Thinking about hosting a New Year's party? Unless you hire a bartender, you better know how to make great cocktails! Although the music, decorations, food, and New Year’s outfit are very important, we have to admit that delicious cocktails and special liquors are an absolute must for celebrating special occasions.
While this may seem like a difficult task for you, it requires only practicing. And there is still plenty of time until New Year's Eve! If you wonder how much syrups, citrus, salt or ice to use, follow these guides to make a perfect cocktail! With these guides, little patience and the right equipment, your guests will be delighted!
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First - lemonade!
According to expert bartenders, the best way to learn how to make a cocktail is to make lemonade. If you’re already good at making lemonade, you’re one step closer to making a perfect cocktail! So, what’s the deal with lemonade? It’s in the understanding of the relationships between strong and weak, and sour and sweet. Bartenders explain this by saying that 'strong' refers to the main alcohol component of the drink, such as vodka, rum or gin; 'weak' means the lesser alcoholic beverages, such as liqueurs and fortified wines; 'sour' mainly means citrus fruits, such as lemon or lime; and 'sweet' is for sugar and syrups. And making lemonade requires the right amount of strong, sour, sweet and weak.
Balance is the key
Just because you put the much of the highest quality vodka, doesn’t mean that a cocktail will be perfect. The key to the perfect cocktail is in balance. You need to make a harmony out of flavors, sweetness, sourness or bitterness. You can easily find the right amount of ingredients on Google for every single cocktail. Make sure to get the right measure of everything before you serve cocktails. And don’t forget to keep tasting it at all stages of preparation.
Start with the classics
We know that complicated cocktails are extremely tempting, and you want to delight your guests, but if you've never made cocktails, you should start with the classics. That's the best way to practice and learn all the important things about cocktails. No matter what bar you visit, you’ll realize there are always the same cocktails. They are the classics. And they’re classics for a good reason. Classics are built on simple principles using proven and simple ingredients. You can start with making Martini, Bloody Mary, Margaritas, Mojito or the good old Gin and Tonic.
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Don’t shake every cocktail!
When it comes to cocktails, we usually think about bartender using a shaker and mixing various drinks. But you shouldn’t shake every cocktail! Only shake sour-style cocktails, like those with citrus. It’s because the density of the citrus and the syrup needs more strength to mix together. Besides these cocktails will become bubbly, and the bubbles don’t work with stirred drinks, like Manhattans. When you choose one cocktail recipe, check if you’ll need a shaker.
Get the best equipment
To make a perfect cocktail, you’ll need the best equipment and the best gadgets. Just like painters use great brushes and colors for painting, mixologists use a good shaker for making cocktails. There are essential tools that are used for making cocktails. While barmen use a whole collection of tools, you’ll need a few: a shaker, a jigger, a strainer, bar spoon, muddler, channel knife and other. First, get a good shaker.
The traditional cocktail shaker, with a metal or glass jug, has a built-in shaker and a fitted top. But for making the best New Year’s cocktails, we recommend using the OXO Press and Pour Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker! This awesome shaker has an attached strainer, all you need to do is to push the button or remove the cap, and have yourself a delicious drink! This is an easier and less messy way of shaking cocktails. Just add your favorite juices, drinks, ice, and flavors and give it a hard shake for a few minutes. Then press the button at the top, and top off your favorite glass. Your perfect cocktail is ready!
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Use the right drink ratio when mixing
Alcohol is the most important ingredient of a cocktail. The right drink ratio is absolutely a must for making a perfect cocktail. Of course, it depends on the amount and type of cocktail, and you should follow the cocktail’s recipe. Mixologists recommend using a 1:1:3 ratio with alcohol to flavoring (100% juice) to seltzer/low-calorie liquid. Don’t add more than 1 shot of alcohol to your mixed drinks. This will prevent you from getting a hangover or being dehydrated! Besides, a 1.5 oz shot of any 86-proof liquor is going to have 105 calories, regardless of the color of the liquor. One more hint: if you are using the cheaper ingredients, pour alcohol into the shaker and mix it.
Don’t use too much ice
For making a perfect cocktail, the amount of ice is really important. But you don’t have to put as much ice as you can in a glass! Ice serves a dual purpose in cocktails, chilling the drink as well as providing a little dilution. If you use insufficient ice it will melt quickly, resulting in insufficient chilling and too much dilution. The rule is that the ice should always poke above the alcohol line in the shaker and in the glass.
W&P Design Crushed Ice Tray will make your cocktail taste perfectly delicious! Traditional silicone or plastic ice trays are usually messy and not quality enough, so the ice breaks or doesn’t fit the right shape. This tray’s thin ice molds freeze quickly, making enough crushed ice to fill a single serving of your drink of choice. W&P crushed ice tray is special because the water is frozen in vertical strips making it easier than ever to achieve crushed ice. And, a protective silicone lid helps minimizes freezer burn. It’s also dishwasher and microwave safe. Get it with other unique products in our subscription box.
Use fresh herbs and 100% real fruit
Nothing can replace the taste of fresh herbs in a cocktail. Fresh herbs are the best way to add some great flavor without any extra sugars or calories. You can use some mint, rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender, anything fresh. And if you wonder what can be mixed, these are the proven combinations: lime and mint, lemon and rosemary, strawberry/watermelon and basil, citrus and lavender, blackberry and rosemary... and when it comes to fruit, use only 100% real fruit juice or cut down some fresh fruits. This is a much better option than adding sugar or sweet soda.
Decorate your cocktail glass
The best part of making cocktails is decorating! The cocktail’s colors are already a decoration itself, but you can make it more beautiful and delight your guests. Add a little lemon, fresh herb, tiny decoration or add some nice aroma. For example, smoked ice cubes are making cocktails look outstanding. If you’re interested in making such a presentation, try making a Dragon’s Breath cocktail. And if you like unique products, choose our subscription boxes.