Cocktails don’t have to be complicated. Essentially there are three elements to any cocktail; spirit, sweet and sour. But there is a reason for a recipe; you should be able to taste all the ingredients. This is referred to as ratio; 2:1:1 are the magic numbers. Two parts alcohol, one part sweet (syrup or triple sec) and one part sour (lemon or lime). However, there is one ingredient that is overlooked and is key to making a great cocktail. Ice.
Never overlook the quality of your ice. It needs to be large and deeply chilled (so it sticks to your finger). Ice can make or break a cocktail; it isn’t just to chill your drink, but to dilute it. Once the corners of the ice is rounded, the cocktail is ready.
You’ll need a few basic tools: a shaker, strainer, bar spoon and jigger. For homemade cocktails you can use the following kitchen items:
Measure/Jigger – Egg cup
Cocktail shaker – Thermos flask
Muddler – Small rolling pin/End of a wooden spoon
Juicer – Squeeze by hand
Mixing spoon – Long teaspoon/Fork handle
Strainer – Tea strainer
Presentation is key so a selection of glasses is essential. Traditional cocktail glasses are used for daiquiris and martinis –or any drink without ice. But long drinks like Long Island Iced Tea are served in a high ball glass. A low ball glass is perfect for whiskey based drinks.
It really depends on your spirit of choice. To save money, you could plan to make just two or three cocktails for your party and then buy what you need. However, a basic ‘cocktail bar’ would consist of:
- Spirits – vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, brandy.
- Liquors – triple sec, coffee liqueur, maraschino liqueur, crème de cassis and crème de cacao.
- Bitters – Vermouth, Campari, angostura bitters.
- Mixers – Grenadine, coke, sugar syrup, tonic, lemonade, fruit juice.
- Garnishes – the following are the absolute essentials; lemons, limes, oranges and maraschino cherries.
Our Top Tips
- Start with your mixer – then top it up with the alcohol. If you make a mistake it is far easier to throw away the cheaper juice than the expensive booze.
- Do you know when to shake or stir? Citrus based cocktails are shaken and boozy drinks are stirred.
- Do you know how to shake? Don’t be too vigorous or you’ll dilute the cocktail. Less is more. Shake in a circular motion so the contents are blended.
- Follow a recipe – that way you’ll make the right amount and it’ll taste how it should.
In addition to our traditional cocktail menu our Bartender’s Choice cocktail menu is a selection of 12 exciting and unusual drinks. The ‘Original’ Lincoln Spice is made using Green Mark Vodka, Elderflower Cordial, Vanilla Syrup, Lime Juice, Honey and Fresh Chilli – for an unforgettable kick. For an indulgent drink that is perfect for the festive season our Banoffee Cheesecake cocktail is highly recommended: Thunder Toffee Vodka, Créme De Banana, Cream, Mascarpone Cheese, Banana, Chocolate…you might not need dessert afterwards!
At Room bar we cater extensively for all tastes. We offer a virgin cocktail menu which is just as exciting as our alcoholic options. Try our Ginger and Apple Mojito or Mixed Berry Blast. You won’t feel like you’re missing out!
To view the Room bar menu click here.