FRENCH 75

Champagne makes things a little special. I’m not a big fan of drinking for the sole purpose of getting drunk — that’s why we drank in college, we’ve progressed people (Unless you’re still in college, then have a double on me!). When you want to elevate your drinking — it should be an event — but don’t want just champagne, turn to the wonderful world of champagne cocktails. A serious one to consider? The French 75.

The French 75 is a cocktail for lovers of gin and champagne. Luckily, I’m a fan of both.

lemons and sugar cubes

With this champagne cocktail, you’re going to get those floral, juniper-y notes from the gin, complimented by lemon juice (gin and citrus really are best buds), then finished with the effervescence of champagne.

Think of it as a spectacular gin and tonic.

french 75 gin

What you’re going to want to avoid is watering the French 75 down by removing some of the gin. Yes, I know that technically you’re not watering a drink down by removing one booze (gin) and upping the content of another (champagne), but that’s not the point. The point is that this is about gin and champagne.

french 75 cocktail shaker

If you’re looking for a cocktail with just champagne and citrus, then go drink a Mimosa. Or better yet, go drink a Bloody Mary. You don’t deserve any champagne right now.

For the rest of us, onto the French 75!

garnish with lemon

FRENCH 75
Servings: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 OZ. GIN
  • ½ OZ. LEMON JUICE
  • 1 TSP. ULTRAFINE SUGAR
  • 5 OZ. CHAMPAGNE
  • LEMON PEEL
  • GLASS TYPE: CHAMPAGNE
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar into your cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake like you mean it (you want to chill it and dissolve that sugar, that’s why we went ultrafine).
  3. Evenly pour into two champagne flutes.
  4. Top with chilled champagne.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.
  6. Smile, drink and toast to good health.

french 75 cocktailfrench 75 cocktail

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Another Smashing recipe by The Drink Blog.
https://www.thedrinkblog.com/french-75/

HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE MATCHA COCKTAIL

And we’re back! In my mind, I imagined Jeremey Clarkson in old new Top Gear saying that after a long absence. Alice and I took a slight sabbatical after having our first child! Hooray for kids! Fun fact, nothing makes you appreciate a cocktail at the end of the night like a finally asleep child. True story. With that in mind, let’s return to the goodness with the Hazelnut Chocolate Matcha Cocktail!

This one has it all, nutty goodness, chocolate richness and that earthy I-feel-like-I’m-doing-something-good-for-myself-but-am-still-having-a-cocktail-ness tastiness of matcha.

As I’m still not a big coffee fan (Thor’s Coffee, obviously notwithstanding — and I’ve grown to appreciate it in a nice tiramisu), whenever we go to a coffee shop, I inevitably get their version of a blended matcha or chai. Plus one for the grown up milkshake! That got the wheels spinning.

Oh, and the sudden prevalence of matcha candy everywhere — especially you Matcha Kit Kat. I wish I could quit you.

separate egg whites

All I had to do was turn that lovely candy flavor and adult milkshake (if you think those blended tea and/or coffee drinks are anything other than adult milkshakes, I’ll give you the freedom to keep pretending) into an adult after dinner (or before dinner, or lunch) treat.

On the matcha front, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to which to buy. I went with a ceremonial one from Japan and it tasted great. Undoubtedly, there’s a whole blackhole you can fall into when it comes to which to buy, from where, for what reason, etc., but I don’t pretend to be a tea aficionado, I just know what I like. I’m confident, if you get a decent one, you’ll make a great matcha cocktail.

For the chocolate, I (boastfully, proudly?) recommend our Homemade White Crème de Cacao. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination, I’m fairly sure that this will turn out splendid with whatever you can procure. Though, it might be on the sweeter side, so adjust the vanilla simple syrup to your taste.

add ice to cocktail shaker

Darn, you’ll have to experiment by making more cocktails. Listen, I know it’s a tough job, but you’re up to it.

