The talented trio behind Cocktail Trading Company and Murder Inc are industry renowned for delivering good times and great drinks so we asked one of the founders Elliot Ball for his tips and advice on how to create great drinks at home.
This wide-ranging conversation serves up a great array of handy hints (salt is one of those top tips) that could help you raise your game and so we highly recommend watching the full-length interview.
You will be happy to hear the general message is keep it simple, a great drink is the result of a great overall experience - keep smiling and make people happy!
Elliots Top Tips
1) Create the right environment. If you have good friends over they will help create that environment, as the host your job is not to make hosting a burdensome task that affects your mood and those of others, plan the evening and get prepared, make your life is easy.
2) Consider batching up, preparing most of your ingredients. A great but simple example is lemon juice and simple syrup. Most drinks require a balance of sweet and sour, if you have them readily available (ie a bottle of each in the fridge) then you can quickly and easily balance someone's drinks to their tastes.
3) If your making drinks for a crowd stick to drinks and ingredients least likely to offend anyone in the group. For Elliot, the French 75 is the perfect cocktail, equal parts gin, lemon and simple syrup (a 1:1 solution of caster sugar and water), topped with Champagne.
4) Focus on the non-flavour elements of the cocktail. Ensure the drinks are cold, keep your glassware in the freezer if possible and most importantly get the right dilution, shake or stir for longer than you might think (or add a little chilled water).
5) Salt enhances nearly all foods and does so with cocktails. Create a little saline solution by stirring Maldon salt with water and add a dash to most drinks and they will taste better.
6) Get your ice out of the freezer a short time before using it to let it come up in temperature. If it comes straight from the freezer it is too cold and won't dilute when shaking your cocktail.
Remember these basic principles and there is no reason why you can't be producing better quality drinks that bars that have to pump out hundreds of cocktails an hour!