DIY / Home Improvement

Cocktails 101: How to Mix the Perfect Drink

Are you an aspiring bartender or home mixologist?

Creating craft cocktails in your own kitchen can be a big money-saver, and it’s tons of fun! But, you’ll need a bit of training if you’re hoping to deliver professional results.

Keep reading for our full guide—cocktails 101, and get ready to start mixing perfect drinks fast!

Cocktails 101—Start With the Basics

You don’t have to run out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of fancy tools and high-end supplies to start making mixed drinks. In fact, you’ll just need a few basic tools to start with: a cocktail shaker, strainer, bar spoon, and jigger.

The same goes for ingredients, but with a focus on one or two spirits that you enjoy. You’ll want to keep a few affordable bottles on hand for entertaining, and of course a private stash for yourself.

Then, add a few flavorful liquors like Campari, Aperol, premium wormwood absinthe, and vermouth.

Don’t Overdo Things

This might be the most important tip in our entire mixing drinks 101 guide. So, if you only pay attention to one point, make it this one!

Bartending should be simple and fun. And, even the finest of cocktails can be broken down into three main ingredients: the spirit of choice, mixers, and ice.

In fact, you can make a delicious and elegantly served cocktail with as little as a lime, sugar, and your favorite liquor.

Rather than splurging on tons of high-end ingredients, you should focus on how to mix drinks properly—using good technique.

Start by thoroughly reading each recipe and assembling your ingredients and equipment. That way, you’ll be ready for action when it’s time to start mixing.

Always pour your mixer into the shaker before adding the liquor, that way you won’t be tossing out anything expensive if you make a mistake. And, don’t be afraid to taste and adjust along the way, just as you would in the kitchen.

A perfectly mixed drink should offer a balance between sweet and sour, with a noticeable yet not overpowering taste of alcohol.

Technique Matters

How to mix a drink is just as important as what you put into it.

Read your recipe for tips before getting started. And, pay special attention to whether your drink is shaken or stirred. As a general rule, fruity and citrus drinks like daiquiris and margarita are shaken, while their boozy counterparts like martinis are stirred.

Don’t overmix your drink, as this can cause too much ice melt and lead to a diluted flavor. And, when it comes to ice, less is often more. Remember, this is one ingredient that’s far easier to add than take away.

Even if you’ve mixed up something super basic, don’t forget to top it off with a garnish. These small details add to your professional presentation, making each drink more appealing.

Get Shaking!

Now that you’ve completed our cocktails 101 guide, you’re probably excited to get shaking. That’s awesome! You’ll be impressing guests, treating yourself to perfectly crafted drinks, and saving a pile of cash before you know it.

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