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!

Black Cocktails

Black cocktails

 

Jet-black cocktails juiced with activated charcoal are the coolest new beverages at trendsetting bars across the country. With a dark and mysterious appeal, charcoal cocktails are perfect for Halloween season – and they’re surprisingly healthy.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a form of carbon, the second most abundant element in the human body (after oxygen) and a common element of all known lifeforms. It becomes “activated” when it is processed to have small pores. These tiny, low-volume pores increase the surface area of the carbon. A higher surface area increases the carbon’s adsorption, or its ability to attract atoms and molecules to its surface.

The activated charcoal sold in stores is usually derived from a high-quality charcoal such as bituminous (black asphalt) coal and/or lignite (brown peat) coal. Some brands may also contain other carbonized ingredients such as wood, coconut shells, and bamboo – make sure you read the label.

Have a black themed event? Have us prepare black cocktails for you!

Why Is Activated Charcoal Healthy?

Activated charcoal is noted for its ability to remove toxins and impurities from the body. It is used to treat some poisonings and overdoses, as well as less-serious bouts of diarrhoea and indigestion. Savvy globetrotters never forget to pack activated charcoal, which can alleviate the duration and severity of traveller’s diarrhoea.

Charcoal Is the New Black

For most people, activated charcoal is a natural, flavourless detoxing agent – which makes it the new darling of the health-conscious cocktail scene. While the science is still out, it may also may help prevent hangovers. Find activated charcoal capsules at your local health food store. Try it in one of the following recipes – you’ll only need a pinch. Save the rest of the charcoal for your next trip abroad.

5 Activated Charcoal Cocktail Recipes

  1. Midnight Beach Rumtini – Stir ¾ ounce simple syrup with ½ capsule of charcoal until the powder is completely dissolved. Add to a cocktail shaker with ice, 2 ounces coconut rum, ½ ounce white rum, 1 ½ ounce pineapple juice, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple or a tropical flower.
  2. Tequila Moonrise – Mix together ½ capsule of charcoal and 2 teaspoons grenadine until the powder is completely dissolved. Add to an ice-filled shaker along with 2 ounces fresh orange juice and 2 ounces gold tequila. Shake, strain, and serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.
  3. Dark Side Shandy – Thoroughly dissolve ½ capsule of charcoal in ½ cup fresh lemonade in a tall glass. Add one can of light blonde beer. Garnish with a lemon slice.
  4. Death in Paradise – Mix ½ capsule of charcoal with passion fruit syrup. Pour in an ice-filled shaker and add 3 ounces white tea, 1 ounce vodka, 1 ½ ounce fresh grapefruit juice, 1 ounce fresh pomegranate juice, and two basil leaves. Shake vigorously and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
  5. Ebony Ink – Dissolve ½ capsule of charcoal in 1 ½ ounce single-malt whiskey and 1 ½ ounce bourbon in a shaker. Add ice, a dash of bitters, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Shake, strain, and serve in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

 

Have an event where you will like to have cocktails that are black in color? Other than charcoal, Mixes From Mars also use ingredients like Gum Nero to make black cocktails! Drop us an enquiry for themed cocktails (black or not) today!

How having a professional bartender at your party can help you or is good for you

 

When it comes to big events like weddings and milestone anniversaries, most people don’t think twice about hiring a bartender to serve drinks to guests. But for some reason, most of us baulk at the idea of hiring someone to pour drinks at more intimate gatherings like get-togethers and birthday parties. On those occasions, hiring a bartender may feel a little over-the-top. After all, guests can pour their own drinks, so why spend the money? The truth is, though, hiring a bartender can actually be a relatively affordable “splurge,” and having a professional behind the bar means you have one less thing to stress about and will be able to enjoy yourself that much more.

You’ll Know How Much Booze to Buy

A professional bartender or bartending service will not only help you figure out what to serve based on the type of event and your preferences but will also tell you how much of everything to buy. This also means you won’t buy excess booze and, ultimately, might save you a lot of money.

Help with Set Up and Clean Up

A bartender will get to your home or event space in plenty of time to get the bar area all set up before any of your guests arrive. He’ll also do his best to make sure there aren’t empty glasses and bottles littering the space and, at the end of the party, he’ll help with clean-up.

Have our professional bartenders join you for the next event that you are hosting!

The Host Shouldn’t Also Be the Bartender

A good host offers his guests a drink shortly after they walk into the party. Which means if you don’t have a bartender, you’re also the one making that drink. A good host also offers a guest whose drink is low or empty if she’d like it to be refreshed. Which means, yup, you’re making that next drink as well. And repeat. For the entire duration of the party.

Feel Like a Guest at Your Own Party

As we just mentioned, if you spend the entire party getting drinks for other people, you’ll feel more like the hired help than the host, but even more than that, if you have someone else pouring your drinks and making sure you’re okay, it allows you to actually enjoy the event.

It’s Probably Best if Guests Don’t Make Their Own Drinks

There are a few reasons you don’t want guests making their own drinks. First of all, it’s nice if guests can just relax and not worry about mixing drinks, especially since they may want a cocktail they aren’t quite sure how to make. Second, a lot of people over pour when they’re making a cocktail simply because they don’t realize how much is coming out of the bottle. A bartender can not only make the more complicated cocktails someone may want, he can ensure that those cocktails have the appropriate amount of alcohol so that no one is on the floor before the party’s even in full swing.

