Making Your Own Cocktail Without Dying
Cocktails are great things, but they always demand ingredients like the scent of a raven's despair or the eye of Hades and I am way too busy looking at important pictures of hedgehogs online to hunt those things down. I don't care how delicious a SLUGMURDER 5000 is, I just don't have the energy for the cocktail ingredients marathon.
What better way to avoid any effort whatsoever and yet still obtain a delicious fruity beverage, I thought, than making a cocktail myself? Now, this can go quite wrong and you can end up with a drink that tastes like Vernon Dursley on a bad day, but if you follow some general mixing rules it shouldn't be too bad.
Rule #1: Try to match sweet and harsh tastes somewhat equally. If you have vodka and orange juice as a base, it's good to pour in lots of orange juice so that the vodka is just coming through a bit but not overpowering everything. You want to avoid making a drink that tastes like nail polish, so be aware of the strength of your ingredients and try to balance them out. That's actually the only rule I can think of right now. It's pretty basic, but just try to be aware of your ingredients and what they taste like. Taste as you go.
I made my first experimental cocktail recently and it was surprisingly good - nice and fruity. I don't have recorded measurements for it, so it does vary in taste, but I will explain its make up anyway. Disclaimer: I don't really know what I'm doing, I just want a drink.
Ingredients: amaretto, brandy, Pimms Blackberry & Elderflower, mango juice (for this version I used apple and mango juice, but mango juice is better, there just wasn't any left this time).
I start with a small amount of brandy then add a substantial level of mango juice, then a little of the Pimms and a generous amount of amaretto. The brandy is the component to be careful of, but you can be pretty reckless with the amaretto because it's so sweet that too much of it won't ruin the taste. You want quite a lot of mango juice, but it's easy to put too much in because it's the fruit juice and it feels like it won't matter too much. It can though. I'd say just top up each ingredient slowly whilst tasting to finish. It needs a balance between the vanilla amaretto taste and the fruity mango. This cocktail might be better without some of the ingredients (I haven't tried that yet) but it was my first attempt at making a cocktail, so I wanted to go all out.
Cocktail-making doesn't have to be too confusing if you can balance things out, but if all else fails I strongly advise just drinking amaretto on its own (amaretto is my favourite).