Making a cocktail is indeed an art and not just a haphazard way of combining drinks. You can’t just throw in a set of drinks together and wish that they will taste great. In addition to mixing in the right ingredients, you also need to work on the art of bringing the ingredients together through the right techniques. Here’s a list of bar basics to mix up any cocktails.
The general thumb rule is that only 30% of your ingredients should have the alcohol base if you want a smooth cocktail that is about enjoying the spirit and not getting drunk with one sip. When you go freehand on the alcohol, you can end up having an overboard drink that drowns the notes of all other ingredients, and you can be left with a sloppy mess. Remember that you can go one part alcohol with three parts mixer and tone down on your strongest alcohol base if you have a combination of spirits.
Watch the ingredient you get into the serving glass. When you have a layered cocktail, you need to add the ingredients based on viscosity because otherwise, your drink blends before you hand over the glass to the person drinking it. When you mix ingredients, you need to be aware of the combined viscosity of the resulting mix.
This is a classic tip you need to be wary of. The thumb rule is to stir the drinks that have many ingredients. A drink stirred is different from a drink shaken. This can make all the difference to the flavor of the cocktail. Stirring will help the alcohol base to sustain the string flavor as there would be no ice added. This works well as a technique when you have lightweight ingredients.
When we think of a cocktail, the first image that possibly comes to mind is that of the bartender using the shaker and putting up a display. Truth be told, not all cocktails are meant to be shaken. This is used only when your ingredients have a heavier weight, and they need to be shaken on ice. This will ensure that the drink does not froth, and more importantly, you should transfer to a glass with fresh ice and not use the one that is already in the shaker.
This is one technique that you need to understand well. There are some elements that you merely use for garnish, and then there are some that you need to break into to add the level of flavor to a cocktail. Muddling is the technique wherein you twist and smush ingredients like mint or berries to break the flavor of your drink. You do not pound the elements because that only will add a trashy flavor to the cocktails.