Different methods of shaking cocktails

Shaking is the most common cocktail technique that not only properly mixes your ingredients but also employs necessary chilling, dilution into your drink and helps to aerate it.

When to shake and when to stir?

It’s all about the texture (mouthfeel) of the cocktail.

  • If cocktail has some cloudy ingredients such as fruit juices, eggs or dairy then you want a cocktail to be shaken(vigorously). If ingredients are combined properly it creates a frothy texture on the top and fresh aroma.
  • If the cocktail contains a clear(transparent) ingredients such as spirits, liqueurs, vermouths and so on then you want a cocktail to be stirred which chills and dilute a drink and should leave you with a soft and silky mouthfeel.

 

Building the ingredients in the shaker and shaking a cocktail

  1. Don’t forget to chill your glass unless it comes straight out from the freezer.
  2. Measure all ingredients with a jigger, adding them into the shaker as you follow a cocktail recipe.
  3. Start with the smallest volume/cheapest ingredients so if you mess up you can start over again without any wastage.
  4. Put ice(cubed) as the last thing in your Boston glass or Shaker you want absolute control over the dilution.
  5. Shake vigorously for at least 12 seconds until ice cold, always taste your cocktail before serving to be sure that it’s ready.
  6. When a cocktail is shaken, it’s most likely that it also needs to be double strain using a fine mesh strainer to avoid tiny pieces of ice, fruits and other solids. (sometimes it might not be required)

 

Shaking cocktails with egg white (Dry shake/Reversed Dry shake)

  • If the cocktail contains egg white, we usually need to use the dry shake technique which is basically shaking without ice first to emulsify the ingredients.
  • The other technique called reversed dry shake is shaking your cocktail with ice then straining back into the shaker and shaking without ice.

 

The hard shake (Japanese style)

  • The hard shake is a stylised way of shaking a cocktail, intended to drive the ice inside around the shaker rather than simple back and forth
  • Proponents of the hard-shake maintain that the method produces a better tasting cocktail
  • Starting with slow-freezing the ice from the bottom-up, to get rid of the tiny air bubbles. This makes a harder and more solid ice cube that will take a lot more beating in the shaker before breaking in pieces and thus diluting the drink.
  • The ice cubes are shaped into perfectly round spheres, again to decrease chipping of the ice during shaking.

As shaking is one of the most iconic movements of a bartender, Mixes From Mars ensures that every event will have at least a shaken drink to amaze your guests at your event! Looking to have some of our bartenders shake up some awesome cocktails at your event? Drop us an enquiry today!

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling is one of this island nation’s most iconic creations, a throwback to its colonial past, and, for all practical purposes, a great way to cool down in the tropical heat of the city.

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling

The iconic cocktail that Singapore have all grown to love and be proud of was first created in the early 20th century at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel, nestled in Singapore’s Civic District. The bartender was a Mr Ngiam Tong Boon, he developed a drink he called the gin sling, comprising two parts gin, one-part cherry brandy, and one-part juice (a blend of orange, lime, and Sarawak pineapple).

 

Legend has it that it was created as a light drink for the ladies, with its pink colour and sweet taste.  The drink was popular for a decade or so but was no longer sought after by the 1930s.

 

It is difficult to know how close the current version of the Singapore Sling is to its original recipe since all the bartenders have left for us is a loose collection of written notes. It’s no wonder then, that the cocktail has undergone so many variations. Many will insist that the original recipe used Benedictine and Cherry Heering, and more recent recipes have almost always included grenadine.

 

The versatility of the Sling makes it easy to adapt into modern twists. Variations of the Singapore Sling recipe are aplenty but mix up one of these potent and sweet cocktails with this recipe and you’ll be pleased with the results.

 

You will need

 

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 ½ fluid ounces gin
  • ½ fluid ounce cherry flavoured brandy
  • ¼ fluid ounce triple sec
  • ¼ fluid ounce Benedictine liqueur
  • 4 fluid ounces pineapple juice
  • ½ fluid ounce lime juice
  • ½ fluid ounce grenadine syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 slice fresh pineapple
  • 1 cherry
  1. Fill a Collins glass with 1 cup ice and set aside in the freezer.
  2. Combine gin, cherry-flavoured brandy, triple sec, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 cup ice, cover and shake until chilled. Strain into the prepared Collins glass.
  3. Garnish with slice of pineapple and a cherry.

The Singapore Sling cocktail is commonly requested by our clients especially if they are hosting foreign guests and will like them to have a taste of our sunny little island! If you will like to have great tasting Singapore Sling cocktails at your event, drop us an enquiry today!

