Beginner's Guide to Mixology (2021)
There is nothing more refreshing than a delicious alcoholic beverage after a long day at work or while spending time with friends on a weekend afternoon. The fact that it is your own creation and looks exactly like what the pros make is even better!
If you want to learn how to make a drink that is more than just a combination of vodka and coke, this is the post to read to get you started on your path to mastering the art of mixology.
The term "mixology" can be intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with even the most basic of the equipment required to create the perfect drink.
If you want to master the art of mixology, here is a list of essential equipment you will need:
While this may seem basic, a good knife is crucial for a mixologist. Knives are required for slicing fruits, zests, and other edibles. As a result, you can garnish your beverages.
Whipped cream dispenser
Infuse solid ingredients into liquid in minutes instead of the old fashioned method of waiting several weeks of storing your infusions in a mason jar in the fridge for several weeks to steep.
A shaker performs three vital functions for you:
Diluting Drinks: In order for a cocktail to taste great, it must be diluted properly.
Try this: follow all of the steps in your cocktail recipe, thoroughly mix your drink, omit the ice, and simply place it in the refrigerator.
Then drink it; you'll discover that the flavour is far too strong for you.
Mixing Cold Drinks: It can be challenging to combine cold ingredients. Which is precisely what the shaker assists you in achieving.
Shakers provide you with cold beverages quickly. The ice is placed in the shaker, allowing the drink to cool quickly.
The Boston Shaker is the most popular shaker; it is made up of a tall metal accessory and a large glass.
Nitro beverages are in high demand! With the recent growing global trend of nitro charged cocktails and beverages the iSi nitro dispenser is an essential piece of equipment in any aspiring mixologists arsenal.
When making a cocktail, it's best to avoid small pieces of fruits or ice floating in your drink. This is why you need a strainer. It's a type of sieve that you place over the mouth of your shaker.
The two most common kinds of strainer are Hawthorne and Julep strainer.
Hawthorne strainer consists of a flat disc that is attached to a coiled spring while the Julep strainer is a perforated bowl-shaped cup that comes with a handle.
It is a short measuring cup ranging in size from 0.5-2.5oz. They're dual-sided with different capabilities on each end.
The advantage of Jigger being dual-sided is that it helps you mix drink quickly while using both sides of the Jigger.
During the prohibition-era / speakeasy era, when the quality of alcohol deteriorated as a result of prohibition. There was little choice, and mixologists frequently had to make do with whatever they could get their hands on in order to create flavourful beverages that appealed to a broad range of palates while masking the bad alcohol quality taste.
Many early cocktails were based on soda recipes, and the soda syphon could be found on display and in action in all speakeasies. The iSi soda syphon is both a functional and attractive addition, allowing for simple on-demand soda water production.
It's used like a pestle to mash fruits, herbs, etc. In the shaker.
They're normally six to eight inches long which makes it the perfect size to reach the bottom of a shaker.
Muddlers are made up of different materials which are wood, plastic, and steel.
The steel muddler is perfect for crushing hard ingredients like nuts, the plastic muddler is perfect for juicing fruits and the wood muddler is perfect for everyday usage.
It's designed to make the mixing process easier. When stirring is important in the procedure of making your drink the bar spoon makes it easier.
Apart from stirring the bar spoon helps in:
- Measuring ingredients in small quantities as one bar spoon is more like one teaspoon.
- Some European bar spoon comes with a hammer at the end of the handle which can serve as a kind of muddler.
- The flat bowl of the bar spoon can be used to layer different spirits in a drink.
It doesn't matter which bar spoon you get just to make sure you get a long and twisted bar spoon.
While glassware isn't that important in making cocktails. It's a great idea to have a few depending on the kind of cocktails you love to make or drink.
The basics are Martini glass, champagne flute, highball, coupe glass.
Mixers: Start with the basics which are mainly tonic water or sparkling water. Depending on your taste or the kind of drink you want to make you can go on to pick from a variety of mixers such as lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, club soda, cranberry juice, ginger ale, bitters, etc.
Alcohol: It's necessary to get the spirits you'll need depending on your cocktail recipe. The basics include vodka, tequila, whiskey, brandy, rum, bourbon, gin, etc. Vodka is one of the most used spirits with many easy recipes.
Garnishes: Garnish your drink to your taste with limes, lemon, cherry, olives, etc.
Garnishes help add that final touch and give your drink not only a splash of flavour but also makes it look visually appealing.
Ice: No cocktail is complete without ice. They help not only in cooling but also in dilution.
Essential techniques for making cocktails
Shake: Once you've combined all of your ingredients and filled your shaker halfway with ice, shake. Close the lid tightly and shake..
Shaking causes the ice to move from one end of the shaker to the other, colliding with the shaker's end. This allows the liquid to pass through the ice and also facilitates in the drink's dilution.
Shake for approximately 10-15 seconds, but longer if the drink contains egg white or cream.
Stirring accomplishes nearly the same thing as shaking, but without the dilution.
It is primarily used for alcoholic beverages.
Stirring is ideal for drinks that do not require much dilution, as elevated dilution can result in a loss of flavour or texture.
Muddle: Using a muddler, crush your ingredients to extract their flavour and juice.
When it comes to herbs, you can muddle them with your bar spoon or simply gently press them a few times.
For berries, muddle until a puree forms; for citrus, muddle just enough to extract the juices.
Misconceptions About Mixology
- It is about creating surprising or unusual drinks: Mixology is more than just creating unusual drinks, it's an art that lets you mix ingredients together to get that perfect cocktail for you.
- It is expensive: Mixology isn't really that expensive. Most of the expensive ingredients can be substituted with a more affordable ingredient.
- It is difficult: Making cocktails is more about the recipes, equipment and ingredients.
So it isn't all that difficult as it looks, so long as you follow the recipe.
This guide was to show you that you don't need to be a professional mixologist to make great cocktail.
So start experimenting today, get your equipment, follow a great recipe and create that delicious cocktail you crave.