Mixology 101: Learn The Basics of Cocktail Making, Shake Things Up

If you're interested in becoming a home bartender or just want to impress your friends with some tasty cocktails, Mixology 101 is a great place to start. In this guide, we'll cover the basics of cocktail making, including essential equipment, techniques, and some classic cocktail recipes to get you started. So let's shake things up and dive into the world of mixology!

Essential Equipment

Shaker: Used to mix and chill ingredients.

Jigger: Measures and pours precise amounts of liquids.

Bar Spoon: Long-handled for stirring and layering.

Muddler: Used for mashing fruits and herbs.

Strainer: Filters out ice and solids from the drink.

Citrus Juicer: For fresh juice extraction.

Knife and Cutting Board: For slicing fruits and garnishes.

Glassware: Different glasses suit different cocktails.

Ice: Essential for chilling and dilution.

Basic Techniques

Shaking: Use a cocktail shaker filled with ice to shake cocktails containing citrus juice, syrups, or egg whites. Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to chill and mix the ingredients properly.

Stirring: Stirring is best for cocktails that are spirit-forward, like martinis and negronis. Use a bar spoon and a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir gently to chill without over-diluting.

Muddling: Place fruits, herbs, or sugar in the bottom of a glass, and gently muddle with a muddler to release flavors. Be careful not to over-muddle, which can make your drink bitter.

Layering: To create visually appealing layered cocktails, pour each ingredient slowly over the back of a spoon, allowing it to float on top of the previous layer.

Essential Ingredients

Spirits: Like vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, tequila, etc.

Mixers: Juice (citrus, cranberry, etc.), soda, tonic, and syrups.

Sweeteners: Simple syrup, honey, agave nectar, etc.

Bitters: Adds depth and complexity to cocktails.

Fruits and Herbs: Lemons, limes, mint, basil, etc.

Ice: Cubes, crushed, or shaved ice.

Classic Cocktails to Start With

Margarita: 2 oz Tequila 1 oz Lime Juice 1 oz Triple Sec Salt (for rimming)
2.5 oz Gin 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth Lemon Twist or Olive (for garnish)

Old Fashioned: 2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey 1 Sugar Cube 2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters Orange Twist (for garnish)
Mojito: 2 oz White Rum 1 oz Lime Juice 2 teaspoons Sugar Mint Leaves Soda Water
Cosmopolitan: 1.5 oz Vodka 0.5 oz Triple Sec 0.5 oz Cranberry Juice 0.5 oz Lime Juice