There’s really nothing fancier than sipping on a bunch of cocktails with your best friends, Sex and the City style – especially if it’s an occasion such as a bachelorette party. However, going out to a bar and ordering cocktails or hiring a bartender to come to your house and mix them for you is quite expensive, so why not just mix your own? Here are some foolproof tips that will make sure you can have the best drinking experience right at home, while keeping costs low.
Have all of your equipment ready
Technically, you can make cocktails with just glasses and spoons, but if you want to get a real experience, you’ll want to purchase a few other things, starting with a shaker. A shaker is essential for mixing cocktails, not just because it helps combine the ingredients, but because mixing in a shaker over ice will instantly cool your cocktail. Next, you want a very long spoon for layering and a fine mesh sieve for straining. This won’t just strain things like lemon seeds, but it will get rid of the foam that can often float on top of fruity shaken cocktails. You’ll also want a variety of glasses, accessories and lots of ice.
Choose the ingredients
There are so many different kinds of cocktails that there’s no way you’re going to be able to make them all, nor buy the ingredients. But with a few staples, you’re going to be able to experiment just enough to start feeling comfortable with mixing. Let’s start with alcohol: for spirits that are used mainly as mixers – like vodka and gin – where the flavor is often obscured by the things you’re mixing it with, you can go for something a little lower in quality. But for spirits that are the star of the show and are barely modified for drinks, you want to get something higher quality, like Nikka whiskey. For your flavors, you’ll want to make some simple syrup by dissolving sugar and water, get plenty of juices (tropical fruits often work best) and other flavorings that you like, such as coffee, fresh fruit and wine. You’ll also want something bubbly like prosecco or tonic water to top off the cocktails with a fizz.
Print out the recipes
Mixing cocktails isn’t a chore, and many people who have never done it before would love to try them, so make sure that nobody feels lost. Find the recipes for some of the classic cocktails like mojito, cosmopolitan and sex on the beach online and print them out, posting them somewhere near the bar. This way, anyone can try preparing a cocktail by following this recipe.
Don’t be afraid to be creative
Following recipes is great, but getting creative is even better. Mix up your favorite flavors and just try out new things. However, if you’re creating your own thing, start by modifying something you know works well and take if from there. Also try to make them in smaller quantities, so that you’re not wasting a lot of alcohol if it doesn’t turn out well. If you want to really create a special experience, you can try boozing up fruit or staging a cocktail competition. Keep it fun and everyone will have a good time.
Remember that you can make cocktails even if you don’t drink alcohol, and you should always have those options for anyone who’s watching what they drink. Make sure you take plenty of pictures and write down your favorite combinations so you can make them again and again! Perhaps the best cocktail that you make there can be the signature cocktail at your wedding day.