Add your own unique flavour to cocktails with homemade bitters. Here’s how
Making your own bitters at home is a lot easier than you may think. However, we need to understand a few things first. Cocktails, by definition, are made up of four essential ingredients: spirits, sugar, water and bitters. Spirits are self-explanatory. The sugar and water elements can be exactly that or they can take on other forms, such as syrups and juices. Bitters are much more complex, though. Bartenders use bitters to bridge the flavours of spirits, sugar and water so they come together. The key to selecting the right bitter is to use one that complements the other three components in the cocktail.
This ancient ingredient adds zest to your party drinks
Holiday entertaining is right around the corner and having a couple of easy, bold and delicious punch recipes on hand will really help set any party off on the right foot. It all starts with oleo saccharum.
Now, you might be wondering: What the heck is oleo saccharum? It is the Latin term for “oil sugar,” an ingredient that will change your home bartending.
Make summer’s favourite cocktail your very own with these bespoke ideas
Gin is unlike any other spirit. Simply put, gin is a distilled grain mash that produces a neutral alcohol or vodka. The spirit is then redistilled with botanicals, herbs and spices to achieve the final product. It doesn’t rely on aging in oak barrels like whisky, and it doesn’t rely on one agricultural product to achieve its flavour, like agave for tequila. The infusion process will determine the flavour profile of each gin.
In other words, gin is essentially a botanical-flavoured vodka. And that means, even though not very many of us will ever have access to a still, we can make our own quality gins by working with infusions.
Step by step: How to make the secret ingredient that puts the terrific into tiki drinks
In bartending, there’s a simple rule called the Golden Ratio: two parts spirit, one part sweet, one part sour. If you apply this rule to your drink making, you can quickly learn dozens of cocktails.
If you dissect a Daiquiri for example, it is simply two parts rum, one part lime juice, one part simple syrup. Sometimes you can use a sweet liqueur to replace the simple syrup, like Curaçao in the case of a Margarita. Depending on your palate, you can increase or decrease the sour and sweet elements or adjust the amount of spirits to create the right balance. In fact, herein lies one of the secrets of fine cocktail making: Bartenders often create one-of-a-kind cocktails by transforming classics simply by using different spirits, sours and sweets.
Named after the legendary live-music venue in Toronto, this tiki-style cocktail takes on a Canadian twist.
• 1.5 oz Canadian 100 percent rye whisky
• 0.75 oz falernum
• 2 oz coconut water
• 1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington bitters