Just a few week ago one of the biggest wedding and event cocktail designers Yusef Austin, aka The Cocktail Architect, stopped by our offices to share a few of his top secrets to creating the perfect cocktail. Here’s what we learned!
1. Oversized Ice Cubes Are Hot
Supersizing your ice cubes is a big trend in cocktails right now. Gigantic ice cubes not only look great but keep your drink cold without diluting it quickly. Try it for yourself — we found some really cute trays at Williams-Sonoma.com.
2. Herb-Infused Cocktails Are The New “It” Drinks
We’re talking aphrodisiac tea, Matcha tea, lavender… any herb, fruit or spice can take the typical cocktail and make it amazing. Infuse the liquor overnight (think vanilla in vodka or basil in gin) and serve chilled with your favorite mix. Or, just add it to the top of your favorite cocktail (did someone say lavender gin martinis?). The trick to releasing the aroma from herbs is to put a sprig in the palm of your hand and hit it with your other. Then top off your drink for a cocktail that smells and tastes amazing.
3. Spicy Cocktails Will Keep Everyone On The Dance Floor
Add habaneros, siranos or any other pepper you can handle to your liquor for a seriously surprising twist. Cut the peppers in half and infuse them in liquor overnight. Austin recommends tequila but any liquor works fine! If you can’t handle too much heat try bell peppers instead of the spicier alternatives for a fresh flavor twist. Austin used cocoa powder and Kahlua to cool down the spice in the “120 MPH” — see full recipe below!
4. Batch Your Cocktails For Big Parties (Like Your Engagement Party, Bachelorette or Bridal Shower)
Austin says that batching your cocktails is a must-do for any gathering larger than 4 or 5 guests. Mix your cocktails before your guests arrive, then set them out in pretty containers next to your glassware so that guests can help themselves. How to make sure you pour the perfect cocktail without spilling? A turkey baster! No, seriously — watch the demo below (and one on the registry if you haven’t already).
Watch the video below to see Austin in action!
Check out these sweet cocktail ideas:
-2 oz. Tanqueray/dry gin
-3/4 oz. lemon juice
-shake & strain into martini glass
-garnish with lavender sprig
Watermelon Thai Basil Martini
-2 oz. vodka
-1 oz. watermelon juice
-1/2 oz. fresh lemon
-1/2 vanilla simple syrup
-shake and strain on the rocks
Feeling brave? Spicy cocktail concoctions you gotta try:
“120 MPH” shot
-1 oz. tequila anejo/aged
-1/2 oz cold espresso
-1/2 oz. kahlua
-1/2 oz simple syrup
-cocoa powder & chili pepper rim
Simple Pineapple Passion
-1/2 oz. Bacardi/light rum
-1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
-1/2 oz. cardamom & star anise
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