With current circumstances and the lingering lockdown, we can all say that we long for a drink – alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike - a good one, that your favourite bartender in your local bar makes. Whilst there are undoubtedly connoisseurs out there that subscribe to the latest gadgets, not everyone owns fancy bar gear. We’ve therefore proved that a little innovation and experimentation with everyday kitchen utensils means you can mix that drink you’ve been craving right in your kitchen. We say cheers to that!
MAKING: forget the muddlers and jiggers Measuring Cups or Spoons
We know, jiggers look the part, but they’re really easy to replace if you don’t have one lurking in your kitchen cabinets. For a Moscow Mule, grab your handy tablespoon as you’ll need 1 tbsp of lime juice and 3 tbsp of Vodka. Alternatively, for an Aperol Spritz, grab your trusty measuring cups which needs a 1/4 cup (around 60ml) of Prosecco.
Whether you need to press lightly on your mint to release its essential oils, or completely pulverise your fruit to make it into something that resembles a puree or coulis, you’ll need something that’s good at pressing and smashing. Whilst most won’t own a muddler, don’t stress - grab a wooden meat mallet or thick wooden spoon instead and it’ll do the job. If using a wooden spoon, we recommend holding the spoon at the crus of the handle where it meets the spoon, for the absolutely best leverage.
You probably already have a citrus juicer in the back of your kitchen cabinet. Cocktails taste much better when you use fresh juice, so use your citrus juicer to get fresh juice right at home. Most have a strainer or something that collects any pulps or seeds to make it easier too, so there really is no excuse for not going fresh on the juice side!
SHAKING: shaking without a shaker IS a thing
Now this might seem a bit ‘out there’ but we think we’re on to something here. If you know your coffee, you know that the coffee made in a cafetière changes the game. The same applies for cocktails and cafetière cocktails will change the way you think about mixing drinks at home.
Just as with coffee and tea, you can place any solid ingredients you like, such as fruit or herbs, in the base of the press. You will then add liquids, allow it to steep for a couple of minutes, then press! The pressure gently mixes all of the ingredients together whilst aerating it at the same time. Serve it over ice if desired, et voila. You get the benefits of a quick infusion of flavours whilst making sure they are thoroughly mixed and richly flavoured. Try it for yourself!
For those who would prefer giving your cocktail a shake over a press, then we’ve found the perfect replacement. Grab a Kilner jar and simply measure out your liquids, add the ice and any other ingredients, seal and shake! What’s even better is you can simply grab a straw (reusable of course) and drink your perfect at-home creation right out of the jar itself. It looks the part and saves washing up too!
STRAINING: wave goodbye to the Julep or Hawthorne
Slotted spoon, tea strainer or sieve
For cocktails such as a Martini or Manhattan, we realise you’re missing a julep or Hawthorne strainer. Just simple pour your freshly stirred cocktail into one of the utensils above (this may depend on how much needs straining) and pour the drink into a glass. Keep in mind that a slotted spoon works best when straining ice cubes, but you may need to double-strain; a further strain done using a tea or mesh strainer to keep bits of fruit or herbs out.
SERVING: Make it look the part, even in your own kitchen
Fizz flutes, everyday tumblers and coupes
We know, most households won’t own a casual collection of cocktail glasses, from Martinis to Highballs. Try using champagne or Prosecco flutes for cocktails such as Bellini’s and Mimosas, and using every day, short glasses for cocktails such as an Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sours, a Dark and Stormy or Mai Tai’s. If you have something taller, these are suitable for longer drinks such as Tequila Sunrise, Mojitos and Bloody Mary’s. These are great for cocktails that need ice or fruit.
Cocktails such as Daquiris, Martinis and Cosmopolitan need to be served frosty cold, but not over ice. Something with a long stem such as a Coupe ensures that your cocktails will not go warm quickly.
Reminder: don’t forget the garnish! Most are easy to do from home - citrus wheels, salt rims, fruit wedges, or, if you own a channel knife, step up your garnish game with citrus spirals. The styling of your cocktail is what will make it as fancy as one in a bar. The moment when you put that first cocktail in front of friends or family is the moment the party starts with the ‘ooo I want one of those!’ or the many gasps produced when presenting something so beautiful.Do you like what you've read here? Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about more sports news and blog posts, competitions and special offers from Keith Prowse hospitality.