Thursday, March 29, 2012

Raising The Bar: Don't Sweat the Technique

Shake or stir? Measure? What is all this stuff one needs to know just to enjoy a cocktail at home?

It’s not really that difficult.
Get some liquor and a couple of tools and play around.
Read a book or this blog and learn a couple of tricks of the trade.

Below, a couple of tips to start you on your way:

Shake if you want to get your drink very cold and diluted. Shaking breaks up the ice, creating small, easy melting bits. I, personally, find this favorable. Some people want a bit stronger drink, however. This is when to stir. Stir if you want cold and strong. The ice won't break up therefore your drink will be less diluted.

Measure once, pour forever. Measure a few times until you get a feel for how long to pour. Cocktailing doesn’t have to be an exact science. Unless you want it to be. And if that is the case, please don't offer to make drinks for friends. No one wants to wait 10 minutes for you to perfectly measure things out.

Learn a couple of drinks. When you want to add one to your arsenal, have a cocktail party and feature something new. No better practice than making a couple dozen drinks!

Balance. A good drink should have balance between the alcohol and the sweet, sour, whatever the mix is. Keep in mind that flavors can be very strong, for instance with bitters, always add sparingly until you get the desired flavor.

While it’s not hard to make a good cocktail at home, it isn’t something that is at the top of everybody’s to-learn list. Hopefully these few tips will get you on your way.

Have any tips to share? Tell us in the comments.

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