Cocktails in the home can be a mixed bag of boozy excellence. On one hand you’ve got tasty drinks, impressed friends and a belly full of liquor without having a 6″3′ Samoan bouncer dragging you out before midnight, not to mention the price tag attached to drinking cocktails in venues. On the other hand you’ve generally got a big mess, loads of requisite ingredients and, if you’re a pedant, an expensive bar set up with all the bells and whistles.
Each year, liquor giant Diageo hosts the World Class bartender competition, which pits pros from all over the world up against each other in an all-out battle to be crowned World Class Bartender of The Year. State finalists are whittled down to a single national entrant, to compete on the world stage against all other national winners, making this global competition the largest in the world.
This year saw Andrea Gualdi from Surry Hills’ much loved pizza and cocktail joint Maybe Frank take out the top spot in Australia. Here are his top 5 tips for taking your homemade potions to the next level.
Made to Measure
If you don’t have a jigger, you can use a shot glass (30ml) to measure your ingredients so that you get a balanced cocktail.
Freeze the Squeeze
Don’t throw out leftover juice – freeze it in little cubes and use it to shake your cocktails.
Fake it ‘Til You Shake it
You don’t need to own or buy a cocktail shaker – use a jar or blender to mix your cocktails. Mix/shake each cocktail with 3 ice cubes per serve to get the perfect dilution.
Make your own syrup using 2 parts sugar, 1 part hot water. You can also add your favourite spices into the sugar to get an aromatic syrup – just leave the condiments in for a few hours before straining.
It’s The Balls
No ice ball mould? Fill up some water balloons, freeze them and cut the plastic balloon away.
Andrea Gualdi’s Pro Party Tip
“I always like to make a pre-batched and pre-diluted cocktail for parties so that I can spend more time with friends instead of always having to top up the drinks! Serve a pre batched negroni ready to pour on ice!”