cocktail recipes, drink experiments, good cocktails

Tips & Tricks: Just Chill

Learning about cocktail making has me stumbling around a lot. No, not due to my blood-alcohol level, because in looking up recipes or techniques I tend to stumble upon really useful tips and tricks. I plan to share these in an occasional series called…wait for it…Tips & Tricks.

First up is chilling those cocktail glasses.  When a drink is served “up,” meaning without ice, you are counting on the ice in the cocktail shaker to properly chill the drink before serving. To keep it chilled for a reasonable amount of time, you need a cold glass.

Yes, you can put the glasses in the refrigerator or freezer for a few hours if you have the space. I just can’t see my husband being pleased when he reaches in for the orange juice and ends up with an empty (but well chilled) glass. And we don’t have any extra space in there (what with all the infused simple syrups, vermouths and other cocktail elements hogging the place), especially before a party or dinner with friends.

I usually opt for a quicker method: Quick chilling by filling the glasses with water and crushed ice before making the cocktail. The crushed ice is important, because in combination with water it quickly creates a very cold slush. After shaking the drink in the cocktail shaker, dump the cold slush and strain your cocktail into the chilled glass. Your cocktail will be crisp and cold.

Depending on the drink – like for martinis or those rimmed with sugar or salt – you will want to dry the glass first. I don’t feel this is a necessary step for drinks that include juice or simple syrups because you are already adding water in some form to the liquor. 

Not many of us have an endless supply of clean cocktail glasses at home, so this chilling method would be efficient for a party. You can refill and re-chill a guest’s glass without mingling used glasses as you would be by dipping the glasses into an ice bath.  Enjoy your chilly drinks!

Cheers, ICE


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