Cocktails to master while you work from home
Always dreamt of having a garage tiki bar? Miss your dimly lit and overly loud local butcher-come-speakeasy? Now is the time to dabble into your own home-hospitality. Whether you’re isolating alone, with housemates or a whole family unit, creating drinks and your own home bar experience can be a great way to cut a bit loose, soften the edges and make a great mess while you do your part to keep the country healthy. Letting loose your imagination is the first key ingredient in making your cocktails at home.
GET CREATIVE - SET THE SCENE
A lot of bar managers will tell you that music and lighting are the backbones of any great bar and they’d be right. Pick your tunes and dim the lights. If you’ve already lost track of time, now is a good time to draw the curtains and really cement that confusion. Next, you’ll have to re-decorate that home you worked so hard for and in the name of sustainability and social responsibility, I strongly recommend foraging within your home. Old sauce jars, that pack of 100 tealights you bought from IKEA a few years ago, masking tape and a collage of different Christmas wrapping paper will soon give your housemates their own immersive experience into your new-found creative genius.
Recommended Spotify Playlist:
HOT TIP: Bed Sheets make great table cloths!!
MAKE SOME DRINKS - FIND YOUR TOOLS
There are three main ways to mix cocktails—stir, shake and build. These add dilution and keep your drink frosty. Stirring is used to add dilution without aerating your cocktail. Shaking emulsifies, aerates and cools your drink fast. Building is when you make the drink ready in the glass, usually topped by something bubbly. Ideally, you will have glasses, cups or regular drinking vessels in your house. If not, find anything that is watertight and make a half hazard guess based on volume, how many people that will cater to. A small saucepan and salad spoon are great for stirring down drinks, and any solid Tupperware or plastic takeaway containers are great for shaking (just make sure you hold both sides).
CUPBOARD RECIPES - FIND YOUR BALANCE
Now that we’ve got a pro bar set up going on, we’re ready to get stuck into creating your menu. A good rule of thumb to follow if you want your drinks to be consumable is 3-2-1, if you are starting with 60ml of spirit, half your measurement for acid/citrus and half again for sweetener.
With this in mind, make sure you are also adding dilution through one of the aforementioned techniques and taste as much as you want!! This is your house!!
HOT TIP: See my ready-to-go home cocktails!!
ENJOY - TRANSFORM YOUR WORLD/ONE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE
From here I’m not going to tell you to hand-write menus, draw on a curly moustache or watch a bunch of YouTube videos on table-setting but I’m also not saying it’s a bad idea. Light those candles, invite in your housemates/spouse/pets and enjoy.
COCKTAILS AT HOME RECIPES
120ml tomato juice
15ml lemon juice
10ml Worcestershire sauce
2ml Maggi seasoning sauce
2ml hot sauce
pinch of salt & pepper
Build all the ingredients in a highball glass over ice, stir it down to chill. Garnish with whatever pickled things you can find.
30ml garden lime juice
sprig of mint
Add all your ingredients to your “cocktail shaker” with ice, shake hard and fine strain into glass. Garnish with anything fresh and green.
150ml leftover red wine
30g brown sugar
Add all to a small saucepan, cook gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes, allow sugar to dissolve and stir occasionally. Feel free to add in any other fun spices you can find, vanilla and fruits all work great. Strain out solids and serve in mugs. Garnish with orange wheels.
30ml coffee solution*
10ml oat milk
10ml sugar syrup**
15ml egg white
Add all ingredients to you “cocktail shaker”, first shake with no ice— this will emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Fine strain into your glass. Garnish with a biscuit.
*To make the coffee solution, add 1:1 Maccona coffee granules to hot water, dissolve together.
**To make the sugar syrup, add 2:1 sugar to warm water, dissolve together.