How do I become a better cocktail maker?
April 2, 2012 4:46 PM Subscribe
How do I become a better mixologist/cocktail guru?
posted by SNWidget to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
This question sort of has two thrusts. The first is how do I get better at making the standard cocktails? The second is how do I get better at creating new things from a shelf of booze?
The longer version: I'm a pretty good cook. I cook from a recipe pretty well, and I make up shit on the fly pretty well. Unfortunately, I've never had the same touch for cocktails. For example, I made a sazerac tonight, and it ended up being too boozy and then too sweet, because I think I messed up combining the 3 ingredients (I'm that inept, apparently).
For some reason, the same "do it again, learn your flavors" thing isn't working for me for cocktails. Even following the exact proportions from various guides, things still don't taste right. It's always too something.
What were your tricks? How did you learn? I'm not looking to make drinks for 100, but I'd like to make drinks for my friends that don't get that look. I've got good ingredients and a well-stocked bar with the right things. I think it's me.
The second part is how to improvise - like I said, with cooking, I can come up with new things with various ingredients. With cocktails, I never quite make it right. People ask me to come up with new things at their houses, because I say I like cocktails, and I freeze up, because I'm just not sure how to match it all up. How did you get comfortable with this? Just making drinks over and over?
I know practice makes perfect, but I'm still hitting a wall on this. How do you take the next step and get past the old Rum + Coke combo and gain the skill to make and perfect the "real" drinks?