Mixing drinks is much like cooking. You need recipes and a guide on how to mix ingredients, otherwise, the taste might not turn out as you expected. There are also appropriate measurements for the ingredients, so if you are going to have cocktails at home, you will need a bartender’s mixing guide to come up with just the right drink that will help liven up the party.
There is a wide range of drink mixes that you can explore. If you are organizing a gathering at home, find out what kind of drink your guests would most probably like. If they are hard drinkers, then you can make drink mixes with tequila and vodka. If they are only occasional drinkers, then some light cocktails will do. Also find out what finger foods will be best served with the drinks you will make.
The next step is to go around the bars in town and see what they have in their menu. If you can, try some of their best sellers and ask the bartender what goes into it. You can also ask whether the bartender is using a particular bartender’s mixing guide, and find out where it can be purchased. Some bartenders may have a “secret ingredient” or a “secret recipe” that they are not willing to share. Take note of the name of the drink and research it over the Internet, and you might just find out its source. If the bartender is gracious enough to show you his bartender’s mixing guide, browse through it and check if the drinks are what you would want to try to mix at home.
Aside from bar hopping and interviewing bartenders, you can also check out online resources and you will be surprised that there are online bartending schools where they teach you recipes. Online video guides are also available. This can already serve as your bartender’s mixing guide. If they have other materials that you can download and print out, then take advantage of it. What is interesting with online classes and forum is that you get to interact with fellow bartending enthusiasts and you get to share new recipes and other information.
There are also available recipe and bartending books and magazines in book stores. Take time to browse through them and buy the ones with the most recipes. There are different drink mixes, which are categorized into the occasions throughout the year. It would be best if the magazine or book you choose has a complete recipe of drinks you can mix during each special occasion. Also check whether these guides also contain a list of bartending materials that you should have at home. Check out the prices so you have an idea on how much you will be spending on outside of the drink mix ingredients.
It is also interesting to learn drink mixing techniques from expert bartenders. There is nothing like experiencing drink mixing first hand. Look at their techniques and try them out yourself. The first few tries may be a bit messy. Practice and drink up.