Being able to make the perfect cocktail is a great skill to have. The science of mixing alcohol is getting more and more complicated, which leads to more interesting and unique drinks. Here are some tips for making the next cocktail you create absolutely perfect.

Upgrade Your Alcohol

The first step to having a great cocktail is buying high quality alcohol. The rest is secondary. People who aren’t alcohol connoisseurs might not realize just how big the difference is between top shelf and bottom shelf alcohol, but it is significant. The alcohol is supposed to be the star ingredient of the drink, so it’s worth a slight upgrade. Of course, not everyone can afford the most expensive bottle in the liquor store, but an upgrade to a simple mid-range bottle makes each drink taste that much better.

Fresh Ingredients

The alcohol in a cocktail should be complemented very well by delicious, fresh ingredients that it is mixed with. Bottles of juice and mixers are the easiest option, but they almost always have additives that take away from the purity of the flavor. They also do not have the fresh flavor, or the natural flavor that comes out of fresh fruits. Limes, lemons, oranges, and other fruits whose juices are commonly used in cocktails can be bought easily at the grocery store. It doesn’t take very long to juice them and use it in your cocktail. The flavor difference is very noticeable. Additionally, fresh fruits make great garnishes that can make a good cocktail perfect.

Temperature Makes a Difference

Most good bars keep their glasses cold to ensure the drink stays nice and frosty the entire time. When you make cocktails, put the glasses in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes beforehand to ensure frosty glasses that keep the cocktail cold the entire time it is being drank.

Use Sugar

Bartenders will tell you that most cocktails require some sugar. Most people forget the sugar and end up making cocktails that aren’t sweet enough. Add a little sugar to the cocktail to make it more palatable. Bartenders either use straight sugar in some drinks, or make an easy simple syrup that dissolves in the drink quite easily. Add some sugar to the rim of a cocktail to make it even sweeter.

Measure Properly

Most people do not properly measure their cocktails when they’re making them. They either get sick of taking the time to carry out the measurements or they like how it looks to free pour everything. Bartenders have lots of experience knowing how long to pour everything and how to eyeball measurements, but your average person should be measuring things out. Cocktails have precise measurements for a reason, and they won’t taste right if they aren’t measured correctly.

Invest in the Right Glasses

Different cocktails are meant to come in different glasses. To get the aesthetic of the drink right, you should invest in several different types of glasses. This way, the drink doesn’t only taste right, but it looks right too.

Know When to Shake or Stir

Some cocktails are supposed to be mixed by shaking and some are meant to be stirred. Usually cocktails made with gin and whiskey interact with the ingredients better when they are stirred, but many others are usually shaken. This gives them a frothy, bubbly effect. Any cocktail ingredient list will include instructions on whether the drink is meant to be shaken or stirred.

Follow the tips above and you’ll be making perfect cocktails in no time.

The tastiest pub grub is no further away than Fannings Riverside Tap Room in the heart of Blue Island. Fannings was established in 1974, and has a long history on Blue Island as one of the best pubs to visit when in the area.