Bartender reveals one simple trick to spice up your cocktails at home – and your guests will be very impressed
- A bartender revealed how to spice up cocktails at home with simple tricks
- She says smoking a glass of cinnamon is easy and very effective
- She also recommends using fruit and herbs to add flavor to simple syrups
Hayley Dixon, the national spirits specialist for Proximo Spirits and Everything That Loves Tequila, told FEMAIL that adding value to a drink is easy
One of Australia’s top bartenders has shared her tips for preparing sophisticated cocktails at home – including how to smoke a glass for the perfect Old Fashioned.
Hayley Dixon, the national spirits specialist for Proximo Spirits and Everything That Loves Tequila, told FEMAIL that adding value to a drink is easy.
And you can use things you already have at home, including fruit, rosemary, and cinnamon.
When you smoke a glass, you have to choose what you want to smoke it with – wood chips, cinnamon or rosemary.
“If you’re smoking a glass, it’s best to have a completely flat plate or board (obviously not wood). This allows you to “seal” the jar when you turn it upside down and provides a more intense smoke flavor,” she said.
The glass should also be damp, swirling ice around will do as this gives the smoke something to cling to.
“If you have access to a small blowtorch, just break off a stick of cinnamon and make a little ‘pile’ to light. That way you can get the full glass over the rim and save the waste of a whole cinnamon stick,” she said.
However, lighting the end of a cinnamon stick and popping it under the glass once you’ve blown it out also works.
The method is the same for special wood chips and rosemary, she said.
The closest thing people can to making their own sophisticated cocktails is perfecting their simple syrup.
“If you have some herbs or fruit that are looking a little worn, instead of throwing them away, put equal parts water and powdered sugar in a saucepan and toss them in. If you’re using citrus, just the peels work well in it,’ she said.
Simmer times will vary depending on what you’re using, but generally around 15 to 20 minutes is sufficient. Strain and bottle everything.’
Hayley says you can take homemade old fashion to the next level by smoking your own glasses
This can be added to tequila and soda water for an “easy highball.”
It’s also possible to make fancy cocktails for many guests — without them having to wait, she explained, and recommended that hosts do “pre-batch.”
“If you’re making a shaken cocktail, specify your ingredients, but don’t skip the shake! It gives your cocktail some much-needed aeration and dilution, and gets it nice and chilled before serving.’
Alcohol-heavy cocktails should be diluted slightly so that they are ready to drink immediately after being placed on ice.
Ms Dixon is also a proud advocate of her favorite spirit and says she can easily substitute whiskey or vodka in your favourites.
“Tequila is an extremely versatile spirit because you can easily swap it out for the traditional base. The flavor flavor of 1800 Silver is great for any gin or vodka drink, swap out any lighter whiskey for 1800 Reposado. 1800 Anejo offers a deeper and richer flavor and can be traded in for a Scotch,” she said.
Ms Dixon is sharing her tips following an explosion in cocktail culture across Australia over the past 12 months.
What simple cocktails can be made at home?
Cinnamon smoked old fashioned
50 ml Anejo tequila
10 ml agave syrup
Angostura Orange Bitters two dashes
Angostura Bitters two dashes
A cinnamon smoked glass
Garnish: Orange zest and cinnamon
1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice 2. Stir until combined and chilled 3. Add ice to Double Rocks glass and stir until glass is cold 4. Pour in ice from the Double Rocks plate with a lighter or blowtorch and place a chilled Double Rocks glass over the end once it begins to smoke. 6. Once filled with smoke, invert and immediately refill the jar with ice grated cinnamon
30 ml silver tequila
10ml Pedro Ximenez
10 ml dark cocoa cream
15 ml coffee liqueur
5ml simple syrup
15 ml cold drip coffee
45 ml sweetened vanilla cream
Garnish with grated coffee beans
1. Add all ingredients, minus the cream, to a mixing glass filled with ice 2. Stir until thinned and cooled 3. Strain once into a chilled coupe glass 4. Using a sauce bottle, pour cream over the drink 5. Garnish with grated coffee beans* Custard is made by adding thickened cream, sugar cubes, and vanilla extract to a small sauce bottle and shaking until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds