Cocktail Making Tips and Tricks

15 November 2021 -

Have you ever had an amazing cocktail out at a bar and been desperate to recreate it at home? Whilst we can’t give away everything up our sleeves, we thought it would be fun to share some of our favourite cocktail making tips with you here…


Tip #1 – Don’t be stingy with the ice!

You might think that when bars put lots of ice in your glass, that it’s about tricking you into thinking you’ve got more in your drink than you really do, but you’d be wrong!

The reason drinks need a lot of ice is simply so that it doesn’t melt! If you have a large drink with only a few ice cubes, the ice will quickly melt and dilute your drink without cooling it much, whereas if you have lots of ice, it will melt much slower and will cool your drink without diluting it.

Tip #2 – Think about the smell!

It’s easy to focus on how a cocktail tastes, but don’t overlook the fact that before you get to taste it, you will inevitably smell it first.

A simple way to improve the aroma of your drink is by coating the rim of the glass in something that compliments the drink. Try cracking some orange peel and rubbing that around the edge, sprinkling some fresh herbs, or drizzling some sugar syrup.

Tip #3 – Don’t mock the mocktail!

Mocktails don’t have to be reserved for designated drivers only – they can be delicious in their own right!

Sugar syrups, fruit juices, sodas, tonics and cordials can make some fantastic drinks that won’t leave you feeling something is missing.

Tip #4 – Chill your glasses!

Another way of making sure your drink stays cold is by using a pre-chilled glass.

You can put your glasses in the fridge ahead of time or fill them with ice first. You certainly don’t want to use any that are recently out of the dishwasher!

Tip #5 – Remember to garnish!

An easy way to make your drink more visually appealing is to add a garnish such as fruit, coffee beans, or edible glitter or flowers.

Think about how your garnishes can enhance the taste of your cocktail too – adding a slice of fruit to the edge of your glass might look fancy but if you add it to the drink itself you’ll get subtle flavour infusion.

Tip #6 – Don’t overcomplicate things!

It’s easy to get carried away adding flavours, but if you include too many, you can risk your drink tasting anywhere from confusing, to just plain bad!

The classics are classics for a reason, and many contain just 3 or 4 ingredients.

Tip #7 – Freeze your fruit!

If you like using fruit as a garnish, you might want to cut up and freeze slices of it beforehand. Not only will it be nice and cold, it will save time on the night and you won’t have to worry about wasting any you don’t use straight away.

We recommend citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit, as well as berries. Try freezing raspberries whole and then crushing them before serving – trust us, it’s great…

Tip #8 – Mix, mix, mix!

Did you know, some cocktails are better shaken, whilst others work much better stirred? The general rule is that if it contains juice, cream or other dairy products it will need shaking, whereas cocktails make entirely of spirits or mixed only with soda, tonic or wine should just be stirred.

Remember, if you’re using both fruit juices and sodas in your drink, (like some of our favourite cocktails) you’ll need to add the sparkling elements after shaking!

Tip #9 – Use quality ingredients!

Our final tip is an important one – don’t underestimate how much impact this will have on the quality of your drinks.

Use fresh fruit juice wherever possible, and think about trying some quality local spirits instead of the standard supermarket varieties – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

If you try any of these cocktail making tips, take some pictures and let us know by tagging @martinsbarandrestaurant on Instagram

At Martin’s Bar and Restaurant we aim to use drinks made by local producers wherever possible and are proud to serve some of the best spirits produced in the South West. Check our new cocktail menu, available now.




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