Cocktail 101 – getting prepped

The morning after the night before may or may not be the best time to get the basics down.

Ensure you wow friends and family with your cocktail know-how by learning how to master various elements. Let’s start.

Storage

Storing your spirits (the alcoholic kind) in a cool, dark place, will ensure a lengthy shelf life. However, once the bottle is opened, the colour and flavour can change as the level drops and more air is introduced to the content. Martini essential vermouth, should always be refrigerated.

Ice, ice, baby

For hospitality-grade clear ice, boil your water for 10 minutes before freezing it in your preferred mould. Most of the air is removed from the water through boiling, making denser cubes that melt more slowly.

Don’t use ice cubes when the cocktail recipe requires crushed ice. Simply half-fill a resealable plastic bag with ice cubes, and place it on a hard surface, between two dish towels. Then use something heavy to smash the ice until they’re pea-sized. Alternatively, you can crush the ice by placing the cubes in a blender and pulsing until you have the desired size.

Chillin’ like a villain

For next-level cocktails, chill your glasses in the fridge or freezer, and remove them just before filling. In the case of an impromptu cocktail party, fill the glasses with ice before you start mixing drinks, ideally let thing them stand for five minutes before removing the ice and pouring in the drinks.

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