You don't need to know how to juggle bottles and glasses to be a good bartender!
Shake it Baby!
You need to have a powerful shake to make sure all the ingredients chill uniformly and just about enough of the ice melts to chill your cocktail. The water from the melted ice makes the cocktail open up so that the flavour seeps in.
The Ice Needs to be Perfect
You need to get firm, uniformly shaped ice cubes. The ice needs to be perfect so that your drink is perfectly chill. If you’re using ice that’s been lying in your freezer for months, it is going to end up tasting like everything that’s been in your freezer. Or If it's chipped it’ll end up cooling your drink rather too quickly.
Make ‘em Pretty!
Citrus peels must be long, pith-free and garnished neatly on top of the drink. Herbs must be cleaned, fresh and not limp and crushed a tad bit to release some oils.
Neatly lay out all the ingredients - syrup, fresh-squeezed juice, spirits, and garnishes before you get to actually shaking your cocktails. This will get the act of mixing up the ingredients smooth, organised and not haphazardly.
The Vermouth Needs to be Refrigerated
Vermouth needs to be stored in the refrigerator and ideally consumed within a few weeks after opening. As little as a 375-mL bottle of vermouth should be enough to consume whilst fresh.
Juices have gotta be fresh!
Freshly-squeezed lime, citrus works perfectly. Allow for some ‘extra’ time to prepare fresh juices for your cocktails as they make a world of a difference when compared to concentrates.
The Bitters make the salt and pepper in the world of bartending. They’re flavouring agents that can drastically transform your drinks. Stock up Orange and Angostura bitters, available at most liquor and grocery stores. These are essential to get the balance of your cocktails right and a single bottle is a worthwhile investment.
Sweeteners are Binders
Sweeteners - simple syrup, honey, or liqueurs create balance and enhance the flavour of the cocktail. They’re therefore vital to ensure depth of flavour and balance in cocktails.
Good Ingredients Make a Difference
In the world of spirits, quality defines much. More expensive is not necessarily better. Top shelf ingredients should be your ideal pick and will give you the results you desire.
Get your Jigger Right
Craft bartenders get their jigger right and make accurate measurements. So recipes need to be followed to the point and you need to take the time to measure. Free-pouring comes after years and years of experience so leave it to the ones who’re pro at the skill with aged judgement. In jigger, thy trust.