Cocktail Bartending Tips & Tricks

Just like cooking, mixing cocktails is not particularly difficult but does demand attention to detail. Use the tips below to ensure a great cocktail each and every time.

1. Cocktail recipe
Always read a cocktail recipe through to the end before starting so that you will not be surprised along the way.

2. Measurements
All recipes use the ‘shot’ measurement so that you can instantly see the proportions of each ingredient compared to the next. This is essential for understanding the recipe. In fact, a ‘shot’ can be any amount you like. Just make sure you stick to the proportions stated in the recipe and the cocktail will taste the same every time. We use the traditional shot measurement of 1 shot = 30 ml.

3. Juices
ALWAYS use freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice. There simply is no substitute. Roll the fruit before juicing to maximize the amount of juice and remember to double-strain cocktails containing fresh juice or you will never get the fruit pulp off your glass.

4. Ice
Use good quality ice cubes. They should be large, cold, hard, solid and dry and stored in a drainable container so that the melt water can be evacuated. The more ice you pack together, the less it will melt! Crushed ice is ice that has been processed through a crusher or made by placing ice cubes in a tea towel and hitting them with a sturdy spoon or the bottom of a steel pan.

5. Pre-chilled glassware
Fill a glass with ice cubes and water and leave to stand while preparing the drink. Pour away the ice and water before straining the cocktail into the glass. You can also place the glass in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for half an hour to chill it.

6. Thick sugar syrup (2:1)
To make thick sugar syrup, dissolve 2 cups of white sugar completely into 1 cup of hot water. Double sieve the syrup and keep it sealed in the fridge. It will keep indefinitely.

Want to put these tips & tricks into practice? Find out more about our Cocktail Introduction and Basic Bartending Course!

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