15 Best Cocktail Hacks To Flaunt During Cocktail Parties

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Best cocktail hacks

Socializing and celebrating have always been a part of American culture, and no cocktail party or celebration would be complete without a cocktail or two. One thing that's always been on any bartender's mind is the skills needed to create delicious and refreshing drinks. 

If you're a budding mixologist, you can flaunt your skills like a professional with these cocktail hacks. This post will feature the best ones, from preparing the ingredients to serving the cocktails. Let’s get started!

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Drink Preparation Hacks

1. Make crushed ice at home

Make crushed ice at home

Instead of buying at the nearest grocery store, why not make your own? You just need to add water into a Ziploc bag, put it in the freezer, and hit it with a rolling pin until it’s crushed. You can also use a lewis bag and a mallet to crush your ice cubes.

If you’re not a fan of crushed ice, you can make ice cubes, ice balls, Collins Spears ice, or dry ice!

2. Boil water to make clear & spotless ice cubes

Boil water to make clear & spotless ice cubes

Not everybody knows that one of the essential ingredients in a cocktail is a piece of large, clear ice. And using the right type of ice can either reduce some of the stronger flavors or intensify the taste of your spirit.

Clear ice cubes are better than cloudy ones because they don’t melt easily and taste great because they are pure water, so you’re sure that you’re tasting your liquor as it is. Pure water also means it didn’t pick up any “off” flavors from the freezer.

3. Include edible flowers in your ice cubes

Include edible flowers in your ice cubes

Putting edible flowers when making ice cubes is a great and beautiful way to serve your cocktails. It will impress your guests and put a different flavor mix in your drinks—just ensure that your flowers aren’t sprayed with harmful chemicals!

Use easy-to-find ones such as Bachelors buttons, pansies, johnny jump-ups, marigolds, carnations, yellow sunflowers, fresh herbs, and the like.

Here is a video tutorial on how to make ice cubes with edible flowers:

4. Add burnt sugar syrup to age your liquors

Add burnt sugar syrup to age your liquors

If making simple syrup for cocktails has dulled you, and you want to add some extra depth of flavor to your cocktails, then you should consider adding burnt sugar syrup to the mix.

Burnt sugar is a delicious addition that can help give your drinks that lovely, aged flavor. It's an easy way to get that lovely, aged flavor without waiting for years. And it's pretty simple to create in advance by following this simple recipe:

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. Add your hot water to a small saucepan at medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar into the pan evenly. Stir it with a wooden spoon.
  3. Let the sugar melt until it begins to boil. Continue stirring until the sugar has been reduced and a little syrupy in texture.
  4. Turn off the heat immediately and let it cool down until you’re ready to use it.

Recipe Note

Timing is crucial to avoid overcooking your sugar.

5. Infuse your alcohol with fruits or fresh herbs

Infuse your alcohol with fruits or fresh herbs

By infusing your alcohol with fruits and herbs, you can create unique and interesting flavor profiles that will definitely impress your guests. Plus, there are a ton of benefits to using natural ingredients.

Natural ingredients avoid the need for artificial flavorings, and they can also provide vitamins and nutrients that are otherwise lacking in most alcoholic beverages.

If you’re worried about calories, sugar, or carbs, don’t be! They work well with low-calorie and low-carb drinks.

Here is a video showing how to infuse your alcohol with fruits or herbs easily:

6. Make your own grenadine syrup

Make your own grenadine syrup

Known as a popular ingredient that gives cocktails its reddish or pink tint, grenadine is a commonly used bar syrup made from pomegranate. This cocktail essential is typically used in cocktails like Tequila Sunrise, Shirley Temple, Tequila Sunset, and many others.

Instead of the usual store-bought grenadine, homemade is even better since you can control the amount of sugar and fruit you want or need. And you can choose two processes to make this: hot or cold.

