1. Don’t mix a grain based spirit such as vodka with a fruit based spirit such as calvados.
2. A classic cocktail should contain no more than 5 ingredients.
3. A cocktail should have no more than 70ml of alcohol.
4. Only stir spirit-only cocktails such as Manhattans and Martinis (contrary to what James Bond says!) in order to get the rich, crystal clear look of the drink.
5. If your cocktail contains citrus, eggs, dairy or cream liqueurs then you need to shake it in order to emulsify all the non-alcoholic ingredients. Don’t shake too much otherwise the ice will melt, stop when you see condensation on the shaker.
6. Did you know that citrus juice changes as it ages? To get the optimum taste when using lemon or lime juice in your cocktail, squeeze the juice and then leave it sealed for a few hours for the best flavour. Orange juice on the other hand, must always be freshly squeezed.
7. Learn the difference between these four components:
- Strong (body of the cocktail, supplied by the spirit)
- Weak (The lesser alcohol part, such as a liqueur)
- Sour (A citrus note which binds the ingredients)
- Sweet (syrup or sugar)
8. Have the right glassware. For instance, any cocktail containing champagne should always be served in a champagne glass.
9. Know the different between a short drink and a long drink: a short is below 12cl and a long is above. A long drink will always be more diluted.
10. Decorate your cocktails but make sure those finishing touches are edible, and choose colours to complement the colour of the cocktail.