Understanding Your Ingredients

Make Cocktails at Home

Get to know what you’re putting in your mouth

Now that you have the core cocktail making skills you need to make a good drink it’s the perfect time to get up to speed on the next important part – the ingredients. Afterall, if you want to make great tasting cocktails of your own it’s essential you understand exactly what you’re playing with.

Start off by brushing up on the fundamentals behind how alcohol is made with an introduction to distillation and fermentation.

The Easy Guide to Alcohol part one – Fermentation, Distillation and Spirits

Next, dive  into the sweeter side with a look at how your favourite liqueurs are made.

The Easy Guide to Alcohol part two – Liqueurs

We follow this up with an introduction to that most versatile of citrus fruits, the lime.

Easy Guide to Lime Juice – Fresh Lime, Roses Cordial and the Gimlet

Now you can tell the difference between a spirit and a liqueur , how they taste, how they are produced, and also when and why we should use fresh citrus. Great! Let’s put this knowledge to use in the next guide  as we breakdown a cocktail into it’s separate components.

Cocktails Deconstructed

Make some drinks!

With a core knowledge of the key techniques and the ingredients needed to make a decent drink it’s time for you to start experimenting with recipes of your own! Feel free to let me know how you go by leaving a comment below, I’m very interested to see what you can come up with.

/David

Brush Up On Your Core Cocktail Making Skills

How to stir cocktails at Make Cocktails at Home

Ready to brush up on your skills?

To make truly great tasting cocktails it’s important to understand both the reasons and the mechanics behind how they are made. Although it may sometimes seem like it, (good) bartenders do not just reach for the shaker every time they make a drink – they use the right tool for the right job, at the right time.

Start by having a quick look at the different types of bar equipement you’ll be using.

Essential Home Bar Equipment

 

Now that you have an idea about the equipment, it’s time to  answer the age old question – shaken or stirred?

Have a look at the different mixing methods and when you should use them.

Mixing Cocktails 101 – The Methods – Overview

 

And the Individual methods

Mixing Cocktails 101 – The Methods – Build

Mixing Cocktails 101 – How to stir a cocktail

And of course, the all important

Mixing Cocktails 101 – The Methods – Shake and Strain

 

The Geekiest Cocktail List

Key ingredients for the Moscow Mule

Cocktail Recipe List now in Markdown at github

Something a little different (and perhaps showing my geeky side) – I know how popular the downloadable PDF Master Cocktail List is so I’ve decided to offer it in Markdown format on github. What does this mean?

cocktailsgit

You get the same cocktails as the pdf (for now – I’ll be adding more in the future) but now you can clone them, fork them and write your own recipes – whatever you want!

Check it out at: Cocktails.md @ github 

App Review: Cocktails Made Easy (iOS)

Cocktails-Made-Easy-Logo

Cocktails Made Easy

Trying to find a decent cocktail app can be an exercise in futility. The app stores are full of products with horrible designs, weird layouts, bugs, and worst of all – terrible drinks. I’ve lost count of the number of apps I’ve downloaded only to delete minutes later as I check a basic classic recipe and find a horrible, sugary mess.

Fortunately, ‘Cocktails Made Easy’ (iPhone, iPad, $2.99 USD) is not one of those apps.

Cocktails Made Easy Menu

Cocktails Made Easy features a number of video tutorials from mixologist Dan Bovey, including 45 classic and modern classic recipes and a ‘Mixology 101′ section explaining the key ideas behind making drinks.

Presentation

The app launches to a nicely presented, rather minimal (in a good way) menu. Initially split into two menus, Mixology 101 has three videos covering the basics to make drinks, while Cocktail List is (rather obviously) a cocktail list, broken down by base spirit (vodka, gin, rum etc). Each recipe lists the ingredients and steps required to make the drink and has a link to watch the drinks video tutorial.

Cocktails Made Easy iPhone4 Screenshot 10

 

The videos themselves are great, very informative and Bovey comes across as knowledgeable yet relaxed, the perfect style for this type of app.

The Recipes

Bovey has choosen 45 cocktails and I think he’s done a great job of blending a varied list of classics (Sazerac, Sidecar) and modern classics (Espresso Martini, Pornstar) that should suit every tastebud. In fact, the drinks he’s selected are very similar to the drinks that I would serve daily back in my London cocktail bar/members club days, and I’m glad to see liberal use of bitters and other necessary flavour enhancers so often missed or forgotten in ‘home’ bartending. The ingredients are currently listed in oz which may be a little difficult for some at first, however I talked with the developer and he said they’ll be adding metric measures in the future.

Overall

I really like Cocktails Made Easy. It’s simple and clean design works well and is matched with a quality cocktail list making this great app to pick up for anyone who likes good drinks but needs a bit of help making them.  And not a Sex on the Beach in site ;)

Verdict: Recommend

Drinks to Try: There are lot’s of great drinks here but some of my personal favs - Pain Killer (Rum), Bramble (Gin), French 75 (Champagne).

You can find ‘Cocktails Made Easy’ at the iOS App Store.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/cocktails-made-easy-video/id566309718

 

Home for the Holidays? Time for some great cocktail making tips!

'God Jul' from Sweden!

Make Great Cocktails these Holidays

Are you looking to mix some cocktails over the Christmas holiday season? Make sure you’re doing it right by checking out some of the resources from the blog:

 

First things first, you need to make sure you have all the right tools and ingredients for the job -

  • Essential Ingredients for Your Home Bar

 

Tools and ingredients – check. Now to make sure you’re mixing your drinks well with ‘Mixing Cocktails 101- The Methods’ -

Choose a great recipe for the occasion -

  • Printable Guide for 96 Cocktails – PDF

 

Happy Mixing and Merry Christmas!

 

// Dave