Homemade syrups, ways to use them

It starts out easily enough: Combine one-part water with one-part granulated sugar, boil until dissolved, chill. But little do people know, simple syrups can be as varied and diverse as any other foodstuff. By mixing in spices, herbs, fruit—truly anything your little heart can imagine, you have instant flavoured sweetener. And it’s not just for cocktails. Drizzle on a simple butter-rich pound cake for a seasonal flavour boost, add a splash to whipped cream for sweet spice, stir into your morning coffee or tea to cut out the overpriced coffee chains, or, yes, use it in cocktails for a tinge of sweet flavour.

 

Here are some simple syrup recipes for you to put into good use.

 

Rose simple syrup

 

Rose’s Luxury in Washington, DC makes this sprightly, pretty cocktail, a mix of rye, rose-tinged simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and bitters.

 

You will need

 

13 cup sugar

2 drops rose extract, such as Terra

12 oz. rye whiskey (preferably Rittenhouse)

34 oz. rose simple syrup

12 oz. fresh lemon juice

2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned bitters

 

Make the simple syrup: In a 1-qt. saucepan, stir the sugar with 13 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose extract. Let cool completely.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, syrup, lemon juice, and bitters with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with rose petals.

 

Fresh mint simple syrup

The ultimate in freshness, use this syrup to sweeten lemonade, tea or even whip it into cream for a dessert topping.

 

You will need

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 bunch fresh mint

 

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil until sugar is fully dissolved. Pour the syrup into a heatproof container filled with hand-crushed mint. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight; strain and discard mint. Mint syrup will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

 

Blackberry lavender syrup

 

Tart blackberries and floral dried lavender marry in this syrup, perfect for mixing into cocktails such as a gimlet or French 75, or with sparkling water for homemade soda.

 

You will need

1 cup blackberries

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp. dried lavender (or 12 cup fresh lavender buds)

 

In a small saucepan, bring the blackberries, sugar, lavender, and 1 cup water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring to crush the berries, until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Pour the syrup through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Transfer the syrup to a bottle and refrigerate before using.

 

Lemon chamomile syrup

 

Fragrant chamomile flowers and lemon peels marry in this syrup, perfect for mixing into cocktails such as brandy smash or a Collins, or with sparkling water for homemade soda.

 

You will need

 

1 lemon

2 tbsp. dried chamomile flowers

2 cups sugar

 

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest of the lemon into strips and place the strips in a small saucepan along with 2 cups water and the chamomile. Bring to a boil over high heat and then remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Pour the syrup through a fine sieve into a bowl, discard the solids, and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Transfer the syrup to a bottle and refrigerate before using.

Bored of using simple syrup or off-the-shelf ones? Try making your own exciting ones today!

At Mixes From Mars, homemade syrups are something that we use in nearly all our events as we are able to control the intensity of the flavours that we desire for us to make your event cocktails that will meet all your expectations. From homemade floral syrups such as hibiscus to bluebellvine, to tea flavoured ones, homemade syrups are something that we pride ourselves in. Drop us an enquiry today to have great tasting cocktails specially prepared with our homemade syrups!

Chocolates are yummy to nearly everyone!

Chocolate Cocktails

Chocolate is a favourite ingredient for many delicious treats and most love to enjoy it on its own as well! It is not uncommon for us to receive enquiries for chocolate flavoured drinks and it is something that we at Mixes From Mars enjoy working with!

Adding a little chocolate to a cocktail makes for a delicious, dessert-like drink. However, not all chocolate cocktails are sweet and frothy confections, although some most definitely are. With the right chocolate cocktail recipe, you’ll find there’s something for everyone.

1. Chocolate Old-Fashioned

An old-fashioned is a classic cocktail. This chocolate twist is lightly sweet and complex with the addition of chocolate bitters. The recipe makes one cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes chocolate bitters
  • 1 orange twist
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Splash of water
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Instructions

  1. Put the sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass. Add three to four dashes of the chocolate bitters and the orange twist.
  2. Muddle the ingredients in the glass until the sugar is crushed and the orange twist releases its oils.
  3. Add the bourbon and a splash of water. Stir. Add ice cubes to preference.
  4. Garnish with the cherry.

 

  1. Chocolate Mint Julep

The trick to a tasty mint julep is plenty of finely crushed ice. To make it, you can place ice in a zipper bag and whack it with a mallet until it is finely crushed. This chocolate twist on the Kentucky Derby classic makes one drink. It gets its chocolate flavour from chocolate mint.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 chocolate mint leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • Splash of club soda, plus soda to fill the glass, divided
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Crushed ice

Instructions

  1. In a julep cup (or a double Scotch glass or another 8-ounce short glass), muddle the sugar, mint, and a splash of the club soda.
  2. Gently stir in the bourbon.
  3. Add the crushed ice and remaining club soda to fill the glass. Stir gently again.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of chocolate mint.