Finally, the vanilla simple syrup that I call for, that’s just regular ol’ simple syrup (a 1:1 mix of sugar to water) that I steeped a vanilla bean pod into for that amazing vanilla flavor. If you don’t have a pod floating around, add in a splash of vanilla extract.

Now, without further ado, let’s get down to the Hazelnut Chocolate Matcha Cocktail!

HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE MATCHA COCKTAIL

 

PREP TIME
MIX TIME
TOTAL TIME
Servings: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • 2OZ VODKA
  • 1OZ WHITE CREME DE COCOA
  • ½OZ HAZELNUT LIQUEUR
  • ¼ TSP MATCHA POWDER
  • ½OZ VANILLA SIMPLE SYRUP
  • EGG WHITE
  • MATCHA POWDER
  • GLASS TYPE: COUPE
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Make your vanilla simple syrup.
  2. Let that cool.
  3. Add the vodka, white crème de cacao, hazelnut liqueur, matcha powder and egg white to your shaker with ice.
  4. Shake it.
  5. A bunch.
  6. There’s an egg white to emulsify and froth in there.
  7. It’s for creamy, rich, goodness.
  8. When you get tired, double strain into your coupe.
  9. Let it settle.
  10. The cream will rise.
  11. Garnish with a dusting of matcha.
  12. Now go enjoy your grown up matcha blendy milkshake cocktail.

What a recipe!

https://www.thedrinkblog.com/hazelnut-chocolate-matcha-cocktail/

 

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Each event is different therefore needs a different approach to menu tailoring and bar design. We offer a no obligation initial meeting to ensure we deliver exactly what you require. Our bars are made from carbon fibre, which makes them ideal for personalisation and branding.

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We understand that you are an individual so we have a wide range of payment options to suit your needs. You have access to our variety of services whether you want your guests to pay for their own drinks, or an open bar where your guests enjoy the luxury of free drinks. In addition you are able to combine the two and set a limit for the free drinks. Upon reaching the limit guests are to settle up themselves.

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With years in the business we understand that quality shows. Let us take control of the drinks for the evening, whether you require a wine bar for the evening or whether you are looking to amaze your guests with our fantastic bespoke cocktail menu. Our bartenders are highly skilled and well known in the industry. Our unique bar can be easily branded with your company’s logo for that very special personal touch. Our bars come with over 40 premium branded products and some incredible wines. If you have something in mind please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding your requirements.

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The Home Bar: Part 9 Apple and Raspberry Martini.

The Apple and Raspberry Martini – For an adventurous enthusiast.

 

Possibly not on of the easiest to accomplish at home, but when mastered, it’ll seem like a breeze. This recipe was taken from a small riverside restaurant in Cambridge, England. As part of the Neo Martini family, this poses as a soft, approachable, version alongside the infamous Pornstar Martini. You’ll need a cocktail shaker, Hawthorne Strainer and a fine, tea-like, strainer for the making of this cocktail.

Ingredients – These are slightly more advanced than the general alcohol cupboard at home. They can all be purchased any large supermarket.

40ml Raspberry flavoured Vodka

15ml Raspberry Liqueur

15ml Sugar Syrup

25ml Apple Juice

Half a Freshly Squeezed Lemon

4 fresh Raspberries.

 

Method

  1. Gather all ingredients to hand for ease of preperation.
  2. Combine ingredients into your cocktail shaker.
  3. Add ice and shaker vigorously to make sure you completely break up the raspberries.(You will know its shaken enough when you can barely hold the shaker because of the temperature. )
  4. Use your hawthorn strainer and tea strainer to strain into a lovely martini style glass.
  5. The Garnish can vary greatly from a simple raspberry floating in the middle, to an apple fan. This can be achieved buy cutting an apple directly in half then taking thin slices length-ways. Then grab a cocktail stick and join three slivers together and place in the glass, similarly to the image above.

 

 

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The Home Bar: Part 8 The Bramble

The Bramble; a simple cocktail to make at home but a delicious classic that deserves a place on a any cocktail list.

