Cocktail making is part art and part science. And as with cooking, you may prefer your cocktails sweeter, or less sweet, or with more lemon juice (or with more whiskey). But regardless of personal flavor preferences, there remains a best-practice approach to using specific techniques when making cocktails to produce the most delicious, consistent results every time.
Simply building a drink directly in the serving glass to use a shaker correctly to muddling herbs and fruit to extract their flavors. liqueurs and vermouth's can be and how easy, satisfying, and creative it is to make your own.
Along the way, we did side-by-side tastings of bourbons, rye's, rums, orange liqueurs, anise liqueurs, vermouth's, tonic waters, and more to figure out which ones might be acceptable substitutes for each other.
We created spreadsheets to measure the amount of bitters that come out of a bottle in a drop versus a dash, and out of a half-full bottle versus a full bottle, even taking into account the size of the bottles and the apertures. We made dozens of batches of ice using tap, filtered, and distilled water, freezing it in multiple ways and in multiple sizes, to develop our recipe for Practically Clear Ice.
We always keep the home cook in mind, solving practical challenges like how to make an array of cocktails without having to purchase lots of expensive bottles, what tools you really need (and how to wield them like a pro), how to make big batches for entertaining, and so much more.
We hope you have as much fun in your kitchen mixing up these cocktails as we did to create them in our test kitchen. Cheers!