Cheers!! The craft of cocktail creation is not limited to a professional barman alone. Anyone who is fascinated with cocktails can mix exotic summer cocktails at home. Here you will find everything you wanted to know about cocktails. Uncover the secrets of making taste bud tingling cocktails drinks. Go ahead and learn cocktail mixing techniques. You may very soon become an expert, mixing your own signature cocktails and become adept at various cocktail recipes!
Originally, cocktail was a morning beverage. In this context, the usage of word was a synonym for the rooster that heralds morning light. However, the official definition of cocktail is ‘an iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients’. Cocktail is also called bitter sling. The creation of Martini can be traced back to 1862. The most popular cocktail – Margarita originated in 1948.
Till the 1970’s cocktails were made mixed with gin, whiskey, rum and sometimes with a small amount of vodka. Liquor is an essential ingredient of cocktail. Cocktails can be made with any liquor like beer, brandy or cognac, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey or bourbon or with wine. A cocktail today is made with different types of other drink such as gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, milk, ice, soda, herbs, bitters, honey, sugar, fruit juices and cream. In cocktails, the proportion of alcohol content is less compared to other alcoholic drinks.
Usually, a cocktail consists of three different ingredients – the base, the main flavoring and the special flavoring in the same order. The decoration of cocktails is usually with fruit slices, orange peel, cocktail sticks, fresh mint twigs etc. The market is flooded with a plethora of cocktail mixing equipments. Use your discretion and buy the most essential cocktail mixing tools. You may start with the basic tools for cocktail mixing. You can either buy cocktail tool set or select individual cocktail mixing tools.
Not all cocktail recipes need to be shaken. Unless the cocktail recipe indicates, do not shake. Cocktail shaking is an art by itself. With practice, you can device your own cocktail shaking style and enthrall your guests. The purpose of a cocktail shaker is to mix alcoholic beverages by shaking. You can put the desired ingredients like fruit juices, syrups, (ingredients that are hard to mix) liqueurs and then ice cubes in the cocktail shaker. Shake it for 5-10 seconds. It makes the drink get cooler quicker just before serving and the drink will appear crispy and concentrated.
There are three types of cocktail shakers – the Boston shaker, the French shaker and the Cobbler shaker. These types are available in a variety of styles and designs. The types vary in terms of a built-in strainer. The cobbler shaker comes with a strainer and a cap for measuring ingredients whereas the Boston comes with a metal bottom, a glass or plastic mixing bowl, but without a strainer. With Boston cobbler, it’s easier to pour the mixed drink into a cocktail glass without making a mess and it’s easier to clean too. The French shaker is the least popular, is made of metal and has not strainer. With the French shaker, you may find it hard to open unless you have a good grip. It is best suited to mix cocktails with ice cream rather than with ice.
The purpose of a cocktail strainer is to strain the drink after it has been shaken using a cocktail shaker. Professionals in the business of cocktail mixing prefer a separate strainer and not a type with a built-in-strainer. Hawthorne strainer is the most sought after for all the advantages and ease of use.
The purpose of a jigger is to measure the precise amount of alcohol i.e. 1.5 ounces of alcohol into the cocktail shaker. The precise measurement is important to get a well-balanced drink. Having an excellent jigger can help make cocktails in a jiffy. Also, to avoid mess, a good jigger with well-formed lip that enables pouring a clean stream of liquid into the cocktail shaker or glass is essential. A traditional jigger is made of stainless steel and has two cone-shaped ends. One end is called the jigger and the other end is called the pony.
Not all cocktail recipes require a shaker. Certain cocktail recipes if shaken in a cocktail shaker may turn misty. For example, drinks based on clear liquors like the classic martini only need a stir for the drink has to be perfectly clear and not cloudier. A bar spoon comes handy to combine the ingredients with a simple stir. As a general rule, 10-15 stirs should give a perfect cocktail. The spoon has two ends, one for dipping an olive or adding a dash of honey. The long handle helps in stirring the ingredients.
A bar knife has two ends. One end with a wavy blade for cutting all kinds of fruits – limes, lemons or oranges and the other end with two prongs is meant for picking up segments of fruits once they are cut.
To open metal caps of bottles.
If you wish to mix a favorite cocktail- the classic Mint Julep, a muddler is essential to grind mint smooth in the bottom of a cocktail glass without scaring the glass. A muddler also comes handy for crushing ice and pieces of fruits.
Ice Bucket with Ice tongs:
To store ice cubes or even to chill a bottle of wine.
Stemmed glasses are great for cocktails not served on ice and tumblers for cocktails on ice.
Types of Cocktails
Strong and contain more alcohol, short drinks are consumed as digestive drinks. As a general rule, short drinks contain half alcohol, half mixers and flavoring agents. Martinis, Margaritas, Cosmopolitans and Daiquiris.
Less strong than short drinks, usually a thirst quencher.
What does it take to mix great cocktails? The answer lies in knowing what you are using, how you are using it and how you are able to present it. While you can get innovative and experiment mixing ingredients, you must also know the general rules of cocktail making such as when to shake and what to stir. Here is a step-by-step guide to mixing great cocktails.
One or two distilled spirit like brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka or whiskey.
A fruit, an herb or a soft drink can be the flavoring agent. It adds color as well as flavor, bitterness or even sweetness.
Soft drinks, fruit juices, dairy products, wine champagne and beer.
Can make the drinks extra tasty and add beauty to the drink.
Basic cocktail mixing rules:
- Follow cocktail recipe instructions. Do not skip or jump order.
- Keep the measure constant throughout the recipe. It can guarantee right flavor, texture and color.
- Shake only if the recipe indicates. A perfect shake means rapid, vertical shake and the outside of the shaker should get frosty. Do not shake fizzy ingredients.
- Stir only if the receipt indicates.
- Blend ingredients with the recommended amount of crushed ice just for a few seconds.
- For fruit juices, prefer extracts from fresh fruits.
- Do not mix grain based spirits like gin, vodka and whisky with wine based spirit like cognac
- Check if you like the taste of cocktail combing dairy products like milk, cream and eggs with fruit juices.
- Use the right glass.
- Be it a short drink or long drink, limit alcohol to 7 cl.
- Use the right garnishes.
- While serving, hold to the base. Leave room for garnish; do not fill to the brim.
Summer Cocktail recipes
- Get ready a tall cocktail glass, cocktail shaker and jigger.
- Get the ingredients vodka, 8 oz. Fizzy citrus soda, big sized lemon and ice cubes.
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Pour One-and half shots vodka into shaker.
- Pour 8 oz. Fizzy citrus soda into shaker.
- Squeeze lemon juice into the shaker.
- Keep aside lemon wedges.
- Close cocktail shaker and shake well 5-10 seconds.
- Do not open shaker but allow the mixture to settle.
- Pour the cocktail mix with ice into the cocktail glass.
- Serve immediately.
Classic Mojito summer cocktail recipe
- Get ready a tall cocktail glass, a mixing glass, cocktail shaker (with strainer)
- Check if you have one and half oz. Light rum, 1-tablespoon superfine sugar, few lime wedges, club soda and handful of fresh mint sprigs.
- Take the mixing glass; muddle mint leaves, superfine sugar or sugarcane syrup and lime.
- Add one and half oz. Light rum and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well (5-10 seconds).
- Strain the mixture straight into a tall glass and top with club soda.
- Use fresh mint sprigs to garnish.
- Serve immediately.