By Flavien Becq In Barware & Cocktail 30 August 2022 Duration ~ 5 min Tips for making a unique cocktail How do you make a difficult cocktail ? When it’s time for a drink, there’s only one thing to say : cocktails. Whether you’re having a party with friends or a larger party, the secret to a successful event is a good drink. However, sometimes you lack inspiration or come across a difficult recipe. Follow this guide to find out how to make the right mix ! Are cocktail recipes really difficult ? Often, the most difficult cocktails to make are the ones that seem simplest. In fact, it is not enough to follow the recipe for a Bloody Mary to make it right the first time. The practical gestures and dexterity of a bartender are not given to everyone. This same cocktail, simple at first glance, brings together four of the five basic flavours. Apart from the bitter, everything is there. Other drinks are considered complex because of the number of ingredients required to make them. For example, the aptly named Commonwealth requires 71 ingredients, with several spices and fruits from around the world. Pineapple, prickly pear, pomegranate and mango, this cultured concoction is an explosion of flavours, but it is rarely mastered. Nevertheless, you don’t need these complex cocktails to charm your guests. In fact, the real secret lies in knowing how to combine the different basic flavours. Just play with the aromas and add a decorative touch to delight your eyes and taste buds. How to combine the basic flavours in a cocktail ? Whether it’s an alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail, the most important thing is that it tastes good. For this, you just need to follow the 3 S’s rule which guarantees a successful drink every time. It’s all about the harmony between these 3 flavours which are sweet, sour and strong (synonymous with bitterness or strong alcohol). How to make a cocktail unique by complementing basic flavours ? To make a successful cocktail, you need to create a perfect balance between these different flavours : Sweetness This flavour can be represented by granulated sugar, as in the Mojito and the Pink Lemonade Margarita. If you prefer, you can replace the lemon juice with lemonade for a sweeter, more sugar-rich cocktail. If you’re not too keen on sweet cocktails, you can eradicate this ingredient from your recipe and replace it with a fruit puree or citrus foam, as in the Pina Colada, which is a must-have rum cocktail. Acidity The acidity in a drink is mostly provided by citrus fruits. Whether it’s lemon or Japanese yuzu, you can’t make a Margarita or Martini without it. You can find them on sale in various forms (juice, zest, foam, slices, etc.). Bitter You can choose between a strong alcoholic drink or another ingredient that will balance the bitterness of your cocktail. Whisky and vodka are the liquors of choice to give your drink a little extra kick. If you prefer something more bracing, vermouth is certainly more effective. Some herbs can also join your shaker, such as lemon peel and absinthe. Salty and umami For saltiness, you can simply add a little salt or another ingredient like crab or oyster mousse. Umami, which has gained in popularity since 2019, has also become a must-have. Its secret lies in an amino acid called glutamate, which is the source of that savoury taste that enhances any drink. Having emerged in Japan, this fifth taste is found in various ingredients such as bacon, truffles, cheese, tomatoes, etc. In fact, you can use it to remake your Bloody Mary with a touch of umami. A little dried shiitake mushrooms, a few grams of miso and you’re good to go for an original drink that will please your guests. How to embellish a cocktail? The decoration is essential and complements the taste, which will only be better. If you want to make a success of your decoration, you must know how to include it in an intelligent way in your cocktail. How to make a beautiful flower decoration ? Adding flowers to your cocktails is the perfect way to make them unique and original. You can choose elderflower, rose or even begonia. You can also choose the colours of these plants depending on the circumstances. For a summer or tropical drink, sparkling and pastel colours are the most suitable. For a softer, more romantic drink, pink and purple are best, while red is best for a spicy evening. One glass can accommodate several petals of different colours. How to make ice cubes with fruit or flower inserts ? Ice cube decorations are also in vogue and add flavour and beauty to your drink. Strawberry pieces, whole cherries, mint or lemon wedges, the only limit is your imagination. For cocktails presented in a bowl, this type of ornament will add a colourful touch and your friends can have fun fishing out the fruit or flower they like best. Remember that the content is as important as the container. The secret of a good drink lies in its preparation, which must be amazing.