One could argue that being able to make your own cocktails constitutes an essential life skill.
And no, we’re not talking about being able to mix a gin and tonic or a whisky soda. A child (over 18) could do that. We’re talking proper classic cocktails, like a Negroni, an Old Fashioned, a martini and its like. We’re talking the execution of cocktails that form the backbone of the craft, that will form your gateway to understanding exactly how you can turn liquid into magic.
Learning to make your own cocktails is evermore pressing at a time where going to a bar and spending your evening nursing a drink at its counter is a luxury we cannot afford amidst the COVID-19 chaos. So perhaps, this is your opportunity to knuckle down, garner a thing or two about making cocktails, and emerge from your stay-home stint all the better for it.
To aid you on your quest to get cocktail cultured, we have rounded up some of our trusted resources to teach you how to take a DIY approach to your libations. Just be sure to have a cocktail kit handy before you start — most online home goods stores or retailers will have them.
EC Proof releases bartender-curated recipe cards
Local bar goods distributor, EC Proof, is everyone’s go-to when building on their home bar, but now, it’s a resource for recipes too. Its pool of bartenders has chipped in to curate and release an entire slew of recipe cards that range from classics like the piña colada to those worth reviving, like the Blood & Sand, Hanky Panky and more. They also have cocktail books available on the online store, and equipment, as well as spirits to purchase on-site. Click here for more.
Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers
Online cocktail magazine, the Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers, has been a digital bible for many an enthusiast. Apart from its library of recipes available, the portal also spotlights a Cocktail of the Day, giving you both a history lesson and a recipe to work with. A cocktail a day may not keep the doctor away but it sure makes for good fun.
Another excellent online resource for cocktail recipes is Liquor.com. Not only does it have a lengthy list of classics, but the website also partners with bartenders to create recipes for novel inventions, so if you’re really looking to go from novice to intermediate, make this your bet. You can also make use of its navigation to find recipes according to the spirits you have, the level of preparation required, or the occasion. you’re making the cocktail for.
Some of us do better with video guides, and Cocktail Chemistry on YouTube is one of the best there is. This channel doesn’t just have staple recipes, which the channel titles “Basic Cocktails”, it also has a ton of beverages created with reference to pop cultural moments — a Baby Yoda drink exists, for instance — and other videos dedicated to educating keen makers about techniques. All of the videos are designed to be replicated via inexpensive means, so you don’t have to sweat needing a Rotovap at home.
DIY cocktail kits
Some companies have specific, pre-bundled cocktail kits for you to order should you want to focus on a specific drink. Local distillery Compendium, for one, has recently launched their Signature Cocktail Box, each tailor-made to create seven to 10 portions of classics such as their Breakfast Negroni, Kampung Fizz and more, with prices starting at S$68. For those keen on bigger batches, Atlas has launched its Home Cocktail Sets, featuring curated selections where whiskey, gin or both constitute the main spirit. Tools are available as well. Prices begin from S$230.