Teaching myself how to make cocktails

Hello there! So I recently had surgery done which has put me out of the climbing, hiking, and everything in between. So while lying at home, I figured I’d try my hand at cocktail making. I purchased a bartending set to make it official!

I have since then learned so much about cocktails, cocktail bar set tools, and the history behind the craft! It has been an exciting experience for me and has kept me occupied during my recovery. I want to celebrate that after many failed attempts at creating an Old Fashioned cocktail, I finally made a drinkable one on the first try last night! What great news. I actually felt like I accomplished something spectacular with the cocktail set.

Cocktails I’ve made…

I have been experimenting daily with the Old Fashioned cocktail! It takes some practice to get it tasting right (at least it took me with no experience to get it tasting right). The bitters were throwing me off! I was either adding too much or too little.
I also enjoy a tase margarita here and there, so I have been making those from time to time, as well. Those aren’t too bad to make – simple if you ask me. I’m just making a classic margarita, though. Nothing too fancy yet!
Before I go to the liquor store to purchase something other than bourbon or tequila, I wanted to hear what you all have to say and let your experience and recommendations guide me!

What’s your opinion?

I would like to hear what some of your favorite cocktails are to either drink or to make. I have looked up three books’ worth of recipes (no joke) and wrote down a few, but what are some that I should definitely try out? Spirits I would like to experiment with are: tequila, mescal, bourbon, and wine/sherry. Thank you in advance! Please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations.

Tips to offer?

What should I know about bitters and syrups? Are there any bitters and syrups I should just always have stocked up in my bar station? I have recipes to make syrups from home rather than purchasing them at the store.
In terms of when recipes call for ‘dashes’ what is a dash? Some youtube videos I’ve watched sort of vary with their definition of a ‘dash’.
Simple syrup, I’ve found, is common and not too difficult to concoct in my kitchen! Any other syrups you’d recommend? I have aromatic bitters and orange bitters here at home (mostly been used to perfect my Old Fashioned skills). Any others I should have because they’re so common in cocktails?

I’ll leave you with this:

If you don’t have a cocktail bar set, I would suggest purchasing one. I decided to get an entire set because it was cheaper this way rather than buying individual tools. I was really just looking for a muddler, jigger, and bar spoon. After doing some math, it added up to be more expensive to get those three items individually than just purchasing an entire set. And this came with a legit cocktail shaker! So that was a plus. This set is great, especially if you’re a beginner like me. It doesn’t take up too much space, comes with its own stand, and other tools I didn’t expect I’d have used but do each time I’m in there mixing and creating away! Check it out on Amazon if you’re curious.

About Taylor Stogsdill

Hi! I'm Teacher Taylor. I teach, travel, and climb. I live for adventure, new experiences, and take pleasure in meeting new people! I share my experiences with anyone who is interested and curious. Teach On. Travel On. Climb On.

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