You may be wondering how the alcohol beverages of cocktails fit in with a healthy eating website? The answer is simply that as adults we all deserve to treat ourselves from time to time; so why not do it in style?
For many of us, cocktails may have always been a drink that you only ever see in films, TV shows or perhaps even at a themed restaurant night. However, because my knowledge up until recently was so bad when it came to the cocktail drink topic, I jumped at the opportunity to join a group of friends for a basic taster day at a nearby bar which getting ready to open its doors in the area for the first time.
With a small group of close friends, we spent one of the most memorable of days ever learning the tricks of the trade that would enable us to recreate the craze back home. From our introduction to cocktails day, I managed to assemble a few basic pointers to pass on, so that you could attempt a throw-it-yourself cocktail party for a special occasion and not have to resort to a specialized bar to do so!
So, without further ado, this is a beginners guide to getting acquainted with making cocktail drinks:
The Basic Tools of The Trade Needed to Make Cocktails
Firstly, I must emphasize that when getting started with this enjoyable activity, you may be able to substitute many of the tools with everyday household items! The experts use:
- A Cocktail Shaker
- A Measure or Jigger
- A Muddler
- A Juicer
- A Mixing Spoon
- A Strainer
Yet, when I recreated the experience back home I used the following:
- For the cocktail shaker – A flask!
- For the measure or jigger – An egg cup!
- For the muddler – A small rolling pin!
- For the Juicer – Simply squeeze by hand!
- For the mixing spoon – A long teaspoon!
- For the strainer – A tea strainer does the job!
Understanding the Balancing Act of Producing Cocktails
Secondly, we were all taught to realize that making any cocktail effectively entirely depends on the element of lemonade! Basically, all cocktail makers understand the relationship and indeed the difference between strong and weak and, of course, sour and sweet. Surprisingly, by making your own lemonade to use in cocktails, you allow yourself to tailor the base of your drink to your personal pallet. This means that you can experiment with your main components for the cocktail to get it just right.
The use of the word strong in cocktail terms refers to vodka, gin, and rum, which is the main alcoholic component of the drink. The world weak applies to those lesser alcoholic elements such as wines and liquors. Sour is used in relation to mostly citrus fruits, that is lemon and lime, and sweet refers to the syrups and sugars.
Making Cocktails Should Be FUN
Next in the lesson was a reminder that the whole cocktail making process should be fun in itself! The idea is to experiment and try as many variations as you can, building on the foundations set out above. This is the time to go all out and try those ideas out that you would maybe not have thought about mixing together before, starting with something simple and working your way through a list. Above all, it is all about finding that most exciting of variations of ingredients which you can then work and expand further on as your cocktail making skill set grows.
The Most Requested Cocktail Option for Beginners
Finally, all that’s left to do is begin mixing and testing your selected choice, thus enjoying all your hard efforts. Having spoken to the organizer at the end of the event, I managed to get the recipe for one of the most popular and classic cocktails currently served in the bars today:
A Simple Margarita
- What you will need:
- Tequila 50ml
- Lime Juice 25ml
- Agave Syrup 2 tsp
- Ice Cubes
- Optional Salt
- Fill a separate glass with ice and put to one side.
- Pour all the ingredients into your cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for around a minute.
- Discard the ice and strain the drink into a glass.
- If preferred, you can rub the glass rim with lime by rolling it into salt first and then salting the rim of the glass.
This is a basic Margarita. For what they refer to in the trade as a Classic Margarita, follow the above instructions but vary the ingredients to include instead the following:
- Tequila 37.5ml
- Cointreau or Triple Sec 25ml
- Lime Juice 12.5ml
- Ice Cubes
- Optional Salt
Overall, this is an excellent and straightforward introduction to the many variations that you can produce when you really get into the whole cocktail making process. It’s a great way of adding a difference to a party, or even a small gathering. Why not try incorporating a trial cocktail making session into your plans next time, and maybe also create your own certified and original drink in the process?