 

Popping up in the mid 80’s in London. This drink was inspired by a typical Brit who as a child, like most of us, have fond memories of hours of fun dodging the prickly thorns of the bramble bush to pick the soft tart blackberry. For those of you who don’t know, the blackberry grows wild throughout the UK in abundance, making this drink, a drink for the masses. Combining a traditional English spirit, Gin, and our native fruits.

The Recipe is simple yet sophisticated and when made well, can satisfy even the most particular of characters. So lets hop to it, the recipe.

50 ml of gin ( A good all rounder like Tanqueray or Beefeater. You will mask any subtle flavours seen in sipping gins. )

20 ml of Blackberry Liqueur / Creme de Mure.

10 ml of sugar syrup (To make this combine us a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. Make in a large batch and keep in the fridge)

Half a fresh Lemon Squeezed.

Crushed ice.

 

The Method – Simplicity at its core.

  1. Grab yourself a short tumbler or whisky glass.
  2. Add all ingredients apart from Blackberry liqueur.
  3. Add ice and stir.
  4. drizzle that blackberry liqueur over the top of the ice.
  5. Let settle to the bottom and watch how the drink changes when consumed.

These can be made easily in mass and a great crowd pleaser.

 

 

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The Home Bar: Part 7 Cocktail Priorities

In an ideal world all our cocktails would be perfect.  They would look great and taste amazing.  Be cheap, quick and easy to make.  And making a dozen would be no harder than making one.

Not likely

Not likely

Back in the real world this idealized scenario isn’t common.  Devoting time and energy to produce a great tasting cocktail can mean it takes longer to make.  Using the highest quality ingredients to improve the taste will also increase the price.  Skimp on either of these aspects to pump out lots of cocktails at speed and the quality will suffer.

This is practically a law of nature.  That there is always a trade off between cost, quality and speed.

So, when making cocktails, where should our priorities lie?

Quality above all?

I am a firm believer in maintaining high standards of quality in cocktails.  How a cocktail tastes is always our number 1 priority.  This should come as no surprise to my readers.  To my mind there is simply no point in making a cocktail if you’re going to do it badly.  Just have a beer instead.  you’ll probably enjoy it more.

But this is not the same as advocating that each cocktail be hand crafted using only the finest ingredients known to mankind.  That would make them prohibitively expensive.  And it really doesn’t matter that you can make the best cocktail in the world if a customer has to wait twenty minutes to get it.  By the time he does, it will be too late.  He’ll be too irritated to care how good it is.

I am not suggesting that you cut corners.  But there are many ways we can make our cocktails cheaper and/or faster without compromising their quality.  We just need to know how and when we can do this.  A Cocktail Education is full of hints and tips to aid you in achieving this.

But I will also tell you when you cannot compromise.  The best example of this is the way I keep on insisting that there is no substitute to freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice.  I seem to say it so often it’s starting to feel like a mantra.

Horses for Courses

It’s an old English saying.  Since everyone has a different skill set, we must choose the right person for the right job to get the best result.  It applies to cocktails too.

To illustrate this point, I’ll use a couple of gin cocktails as examples.

Dry Martini

Dry Martini

First, the Dry Martini.  Now the raison d’être of a Dry Martini is to bring the absolute best out of a gin.  To subtly enhance its flavour by complementing its unique blend of botanicals with a merest hint of vermouth.  And then to present it to our taste buds in the optimal manner – ice cold.

As such, there is absolutely no point in making a Dry Martini with an entry level gin.  There are no subtle and delicate flavours to tease out of of such a gin.  No matter what their marketing may tell you.  Instead, you really need to go for a premium gin with a price tag to match.  Giving a top end gin the Dry Martini treatment is to create an iconic legend.  It’s well worth the extra cost.  Though unless you are a gin connoisseur it will likely be wasted on you.

Bramble

Messy Bramble

But on the other hand, what if I’m going to make a Bramble?  I’d be mixing my gin with lemon juice and sugar syrup.  Diluting it with crushed ice.  Then drizzling blackberry liqueur over it.  Or perhaps just splattering some muddled blackberries on it.

