5 Ways to Master Mixology at Home
If there’s one positive thing this pandemic has given us, it’s ample time to learn new things and master new skills. For some, especially us food and drink lovers, we’ve had the opportunity to try our hand at mixology and experiment with new ways to create our favorite cocktails. If you have your own home bar or are looking to start or expand yours, there’s never been a better time to learn mixology and grow your skillset.
Below, I’m providing you with an inside look at my top tricks of the trade. Keep reading to learn how you can become a master mixologist right in your own home!
1. Keep your bar stocked
As obvious as it may seem, stocking up your home bar, refrigerators, and coolers with your favorite spirits and mixers is the first step in working towards mastering the skill. It’s no secret that every person has their own preference when it comes to their spirit of choice, however, as a home bartender, you should plan on assembling an assortment of mixers and liquor for yourself [and any potential guests] so you have all the ingredients necessary to create new recipes and old favorites.
Think about the various types of liquor as building blocks that will complete the puzzle of the perfect cocktail. As the saying goes, “the more the merrier,” and that holds true when it comes to your drink choices, so think about every kind of spirit and mixer you can have on-demand.
2. Invest in tools + tech
Once you’ve gathered all your liquors and mixers, it’s time to invest in technology that will help you start mastering the art of cocktail making. Here is a checklist of some of the essential things you’ll need:
● Bar cart: A bar cart is a movable cart that organizes and stores liquor, mixers, tools, and anything else you need to complete your home bar. If you don’t have a designated bar in your home or you live in a smaller space, a bar cart is the next best option to house all your mixology needs.
● Cocktail shaker: As it sounds, a cocktail shaker is simply a shaker that you use to prepare your drinks. The best kinds of shakers are made of stainless steel. This type is durable and will last the longest, however, they can fluctuate in price so be sure to shop around a bit. A good mixer is truly one of the most important must-haves for any recipe.
● Cocktail glasses: Any cocktail lover knows that the key to the perfect drink is the proper glassware. With the proper research, expanding your collection of glasses is something you should constantly be doing. From martini glasses to classic highballs and everything in between, serving a drink out of the proper glassware will only elevate the overall experience.
● Alcohol delivery: For a mixologist, having the necessary ingredients and supplies on hand is essential. However, anyone with this hobby has gone to mix their favorite cocktail and realize they never replenished their Tito’s from the last time. For these types of situations, it’s handy to have an app like goPuff downloaded. This way you can get the alcohol or supplies needed delivered right to your door.
● Alcohol subscription box: If you’re the kind of mixologist that likes to live on the edge, feeding your hobby with a monthly subscription box of alcohol will introduce you to new spirits. Most of these boxes can even tailor your bundle to your favorite kind liquor (or something you might be running low on) and can introduce you to new brands you haven’t tried yet.
3. Research recipes
Now that you’ve done all the groundwork, it’s time to focus on the fun part, and that’s putting together the drinks! When it comes to recipes, the opportunities are truly endless. You can go with anything from a simple mixed drink to a luxurious cocktail complete with a fancy garnish.
However, if you’re looking to become a master of mixology, it’s time to broaden your horizons and research some recipes that are outside the box and push your creativity. Start with checking out some of my recipes.
From there, expand your research by searching articles online, downloading recipe apps, and following influencers online that are mixologists. These kinds of outlets are perfect to not only see the final rendition but can also provide step-by-step instructions on how to mix it up yourself!
4. Practice makes perfect
Like most things you do in life, it’s going to take some practice to get great results, and this certainly rings true for mixology. When it comes down to it, it’s a skill and the taste of your final concoction is something that will only get better with time. With this mindset, it’s important to practice different elements of that skill that you’ll be using frequently. Here’s an overview of the three that are most important.
● Shaking: Between your alcohol, ice, and mixers, using a shaking cup to blend everything together is the technique you’ll use most often. There is no right or wrong way to shake a drink but practicing over time will help you develop your own way of doing it.
● Stirring: Often used when adding flair and garnishes to drinks, stirring a cocktail is an art form itself and should be practiced. Stirring often adds water to the drink in order to slightly dilute the potency, so mastering this will most likely come down to trial and error.
● Throwing: What it means to throw a cocktail is to mix the drink between two cups/shakers back and forth. Not only does this add air to the alcohol which will make it tastier, but it’s visually a cool way to be able to mix a drink once you master how to do it.
5. Take a course
If you’re just beginning your mixology hobby, it’s best to learn from yourself and practice through online instruction, YouTube videos, and online recipes. If you’re looking to up the ante, you may want to think about trying an online mixology course that can provide you with tons of knowledge in a shorter amount of time.
Classes can range from no-cost to several hundred dollars, depending on where you seek the resources from, but they are certainly worth the money if you’re serious about upping your cocktail knowledge. Start with research, evaluate prices, and determine if it’s worth it before signing up!
While this is just a beginner’s guide to mixology there are still plenty of resources, guides, and tips and tricks all across the web. Be sure to keep an eye on our site as well for our favorite recipes and cocktail guides along the way!