To make a good cocktail, you must first start out with the basics. While some bartenders will argue this point with experienced drinkers, there are general guidelines that every bartender knows about when serving up drinks. The most important of these is using fresh ingredients and following recipes exactly.
What is in a cocktail?
First and foremost, a cocktail consists of spirits (hard alcohol). Some cocktails also include fruit juices such as orange juice or cranberry. The most basic cocktail includes spirit(s), simple syrup (or sugar dissolved in water) and bitters. More complex cocktails will add other juices, liqueurs and garnishes – but this is the baseline cocktail.
How you make cocktails after hours is to use only the freshest ingredients available. While this may not be an option after hours, if you are making drinks after work then keep your juices fresh and buy them on the same day that you use them or use after hours alcohol delivery.
Some suggested cocktail recipes:
1. Pina colada
This consists of pineapple juice, coconut milk, rum and sugar or simple syrup. This can be made by simply mixing together ingredients in a blender or you can enjoy alcohol free alcohol during the day by using all alcohol free ingredients.
2. Bloody mary
This is a cocktail of vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice and spices including cayenne pepper. The alcohol content can be made lower by using alcohol free vodka or higher by the same measure of the original.
A famous cocktail that also has several variations. These include dry martinis with alcohol and vermouth and sweet martinis where the alcohol is replaced by sweet vermouth.
4. Rum and coke
This can be made in several ways with alcohol (rum) or alcohol free (coke) along with different spices such as lime. The alcohol content can also be altered by changing the amount of rum that goes into the drink.
This is a cocktail of alcohol, clamato juice and spices including Worcester sauce and salt. A variation of this without alcohol can be enjoyed alcohol free by using alcohol free clamato juice or tomato juice with spices such as salt and pepper.
6. Gin fizz
Made from alcohol, simple syrup, lemon juice, egg white and soda water, this cocktail can be alcohol free by using alcohol free gin.