Party starters

By Cuisine3 Minutes
December 12, 2023By Cuisine

Make every occasion something special with clever cocktails in this extract from Mr Lyan’s Cocktails At Home by Ryan Chetiyawardana.

We all know a meal made with love can bring people together. Well for me, there’s no better route to fun times with friends than serving up good things to drink. This might be down to my own nostalgia – I have great memories attached to enjoying (or making) certain drinks at a specific place or get-together. But when you notice how a well-made cocktail can complement and enhance a social occasion (just as much as food!), it’s a huge joy. I know people are often put off making cocktails because they seem difficult or time consuming – or that they’ll have to stand by the drinks cabinet laboriously mixing complex concoctions while everyone else is having fun. But in reality, making incredible drinks can easily be incorporated into our everyday lives.

No cocktail recipe I’ve included is hard and fast. My hope is that you’ll enjoy experimenting with the suggestions. Treat cocktails like you would your cooking. The recipes can be followed exactly or they can simply be an inspiration: adapt them to your own tastes and ingredients. Hopefully all this will mean the drinks you make yourself at home will become more refined. Instead of cracking a bottle of beer or pouring a wine, you’ll push beyond your usual calls and try something new. And, hopefully, you’ll enjoy your drink that bit more.

TECHNIQUES
STRAINING Once you’ve shaken or stirred your drink, you need to remove the spent ice and fragments to serve. If you’ve shaken the drink or if it has lots of small bits, the best way is to ’double strain’ it. This involves using a hawthorne strainer held tightly to the tin, and a tea or fine strainer between the flowing liquid and your glass. It’s a simple step , but a key one in keeping the drink balanced. Pour quickly and with confidence!

SUGAR SYRUP
To make a simple syrup, start by heating 1 part water until boiling, then remove from the heat and add 2 parts sugar. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. That’s it!