There are men who party, and there are men who are the life of the party. Invariably, the latter end up donning various hats of charming musicians, comedians, and entertainers.
On this International Men’s Day, why not learn a new skill to make sure you are in the latter category.
If you're up for some fun, these easy tips will help you up your game and learn how to double hat as a bartender.
Get the Bar Lingo on Point
Nothing screams notable bartender quite like owning that lingo. Impress your friends by brushing up your knowledge about different cocktails.
Highballs are tall drinks with a base of spirit lengthened with a mixer: the original being Scotch and soda, whilst sours are spirit, citrus and a hint of sweetness to bring everything together, the most famous probably being the whisky sour. And of course, if you’re a scotch lover, note that the Scottish dram is a small pour of Scotch, around an ounce to be exact. Although it could be more, but that all depends on how good a host you are.
Gin Day: Beat The Summer Heat With These Easy-To-Make, Fun Cocktails
Shaken Or Stirred
Gin has made a uber-cool comeback on menus. The drink is suddenly everybody's go-to spirit - which is perfect for the summer as several gin cocktails feature fresh, citrus, floral and even fruity notes.
So this Gin Day, we asked experts across the country to share their secret recipes for the perfect gin cocktail - from naughty with jägermeister to nice with tonic.
To Stir or To Shake
While everyone likes to throw around the famous “shaken, not stirred” dialogue, there is a time to stir and a time to shake a drink. The central idea in both processes is to cool and dilute the drink. However, shaking dilutes the drink more than stirring, and changes its texture. Stirring is preferred for spirit-forward drinks like a Whisky Old-Fashioned, while the newer experimental cocktails are shaken before being served.
If you prefer the classic neat or watered Scotch, put that shaker down and save it for cocktails with juices, eggs or cream.
Master a Signature Drink
Be jack-of-all-trades and dabble around, but definitely master that one cocktail as your signature style. A super-easy one that you can play with is the Highball – some whisky, soda and a dash of lemon and you’re good to go. Although feel free to experiment and switch it up with different mixers, such a ginger ale or even coconut water.
Remember, the garnish can make a big difference as well: mint, cinnamon or mosambi work surprisingly well. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself behind the bar all night though and be well-equipped to serve the bartender’s special.
Keep up with the trends
Be in the know of all the trendy ingredients and favourite cocktails of the season to become everyone's go-to bartender.
Cheat sheet: Sustainable garnishes, Highball cocktails, household ingredients like shrubs, exotic ingredients like turmeric are in vogue.
Essential tools of the trade
Don’t have an entire cocktail making kit at your disposal? Don’t worry, most fancy tools mixologists use can be substituted by everyday household items. A thermos flask can be your cocktail shaker, tea strainer can be used to strain cocktails as well, a small rolling pin can be your muddle and long spoons can be used as mixers.
If you’d like to take this up seriously, all you need is a decent shaker, juicer and strainer.
Presentation is important – yours and the bar’s
The secret to boss it as a bartender isn’t just whipping up delectable cocktails, it’s also how cool the bar and the bartender can be. Make it aesthetically appealing by placing some fresh ingredients at the bar where they catch eye and stack all the bottles in a way that the choices are clear at a glance. A white cloth napkin with all your tools laid out neatly shows everyone you’ve got it under control.
Now, that you are armed with the bartending hacks, go on and show off your skills.
Raise yourself a toast, better yet two. Slàinte!
- The author is a mixologist and the Dewar’s India brand ambassador.