Know Your Cocktail
FHM: What are indigenous cocktail recipes?
Expert: Indigenous cocktails are drinks that reflect the culture, traditions and heritage of a city or country. For example, Tiki cocktails are inspired by Tiki culture have characteristic traits like rum, fruit, layers of flavour, spice and are served in special glasses.
FHM: What Are Barrel Aged Cocktails?
Expert: A mix of spirits that is also called a cocktail, these are stored in a wooden barrel for a fixed time, which could range from a few days to weeks and even months. Once the desired taste profile is achieved, the mix is served as a cocktail. The wood used in the barrel is normally toasted from the inside so that it adds a beautiful taste profile to the drink.
FHM: What is bottle ageing?
Expert: Bottle ageing is very similar to what barrel ageing is. The only difference, in this case, is the replacement of a barrel with a bottle and the piece of wood that is used to make barrels. The mix of spirits is poured into the bottle, which includes a wood chip. It’s then left for a set period of time. This is an easier and cheaper alternative to making barrel-aged cocktails.
FHM: Is There a certain order for pouring cocktails ingredients?
Expert: The order of pouring ingredients in a cocktail plays an important part in the taste profile of a drink. Lots of bartenders around the world add ice first and many others add it last. Reason being that if you add ice first, it chills the ingredients as soon as they are added to the shaker. But if the bartender takes too much time to add all the ingredients, it will allow the ice to melt and will increase dilution of ingredients.
FHM: How does one measure a cocktail that uses parts instead of measurements?
Expert: Parts are simply a relative measurement, often used for mixing large batches of drinks at once. So if the recipe calls for 1 part of ingredient A and 2 parts of ingredient B, then you would use twice as much of ingredient B.
FHM: What is Molecular Mixology?
Expert: Molecular Mixology is a mix of science and cocktails. Globally, bartenders have been using scientific methods while making their drinks for a few years now. The use of edible chemicals, nitrogen and other methods result in a new delivery style for cocktails. For example, molecular caviars, foamy cocktails, ravioli, paste etc.
FHM: When should you shake and when should you stir the cocktail?
Expert: You should shake drinks when preparing a mixed drink containing fruit juice, cream, or eggs (but no soda or other carbonated mixers). Shaking introduces tiny air bubbles into the mixture and gives the drink containing fruit juice a slightly frothy appearance. You should stir when preparing a drink that contains all-alcoholic ingredients (which is a true “cocktail” in the historical sense of the term).
FHM: Is it recommended to use a chilled glass?
Expert: Always remember cold drinks go in frozen glasses and hot drinks go in warm glasses. By using a chilled glass, your cocktails will stay crisp and cool for longer, and it adds aesthetics to the final presentation.
FHM: What purpose does adding ice into a cocktail serve?
Expert: Adding ice allows to cool the drink down whilst mixing. Coldness inhibits taste receptors in the tongue, which makes the drink more palatable and tasteless, well, alcoholic.
This practice is more common today, and it’s how I build the majority of my cocktails. You start with the spirit then add liqueurs, mixers and enhancers on top of it. The advantage to this is that you can gauge your ratios based on how large or small you poured the liquor, which is the base, the foundation, of your cocktail.
Things to Keep in Mind
What the drinker likes and how you can obtain that. Also, how much is it going to cost if something goes bad?
This theory is a little more old school and is based on cost-conscious bar manager’s train of though. If something goes bad in the pour — say too much cranberry or a sour egg — you are not wasting your most expensive ingredient, the liquor.
Problems with this
If you accidentally overpour the spirit, then you will either have to add a mixer to bring it back into balance or end up serving a “burnt” cocktail that is too strong. Also, this theory obviously does not work with any drink topped with a sparkling beverage (i.e. soda, Champagne, etc.)