The subtle botanicals of a premium gin will simply be eclipsed by these potent ingredients.  But the bolder, harsher flavours of the entry level gin will stand up to them.  So ironically using the entry level gin makes for not only a cheaper Bramble, but actually a better one too.

Efficiency

Making a cocktail taste as good as possible is our top priority.  But making it as efficiently as possible is a close second.  Because if a cocktail takes too long to get to someone, it doesn’t matter how good it tastes.

You’ll note I said “as efficiently as possible” and not “as quickly as possible”.  Making a cocktail quickly may lead you to cut corners or make mistakes.  Making it efficiently means making it as quickly as possible without compromising the quality.

Why does this matter?

Well if you’re at home, making a single drink for yourself, then it doesn’t.

But in every other scenario involving cocktails, it does.  In bars, a good bartender needs to send out a round of five different cocktails as quickly as possible.  Because he likely has another half dozen waiting to be made.  A customer wants his drinks quickly, so he can go back to his friends quickly and not miss out.  And at parties or events we don’t want to keep our guests waiting too long for their drinks either.  Even when we’re making them by the jug to share.

Learning how to make cocktails efficiently takes time and practice.  As such it is a more advanced topic.   I’ll get to it in time.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

But at a basic level, let’s say I’m at a house party and am going to make a whole load of Tom Collins‘.  In order to do so efficiently, I should make sure everything I’ll need is to hand when I need it.  My gin is in front of me, not in the liquor cabinet.  I have my glasses and ice ready.  I have prepared my lemons and sugar syrup.

This sounds like common sense.  But in my experience, common sense isn’t very common…

Appearance

It may come as a surprise that I rank a cocktail’s appearance as only our 3rd most important priority.  After all, everyone knows that the first bite is with the eye.  A cocktail’s appearance is a major part of its sex appeal.  Surely that should count for more?  Right?

Wrong.

A cocktail that looks good but tastes bland is a bad cocktail.  While a cocktail that tastes great but doesn’t look like it, is a diamond in the rough.  It already has the most important factor sorted.  It just needs a little polishing.

Similarly, get a great tasting, great looking cocktail twenty minutes after you asked for it and you won’t be happy.  It doesn’t matter how good it looks or tastes.  But get a great tasting and OK looking cocktail quickly, and you’ll be at least content.

True, we want cocktails to look good.  But not at the expense of their taste or speed of arrival

 

To read the full article please follow the link http://acocktaileducation.com/sugar-syrup/

The Mobile Bar People Collaborating With Freelance Writer Thomas Farley.

 

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The Home Bar: Part 6 Lose Your Cherry Sour

The Lose Your Cherry Sour is an interesting drink for a number of different reasons.  First and foremost because it’s a very good Sour which is easy to make.  Second, because it introduces an element of dryness not present in any classic Sour.  This extra layer of depth gives the drink a little special something.  And third, it was created by a former student of mine, so neatly illustrates my teaching methods.

Luke Taylor

Luke Taylor. Hard at work

The Lose Your Cherry Sour was created by Luke Taylor in the Spring of 2015.  Luke is a young Englishman from Cambridge who entered the Food and Beverage trade as a waiter.  He decided to make a career of it, and so sought to learn as much as he could about the different aspects of this Industry.  This meant gaining experience as a chef and a bartender; as receptionist and behind-the-scenes organizer; and in managerial roles both front and back of house.

Learning the skills needed to work a regular bar is pretty straightforward.  But cocktails are a specialized subject.  A highly complicated niche within the wider Industry.  So he came to me for cocktail training and proved to be a quick and intuitive learner.  He took on my methods and made them his own.

Creation

In early 2015 Luke had taken on the role of Bar Manager for a seasonal outdoor bar setup which only operates in the warmer months.  He was looking to write a new menu for the new season to better reflect his standards and views.  As such he was playing around with creating new cocktails.

Lose Your Cherry Sour Taste Profile

Lose Your Cherry Sour Flavour Map

In the months prior to this he had visited New Zealand and somewhere along the line had tried a cocktail based on gin and raspberries.  That original had actually been bland and boring, but it gave him the inspiration to try his own version.

