1. The world's finest bartenders always measure each ingredient in their drinks, and we recommend you do so as well. True, our patrons may become sloppy, but that doesn't mean we should.
2. Unless a recipe specifically calls for crushed ice, always use large cubes of fresh, solid ice. Toujours, toujours, toujours. Small cubes or slivers melt too quickly and result in a diluted, watery drink. The same is true of the hollow, tubular variety. Wet ice that has begun to thaw is an equally bad choice. Comprenez-vous ? Bien.
When a recipe does call for crushed ice, here is what to do: Place a scoop of ice on a clean bar towel and wrap it up. Crush by hammering
vigorously with a wooden rolling pin or muddler. Trade the demonic glint in your eye for a look of calm satisfaction. Continue with your recipe.
4. Never use ice in a cocktail shaker twice, even to mix the same recipe. Empty it and begin again with fresh ice.
5. When filling ice cube trays, use bottled or filtered water to avoid off flavors.
6. When serving a drink over ice, always fill the glass with ice - all the way to the top. This makes the drink colder, thus avoiding unwanted dilution.
When a recipe calls for wine or Champagne, as in the case of The Hummingbird
, pour the wine first and then add the liqueur. This will aid the mixing of the two as the liqueur sinks and melds with the wine. If you pour the St-Germain first, it will tend to sit under the wine rather than mix. Which the wine may find rather rude, especially if it's a good vintage.
8. When preparing a shaken cocktail, always fill your shaker two-thirds full of fresh ice. This will provide just the right amount of dilution. Once you've added all the necessary ingredients, shake for 20 seconds. Not 10. Not 17. Twenty. Maybe even 30 if you tend to count fast. Then strain into a proper glass, preferably the chilled variety.
9. Remember never to shake fizzy ingredients. Unless you're making a comedic film about bartenders. Then by all means.
10. A twist, while undoubtedly handsome, provides much more than good looks to your drink. It is an essential ingredient. To make the perfect twist, simply cut a quarter-sized disc of lemon peel. Then squeeze the disc into drink, peel side down, thereby emitting a lovely spritz of lemon oil. Finish by dropping the peel into the glass. Formidable.