There is no escaping it, cocktails are hugely popular at the moment but most of us only sample them at expensive cocktail bars. However, they’re really not difficult to do and serving a simple, pre-dinner cocktail is a super-stylish way to start your dinner party. Follow our golden rules below to find out how!
- Invest in the best quality spirits and mixers you can. Exactly like using the best quality ingredients in your cooking, they really make a huge difference to the finished drink. (A particular favourite of ours is an English potato vodka from Chase Distillery) Check out www.drinksupermarket.com – a great place to source all your spirits.
- Practice makes perfect. Don’t start with anything too complicated and just master one or two. You Tube has loads of videos demonstrating the best techniques, and if you really want to go for it, lots of cocktail bars run workshops.
- Try making a Manhattan or a Cosmopolitan. Both classics and perfect for a pre-dinner drink.
- Alternatively, go back to sophisticated basics – serve a top quality dry sherry in a vintage crystal glass with a cube of ice. Or mix the perfect G&T.
- Be organised before your party and create a little bar area. This could just be as simple as clearing a side board and setting out your spirits and mixers, an ice bucket, cocktail glasses and any condiments you need. Don’t forget to keep a t-towel handy for any spillages.
- You don’t need to spend a lot on fancy equipment, just invest in the basics. drinkstuff.com do a great value starter pack to get you going.
- It’s really important to stick to just one or two pre-dinner cocktails, especially if you are planning to serve different wines with your meal. Mixing it up too much can equal very sore heads the next day! Less is definitely more in this case.
Hope this inspires you to start mixing it up a little!