In the universe of alcohol drinker, Russia is among the most popular countries for both the number of the consumer and producer. It is vodka that has been the spirit of Russia that is widely known around the world. Endless recipes of cocktails or mixed drinks use vodka as its base because of how pure and tasteless it is which makes it perfect to get together with all types of liqueurs and drinks. But, it should always be put in mind that vodka is quite strong that it can hit quite hard in the head so you should probably think twice before enjoying the Russian mixed drinks.
Cocktail Basic Guide
How to make a good cocktail? Although it seems simple but it actually takes a good knowledge and skills to stir a good glass of mixed drink. You wouldn’t want to poison people and send them to hospitals for serving bad cocktails or ruin a party by making wrong combinations in glasses. In order to make a good cocktail you need a lot of practice. You cannot gain practical skills by reading a book. You still need to do everything yourself. Do more than once.
A cocktail can be prepared not just somehow by feelings but also by a few specific methods. All these methods are strictly used by all and every good bartender in the world. As a rule, the method of preparing a cocktail is indicated directly in the recipe. The main cooking methods are mixing or compose, stir and shake. A few additional methods can be applied to them, too. Let us examine in detail each method and its features.
1. The method of mixing cocktail
In Russian sometimes referred to as “make up” – is a method of preparing a cocktail directly in the serving glass. Suitable for cocktails consisting of easily mixed components. With this cooking method, we take a serving glass, fill it with the indicated amount of ice, measure the ingredients in turn and pour them into the glass; sometimes the order of infusion is indicated in the recipe, in which case it should not be violated. After all of the ingredients are measured out, lightly mix the cocktail with a bar spoon, moving it around the glass. When mixing a cocktail, sometimes it becomes necessary to hold the glass, for this we take a napkin and gently hold the serving glass through the napkin, holding the glass by the edge – as if squeezing the glass from above to the table. Thus, fingerprints do not remain on the serving glass and the perspiration that occurs when mixing the cocktail is not disturbed on the outer surface of the glass, which decorates the cocktail.
2. The stirring method
This is the method for preparing a cocktail in a mixer glass usually made of stainless steel, used for mixing and cooling the cocktail at the same time. To prepare a cocktail using the straining method, a strainer may also be necessary – a device that allows you to separate the prepared drink from ice. The stir method is used, as a rule, for cocktails served without ice (in a cocktail glass, for example). This method allows you to get absolutely transparent drinks without air bubbles. As a rule, fill it 3/4 (or almost completely) the glass with the indicated type of ice (if not indicated, then take the ice in cubes) – at least there should be an obvious excess of ice compared to the ingredients, and carefully add the mixture of ingredients. Mixing time depends on the temperature and size of the ice cubes, the initial temperature of the ingredients and the glass of the mixer, and other factors (but as a rule of thumb you can remember this – stir 30 times, if small ice cubes are used, 50 times if large). When mixing the cocktail, you should move the bar spoon along the perimeter of the mixer glass clockwise only in one direction. After mixing, the cocktail is filtered using a strainer into the serving glass.
3. The shake method
This is the most charismatic method of making cocktails and a symbol of the whole cocktail culture. The shake method is most used in the preparation of cocktails; it is used primarily for mixing ingredients with very different densities, for cocktails containing syrups, thick liquors, juices, etc. When preparing a cocktail using the shake method, intensive mixing of the ingredients, cooling of the mixture, dilution of the mixture can’t be replaced by any other methods. To prepare a cocktail using the shake method, special bar equipment is required – a shaker, obviously.
When preparing a cocktail using the shake method, you should take the shaker, measure all the ingredients and fill the shaker 3/4 or to the top with ice (in this case, the ice should be in significant excess in relation to the ingredients). If the type of ice is not specified in the recipe, then ice in cubes should be used. Then, depending on the initial ice temperature, shake the shaker quite intensively for 20-25 seconds (with very cold and dry ice from the freezer -18° C) until the mixture reaches the lowest possible temperature – in fact, until the temperature equilibrium is established in the shaker. Thus, you get a very cold and optimally diluted cocktail. This is especially important if a cocktail recipe does not imply serving with ice.
If you find cocktails that use Russian term in the name, it means the base spirit used in the mix is vodka, such as Black Russian, White Russian, Moscow Mule, Siberian Sunrise, and many more. Not all of these cocktails use the same amount of vodka, so you may want to choose wisely based on your threshold of acceptable alcohol intake. So, the basic rule about Russian mixed drink is actually very simple; think twice before taking one.