Some ideas from the experts! These tips are great for creating cocktails that look as delicious as they taste.
Measuring baijiu cocktails
Consistent taste depends on a consistent proportion of ingredients, so always measure. Follow the recipe when first making a drink, and after you’re done, you can adjust it to your tastes.
- A standard alcoholic drink typically contains one shot of liquor (roughly 1½ fl. oz.).
- A “fifth” (standard liquor bottle size) is 750ml, or about 17 shots.
- A jigger is roughly equivalent to a shot.
- A dash or splash is equal to 1/32 of an oz.-a little bit less than 1 ml.
- A pony is equal to one oz.
- One tablespoon is 3/8 oz.
Mixing baijiu cocktails
To get more juice from lemons and oranges, soak them briefly in warm water before squeezing them.
When making drinks, keep everything you need within easy reach of the blender – measures, stirring spoons, ice bucket and tongs, shaker, liquor, garnishes.
Always keep a towel handy for quick cleanup.
Many drinks can be made either frozen (blended) or on the rocks (with whole ice cubes). One of the few exceptions is the Bloody Mary – although, of course, there’s nothing to stop you from blending it if you like!
Stir drinks made with carbonated beverages gently, if at all as over-stirring will make them flat.
Serving baijiu cocktails
To chill a glass quickly, fill it with ice cubes and cold water, stir briskly several times, then pour out the ice water.
To prevent dripping when pouring, rub the rim of a bottle with a clean piece of wax paper.
When pouring several of the same cocktail, line up and fill all glasses halfway, then go back and top off each glass.
The right garnish adds a fun, professional touch to any drink. For convenience, prepare and chill drink garnishes in advance.
If rimming glasses, prepare a lemon slice or a saucer of lemon juice and a plate of salt (for margaritas) or sugar in advance.
To frost glasses, just dip in water and put in the freezer a half hour before serving drinks.
For a professional look, serve the right drink in the right glass. Blended frozen drinks should be served in stemmed glasses – cocktail or margarita glasses are great. Drinks on the rocks should be served in old fashioned glasses (also called rocks glasses).
Blended baijiu cocktails
Blended drinks are exquisite and are as easy to make. Some tips:
For a thicker, more frozen drink add a little bit more ice than the recipe calls for.
For a more liquid drink, add slightly less ice than the recipe calls for.
When making frozen drinks, smaller ice cubes are easier to blend. Using crushed ice in blender drinks saves time as well as blender wear.
The longer you blend, the smoother the drink will be. Just be careful not to overblend, which can make drinks melt more quickly and become watery. Most frozen drinks should be blended 45 to 60 seconds.
For frozen blended drinks, keep liquor bottles in the freezer when not in use, and always start with a blender half-full of ice, then add more as needed.
Always serve frozen drinks immediately after blending. If there is any left over, transfer to a chilled pitcher in the freezer and reblend before serving again (add more ice if necessary, or allow to warm slightly and reblend to get the right consistency).
Baijiu cocktail garnishes
You can’t go wrong with lemons, limes, oranges and maraschino cherries, which go with most cocktails. Don’t forget celery if you’re planning on serving Bloody Marys.
Most fruit and vegetable garnishes are perishable, so it’s a good idea to get them just before the party.
Salt and sugar are great for rimming glasses-it looks great, and it’s a delicious complement to your drinks.
Remember when making baijiu cocktails
When making cocktails, always use a measure for all the ingredients, unless you are practised in free pouring; this is to ensure consistency of recipes.
Always use fresh fruit and juices where possible, especially lemons and limes; it will taste a whole lot better.
The better the ingredients, the better the cocktail – use premium quality when affordable and available.
Garnishes are rarely there simply for aesthetic qualities, instead they are usually an important part of the flavour of the drink, whether it is by squeezing juice from a wedge of fruit or spaying the drink with oil from its skin
Another method of garnishing is to delicately wipe juice around the rim of the glass and dip the top of the glass into a garnish such as salt (Margarita’s), sugar (Daiquiri’s) or coco powder (Chocolate Martini’s). This is known as rimming.
Keep glasses in the freezer when possible, especially martini and beer glasses. If you have no freezer space available, add ice and soda water to the glass before making the drink to chill the glass down.
When making drinks always fill the glass with ice as the drink will dilute far slower; a lot of ice will keep the drink colder for longer thus restricting ice from melting, whereas a small amount of ice will melt immediately and have little effect on the temperature of the drink.
Always be prepared; make sure you are stocked up and have plenty of ice. Test all of your fruit juices for freshness and prepare your garnishes.