While making a cocktail isn't "rocket science," one must follow some basic principles to be successful. The keys to successful "mixology"are precision, quality, and attention to detail. First and foremost, it is essential to use premium ingredients, especially the liquors.And every ingredient is important when trying to make the perfect mixed drink. Ice, for example is an important ingredient. Use freshly frozen ice, as it won't have "freezer burn" that can spoil the flavor of a mixed drink.
If you are going to mix a drink that requires a blender, start with crushed ice. For drinks that call for ice cubes, make sure they are small and firm. Ice cubes must melt slowly or they will spoil the flavor of the drink by diluting it too quickly. Most of your fruity, tropical drinks taste much better with crushed ice.
When actually mixing the cocktail, there are several key tips to keep in mind. Make sure to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Depending on the ingredients in your drink, it may be more effective to shake or stir the drink. A "Black Russian,"for example, must be stirred completely because of the heavy cream and thick Kahlua. A gin and tonic doesn't require as thorough of a mixing because it is much lighter.Make sure that after blending or shaking a drink, you remove the contents immediately into the appropriate glass. Leaving the mixture in the blender or shaker too long will dilute the drink and rob it of it's flavor.
Should your drink call for a carbonated mixer, such as Champagne or club soda, it is essential to add them last. Whatever you do, don't shake a drink with carbonation. A light stirring to mix the ingredients is your best bet.Your garnishes made from fruit should be fresh fruit whenever possible. Likewise the juices you use in your cocktails. It's very important that you follow each drink recipe exactly, and make your measurements accurate. "Guesswork" has spoiled many a mixed drink!!
Please don't add extra alcohol to a mixed drink,(no matter how tempted you might be), as it often spoils the flavorFinally, keep proper glassware behind your home bar. While glassware won't affect the taste of your mixed drinks, your guests will always perceive your drinks as being acceptable when served in appropriate glassware.
Hopefully these tips will help you create a mixed drink that will draw rave reviews from your guests. Remember, don't "cut corners",take your time, purchase premium ingredients, and you'll be well on your way to mixing the perfect cocktail!
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