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The Perfect Cocktail: Crafting from Top to Bottom

There’s a lot that goes into making the perfect cocktail. After all, that’s why they are called “craft cocktails”, a craft that is practiced and perfected over time.

The fact is, anyone can become a cocktail-making expert, you just have to know what it takes! Get the basics down and you’re on your way to becoming the best bar in town – or your own kitchen!

The Golden Ratio

Get a perfectly flavor-balanced cocktail with the bartender’s golden ratio of 2:1:1. That means, 2 parts spirit, 1 part sweet, and 1 part sour.

First, you’ll begin with 2 parts of your spirit of choice: vodka, gin, rum – what have you. Secondly, add that to a mixing tin with ice. Measure out 1 part of a sweet ingredient: simple syrup, vermouth, triple sec, etc. and add that to your mixture. Finally, measure out 1 part of something sour: lime juice, lemon juice, or sour mix, and pour into your tin.

cocktails with ice

Ice or Not to Ice?

You may think ice is solely used to chill your cocktail or slowly water it down. But iced down cocktails can be quite controversial. As the ice melts and dilutes your beverage, it affects the flavor profile of your craft cocktail.

Some cocktails, like citrusy ones, are best enjoyed when diluted and chilled down to a temperature of below freezing. On the other hand, a dark-liquor cocktail like the classic Manhattan needs less dilution and chilling. Therefore, little to no ice at all.

cocktail glassware

The Perfect Cocktail Glass

To archive your perfect cocktail, serve it in the proper glass! The glass can effect the taste, aroma, and temperature. While there are many different cocktail glasses, the most popular (and debatably important) are:

Martini Glass: Stylish but also designed to keep the drinkers’ hands off of the glass and on the stem. This prevents the drink from becoming warm.

Copper Mug: Essential for the Moscow Mule. Copper Mugs can be used to keep drinks icy cold as copper is a great temperature conductor. Learn more about the science behind the world’s coldest mug, click here!

Rocks Glass: Perfectly sized for two ounces of liquor, ice, and a garnish. The perfect glass for cocktails that aren’t mixed with many ingredients.

Highball Glass: Similar to the rocks glass only taller. Perfectly sized for cocktails made with the golden ratio in mind.

Hurricane Glass: The fun glass that is always in vacation mode. Usually the largest glasses in a bartender’s stock and are used in order to contain more liquid (and more liquor)

cocktail garnish

Garnish & Enjoy the Perfect Cocktail

Finally, the last step to craft the perfect cocktail, garnish! Every great bartender knows that the garnish is meant to not only enhance appearance but also flavor.

A thin slice of orange peel brings out the aroma in an old-fashioned, a marinated olive perfectly pairs with a dirty martini and a paper umbrella compliments the daiquiri. Garnishes can determine the difference between a cocktail and the perfect cocktail.

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