Make Better Cocktails: Rules To Live (And Drink) By cocktail image


Make Better Cocktails: Rules To Live (And Drink) By

There’s never been a better time to learn how to make good drinks at home. We’ll show you how.

Right now, you probably need a new hobby. And even if you’re still busy, chances are, you could use a good drink at the end of the day. Or right now. So go ahead and put down that half-finished birdhouse or the banana bread recipe people keep sending you because they assume you’re interested in banana bread. It’s time to learn how to make cocktails, with the help of The Infatuation’s Senior Staff Writer and resident bartender, Bryan Kim.

In a previous life, Bryan was a professional bartender (most recently at Le Bernardin, but he also received several stitches after working an especially lively brunch service at The Standard Hotel). He now spends his days writing about restaurants, while occasionally (often) spotlighting as the Official Bartender of The Infatuation - which mostly means he teaches us how to make better drinks. And now he’s going to do the same for you, with our Guide To Making Better Cocktails At Home.

Also: let’s make some drinks together. Tune into Bryan’s weekly Cocktail Hour, Wednesdays on the @infatuation Instagram account, when you can DM him what’s in your cupboard and he’ll give you a custom cocktail.

Make Better Cocktails: Rules To Live (And Drink) By cocktail image

Bryan’s Rules for Better Cocktails

  1. If you think you’re using enough ice, use more. Because chances are, you need it. This goes for stirring and shaking, and it also also applies to your actual finished cocktail. Don’t be stingy with ice. Fill your glass to the rim.

  2. We cannot stress this enough: you should always prep your glassware before you shake or stir your cocktails. The last thing you want is to have a finished cocktail sitting in a shaker, getting all watery, while you try to figure out how to rim a glass with salt. Once you’re done making your cocktail, you should be able to pour it right into your glass and start drinking.

  3. Don’t shake a cocktail unless it has juice. There are a few exceptions to this rule - such as a vesper or a vodka martini - but it’s otherwise pretty airtight. That said, if you like experimenting, go for it. We aren’t going to stifle your creativity.

  4. If you do shake a cocktail, shake hard. Do not be afraid of your shaker.

  5. When making a cocktail, start with the cheapest ingredients first (vermouth, for example, or lime juice). That way, you won’t be too upset if you immediately screw up.

  6. Keep your vermouth in the fridge. It’s fortified wine, and - while it lasts a good deal longer than non-fortified wine - it’ll still get kind of gross and stale if left out at room temperature.

  7. So many cocktails call for simple syrup. Which brings us to our next point: don’t ever buy simple syrup. It’s the single easiest ingredient to make - and if you don’t believe us, go ahead and try. Use equal parts white sugar and warm water, then just give everything a stir. Once it’s clear (without any visible bits of sugar), you’re done. That’s how to make simple syrup in 30 seconds.

  8. If you’re using a coupe or a martini glass, put it in the freezer to get it nice and frosty before you make your cocktail. It’s the little things in life that count.

Ready to make some cocktails? Great. Let’s do it.

Suggested Reading

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How To Make A Margarita

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One of the very first drinks to emerge from the Dawn Of Cocktails in the late 19th century, the Old Fashioned is a simple, perfect cocktail classic.

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The Negroni is the perfect pre-dinner drink, and few cocktails are harder to mess up.

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