Strapped for cash? Whipping up cocktails on a budget is easier than you think. Here are some tips on how to make delicious drinks at home, without having to dive into the piggy bank
While the occasional $15 bespoke cocktail goes down a treat, it’s easy to create something equally delicious in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Alcohol and mixers might be the foundation of a cocktail but it’s the little things that make the biggest flavour difference.
Start with your base alcohol - vodka, rum, gin, or whatever is tucked away in your liquor cabinet. Most of the time there’s no need to bring out the top shelf liquors as the mixers and other ingredients can often dominate a cocktail’s taste. *However consider using the good stuff when you’re creating tipples that highlight the alcohol, such as Martinis.
Mixers can be as simple as bargain bottles of soda water, tonic, ginger beer or lemonade.
When experimenting with flavours, there are some cheap and innovative ways to take your cocktails from drab to fab. Check them out below.
Fancy ice cubes
Ice has been a thing in the mixology sphere for quite some time now. Giant ice cubes, circular ice cubes and even designated ice cube butchers are popping up in bars around the country.
The easiest way to make snazzy looking ice cubes at home is to freeze something other than just water. You could try freezing juice, herbs such as mint or basil, fruit, spices such as cinnamon or anything else that comes to mind.
These ice cubes will add a pop of colour to your drink and won’t dilute it like water does.
Pour some sugar
Make a batch of sugar syrup and store it in the fridge.
Don’t knock it till you try it. When you don’t have fresh ingredients on hand, a spoonful of jam can add a touch of sweetness to a lacklustre cocktail. It can also be great for adding texture. Try marmalade or raspberry jam. Make sure you shake and strain.
Cool me down
If you’ve spent time crafting the perfect cocktail, it doesn’t seem right to slosh it into a warm glass. Cocktails taste best when they’re ice cold so place your glass in the freezer or chuck in some ice cubes ten or so minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Unlike wine or beer, cocktails can be dressed up to the nines. When you want to impress your guests, garnishes can make a huge difference. Try using edible flowers, herbs or fresh fruit.