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Bartending Basics – How to Make Cocktails that Rule Are you an aspiring bartender wondering why your cocktails never taste like the experts’? Remember, sometimes it is those little things that create the most significant difference. If you check out the world’s best bartenders, you will see that they take a number of steps when making cocktails such that they add that “WOW” factor to the beverage. The following are five quick steps that can help you shake your favorite drinks, and in no time, you will find the quality of your cocktails getting better.
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1. Invest in quality spirits.
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There is a substantial difference between the distilled spirits placed on top and at the bottom shelf of your liquor store shelf. Your drinks will reflect the individual quality of the ingredients, and with liquor being usually the strongest ingredient in a drink, you must be willing to spend more for quality. If you mix a Martini containing a $5/bottle gin, it’s not going to be as impressive as one where the gin costs $40/bottle Don’t think though that you have to spend a fortune each time you visit the liquor store. There are many good reasonably priced brands that are just perfect for day-to-day mixing, setting you back around $20 to $30 per bottle. This simple step will get your cocktails started on the right foot. 2. Use strictly fresh ingredients at all times. Instead of using bottled or canned ingredients, always go fresh for your cocktails. Many of these bottled mixers contain additives that only drain the freshness of the cocktail. This largely refers to fruit juices, but to other mixers as well, like using a soda siphon instead of buying bottled soda water or club soda, and creating your own grenadine, simple syrup or sour mix. With fruits, you can just squeezing oranges, limes and lemons with a hand juicer; or use an electric juicer on cranberry, apple, pear or anything suitable. 3. Match the drink and glass temperatures. You may think this is simple or even unnecessary, bu tit can actually make a huge difference. When serving cold drinks, chill the glass before you pour. This will make the drink’s cold temperature last longer, and the experience of drinking itself can also be improved from beginning to end. To chill a glass, just put it in the freezer for about a minute, or pour ice-cold water in the glass and dump it out just prior to the pour. The same principle works on warm drinks. For instance, if you’re making a Hot Toddy, make sure the glass is warming up – pour hot water inside – as you prepare the ingredients. Nothing destroys a drink worse than reaching the bottom where a cold drink is warm, or the other way around.