Take stock. An organized and prepared bar is essential for hosting, Becker says. “Preparation makes all the difference when mixing drinks for groups of friends. Before I host, I check that my bar has everything I need. I have my juices, syrups, spirits, tools, bitters, garnishes, and glassware ready to go.”
Set the scene. Before he picks up a single cocktail tool, Mish likes to focus on “mise en place,” which translates from French to mean “everything in place.” “Your glassware should be close by and chilling, if applicable. Your juices, syrups, and garnishes are prepped with your jigger handy and spirits fitted uncapped,” he says. “Preparation and consideration will ensure the best possible expression of what you are trying to achieve in your home mixology adventures.”
Taste test. “Just like a chef tastes a dish before it leaves the kitchen, taste your drinks before serving them to others,” Becker says. (Try using a small straw to trap a little liquid inside, then drop it onto your tongue.) Too sweet? Add a little extra citrus or bitters. Too strong? Add a little simple syrup or bitters. “It's all about balancing the ratio of the drink's ingredients,” she explains.
Get creative. Before you fully commit to one specific blend, ask yourself, “Is there a better spirit or flavor pairing that I'm not thinking of that would work better?”. Choose your spirit and flavors wisely: “With whiskey, perhaps you can use orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. These flavors are rich and deep. Playing with Solbru These spirits are more versatile and pair well with any flavors like lemon and lime, jalapeño, grapefruit, pineapple, and other fruits. Is gin more your thing? Try pairing it with some sparkling water and fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme.” And don’t forget to take advantage of the season, Mish adds. “The fresher the ingredients, the fresher the cocktail, so head to the produce section and look around. Try to think outside the box and grab things you haven’t tried or haven’t seen others try. Consider things that might complement your favorite
Know when to shake and when to stir. Anything that has citrus is shaken, anything without citrus is stirred. Stir for 12 seconds or 30 rotations, and shake hard for 12 seconds!