How to mix a drink? Where to start??? The simplest way to start anything is to just start it. I consider mixing to be a more fun and faster alternative to cooking, involving a similar kind of creativity.
To pour is a skill in itself. And it's a skill essential to mixing, so before we mix we must get comfortable with the pour. For practice, you could start with pouring a glass of water from a bottle until you have mastered both; a fast gush and a slow thin continuous trickle of water. Mastering the pour enables better control and steadiness of the hands. It also helps you understand the physics behind liquid in motion, the reaction of liquid upon impact on a surface and the length of a pour at which the water will begin to splatter outside the glass.
Another exercise would be pouring from one glass into another and thereafter from a glass into a bottle. To make it really challenging, try all the above exercises with your left hand (if you’re right handed).
Mix well - Once we're accustomed to pouring, we can move on to understanding the perfect balance of ingredients. This we will practice by mastering the Limbu-Pani or fresh Lemonade. Try and find your perfect balance of sweet, sour and salted. Experimenting with different proportions and understanding when the balance goes off is as important as getting the balance right.
"Yummy-ness lies in the tongue of the taster" And it is the mixologist’s job to be able to create and re-create his or her idea of Yummy.
Experiment! Play with whichever ingredients are available to you. Explore different combinations to determine which flavors complement each other and which react terribly. Accidents will teach us what not to do.Create your own variations of classic cocktails by substituting one ingredient with another similar ingredient. For example, you could use honey or Jaggery instead of sugar or oranges instead of lemons. Alternatively, you could try to recreate a combination of flavors from a solid to liquid form. For example, you could try to recreate a liquefied version of desserts, fruit salads. The Peruwala had given me a great idea for a drink. Adding some chat masala, chilli, salt and lemon with guava juice gives you a lip smacking drink that goes well with Romanov vodka or Signature whisky. I call it the ‘Bombay Masala’.
So observe, taste and play. And make your own rules along the way.
P.S - Here are a few cool tricks for inspiration!
Image credit - georgesatthecove.com
Article by - Ami Shroff