Lose Your Cherry Sour Taste Profile

Lose Your Cherry Sour Flavour Map

He was trying to craft it into a Sour since he had a need for an interesting Sour on his new bar menu.  But he was running into a serious problem – like the original it was still a little bland.

The problem was that while gin makes a good basis for a Sour, it needs other flavours to elevate it. But being a soft fruit, raspberries need a certain level of sweetness to properly open up their flavour.  The level of sweetness you’re just not going to find in a Sour.

Maraschino Liqueur

Maraschino Liqueur

So, as any good student would when he hits a wall, he brought the question to his sensei.  I tried it and immediately suggested the addition of Maraschino.  The undercutting dryness that this Italian cherry liqueur provides was the key he’d been looking for.  It opened up the flavours of both gin and raspberry.  But more than that, the dry aspect gave it both an extra layer of depth and an extra layer of appeal.  Men now found it just as appealing as women.

As for the name.  Well he was my student, and so he understands the importance of a name.  “Lose Your Cherry” was as risque a name as he could get away with.

Recipe and Method

The Lose your Cherry Sour is a gin based Sour augmented by fresh raspberries and Maraschino Liqueur.

Lose Your Cherry Sour

Lose Your Cherry Sour

The raspberries will need to be muddled, though not much as they are a soft fruit.  And the cocktail must be shaken twice to attain the beautiful froth of a Sour.

So, first throw half a dozen raspberries into your Boston glass and muddle them.  Then add less than two shots of gin, ~40ml; 10ml Maraschino; the juice of a whole lemon; one egg white; and enough sugar syrup to attain the correct balance of sour, ~10-15ml.

Note that we experimented with adding bitters but found that they did not add to the drink but negatively impacted its colour, so we chose to omit them.

Dry shake first to emulsify the egg white.  Then wet shake as usual.

The Lose Your Cherry Sour could be double strained and served straight up if desired.  But in general we went the standard Sour route and served in a short glass on the rocks.

Garnish with raspberries, and perhaps some lemon zest as well.

 

To read the full article please follow the link http://acocktaileducation.com/sugar-syrup/

The Mobile Bar People Collaborating With Freelance Writer Thomas Farley.

 

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The Home Bar: Part 5 Sex Appeal

Some cocktails have serious sex appeal.  They’ve got the looks.  They’ve got the name.  And they’ve got it where it counts.  Everyone wants a piece of them.

Mojito and a Bitch

A Mojito and a Bitch

What’s so special about them?

It’s a fun topic to banter about.  But it’s also important on a more serious note too.  We need to know so we can replicate that sex appeal for our own cocktails.  So it’s time to consider all the aspects that contribute to a cocktail’s sex appeal.

Taste

The first and most obvious factor is the taste.  Cocktails which taste good are more popular than those that don’t.

Duh!

The greater part of A Cocktail Education revolves around teaching you how to make your cocktails taste good.  So I’m not going to say much about it here.

Except to emphasize the incredible importance of personal taste.  Everyone has their own tastes.  So any and every good cocktail will be liked by some and disliked by others.  There’s no issue with that since nothing and no-one can appeal to everyone.

Yet clearly some cocktails do have a broader appeal than others.  Once again there is no issue with this.  Just as with people, cocktails are far better off sticking to their essential nature and excelling in their own niche.  Rather than compromising their nature in a vain attempt to win ephemeral popularity.

Appearance

They say that the first bite is with the eye.  This is as true for cocktails as it is for food.  So we should always try to ensure that our cocktails are looking good.

But what do I actually mean by this?

Well I like to think of it in terms of men’s appearance and fashion.  Not ladies appearance or fashion as that’s much more complicated.

For men, smart/casual is a good look for most occasions.  You’re not wearing your fanciest clothes or your schmutters.  You can express your own style, but without being ostentatious.  And above all you look smart.  Clean shaven or neatly trimmed facial hair.  Similar care given to the hair on your head, whatever your style is. Proper attention given to personal hygiene.

