What's in your cocktail?
The Composition Of Cocktail Making
Making cocktails is as fun as drinking them, really! There’s lots of creativity involved, and experimentation is encouraged.
With so many cocktails around, you can happily focus on mastering popular recipes, but if you want to create your own drink, then you might want to learn the theory behind the most successful drinks.
What are the different components of a cocktail?
Although there are many cocktail ‘families’, we can safely say most modern cocktails are part of the 'sour family', made of a hard ingredient, a soft one, an acidic element and a sweetener.
The mojito, margarita, daiquiri, G&T, gin fizz, Moscow mule, whiskey sour, sidecar and caipirinha, to mention a few, are part of this family. Let’s see what these four elements are all about.
Hard ingredients are your spirits. Rum, vodka, Tequila or whiskey. You’ll want to use between 1.5 and 2 ounces of spirit in your creations.
Acidic ingredients are more often than not lime and lemon juice, although some cocktails, like the shrubs, rely on vinegar for the sour element.
Sweeteners abound. Simple syrup is typically used, but a teaspoon of sugar or honey will do the trick. Try our Anaya Trigona Honey to make your cocktail even more flavorful with an added immunity boost. Liqueurs are popular sweeteners too, and they add a little extra booze too.
Finally, there’re the soft ingredients, and these are mainly mixers, whether it’s juice, soda or tonic water.
PRO TIP: Sugar balances acidity and vice versa. That’s why lemonades are tasty. Coke, for example, is as sweet as sugar syrup and as acidic as vinegar. Since the sugars and acids are balanced, it’s easy to drink Coca-Cola without being overwhelmed by too much sweetness or tartness.
Here are some examples you probably recognize:
· The Daiquiri is made of rum, lime juice and sugar. Spirit-acid-sweetener.
· The Margarita is made with Tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur (this is the sweetener)
· A Gin & Tonic is made with gin, lemon juice and tonic water. Spirit-acid-soft. It comes without saying there’s a reason tonic water has an underlying sweetness; without it, the cocktail just wouldn’t work!
How to create the right balance of flavors in a cocktail?
Keeping in mind the above, you can create your own cocktails by choosing a base spirit, an acidic element, a sweetener and an optional mixer.
A 2:1:1 proportion between spirit, sugar and acid is customary, but try for yourself and find your perfect ratio.
Cocktail making is a fantastic hobby, so put your mixologist hat on and make some drinks for your friends and family. Remember, cocktails are all about sharing and having a good time with your loved ones.
Let’s get mixing!