Are you looking to make great cocktails with friends this New Year’s Eve and you already have a handle on the basics? Head over to shakestrain.com and you’ll find a great list of modern and classic drinks, presented as a handy mobile friendly, bartender stlye spec-sheet.
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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 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.
Next, dive into the sweeter side with a look at how your favourite liqueurs are made.
We follow this up with an introduction to that most versatile of citrus fruits, the lime.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And the Individual methods
And of course, the all important
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?
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
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 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.
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.
The videos themselves are great, very informative and Bovey comes across as knowledgeable yet relaxed, the perfect style for this type of app.
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.
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 😉
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.