Learning how to make cocktails does not need to be a difficult process. Some experts suggest learning the basics first; the differences between sweet and sour and strong and weak when it comes to making these fun drinks. The strength of the drink is based on the amount of alcohol used. Strong concoctions are often made with gin, rum and vodka, which all have quite a high alcohol content. Weaker drinks are normally mixed with wines and liqueurs.
Start with the Basics
One of the best ways to learn the tricks of the trade is to start off by making lemonade. It is a basic recipe that everyone can do. Add 50 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice with sugar or simple syrup and add ice and soda water and there you have a delicious lemonade. This would be the base for any cocktail you decide to make. Learning how to successfully make them requires practice and experimentation.
If you are serious about becoming an expert, you can buy the specialist equipment, you will need a juicer, a strainer, a jigger and a shaker. Should you not want to buy these items, you can substitute them for everyday household items. For instance, you can use an egg cup for a jigger, you can squeeze the fruit by hand by hand, use a tea strainer instead of a strainer, and replace the shaker for a thermos flask. You could always start off using these household items and then later when you become more skilled you can buy the same items that the pros use.
Learn the Tips and Tricks
There are some useful tips that will help you to master the art of cocktail making. You should know when you are supposed to stir a drink versus when you should shake a drink. The general rule of thumb is to shake a drink if it contains dairy, eggs or citrus. These drinks need to be shaken to properly mix the ingredients so that they all emulsify correctly; prime examples of drinks that need to be shaken are the White Russian and the Pisco Sour. When you are using egg-whites, remember to dry shake, which is to shake the ingredients without any ice, to ensure the emulsification of the egg whites and to give it a nice foamy look.
Another tip from the pros is to use ice from demineralized water as this ice will be drier and therefore make nice clear ice cubes that do not melt too quickly. Any drinks made with spirits should be stirred. For example, Martinis, Negronis and Manhattans should be stirred. This will make the drink have a nice clear look to it. Cocktails which use herbs or berries that have seeds require straining. In fact, it is always best you to do a double strain so that you do not have pieces left in the drink. Some people also double strain egg whites to make the drink foamier. Using these tips, you can easily master making beautiful cocktails.