at this or haven’t quite mastered the art of layering one liquor on top of another or on top of a mixer (for specialty shots, White Russians, etc.), try using a bar spoon while pouring to keep the different items from mixing together. Simply rest the spoon at an angle and slowly pour the desired liquid down the spoon into the glass.
Follow the order of ingredients
In some cases, the order of ingredients is of utmost importance. When creating layered drinks, remember that certain liquids are heavier than others and will sink rather than float. Order of ingredients is also important for other cocktails, such as a Tequila Sunrise. If you don’t put the grenadine in last, you will not achieve the same effect.
Muddling Fresh Fruit Cocktails
If you make fresh fruit drinks such as daiquiris, try muddling to get the most flavor and color possible from the fruit. Muddling is simply the process of crushing the fruit with a blunt object (pestle) before adding it to a cocktail. You can also use a spoon. If you're in a hurry, just blend the fruit before adding to drinks.
Flash blending means to blend quickly, enough to mix the cocktail well and to crush the ice a bit. For frozen drinks, the more ice you add the better. Blend until stiff peaks form. Ice cream drinks use the same rules. Don’t make the mistake of adding more ice cream than ice. You’ll end up with a milkshake. In some cases, you can simply use crushed ice and heavy cream instead of ice cream.
Mix Cocktails Thoroughly
Other than layered drinks, cocktails should be thoroughly mixed in order to achieve the appropriate consistency and taste. Cocktails with heavy liqueurs or heavy cream will need to be shaken or stirred more briskly than others.
The ice you choose is important
When using a shaker for straight up drinks or for chilling liquor for use in shots, you need large, solid cubes of ice. You don’t want to use small cubes or crushed ice because they will water down your cocktails. For blended and frozen drinks, crushed ice is the best choice. If you don’t have crushed ice, blend the ice first and then begin adding other ingredients. Otherwise, you won’t achieve a smooth consistency and your cocktails will have large chunks of hard ice in them.
Just as in any cooking recipe, the right balance of ingredients creates the successful result. You're not doing your guest a favor by free pouring alcohol and adding too much. Not only should you measure alcohol, but also other ingredients to assure that you achieve the appropriate strength or subtlety as well as the perfect consistency and flavor... one your guest will love.
Presentation will complete your image of being cool and savvy... so attractive, appropriate garnishes are soooo important. A twist, not to be confused with a wedge, is generally a small piece of peel, usually from a lemon. It should be grasped at both ends and twisted then gently rubbed around the rim of the glass before the cocktail is poured. Once the drink is poured, drop in the twist. Wedges should be slit in the center and hooked on the rim of the glass. Other garnishes, such as olives, onions, and cherries, should be placed on a pick or sword rather than simply being dropped into the cocktail. For multiple garnishes, as when making tropical drinks, fold an orange or lemon slice and slip the pick through both ends then add a cherry.