The Journal Gazette
Saturday, November 09, 2019 1:00 am

Cocktail creation tips

Making your own drinks at home can be easy with some advice


When Stacie Grissom of Garden Cocktails has folks over to her apartment, she makes sure to offer guests something to drink before they can even get through the door.

She built her brand on the notion that anyone can make gorgeous and tasty alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks right at home, whether it's while entertaining or just relaxing. Below, you'll find some tips and tricks she has curated to help make anyone's home bartending experience a little more seamless.

Educate yourself. Consider a beginner's course in bartending, read articles online or even watch some YouTube videos. These materials are intended to give you the basic knowledge of various tools, lingo and more to help you find your way around your home bar, as well as equip you with the confidence to serve.

Ice really does make a difference. One of the simplest ways to elevate a drink is to use the right ice. Not only do the large, clear ice spheres look beautiful, they melt slowly to help keep drinks chilled longer without diluting – whether it's iced coffee or scotch.

Garnish your drinks. Incorporating herbs, edible flowers and fresh produce into your drinks presents the opportunity to incorporate personality and additional smells into the whole experience. Think about using lavender, basil, colorful flowers and more to top off your drink.

Master your syrup game. Many classic cocktails and mocktails call for every mixologist's secret weapon, simple syrup. Rather than go down the store-bought route, consider crafting your own. With a simple mix of water, sugar and a little elbow grease on the stove, you can crank out your own syrups with ease. One way to up your game even more is to add seasonal herbs, spices, veggies or fruits to your syrup.

Presentation is key. Certain types of drinks are meant to be enjoyed from specific forms of glassware. Consider expanding your collection to ensure you're serving in proper form. For example, a Moscow Mule must be served in a copper mug or a spritzer in a Collins glass. “My favorite drinking vessels are the collection of eclectic tiki mugs that I've made in the pottery studio over the years,” Grissom said.

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