Summer, it’s practically here people! Have you ever wondered what that core element is, that essential part of every summer experience that makes the richest memories come to life? I’ll give you a hint – it’s not your manly conquests no matter how much fun they were, it’s not the overly-hot weather, that’s for sure, nope! It’s the memorable times you had sipping your favorite drink with the people you love.
That is why this summer you want to be the orchestrator of your own unforgettable symphony and host the most entertaining cocktail parties that will dazzle the senses, make you the talk of the crowd, and create some lifelong memories. How do you achieve this feat and become the hero of the story? By becoming the master in the art of cocktail making, of course. So, before you schedule your first summer party, make sure you have these 10 cocktail hacks ready to mix, stir, and pour!
1. Sugar, spice, and everything nice
For your information, everything nice refers to alcohol. You see, the best cocktails in the world follow a single guiding star: finding the golden drink ratio. The golden drink ratio will allow you to concoct, mix and invent the most creative drinks in the world, and score every time by mixing in one part sweet, one part sour, and two parts alcohol.
After the main ingredients have started to mingle in a harmonious display of color and taste, you can go ahead and get even more creative by turning a regular cocktail drink into a refreshing summer necessity by adding ice and rimming the tip of the glass with complementary flavors, such as salt, ginger, lemon, caramelized sugar or basil.
An exciting cocktail for her: Peach Bourbon Thyme Smash
Ladies love nothing more than a mixture of fruity tastes paired with something refreshingly zesty. This unique and exciting drink will take you no longer than 10 minutes to make, as you will need to prep and cook a simple Jalapeno syrup mixture.
You will need:
- 2 oz. Bourbon
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- 1 oz. Jalapeno Simple syrup or plain simple syrup
- 1 Peach
- Fresh Ice
- 2 Sprigs of fresh thyme, one stripped of leaves
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ of a fresh jalapeno, sliced in half
How to make:
- Simmer the jalapeno in combination with sugar and water in a saucepan, while squeezing the jalapeno with a wooden spoon in order to extract its flavor.
- After the mixture comes to a boil, let it cool off completely and then put it in the fridge to chill.
- Create a mixture of bourbon, syrup, and lemon juice in a martini shaker, squeeze half a peach over the shaker, and add fresh thyme leaves.
- Give the mixture a powerful shaking to let the tastes combine and infuse
- Add fresh ice into a lowball glass and add the mix.
- If particularly inspired, decorate the glass with a peach wedge and thyme leaves.
A manly drink for him: Gin St. Clement’s
Don’t overcomplicate things when making a manly drink, just say that people were crazy over it in Victorian London era and make the process as simple and manly as possible.
You will need:
- 2 oz. dry gin
- 1 fl. oz. orange juice
- 1 fl. oz. lemon juice
- 2 fl. oz. tonic water
- ice cubes
- slice of lemon
- slice of orange
How to make:
- Pour all of the ingredients straight into a medium or tall glass over ice. Stir and garnish with orange and lemon slices.
2. Complement tastes with fire
Have you ever dreamed about dazzling the crowd by setting something on fire and then serving it in a magnificent display of taste and excitement? You’re in luck because the next hack will teach you how to set cocktail garnishes on fire and inspire a lustful gaze in every female, while making all the men jealous. Sounds like fun?
Okay, the first thing you need to do is get a fresh orange and cut out a coin shaped peel part and make it a thick one, as it will be easier to squeeze over a lit match. Next, you want to light the match a few inches above the cocktail while hovering the orange peel above it just enough to avoid burning it, but close enough to warm up the oil inside. Twist and squeeze the peel over the lit match vigorously, after which you can rim the top of the glass with the twist and drop it into the mixture as a finishing touch.
And the crowd goes wild!
3. Give it all you’ve got
When it comes to making the best and the most exciting summer cocktails, there can be no shortage of tastes, creativity, and imagination. It is for this reason that you should always give your cocktails that vivid finishing touch that will not only complete a perfect Instagram photo but will elevate your party to a whole new level of class.
The first “la touche finale” is garnishing. Always strive to top a perfect drink off with a daring taste that gives the smell and texture of the beverage a unique twist. And speaking of twists, oranges, lemons, and various fruit juices of every kind should be your go-to hack for any refreshing summer cocktail – remember, the more you squeeze, the more you’ll please!
Try out some of the best cocktails featuring their complementary garnishes and zesty tastes, such as the Golden Ticket, the Clyde Common Whiskey Sour, or the Blueberry Mojito.
4. Replace syrups with jams and preserves
You might not have the time, patience or the needed ingredients to concoct every single type of simple syrup necessary for such a wide variety of cocktails, but you shouldn’t sweat because one of the most effective cocktail hacks allows you to skip the cooking and head on straight to the pouring with the use of jams and preserves.
You can find jams of every flavor imaginable, which will also broaden your ingredient stash and taste palate, allowing you to infuse various daring tastes with no trouble at all. Peach jams go great with zesty flavors, such as Prosecco, while blueberry or lime will give a traditional summer cocktail, such as a Mojito or a Painkiller, a fruity taste it needs not only to appeal to a wider audience but reinvent its taste, as well!
