From serving up piquant cocktails to greeting us at our usual watering holes, bartenders make special moments much better.
Their artistry is not merely limited to their craft but extends to the domain of hospitality as well. On World Bartender Day (February 24), they were commended for their outstanding expertise and charisma.
Adept bartenders Ovando Gayle, Andrew Weir and Trevor Luke have compiled a quick guide you’ll need to make the best cocktails at home.
Ovando Gayle, Internationally Certified Mixologist
The must-haves ingredients for a personal bar:
Andrew Weir, Certified Bartender and Mixologist
The fundamental bartending techniques:
Shaken – Shaking is the preferred mixing technique for non-carbonated drinks like Mojitos, Whiskey Sours.
Muddle – A muddler is a long stick used to crush up ingredients such as mint, ginger, and citrus peel, to gently break down ingredients and release their flavour into the drink.
Stir – Some drinks like a Manhattan, a Sidecar on the rocks, and even a Martini simply need to be stirred. You can stir a drink with any sort of spoon, but an extra-long bar spoon is designed for this purpose.
Double Strain – The double-strain technique involves using a Hawthorn strainer to remove coarser solids and then a fine strainer to remove tiny flecks of fruit or ice. Cosmopolitans are a common double-strained drink.
Blend – The idea behind using a blender is to incorporate the ice into the drink. This means that frozen drinks have a smooth consistency whilst also taking a bit of the edge off of the cocktail.
Layer – In addition to shaking and stirring, a great bartender can layer certain drinks so that you can see layers of different liquids within the glassware. This requires a bar spoon.
Trevor Luke, Certified Bartender and Senior Mixologist
Bartending tricks/ tips / hacks:
- Always serve cocktails over fresh ice. This not only makes the drinks colder but the ice lasts longer and does dilute into the drink.
- Start with the hardest cocktail first. Start with blended cocktails and muddle cocktails and end with the easiest like Rum and Coke.
- When making a cocktail always add the other ingredients before the Spirits (unless the recipe states otherwise). If you do make a mistake you can always start over without wasting the Spirits.
- Serve salty snacks with beers. This can help reduce the feeling of intoxication and the negative effects of alcohol on the body.
- Coat cut fruits with acidic juice. Use lemon, orange, or pineapple juice to prevent fruits for garnishing drinks from changing colour.
- When garnishing with mint, keep the stem in water to keep the leaf fresh.
Cheers to the ones who keep our spirits high and the party going strong!