Weekly Hack: Cottage bartending tips

By Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

At the cottage, Happy Hour is one of our very favourite hours. Wanna be a better bartender? Follow these tips:

A) Serve cocktails in pre-chilled glasses. Put glasses, while wet, in the freezer for a couple of hours. Shortcut: put crushed ice in the glass while you mix the drink.

B) Not sure how to garnish? Just match flavours: olives and cocktail onions go with savoury drinks; tropical fruit goes with rum-based drinks. For white spirits, use lime. For dark spirits, use lemon.

C) Use ice cubes from an ordinary tray. Small ice pellets melt faster and dilute the drink.

D) If you don’t have proper bar tools, you can buy a basic kit. Or you can cheaply fake it. No shaker? Use a water bottle or Mason jar. No long stirring spoon? Use a chopstick. No muddler? Use a rolling pin.

E) If you’re following a recipe…follow the recipe. If you ignore directions and skip steps, you won’t necessarily ruin the drink. But you sure as heck won’t make it better. Shake, don’t stir, your daiquiris. And stir, don’t shake, your martinis. Unless you’re serving James Bond, of course.


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