5. Master the art of muddling
Muddling requires patience and a gentle touch in order to squeeze out the taste from any herb, spice, or fruit. While you could spring for a muddler, you can also use the handles of your rolling pin to gently ground the herbs and extract the taste from fruit – just remember to take your time and press evenly in order to prevent the herbs from becoming bitter and ruining your drink.
Additionally, you can use the rolling pin to crush the ice more effectively and without making a mess. Simply use a cloth or a towel to wrap it around the ice blocks and hit it in a controlled manner to avoid breaking it too much. Moreover, rolling pins make ice crushing a breeze for those delicious cocktails with a crunchy taste, such as the Bastardo or the Gin-Gin Mule.
6. No cocktail shaker? No problem
You do not need to have all of this fancy bartender equipment to make an unforgettable party. In fact, by sticking to some homemade solutions, you will bring the event to a completely new level of intimacy and give the crowd a chance to loosen up in a friendly environment.
This is where mason jars become your best friends as they give you the chance to not only mix and infuse various tastes with ease, but also allow the crowd to witness the vibrant, colorful dance of complementary ingredients that will spark their desire and amaze their senses with a stunning visual display. Moreover, you cannot only showcase your cocktail-making prowess, but also encourage audience participation by giving them their own mason jars and allowing them to mix in their ingredients, which will give the party a new, exciting angle and make for some fun games.
The Cocktail Roulette Game:
- Give the participants their own mason jars and full access to all ingredients, allowing them to make their own drinks.
- Exchange the drinks among the crowd and let them decide on the best cocktail.
- The winner gets to be the bartender for the next half an hour after which you can repeat the process and let the party last until the morning light.
- Optional rules include shots-only, no sweets or zests, or a preferred hard liquor, such as gin or whiskey – let your imagination run wild!
7. Edible shot glasses – a unique treat
You know that feeling when a shot of alcohol is so strong, so numbingly good that you don’t know what to do with the glass after you’ve drank it? You just want to slam it into the table, throw it somewhere, or perhaps, eat it? That’s right, with a little creativity and a whole lot of alcohol, you can give your guests the chance to have their drink, and eat the shot too!
A shot of tequila or rum goes great with an edible toasted marshmallow or a chocolate chip cookie shot. How about a shot of vodka in a “drunk watermelon” glass? Oh, the endless possibilities! So, get creative, mold a dozen edible shot glasses for every taste palate and witness the party going down in history as the most creative cocktail event in the world – maybe you’ll even make a side business out of it, who knows.
8. Learn how to infuse flavors
Flavor infusion will broaden your taste and ingredient variety significantly at little to no extra cost, all it needs is a little patience, planning, and creativity. You need a variety of options for mixing drinks and making unique cocktails, and you can do only so much with a couple of spirits and a lemon zest. Thankfully, by combining hard-liquor with a fruity base and leaving it to infuse for several days, you can enrich your alcohol cabinet easily.
Choose your base flavors first. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices go in a jar followed by a complementary liquor of choice. Experiment with different ingredients, but make sure you know the basic mixing elements: lemon, orange, strawberry, cucumber, jalapeno, coffee, blueberry, pineapple, and peach.
Next, you want to choose your booze. As a novice, you want to stay away from complex liquor, such as whiskey, and stick to neutral spirits, such as vodka or tequila. You will add as much liquor into the mixture as you see fit, but keep in mind that you should avoid the alcohol overpowering the taste of the ingredients.
Wait a day or two, and then proceed to strain the mixture using a coffee filter or a cheesecloth.
9. Master layering
Layering is a necessary bartender technique that will allow you to make rich and diverse cocktail mixes, while preserving the unique taste and texture of every ingredient. The varying densities and textures of its unique elements, such as spirits, infusions, and mixes will make them sit evenly in the glass – sugary mixtures will sit at the bottom while pure liquor will float at the top.
You will need to determine the density of the ingredient prior to pouring, and in order to create the perfect combination of complementary flavors, you want to steadily and gradually pour every ingredient down the rounded part of a bar spoon. Rest the spoon on the side of a glass, slowly pour the contents of your cocktail, and top it off with a strong spirit.
10. Learn the lore
The final step in achieving true bartender superstardom and bewildering every single one of your guests is to portray an engaging story with your knowledge of cocktail lore. There is nothing like gazing into fine cocktail art being made while listening about how the drink was named by a raging mid-eighteenth-century serial killer in East London who used his victims to create a youth potion out of their juices, which was (get this) the same color as the cocktail you are drinking right now!
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Exactly, and you want to stock your bar with as many cocktail tales as possible, maybe not as grim as this one, but still engaging enough to evoke emotion and spark intrigue within the audience.
Bartending is an art form, and while it would take you months, if not years, to master every one of its numerous elements and required skills, you will be able to make the most of this intricate trade by using these golden mixology hacks and hosting a summer cocktail party of a lifetime!