Hot Processed

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. You may use the juice directly, or you can cut 2 large pomegranates in half and juice them using a citrus press.
  2. Add the juice into a microwave-safe glass container and microwave it at full power for a minute or two.
  3. Pour the sugar and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved completely.
  4. Add the pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water. Stir well and let it cool.
  5. Add an ounce of vodka or Everclear grain alcohol (as a preservative), stir, and store them in bottles until you’re ready to use them.

Cold Processed

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. Place the juice in a deep bowl.
  2. Gradually add a portion of the sugar while using the immersion blender.
  3. Continue blending until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Using an airtight mason jar or an empty spirits bottle, pour the syrup and refrigerate.

Whether you use a hot or cold process, it’ll make your cocktails taste much better!

Tips on Cocktail Making

7. Use a mason jar (or water bottle) instead of a cocktail shaker

Use a mason jar (or water bottle) instead of a cocktail shaker

When you have unexpected guests and don’t have a cocktail shaker, look into your pantry and grab that large mason jar! Not only is it the perfect size for mixing drinks, but its thick glass walls will keep your drink icy cold.

With a little creativity, you can transform a mason jar into a perfectly adequate stand-in for a cocktail shaker. Simply add ingredients and some ice, screw on the lid, and shake away. Once you can feel the liquid starting to chill, open the lid and enjoy your cocktail!

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8. Strain your cocktail using a tea filter instead of a cocktail strainer

Cocktail strained using a tea strainer

Don’t have a cocktail strainer? No problem. You can use your trusty tea filter.

That's right. You can use a tea strainer to separate the liquid from the solid parts. While a tea strainer is designed for hot liquids, it can also be used to strain cold cocktails.

Just make sure to rinse it well before using it to avoid mixing any unwanted flavors into your drink.

9. Use measuring spoons and cups as a jigger

Use measuring spoons and cups as a jigger

If you've ever found yourself without a jigger when making cocktails, never fear! By using a measuring spoon or cup, you can still be precise with your measurements.

One tablespoon is equivalent to half an ounce, so if you need one ounce of liquid, simply use two tablespoons. For larger volumes, we recommend using a one-cup measuring cup.

10. Use maple syrup or fruit jams as sweeteners

Use maple syrup or fruit jams as sweeteners

One essential ingredient to making a good cocktail is using sweeteners. Simple syrup, white sugar, or honey are several of the most commonly used cocktail sweeteners. But, if you’re tired of the usual and want to spice things up, you can use either maple syrup or a fruit jam as your sweetener.

Although maple syrup is usually paired with pancakes, it also works well with liquors that have deep and rich flavors, like bourbon or a fruit-forward brandy. On the other hand, jams work both as a sweetener and an acid.

Since fruits contain an amount of acid, the acids intensify when they’re made into a concentrate like jams. This is why jams shouldn’t have the same measurements as the syrup when used as an alternative to simple syrup when making cocktails.

For instance, when making a mojito, you can replace the sugar with almost the same amount of lemon jam and reduce the amount of lime juice by half.

Here is a sample video from Tiktok by Becbittolo

11. Flame a citrus peel to achieve a depth of flavor

Flame a citrus peel to achieve a depth of flavor

Looking for the best cocktail hack to up your mixology game? Try flaming a citrus peel.

By gently running a lit match along the edge of a citrus peel and then floating the peel on top of your drink, you can add a depth of flavor that is impossible to achieve with fresh citrus alone. 

The heat from the flame draws out the essential oils in the peel while also adding a hint of smokiness that takes the drink to a new different level. So next time you want to impress your guests with an innovative cocktail, don't forget to flame a citrus peel.

12. Use chopsticks as cocktail stirrers

Use chopsticks as cocktail stirrers

That's right! You can use chopsticks to stir your cocktails. Just make sure to use a clean set of chopsticks, and you'll be good to go. 

So the next time you're feeling fancy and want to make a killer cocktail, reach for those chopsticks if you don’t have a stirring spoon—you won’t even know any difference.

