Everyone has their favorite cocktail. Whether you’re a fan of the classic cocktails, or you’re more of an adventurous soul, there’s a perfect cocktail for everyone. Some like to use one kind of liquor and stick to cocktails that only use that, while others like to try a little bit of everything. From smoky to fruity, sweet to sour, there’s sure to be a cocktail that fits your taste perfectly. Here at Union Ten Distillery, the premiere distillery in London, Ontario, we offer great tasting cocktails made with all-natural, small-batch spirits. In today’s blog, we’ll go over how to make the perfect cocktail at home using ingredients you can find in just about any grocery store, supermarket, or liquor store.
Start With The Spirits
There are dozens upon hundreds of different cocktail combinations, some incorporating one or multiple kinds of spirits. If you’re unsure of what your favorite spirit is, trying a few cocktails, like at your local distillery, is a great way to figure out what your favorite taste is. Finding your favorite spirit, or at least those that you don’t like, can help narrow down your drink options from insurmountable to completely manageable. Trying new drink options and different concoctions will help you determine the base of your favorite cocktails, which will make it easier for you to both order one while you’re out and about, or when you’re at home trying to recreate your favorite.
Some of the most popular cocktails are made from whiskey, vodka, and gin. This is most likely because these three spirits are some of the most versatile liquors on the planet. While vodka and gin have their own distinct flavors, they’re easily paired with a plethora of other flavors that can either mask or enhance the flavor of the liquor. Whiskey, while usually having more of a robust taste, fits in with many different kinds of mixers as well. Like all of the cocktails and liquors you’ll find here at Union Ten Distillery, some of the best drinks are made with small-batch, artisanal spirits. Using small-batch liquors over name brand spirits can enhance your drink experience, and give you an even more enjoyable cocktail.
Get Complimentary Mixers
While everyone’s palate is different, with some being a little more narrow while others can be as vast as an open field, there are some flavors that just don’t go together. For instance, sweet and savory are two flavors that seldom go hand in hand. You wouldn’t mix a sweet soda with tomato juice, or orange juice with basil and garlic. Those are just recipes for disaster. Instead, stick to a theme when you’re creating drinks at home. For example, grab some small-batch vodka as well as some orange juice, ginger beer, lemonade, or cranberry juice to create some sweet cocktails that you can enjoy at any time of the day. If you enjoy savory tastes more, then get mixers like pickle juice, carrot juice, and even avocado.
No matter what side of the sweet or savory debate you’re on, your main objective should be to match your mixer to your preferred spirit. While vodka is usually safe to mix with all kinds of flavors, be careful with spirits like whiskey and tequila when making cocktails at home. These popular liquors can have very robust flavors and can overpower your drink or just not mesh well with the overall flavor of the mixer. There are a few exceptions to the rules of course, so finding a recipe and following it is a great first step.
Finish With A Garnish
While they may not be the main reason you drink a particular cocktail, garnishes can add a certain flare to a drink that just ties it all together. For example, a twist of lemon peel doesn’t dramatically change a martini, but it will add a little citrus flavor and some much needed aesthetics to an otherwise pedestrian looking cocktail. There are many different garnishes that can compliment all kinds of drinks. Limes, cherries, and even onions can all be used to add taste and decoration to your cocktail. Most cocktails can take advantage of some kind of garnish in order to add a little something extra to the drink.
You also don’t always have to follow a drink recipe line for line. If you find a drink recipe that doesn’t call for a garnish, and you think that you might have the perfect complementary flavor for your drink, then by all means add it to your cocktail. However, like our last section, it’s important to know that not all flavors are complementary to each other. While adding a lime wedge to your vodka cranberry can be a great addition, adding one to your Irish coffee is ill advised.
As your palate progresses, or your tastes change, you may want to start adding drinkware and other accessories to your at-home bar. You can enjoy cocktails in just about any kind of glass, however some can taste even better in certain glasses. Moscow mules, for example, use copper mugs to help keep the drink cold as well as add some flavor profiles depending on what kind of recipe you use. Other drinks can be accentuated by the container they’re served in as well. You can also want to invest in things like whiskey stones, which take the place of ice when drinking liquor straight so as not to dilute the drink as the ice melts.
Drink shakers are another great at-home bar item to have as well. With these, you can make your own hand-crafted cocktails, just like we do here at Union Ten Distillery. Things like measuring devices, stirrers, whiskey elements, and entire bar carts are amazing additions to home bars and can help make at-home bartending even easier. Getting your own recipe book is also highly recommended. That way you’ll be able to learn about and create all kinds of cocktails.
If you’re looking for small-batch cocktails made with artisanal spirits in London, Ontario, then Union Ten Distillery is the place for you. Learn more about our hand-crafted spirits, get to know your local London distillery, or contact Union Ten Distillery to schedule your private tour or event today.