Cocktail Creation 101October 3, 2013 -- Published by Tara Shinn
So you’ve already mastered your shake, and know how to stir up the perfect martini (congrats!), but for The National Vodka Day Toast, we want you to step up your mixology game by adding a few new techniques to your roster. Sure, making the perfect cosmo is no small feat, but if you try adding in one of these methods, you’ll be on your way to some pretty fantastic cocktail creations. Perhaps try muddling a few strawberries into the cocktail, substitute an infused vodka, or even scratch the traditional triple sec altogether and replace it with a flavored syrup. No matter how you switch it up, the possibilities are endless with a little creativity!
A traditional cocktail muddler looks sort of like a tiny wooden baseball bat, although now they also come in plastic and metal varieties with either a flat end or tiny spikes to help break up fruit, veggies, herbs or spices in spirits, quickly infusing them with flavor. Muddling is a popular technique because it’s fast, easy and transfers all the vitamins and minerals from fresh produce right into the cocktail. Check out these muddled recipes for some inspiration:
Infusing is another great way to impart a lot of flavor from fresh ingredients into spirits, and opposed to muddling it takes a bit longer, but yields more flavor and in larger quantities of alcohol. Infusing vodka has skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years because using fresh ingredients as opposed to artificial ones in commercially flavored vodkas is fun, easy to do at home, and transfers antioxidants and rich colors to spirits. Here are a some great examples of cocktails than require infusions:
Method: Flavored simple syrups
If you’ve ever tried to add a sugar to a cold drink, you already know that getting it to dissolve involves relentless stirring or shaking, and always results in most of the granules collecting at the bottom of the drink anyway. The simple solution? Dissolve the sugar in hot water first, then add it to the cocktail for seamless integration. Of course you can always stop there, but why not add some flavor to the water first? These simple cocktails utilize flavored syrups that are not only very simple to make, but add loads of concentrated flavor with a small amount:
After all that inspiration, you must have some great cocktail ideas! Make sure you share them with the world by tagging your cocktail photos with #CliqueShots on Instagram to see it on our live feed during the toast! Random participants will be chosen to win prizes as well!