Updated: May 11, 2021
With so many stylish glasses available these days, drinks on the patio should be glamorous and fun so we've created Mangetout Mixology to inspire you to be adventurous and individual.
To get started you'll need a few bits and pieces. My advice is get by with what you've got in the kitchen until you decide that you are enjoying making cocktails and then you can upgrade to the proper kit. That said if you intend to impress your friends and make Cocktails in front of them you may need to invest immediately.
So here's the essentials (you'll see that you can get by with other things if you are making cocktails behind closed doors and then making a big entrance with the finished goods!)
You are definitely going to need a shaker. When you get more experienced you'll love the Boston Shaker which doubles as a mixing glass. You might like to get yourself a cocktail shaker like the one shown here. The top doubles up as a measure and a large strainer is fitted into the head so in the short term that's all you'll need,
The jigger (measuring cup) shown here is 50 ml one side and 25 ml on the other.. Measuring is very important when it comes to Cocktails. The experts look as if they are just throwing in whatever they fancy but that takes years of practice to get right. A cocktail is like the recipe for a cake, get the quantities wrong and disaster follows! The good thing is you can drink all of your disasters yourself.
You'll need a strainer and a long handled spoon or cocktail stirrer (bar spoon) you can buy the real thing but in the short term any long handled spoon will get you by. I've been known to stir my cocktails with a table knife. (Only behind closed doors I might add!)
Beware blunt knives...
A juicer is a must. Freshly squeezed juice makes the simplest cocktails spectacular and of course a sharp knife for cutting the fruit. Beware blunt knives, more people cut themselves trying to hack through a lemon with a blunt knife than ever they do with a sharp one.
You'll also need a muddler. The muddler is used to smash and mix the ingredients in a drink. It's used particularly when herbs are involved. Once you start making cocktails regularly you'll rush out and get one but until then have a route through the cutlery draw to see what will do the job and finally a Channel Knife. That's the special bit of kit that cuts the fancy shapes into your fruit and decoration. Remember fruit is the jewellery that sets off the most stunning of costumes.
Last but not least you need a glass to serve it in. Be adventurous many iconic cocktails are served in recognisable glasses but there are so many great designs you should allow your imagination to run riot. Cocktails are Theatre so put on a show and enjoy yourself and one last word of advice, non-alcoholic drinks can look spectacular when given the Cocktail treatment so make sure the driver is in on the fun and most importantly, the children.
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