New Ways of Serving Drinks

13. Use edible shot glasses

Use edible shot glasses

Most normal cocktails use tiny shot glasses or pint glasses. But have you ever thought that you could use other kitchen ingredients as your cocktail glass?

There are plenty of options you can use as a drinking glass. For example, you could use hollowed-out strawberries as edible shot glasses for a fruity twist on your drink. Or if you're feeling extra indulgent, try these glasses to make delicious and unique vessels for your cocktail:

So ditch the boring shot glasses and try one of these inventive alternatives—your guests will be impressed!

14. Make citrus peel rose as garnish

Make citrus peel rose as garnish

There's no denying that a well-crafted cocktail is a work of art. Every detail matters, from the slightest splash of vermouth to the perfect garnish.

And when it comes to garnishes, few are as classic and elegant as having a citrus peel (like orange peel). But what many people don't realize is that the citrus twist is more than just a pretty addition—it's actually one of the best ways to enhance the flavor of your cocktail.

Citrus peels are full of aromatic oils; when you express them, those oils add depth to the drink. So not only do twists look great, but they also make your cocktail taste even better.

If you really want to impress your guests, take your garnish game up a notch by making a citrus peel rose. These beautiful garnishes are surprisingly easy to make, and they'll definitely turn heads when you serve them in your next round of drinks.

Here’s a Tiktok video showing how a citrus peel rose is made:

@cheerstohappyhour Cha-Cha-Cha - Before Juicing that citrus, peel away the zest for a cute garnish! #drinkdiy #drinktok #garnishgame #garnishingideas #cocktails ♬ Bongo cha-cha-cha - Remastered - Caterina Valente

15. Make colored sugar or salt for cocktails

Make colored sugar or salt for cocktails

Looking to take your cocktails to the next level? Then you need to learn how to rim your glasses with colored sugar or salt. This simple technique is the best way to make your drinks look more stunning and professional. Plus, it's surprisingly easy to do. You’ll just need the following:

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. Pour the granulated sugar into a food processor and turn it on at high speed.
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring until you get the desired color.
  3. Pour the processed sugar into a dry plate.
  4. On a different plate, add the egg white.
  5. Choose a glass you’d like to use and dip the rims into the egg white first and then the colored sugar.
  6. Set it aside to harden.

Trending Cocktail Hacks FAQ

1. What is the secret to a good cocktail?

    In mixology, the most important rule, above all else, is balance. If a drink's flavors are out of balance, the drink would definitely turn out bad. And one important thing to remember is that acidity is one factor that can make a cocktail in or out of balance.

    2. What is the number 1 cocktail in the world?

      It's no secret that Margaritas are among the most popular cocktails worldwide. In 2022, they're the most popular drink order, displacing the ever-popular Martini.

      3. What are the 5 most popular cocktails?

        Aside from Margaritas, there are other popular cocktails that you can serve at your next party. One of the most popular are Cosmopolitans, Mojitos, Mai Tais, Mint Juleps, and Caipirinhas.

        The cosmopolitan is a classic choice that can please anyone, while the mojito is perfect for those who enjoy a cooling minty flavor. Meanwhile, the Mai Tai is a tropical favorite perfect for summer gatherings, and the Mint Julep is a Southern classic perfect for sipping on a hot day.

        Lastly, the Caipirinha is a Brazilian favorite great for people who enjoy a bit of sweetness in their drinks.

        4. How do you make a cocktail taste better?

          One of the best ways to make your alcohol taste better is by keeping it cold and fresh no matter what time of year. Whether you add ice cubes to each drink or buy a bottle cooler, remember that drinks should always remain cool for their flavors truly come out!

          Conclusion

          Whether you're a seasoned bartender or just starting out, we hope you've found these cocktail hacks helpful. Don't be afraid to experiment. The best way to become a cocktail virtuoso is to get in the kitchen and start mixing up new creations. So go forth and mix, muddle, and stir to your heart's content.

          Do you have a bartending hack to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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