Personal: Crafting Custom Cocktails
So it's no secret that I'm a late bloomer when it comes the alcohol train, but I more than made up for lost time once I did. It's really easy to become a social drinker when you're a single 20-something bachelor living in Dallas. Now that I've crossed that 30 threshold I'm trying to take part in less amounts of things, but when I do, have it mean so much more. Less working/vacation trips (to sleep and catch up on work); more memorable vacations with people I love.
Less text messages; more phone calls
Less cheap drinks; more specialty cocktails...right?!
So recently I was talking to a buddy of mine about how much I really don't know about different drinks or even what to order at a bar other than a vodka/whiskey/rum & a juice/mixer. I mean, yes it's nice to get a nice buzz when you're out partying with friends, but isn't there more?! With that thought, I took to google and started some research on how to make your own cocktails. Now I know a lot of guys aren't fans of fancy mixed drinks, but there is power in taking your time, planning out your desires, and putting it into action...right?! Sounds a lot like how one would approach something else, but we're just talking about cocktails today :-)
After researching, I found out that there are 4 basic parts to making a cocktail: alcohol, base flavor, simple syrup, and acid. I decided to start with making my own simple syrup mixtures since it's the easiest.
A simple syrup is just a water & sugar mixture. Depending on how thick/thin/concentrated you want it, you would adjust the ratio, but for this I used a 2 to 1 (water to sugar) ratio. The fun part is making it your own flavor. I decided to go with Mint/Blueberry, Lemon/Basil, and Ginger/Pear combinations. All you do is place each mixture in a pot of the boiling water/sugar mixture for about 3-5 minutes and let sit overnight in the fridge to concentrate it.
When I tell you these were amazing, they really were. I decided to let my friends try it out as we surprised my buddy Brandon with a graduation celebration gathering (Oh yea, check out his graduation portraits HERE). I decided to keep the ingredients simple in order to make the syrups really stand out. We used vodka & club soda this time, but you really can use whatever you want. This ended up making for a very refreshing taste that's perfect as the Summer season winds down. Also, what better pairing than "Make Your Own Pizza", it was really fun!
Everyone had a blast making their own concoction and figuring out what they did/didn't like. I encourage everyone to give a try when you get chance.
The next time, we'll try out different alcohols!