DIY Cocktails: 3 Ways You’re Going Wrong


Going out for a night on the town is doubtlessly enjoyable, but it’s not necessarily the kind of activity that everyone can do constantly. For one thing, there are other responsibilities that most of us have that make life tricky – and then there’s the expense of it all.

So instead of going for a night out, you might make the decisions to stay at home and experiment with a little cocktail making of your own. Twice as much fun thanks to you being in control of the proportions; not to mention the fact that it’s going to be a lot kinder on your wallet as well.

It feels like an amazing idea… right up until you sip your drink and realize that you’ve made a terrible mistake. There are a few common reasons why your at-home efforts aren’t even coming close to what you would buy at a bar. To get the best results you can, make sure you’re avoiding these at-home cocktail faux pas…

#1 – Using Cheap Alcohol

There’s no doubt about it; if the alcohol in a cocktail isn’t good, then there’s nothing that you can do with the rest of the ingredients. Think of the alcohol as the center point, the unavoidable, the thing you have to get right. If you’re making Manhattans, then you want to invest in proper Jim Beam whisky as the central part; a good Gimlet is going to demand a good brand of gin – and so on and so forth. If you’re looking to make savings, then you’d be better off with cheaper fruit juices than scrimping on the alcohol.

#2 – Over Sugaring

If you’re less one to stick to a conventional recipe and prefer to make things up as you go along, you’re in real danger of making your concoction too sugary. The majority of alcohol – especially spirits – can be rather bitter. As you sample your first attempt, you will probably immediately think that this bitterness is too obvious. What’s the best counter to bitterness, you’ll think? Sweet! So you dump in the high-sugar fruit juices or sugar the rim of the glass – and you go too far. Remember that you’re not trying to compete against the alcoholic taste; you’ve just got to work with it and try to draw out additional flavors.

#3 – Ignoring Quantities

We’ve all been there when someone is mixing a cocktail and they decide to throw in more alcohol – or other components, but it mainly is alcohol – into the mix. “Why not?” you all reason to one another, “we’re having a good time, aren’t we?”. So you throw in the extra, ignoring the quantity suggestions… and then you quickly realize that it tastes like you’re drinking lighter fuel.

The balance of alcohol to other components in a good cocktail is very simple, and it’s that way for a reason. Without the careful suggested measurements being adhered to, you might as well just cut to the chase and drink the spirit in question completely neat. So follow the quantities – it’ll taste much, much better!

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