A cocktail party is easy and fun to throw. All you need to do is find an occasion to celebrate, get a few people together and provide some drinks. Of course, you can make your party more than “just another cocktail party. ” Develop your own style of layered drinks, invent a new recipe, or add a little panache with a unique garnish. It”s all up to you.
People sometimes forget that the mixer is as important as the spirits that go into the cocktail. Fresh juices, refreshing tonics, silky creams, and exotic flavors will make a cocktail infinitely more pleasurable. A Bloody Mary would never have caught on without the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce complementing the Vodka and tomato juice so well.
If you”re going to stock basic bar mixers in your home then you should check this list:
- cranberry juice
- lemon juice
- lime juice
- orange juice
- pineapple juice
- tomato juice
- coconut cream
- lemon/lime soft drink
- mineral water
- tonic water
- club soda
- Tabasco sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- angostura bitters.
Include some confectioner”s sugar, salt, pepper and, of course, ice.
Some people take the search for new and exciting flavors even further. Can you imagine a cocktail with beef broth as a key ingredient? How about horseradish sauce or lychee nuts? Don”t be afraid to experiment. Remember, that”s how the margarita was created.
A garnish adds extra color, flavor and style to your cocktail. The most common garnishes in popular cocktails include fruits such as cherries, lemons, limes, oranges, and pineapples. They bring their flavors and bright colors into the mix. In addition, olives, celery or onions are the finishing touch for some of the dry concoctions.
A twist of lemon or lime is a small strip of peel that gives great taste and style to many popular cocktails, a good example being the Manhattan. The best way to release the aromatic oils is to hold the twist with the thumb and index finger of your left hand while holding the pores or colored side down over the drink with your right hand. Twist and squeeze the oils from the skin. The twist is often placed on the rim of the glass, dipping into the drink.
When garnishing with a slice of fruit, be careful with the size; too thin a slice will make the fruit flimsy, while too thick can unbalance the look and even the flavor of the cocktail. The lime or lemon slice can be rubbed on the rim of a glass so that salt or sugar will stick to it.
If you”re a traditionalist then only the right glass will do. Of course, even the correct glass for each cocktail appears to be a matter of opinion, so use your judgment.
Here are some of the most useful glasses for the cocktail enthusiast:
- Tumbler (also known as Lowball, Rocks, or Old Fashioned)
- White Wine
- Red Wine
- Champagne Flute
- Beer Mug
Layered Drinks and Specific Gravity
A layered drink can be a delight for both the eyes and the taste buds, but the preparation is more challenging. First, refer to the table of specific gravities and choose your spirits. The greater the difference in the ingredients” specific gravities, the greater is their potential for a layered effect.
When you”ve decided on the spirits you wish to combine, start with the heavier spirit and pour the required amount into the glass. Then rest the rounded part of a spoon against the inside of the glass. Pour the lighter spirit carefully onto the spoon so it runs down the inside of the glass and layers smoothly. This may take a bit of practice.
|Crme de Menthe||1.120|
|Crme de Noyeaux||1.138|
|Crme de Banana||1.141|
|Crme de Cacao||1.144|
|Crme de Cassis||1.182|