Looking Smart

So it should be with cocktails.  The default aim is to present them in that smart/casual look.  Looking good, but approachable.

Eton Mess

Distinctive. But smartly turned out.

So we want to present them in a clean glass.  No drips running down the side.  No smudges we failed to clean up.  And definitely no lipstick marks on the rim we failed to clean off from last time.  Smart.

We should also consider the correct liquid level appropriate to the glass.  If you’re using tall glasses like highballs, slings or hurricanes, they should be served close to full.  Otherwise you feel like you’re getting half a drink.  Whereas a martini glass or coupette benefits from having some space between liquid level and rim to prevent spillages.  And when making two of the same cocktail, make sure that their liquid levels are equal.

And our garnishes should also be smart.  Tasteful.  Adding multiple twists, stirrers and paper umbrellas doesn’t add to a cocktail’s sex appeal.  It detracts from it.  Just like how a couple of pieces of tasteful jewelry or a watch may improve a man’s sex appeal.  But a dozen pieces of cheap bling detracts from it.

Cachet

It’s also true that some cocktails just have a certain cachet which improves their sex appeal.  While others will always face an uphill struggle.

Some of this is in their looks.  But a great deal more is in their name.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned. But still has it.

Classic cocktails have it easy.  Their name recognition alone attracts attention and will drive interest and sales.  This is human nature.  Even now, over half a century after his death, the Kennedy name still means something.  People automatically pay attention to it.  Even if its owner has nothing in common whatsoever with JFK.

But some old names are clearly sexier than others.  While some have been elevated to iconic status, others are just old.  And as fashions change they may slowly be forgotten.

House cocktails have it a lot harder.  Like a young adult without family connections striving to get noticed.  It’s easy to be ignored when you’re surrounded by others with instant name recognition.  I go into this topic in greater detail in the Cocktail Naming Conventions post.

To stand out, they have to do something different.  But in their own style.  Good examples of this are the naughtiness of the Sloe Sour Bitch or New York Tart.  Or the moreish appeal of a Nutella Martini.

 

To read the full article please follow the link http://acocktaileducation.com/sugar-syrup/

The Mobile Bar People Collaborating With Freelance Writer Thomas Farley.

 

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Congratulations Mr & Mrs Mouse

Well Congratulations to the newlyweds. And what a lovely evening it was.

 

We rocked up with our knowledge and bar in hand. Mixed up 200 espresso martini’s and 200 Apple mojo’s. The venue was incredibly well created by Foodamour of Newmarket, not to mention the food was outstanding.

 

It was a pleasure working with you all.

 

The mobile bar people.

 

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The Home Bar: Part 4 Mojitos

Mojito

It is has often been claimed that the Dry Martini is the world’s most popular cocktail.  Perhaps this was true in the past.  I’d even accept that it was the most popular cocktail of the 20th century.  But I believe that now the Mojito holds the crown.  In my own bartending career I have probably made more Mojitos than any other cocktail.

Mojito

Mojito

The Cuban classic comprises of rum, lime, sugar, mint, crushed ice and soda water, making it quite simple.  Yet somehow it has conquered the world.  A sip of it evokes memories of tropical beaches or lazy summer afternoons.  Plus the easy accessibility of its ingredients make it an ideal candidate for home cocktail making.

The Tom Collins may best represent the philosophy of the light and refreshing taste profile.  But the Mojito is by far the most popular cocktail in the group.  It is an instantly recognizable classic known and ordered in bars all across the world.  This begs the question – what makes it so special?

Why Me?

Well I’d argue that there are a lot of different factors which make any given cocktail appeal to people.  The Mojito manages to tick all of these boxes.  When made well it is both refreshing and alcoholically satisfying.  There’s just something special about the mix of rum, lime, sugar and mint that enjoys a wide appeal.

