Any good amateur bartender knows that mixers are what make cocktails truly great. Once you become an expert home bartender, there are a wide variety of mixers to choose from but until then, just the essential few will work just fine. Read on to find out more.
Sodas: If you started drinking broke (or like me, still are), you know that sodas are the saviours of your low-budget drinking days. Some of the essential ones are club soda, tonic water, cola, ginger ale and Sprite.
Juices: If you’re looking for something less fizzy, juices are perfect, especially since they are used to make a large number of cocktails. Lemon, orange, cranberry, pineapple and tomato juices will make drink-making super easy. Try using fresh juices whenever possible for more robust drinks.
Bitters: Bitters are definitely for the fancy drinker and adding a dash or two of bitters in your drink elevates it immediately. Keep orange or aromatic bitters handy. Once you use them, you’ll never go back to your plain old drinks.
Simple syrup: If you’ve read our cocktail recipes, you know how simple syrup is an ingredient in most sweet cocktails. It’s as simple as mixing equal parts sugar and water over a stove, and you can modify it by infusing it with different flavours.
Grenadine: You’ve seen it in a thousand bars and it’s used in just as many drinks. If you’re trying to keep it homemade, you can make a great grenadine at home but if you’re okay with shelling out a few bucks, buying a bottle won’t disappoint.
Sour mix: Tropical cocktails use a LOT of sour mix and if you’re planning to get them right, you’re going to have to add this to your shelf too. It’s best when made at home, so don’t fret about going out and buying pre-packaged stuff.
Milk, coffee, tea: All three of these should be bought only when needed for specific cocktails. White Russians can’t be made without cream and milk. Coffee cocktails and tea cocktails are a whole other world that you should definitely explore.
Tabasco sauce: Can you really think of a Bloody Mary without Tabasco? Tabasco adds a kick of spice that many drinks benefit from, so keeping a small bottle around will do no harm.