Make sure you get your next dinner party off to the most perfect start by showing off your mixologist skills and shaking (or stirring) up a beautiful, tasty, well-balanced cocktail. These six tips will convince your guests that you really do know what you’re doing.
You don’t have to have a huge range of cocktail glasses, each one suited to a different cocktail, but having a few, thin-rimmed glasses, which are roughly the right size for the drink, will make your cocktails look instantly more impressive.
You better believe it: Ice can go stale. Although it visibly doesn’t change, it does deteriorate over time, and your ice cubes soon start tasting and smelling like the inside of your freezer. Don’t make your ice too far in advance (but do make sure it’s frozen solid), and if you can, make it with filter water, so that your ice cubes taste fresh and clean, not of slightly funky tap water.
Garnishes aren’t an unnecessary extra: It really is worth putting in that extra bit of effort to add a little something to your cocktail. Not only do they look wonderful, but they also tend to add a great aroma. This is all important because you will judge a cocktail first with your eyes, and then with your nose, as you raise the glass to your mouth, which obviously goes a long way in setting out how a drink tastes.
Giant Ice Cubes
Not only do those giant ice cubes floating in your cocktail look amazing, but they are also practical and functional. Oversized ice cubes melt more slowly than their regular, smaller counterparts, meaning they successfully cool your drink down without simultaneously diluting it into a watery mess.
Remember the Bitters
You may think a bottle of bitters is one thing you can definitely leave out of your at-home bar, but you’ll be missing out if you do. Just a few dashes of bitters from this small bottle can really transform a cocktail from something underwhelming and ordinary into something amazing: Don’t underestimate the power of a few splashes of bitter magic.
Shake or Stir
Convince your guests you’re a know-it-all mixologist by understanding when a cocktail should be shaken and when it should be stirred. Follow this general rule, and you’ll (probably) always get it right: Sour citrus cocktails should be shaken, as it takes extra effort to combine the varying liquids together, while strong, boozy drinks should be gently stirred.