5 Tips for Making a Top Class Cocktail at Home
Let’s be honest, us Bartenders do have the advantage when it comes to making Cocktails. Not only have we got plenty of experience, we’ve got the Bar, all the Equipment, plenty of ingredients and fresh fruit and of course, virtually endless Ice!
However. We are always limited by what our customers will actually order. We could stand their all night ready to make weird and wacky drinks until the cows come home. But if no one is going to order them, what’s the point. So our Cocktails are always dictated by our Customers. And this is the point. Who is going to stop you from making whatever you want at home! If you want to invest in £80 Cognacs and £50 Rums for your Cocktails, you have that choice. You have no rules!
I remember as a 20yo (1997), wanting to set up my home Bar. It was hilarious. I couldn’t get hold of half the stuff I wanted. There were virtually no online resellers. Actually, scrap that. There was virtually no internet to place orders in the fist place. I didn’t get my first PC and 56k Dial Up Internet until 2001! Anyway, the point I’m getting at, you’ve never had it soooo easy to make cocktails at home! You can make whatever you want, whenever you want! And below I’m going to give you some pointers!
There is absolutely no need to max out on Ingredients. Unless you’re making clear Martini/Manhattan/Old Fashioned style drinks, a £35 Bottle of Gin or Rum isn’t going to make that much difference on the palate to an £18/£20 bottle when mixing them in Cocktails. But I do use this analogy a lot.
All you vegetarians and vegan peeps aside (you’ll still get my drift though), when you go out to Buy some Steak for your Special Friday Night Dinner, you’re not going to buy a £3 piece of Braising Steak. Nor are you really going to splash out £15/£20 on a piece of Kobe, Wagyu or Porterhouse. You’re going to sit somewhere around the £7-£10 Sirloins, Rib-Eyes or at a push Filet. The same should be said of your ingredients. Don’t buy the best of the Best, but don’t buy the cheap and nasty either.
I’m just gonna put this right out there. At the end of the Day, the Equipment REALLY doesn’t matter. Yes, I will make your life easier, but it’s not a necessity. Decent Ingredients area necessity. Not the Tools to do the job.
You could use Bottle Caps as measures. Jam Jars with Lids as a Shaker. A (clean) Tea Strainer to strainer the Cocktails. A Long Fork or Spoon to Stir the Drinks. And a sharp knife to cut fruit.
HOWEVER, if you do want to invest to show off to friends and family…and make your life easier, then I highly recommend my good friends at DrinkStuff.com. I’ve been trading with them for over 15 years now. Superb range and speedy Delivery.
As a Starter Kit you’ll need;
Jigger, that’s lined at 5ml, 10ml, 15ml, 25ml, 35ml, 45ml and 50ml. (Not all Cocktails are 1 shot of this and 1 shot of that. A lot require balancing)
Have a good shop around their website for other cool things!
When it comes to Making Cocktails, Ice is THE MOST important thing. And however much Ice you’ve got, Double it! When it comes to Events for 25/30 people, I’ll typically use around 35kg to 40Kg! That’s 20 Bags of the Supermarket Ice!
How far will a 2kg Bag of Ice go?! Well, that depends. If you’re making Martini’s then you’re going to be chilling glasses as well as shaking. If you’re making Longer Drinks, you’ll be using Ice to Shake and fresh Ice in the Glass. So typically, one 2kg Bag of Supermarket Ice will make 10 to 15 Cocktails.
(Don’t forget about Needing Ice to Chill Beers too if you’re having a Party!!)