If you’ve seen this blog before chances are that you’re not just getting started. You probably already know lots, but nevertheless there are people looking to take their first steps into setting up their own cocktail collection. I remember doing this myself, albeit it was a few years ago now.
It is easy really, though like anything, the more time and effort you want to put in, the better the end result will be! The same applies to your budget too of course. The more money you have to put to it, the quicker you can get started. But I was a student when I started and so getting the collection going took a long, long time.
First thing then apart from the spirits, liqueurs and mixers is that you need a selection of glasses.
You can get a good range from specialist kitchenware shops. John Lewis and other upmarket department stores also do a classy range of cocktail glasses. I love the LSA range of glassware. I like the designs and the fact that they’re clear glass. No embellishments, colours or patterns. All the better for showing off your cocktails. Don’t go near coloured glass either.
Modern cocktails tend to avoid the paraphenalia that used to sit in the top such as straws, parasols, and furry dragonflies. Yes, really I used to have all of this stuff! That’s all a bit 80s and while you don’t go for big hair, shoulder pads, XR3s or white stilettos now, so your cocktails don’t need Del Boy style adornments. Less is more.
Maybe treat yourself to a shaker if you want to impress your guests, it will last years and a metal one probably won’t ever need replacing.
You will need ice though if you’re planning a party featuring cocktails at home. Bags from the supermarket are good if you don’t have enough time to make your own.
Many websites have a wide and wild variety of recipes so have fun choosing. Understand the difference between spirits and liqueurs. Most cocktails contain at least one spirit and there are really only 6 so that’s easily sorted.
You simply need Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Brandy and Tequila. Try mixing your own, and above all have fun. Also get a range of mixers in : fruit juices, fizzy stuff and you’re set – good to go.
There are some further tips here, including Simon Difford’s very useful list of cocktail ingredients, just 14 that will enable you to make 500 cocktails. Which should cover it!