If you can make a highball,
meaning ice, one mixer, and one alcohol, then craft cocktails are only steps away. As always, it’s all about the details. We’ll take you through the three key components to mixing up a perfect drink at home.
Up Your Ice Game
Quality cocktail bars have ice programs where they strive to achieve the perfect ice for each cocktail. Knowing how ice changes a beverage as it melts is part of the bartender’s skill. You need not go to that extreme, but these two ice cube trays will help you achieve the most common two ice shapes for craft cocktails (big square and big round). One big piece melts slower, and thus dilutes more slowly.
Mix it up
These are typically the ingredients front and center in your at-home cocktail. If you start with interesting mixers, you get interesting drinks. Once you get the basics, many of the following can be used in combination to really mix things up.
A Few TLP Favorites
Bittermilk is an office favorite.
They’ve got a wide variety of flavors, but we’re partial to No. 2 – Tom Collins with Elderflowers and Hops.
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic.
It’s become a modern classic. You’ll see it on many professional bars, so make sure and add it to yours.
Otherwise known as drinking vinegars, shrubs add a refreshing complexity to a drink. Shrub Drinks out of Texas makes a great variety, including Pear Ginger and Prickly Pear. Our favorite was the Strawberry, Balsamic, and Black Pepper for a fresh take on a strawberry cocktail.
These are the sweet to shrub’s sour.
Use alone or with club soda: We suggest Lemon Cherry Echinacea from Blue Blaze Soda and Syrup Co. It’s a crowd-pleaser that plays well with gin, tequila, and even bourbon.
Get the good stuff
Bartender’s choice. (That means you.) Have fun! We always suggest experimenting with local, artisan distillers.
Get bitter with it
One bottle will do you, but be warned, they are highly collectible once you know how to employ them. Add more panache to prosecco, amp up a classic gin and tonic, or top off some tequila in your margarita. We suggest the distinctive Bittermens Burlesque Bitters.