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Bartending Basics – How to Make Cocktails that Rule

Do you aspire to be a bartender, except you couldn’t seem to nail down the perfect cocktails yet? Remember, there are times when the little things actually make the biggest difference.

If you check out the world’s best bartenders, you will see that they take a number of steps when making cocktails such that they add that “WOW” factor to the beverage.

The following are five quick steps that can help you shake your favorite drinks, and in no time, you will find the quality of your cocktails getting better.
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1. Invest in quality spirits.
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There is a huge difference between the distilled spirits you’ll find at the top shelf and the bottom shelf of your liquor store. Your drinks are going to reflect the quality of the ingredients, and as liquor is often the strongest ingredient you’ll put in a drink, you should be willing to spend a bit more for quality.

If you make a Martini with a $5/bottle gin, it’s going to pale against one made with a gin that costs $40/bottle. Don’t think though that you have to spend a fortune each time you visit the liquor store. There are many good reasonably priced brands that are just perfect for day-to-day mixing, setting you back around $20 to $30 per bottle. With this simple upgrade, your cocktails can begin on the right foot.

2. Use only fresh ingredients every time.

Always choose fresh ingredients for your cocktails instead of bottled or canned. Several of these bottled mixers have unwanted additives in them, taking away the cocktail’s freshness.

This mainly refers to fruit juices, but also to other mixers like the use of a soda siphon instead of buying bottled soda water or club soda, and mixing your own simple syrup, grenadine or sour mix. With fruits, you can just squeezing oranges, limes and lemons with a hand juicer; or use an electric juicer on cranberry, apple, pear or anything suitable.

3. Match the drink and glass temperatures.

You may think this is simple or even unnecessary, bu tit can actually make a huge difference. When serving cold drinks, chill the glass before you pour. This will maintain the drink’s cold temperature for longer, and make the experience of drinking better from start to end.

Chilling a glass can be as simple as putting it in the freezer for a minute, or pouring cold water into the glass, shaking it and throwing it out just before you pour. The same principle works on warm drinks. If you’re making a Hot Toddy, for example, the glass should be well warming up – pour some hot water into it – while you get the ingredients ready.

Nothing destroys a drink worse than reaching the bottom where a cold drink is warm, or the other way around.

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