How To Fake A Fancy Cocktail With Everyday Ingredients

You finally make it home, start to unwind, and find that you have a hankering for a fancy aperitif. After taking inventory of the stock on-hand, you see a lemon, half a bottle of ginger ale, orange juice, and a bit of rum. You may think, "I can't do much with this." Yet, you'd be surprised; a winning cocktail could be the result of just a little bit of creativity. Mix a couple ounces of rum with orange juice (shake together if possible) pour or strain into a glass and then top off with ginger ale. Voilà!

It's easy to elevate cocktails at home with everyday ingredients. If you have fresh fruit, juice, soda or carbonated water, sugar, or salt, you're all set. The great thing about cocktails and recipes is there is always room for tweaks — nothing's set in stone. Substitute grapes for berries; diced apples and melons add tasty texture to a drink. For example, the strawberries you have for smoothies are great for munching in this Strawberry-Vodka Delight recipe. Soda and juice are always great bases. Try this simply delicious Red Rum and Cola no rum lover could deny. 

Here's an idea on how to jazz up glass rims: Choose a food coloring, squeeze a few droplets on a small plate, and dip the rim on the plate a few times. Then, pour sugar on the same plate and rotate the glass on top of the sugar mound. The only thing left is to fill the glass with your cocktail of choice and imbibe.  If fresh herbs such as mint or basil are available, this enhances your beverage's aroma, taste, and visual aesthetic which is nicely shown in this Mint Julep recipe. Citrus is key — whether you  zest or twist a peel, the drink has graduated a few levels. Plus, if a drink is too sweet, stir lime or lemon juice to even the taste. 

Cocktails should never intimidate. Don't shy away from trying something new. Be empowered!  Have fun and let your inner mixologist shine. Usually, your end result will be delicious, but if not, tweak and try again. If you really want to show off, craft some infused liquor. It's worth the time.