If you’d like a version with even more chocolate, add a half ounce of white creme de cacao when you add the club soda and ice.

 

3. Chocolate Malt

If you ever had a chocolate malt with a burger, then you’ll love the nostalgia of this tasty cocktail. It uses delicious RumChata, a cream liqueur with rum. The recipe makes two drinks.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces RumChata
  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream

Instructions

In a blender, combine all ingredients until well blended. Add additional milk to thin to the desired consistency.

 

4. Mexican Hot Chocolate

This isn’t your regular hot chocolate – unless you’ve always enjoyed yours spiked with some cayenne, a bit of cinnamon, and a nice shot of tequila. This warming drink will leave you wanting more. The recipe makes two drinks.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 12 ounces milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla on medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer.
  2. In two mugs, add an ounce of tequila each. Add the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Serve topped with whipped cream and garnished with additional cinnamon sprinkles if desired.

 

5. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry

While no strawberries are actually covered with chocolate in the making of this drink, the flavour brings to mind this delectable combo. Of course, you can feel free to garnish with a chocolate-dipped strawberry if you’re feeling super fancy. The recipe makes one drink.

Ingredients

  • 1/2-ounce white creme de cacao
  • 1 1/2 ounces strawberry liqueur
  • 1-ounce heavy cream
  • Strawberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small glass, combine the creme de cacao, strawberry liqueur, and cream, stirring to mix well.
  2. Garnish with a strawberry.

 

Looking to have chocolate flavoured drinks at your next event? Do not hesitate to drop us an enquiry today!

Cocktail Workshop

Cocktail Workshops

Have you ever though about what goes on in our bartender’s head when they create a drink? Or wondered how liquors were created? Mixes from Mars has cocktail workshops for the inquisitive and the aspiring home bartenders. The workshop program was devised by Jo and Louis, bar managers for both Hopscotch and Mars Bar respectively. They decided it was a great idea after receiving many requests to teach their customers bartending. One of the workshops was held for a bachelorette party for one of our regulars. Let’s just say our memories that day were a bit hazy.

Workshop Content

Cocktail Workshop 2

Cocktail Workshop 2

The one issue they faced when planning a workshop was, “What do we teach?”. An experienced bartender takes years to learn the trade. It could range from flavor pairing to ice picking. Not to mention the basics of knowing your liquor and shaking or stirring techniques. After some trials, they settled on teaching the essentials.

  1. Types of Liquors

    Perhaps the most important detail of them all. It is required to know at least the base spirit of the cocktails. They are Vodka, Rum, Gin,  Tequila, Brandy, Bourbon and Whisky. Each of them gives the drink a different taste and character. Our bartenders will teach the students about the production methods for each of the liquor.

  2. Equipments

    During operations, we use different variations of tools for different drinks. The basic equipments like the shaker tins, bar spoons, strainers are introduced. The students are then taught how and why we use the different equipments. Depending on the cocktails that the students will be preparing that day, they might be introduced to other equipments we use.

  3. Shaking and Stirring

    Both methods seek to chill the drink but they introduce different depths to it. Shaking aerates the drink while adding more dilution, whereas stirring mildly dilutes hence it is used often for stronger drinks. This is taught to the students including shaking with egg white, if their cocktails require so.

  4. Components of a Cocktail

    Possibly one of the more interesting parts of the workshop. The students are given a glance in the minds of our bartenders when they create a cocktail. How do you make it balanced? How do you discern a customer’s palate and create a cocktail for them? They are taught about the sweet and sours that help to balance the cocktail. Sweet could also mean sweetened liqueurs or homemade syrups that we so often use for our events. For the sours, we like to emphasize fresh citrus as the taste is very different from the sweetened ones we find in supermarkets. Who knows, maybe one of the ingredients for the day will be fresh yuzu juice imported from Japan. Additionally students will get to play with bitters, which modifies and adds complexity to a cocktail.

After the lesson comes the practical part, where the students get to craft their cocktails, under the supervision of our bartenders. What’s left afterwards are the tasting of each other drinks and the networking. At the end of the cocktail workshop, students go back with more than just the knowledge to be their own home bartender. They will also go back after fostering stronger bonds with their colleagues or maybe meet a new friend or two at an open workshop. Cocktail workshops currently are popular among our corporate clients as it presents a networking opportunities not only with people in their companies but also with prospective partners. For more information regarding our cocktail workshop, do drop us an enquiry with our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. As always, have a good weekend ahead, cheers!