Getting started with your career in home bartending.
So, you got your Q-kit and are somewhat ready to step into the world of home bartending? Before you invite some of your friends over, take a few minutes to read this and prepare yourself as any pro would.
You have probably cleaned the gear which comes with the Q-Kit, now you can prepare some of the ingredients that are often considered as seen upon as the basics in all cocktail mixings.
Here are some tips from the Cocktail Club team:
Ice, plenty of it, and if you ever come over someone who sells ice of a higher quality, buy some as well. With higher quality, it means when the ice is more solid and not as brittle as the ice one can buy in the supermarkets.
Large ice cubes which are solid and transparent, are often used in stirred spirit-based cocktails. The larger the ice, the less dilution of the drink. Good quality ice in the shaker means less breakage and therefore “cleaner” drinks without ice particles. Thus the fine strainer for catching these in certain cocktails...
Syrup. Just sugar and water, equal parts. Simple sugar syrup is used in most shaken cocktails and is a must to have in your fridge.
Make some syrup by adding 1 part sugar and 1 equal part water and heat until transparent. This mixture doesn't need to boil for a long time. Fill up a squeeze bottle or a small glass bottle with a cap and you are good to go. Keep it in the fridge for weeks. If a party is being planned, so should a larger amount of syrup be made.
Citrus fruits. Limes and lemons and the odd orange. You´re basically covered for a large variety of cocktails if you have a stock of limes and lemons. Add the orange and you've got a garnish companion through the peel and zest.
Spirits. The starter pack, -the big 5. If you are new to the world of home bartending, go for some mid-range spirits to get started. The five basic spirits are: Vodka, Rum, Gin, Tequila and Whisky are all considered the basic spirits in modern bartending. Start here and when you've mastered the basic Daiquiri (rum) Margarita (Tequila) etc., you can wander off into tasting other variations of the same spirits or try different spirits. The variations and ingredients are numerous and tasty!
Bitters, sugars, and herbs. A basic bitter ingredient that lifts any cocktail like the Whisky sour is Angostura bitters. A herbal alcoholic concentrated preparation used to lift the aromatics and taste of cocktails and give your tastebuds another level of feel goods. White and brown sugars are always good to have in hand when trying out the e.g. Mojito or Irish coffee. Mint being the most used herb is something to remember. If you have the chance to grow some, do so.