Mojito Taste Profile

Mojito Flavour Map

It also impacts upon all our senses and even our psychology.  It tastes and smells great.  It’s visually bright and naturally stunning.  The tall, elegant glass it is served in appeals to men and women alike.  Rather than evoking connotations of manliness or being thought effeminate as other glass types sometimes do.  And its summery nature reminds us of holidays in warm climes or other good times.

Mojito Taste Profile

Mojito Flavour Map

Lastly, when done properly each Mojito is made individually in front of your eyes.  There is a certain cachet to that.  A sign of quality that someone clearly takes time and effort to handcraft your drink for you bespoke.  No, that is no different than any other cocktail covered in this blog, yet it somehow seems different.

So, a fair question to ask is why the Mojito is so much more popular than either the Daiquiri or the Caipirihna?  Since these both have very similar ingredients to the Mojito.  The answer is mint.  Mint is in many ways what makes or breaks the Mojito.  If you’ve had trouble making this cocktail in the past, the most likely culprit is the mint.

The short answer and simple solution is this: do not muddle the mint!

Explaining why will take a little time, but I’ll try to simplify it.

Mint

When we think of mint we think of the smell and taste of it.  These are caused by chemicals the mint plant evolved for signalling purposes.  They just happen to also be generally appealing to humans.  These chemicals are stored in intracellular pockets – spaces between the tough, walled plant cells.  So even a slight disturbance to the leaf will result in their release.

Mint

Mint

To illustrate this, very gently pick up a mint leaf in good condition and sniff it.  Now, slap that same mint leaf on the back of your hand and sniff it again.  The minty smell is now much more intense because your slap has disturbed the leaf’s intracellular pockets and released these chemicals.  That’s all the pressure it takes.

The problem is that there’s a lot more within a mint leaf than just this minty smell we know and love.  There’s chorophyll and a whole load of other chemicals which give leaves in general their slightly bitter, not-so-tasty aspect.  These are locked firmly behind the leaf’s cell walls, which require a bit of force to rupture.

This force is amply provided by muddling.  When you muddle mint leaves you release all this not-so-tasty stuff into your Mojito.  This typically makes it taste a little bitter, leafy, and not quite right.  People often try to fix this by adding extra sugar syrup, but that simply does not work.  This is the most common cause of Mojitos which don’t come out right.

Instead, we want to apply just enough pressure to the mint leaves to release the chemicals we want without rupturing the cell walls.  This is easy.  Simply take some mint leaves in the palm of your hand, then make a fist.  That’s it.  To bring out the delicate flavour of a Mojito, a delicate touch is needed.

Recipe and Method

The method of making a Mojito is a little involved and time consuming.  But there is nothing inherently difficult about it.

Start by selecting a tall glass with a sturdy base.  Throw in some lime and a dash of sugar syrup and muddle them.

Mojito

Another Mojito

How much lime?  I tend to use half a lime, sliced into segments.  However, some recipes go as low as 1/4 of a lime up to a whole lime.  So long as you maintain the correct Balance of Sour it shouldn’t matter.

Some recipes call for loose sugar.  But using it has the standard problem when using loose sugar – how can you be sure it made it into solution?  Answer, you can’t.  Some recipes call for muscovado or icing sugar to counter this problem.  While effective, this will take a little longer and alter the Mojito’s colour – which may not be desirable.  To my mind the best solution is pre-dissolved sugar.  Sugar syrup.  10-15ml should be the right range to balance the sour of your lime.

Then take half a dozen mint leaves in the palm of your hand and make a fist to release their taste.  Or you could slap them with your other hand.  Throw them into the glass, add two shots of (usually white) rum and top the whole thing up with crushed ice.  Churn with a bar spoon to evenly distribute the solid matter throughout the drink.  Then cover with more crushed ice and top with soda water (club soda).

Mojitos tend to be garnished with a sprig of mint.  Slap it across the back of your hand before you add it to release the scent.  Sometimes people will shake a little icing sugar over it for effect.

However, I like to add a little float of dark rum at the top of my Mojitos.  It looks great and adds a little extra something to the drink.

 

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The Mobile Bar People Collaborating With Freelance Writer Thomas Farley.

 

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