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Cocktail Time: Cocktail Science Part 1

Hello everyone, my name is Himanshu Desai working as a Senior Bartender at Rogue Trader, Dubai and through this write up I’m going to share a few techniques or make some suggestions for creating perfectly balanced cocktails. No I don’t call myself a “cocktail guru” or an expert but I would like to share some of the very interesting facts and techniques I’ve learned over the years behind the bar. Well I believe you’re reading this because you’re already an accomplished person working behind the bar or a person who would like to start mixing drinks. Either way these tips would surely help you to construct your drinks in the best way possible.

Well it all depends on how passionate a Bartender you are. Today every city has lots of bars offering variety of cocktails and I believe it’s very important for you all to stand-out from the crowd, be unique and make a distinguished drink. Isn’t it? Bartenders obviously play the biggest role in making any bar popular or successful. Yes, the place, atmosphere, menu, brand will get people to your restaurant, lounge or club. But the real question is ‘What will make them visit your place again?’ Well there are many things but let me just focus from the bar perspective. It’s YOU, It’s how well you mix your drinks, how you treat your guests and ways in which you present your recipes to them, which requires the right technique and a good balance. So please allow me to share few of the Cocktail making tips and lessons. Attention!

Stainless steel or Metal Vs Glass Boston tin

Metal reaches a lower final temperature than glass. This is because glass absorbs more heat. Metal takes minimal energy to reach desired temperature comparably, having a better effect on the temperature of the finished cocktail. And while using a glass tin there is also a possibility of breaking or chipping. I’m sure all of you who have used a glass tin, must have faced this issue several times in your bar. The same can be avoided using a stainless steel or metal tin. So I personally prefer to have a stainless steel shaker tin.

Mixing Tins
Mixing Tins

]Kill a Spill!

Many of us construct our cocktail in the smaller tin of a 2-piece shaker and also add ice into the smaller tin. This habit limits the amount of ice going into the shaker and less amount of ice cubes are most definitely going to affect the drink as ice cubes are going to break into very small pieces and dilute your cocktail even more. It would also affect the temperature of the drink. I used to make the same mistake earlier until I learned this small technique that can assist in making your cocktail so much better.

So the technique is to fill up the larger tin with ice cubes. First combine the ingredients in the smaller tin and then add ice into the larger tin. Now if you use one quick and smooth motion, you can easily bring the larger tin filled with ice down on the smaller tin without spilling or splashing your drink. However, if you think you’re not comfortable in doing so, pour the contents of the smaller tin into the larger ice-filled tin right before sealing it.

Opening your Shaker

Now this seems to be a very basic thing and you might wonder why does he have to write about it? Well the answer is, it’s not cool to bang the 2-piece shaker on the bar to open it or appear to be struggling to open your shaker in front of your guests and when witnessed, looks amateurish.

It’s happened with all of us at some point of time! This can be avoided by breaking the seal by pushing the smaller tin diagonally with your hand. Conclusion is doesn’t matter how you break the seal; make sure you do it confidently especially when there are guests at your bar.

Himanshu Desai