If you have had a chance to browse around the bartender area of in-the-spirit and feel inspired to try your hand at making cocktails in your bar (or perhaps even your own cocktail bar at home), we hope that this section will give you some essential tips to really get stuck in and have some cocktail fun.
In-the-spirit has prepared a “Top 50” cocktail recipe list to give you some idea where to start and a checklist of the ingredients needed to make these fantastic cocktails.
Depending on how adventurous you are, or if you would like to begin with a few cocktail recipes within your repertoire and build on that over time, we have broken this down into blocks of ten recipes at a time and the necessary ingredients to make them. It is likely that you will have many of these staples already but the checklist shows all the must have items at a glance. See below for the cocktail and ingredient checklists:
The above lists have been produced based on the detailed data from our visitors on the most clicked on cocktail recipes featured on the site. Using data taken from the website over the last year, we have established the most popular cocktail recipes on the site according to both consumers and bartenders.
If you decide to invest in a collection of ingredients to produce cocktails from the lists we have collated for you. This range of ingredients will also give you the basis of many other cocktails. For any of the ingredients we have listed, check out the recipe index using the search feature and discover the wide range of cocktail recipes available for all but the most unusual ingredients.
As well as the essential cocktail ingredients you need to start off with, there are some vital pieces of equipment that we would strongly recommend to help you prepare, practice and serve your cocktails.
Again some of these might be items you may have already. Firstly a standard 3 part cocktail shaker which includes a lid and built in strainer or a “Boston Shaker” is made up of 2 sections – one of glass and one of stainless steel. It is difficult to recommend one type of shaker over another as everyone will have their own preference as to what they feel works best. The next crucial piece of equipment is a measure – sometimes referred to as a jigger. These are most often made of metal and vary from a single/double measure combination or a range of different size measures – to allow for half, single, double shots etc.
Other essential tools of the trade are a strainer which could be a “Hawthorne strainer” (used together with a Boston Shaker)or a more strainer slightly more like a small sieve. A sharp knife is important for preparing decorative garnishes from pieces of fruit as is a peeler to extract slices of curly orange and lemon zest.
To complete your set of equipment to kick start your cocktail making, the following items will be especially useful: a bar spoon - this is a long spoon used for stirring drinks and can also be used as a measure which is slightly larger in size than a teaspoon as well as for layering techniques; a muddler – looks a bit a like a rolling pin with a flat end and is an essential for crushing fruits and herbs to release their flavours.
Last but not least; if possible an electric blender which can be invaluable for cocktails containing cream or ice cream ingredients to achieve the perfect consistency. In-the-spirit recommends always checking if the blender you are thinking about buying has an ice crushing facility included as some blender are not suited to crushing ice.
We hope that you have found our tips helpful and informative and wish you happy cocktail making.