A Bartender Won’t Over Serve

In addition to making sure drinks are poured properly, a professional bartender is paid to serve responsibly and pour drinks accordingly as the night goes on. Ultimately, having a sober bartender paying attention to who might be starting to have a little “too much fun,” saves you from a potentially embarrassing conversation and means you can just relax and enjoy yourself.

Fancy Cocktails, not Just “Mixed Drinks”

Bartenders know how to make all sorts of cocktails. From a proper martini to an old fashioned to a refreshing gimlet, you can count on a professional mixologist to be able to pour anything your guests want well beyond the standard “rum and Coke” or “vodka soda.”

A Clean and Organized Bar Area

When people are in charge of making their own drinks, the bar area can quickly become chaotic and messy. A bartender will make sure the bar area isn’t covered in used limes, sticky bottles, and empty soda cans.

Your Guests Will Be Impressed

People expect bartenders at fancier events in big spaces, but they definitely don’t expect to walk into a backyard barbecue or intimate birthday party and see a paid professional serving up signature cocktails.

 

With our vast experience in the bar industry and every single member of our team having worked at numerous bars and are still doing so at our very own bar – Hopscotch – located at 45 Malan Road, you can be sure that our mixologists from Mixes From Mars will bartend at your event with a high level of service and mixology standards. Drop us an enquiry today to find out more about having our experienced bartenders at your event!

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!

Hopscotch Bar Team

Hopscotch Bar’s Farewell Party

April 15th was a rather special night for many of us from the Hopscotch and Mixes from Mars family. After a run of 31 months, we had to call it a day as the Ministry of Law would be taking over the premise by the end of April.

Hopscotch Bar's Grand Opening

The Hopscotch Team on their Grand Opening

Hopscotch was opened on the 11th of September in 2014 looking to serve up locally inspired cocktails. It’s been a fun ride with the crew that we’ve been working with, whipping up some amazing cocktails and hosting the craziest parties in our courtyard. When we first started out, Hopscotch was meant to be a project that would last about a year as Red Dot Traffic Building would be taken over by the government just as our lease ended. Alas, through some unforeseen circumstances, our lease got extended a few more times until April of this year. Imagine the number of times we had to send our “Closing Soon” press release, a little similar to that random shop in the neighborhood which is always closing soon but never does.

Tiki style drink with a touch of extravagance

A drink created by Jo as a tribute to the Red Dot Traffic Building

The farewell party started on the 16th February, also known as the 2nd Last Party. It also featured Jo’s cocktail, “Remembering Red Dot”. It consisted of Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, Indian Mango Puree, Ginger Flower, Lemongrass Cordial, Calamansi, Torched Coconut Husk and Freshly Grated Summer Truffle. It was a tiki styled drink reminiscent of times at the beach and topped with extravagance, Jo really went all out for the party. Fiji also sponsored Hopscotch with their artisan water to keep the guests hydrated throughout the night. With live performances by our regular singers Iris and the dynamic duo Cynthia and Linus, the crowd were serenaded while enjoying their tipples. Bryan, our host for the night played games with some of the guests, with the winners getting a bottle of champagne! Post 11pm was where everyone got hyped up by our very own DJ Sunny and Jam! The guests definitely enjoyed themselves, and everyone including the staffs were looking forward to the last party!

Media Team and Live Band

Werty, our videographer and Cynthis & Linus, our dynamic duo live band

Fast forward to a week before closing, we held a party called Viva La Diva featuring some of Singapore’s best female vocalists. After their set, it was open mic which  many people took part in. The Miss Singapore Pageant International team was also on site to scout out contestants for their upcoming pageant. With the conclusion of this party, it set in motion a week of farewell celebrations from our regulars. Those that couldn’t attend our last night came in droves on the weekdays and drank like they never did. While the bar team was busy preparing for the big day, the Mixes from Mars team helped out for the setup, which included the lights, sound systems, projector, tables and chairs.

Reservations packed

Full House!

Merrymaking, dance and drinks

The Industry really knows how to turn up a party

Dancing King

Everett showing some moves

Cocktail Churning Machines

The Bar Team for the night!
From left: Jas, Elijah, Really Drunk Kelvin, Joyce

Reservations were mounting up so fast that we blocked it days before our last party as there were no longer any available seats. On the eve of the party, we managed to get Pacific Coffee’s space as they had moved out the week before. That opened up more seating areas that could sit more guests. Additionally Closer.sg provided a photo booth which gave the guests an instant print! The night begun with guests streaming in slightly before 8pm while we were still having team briefings. It soon became a full on slam. Cynthia and Linus once again provided us with aural entertainment as the night passed. We were all enjoying ourselves, both guests and staffs, amidst all the merry making and shots. Slightly after 12am was when most of the initial guests started leaving, which led us to our 2nd wave of  slam! As other bars hit closing time, Hopscotch was slowly filled with our friends from the industry. They came for the post-work drinks, for the party, for the dancing and most important of all to bid us farewell. They conquered the whole courtyard as DJ Sunny, Jam and Lester pumped the crowd up with dance hits from the past and the present. It was about 4am when most of them started to stream out, which also started an impromptu open mic. Cynthia, Linus and Bryan once again took up positions and invited guests to come sing along. The last song was played at about 6am, it was an extended version of “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis. Extended because of the crowd’s heartwarming singalong and because of the trio’s emotional tribute in this very song. Cynthia was in tears midway and couldn’t continue just as it reached the climax, which was the last line of the song. Everyone including the staffs stopped whatever they were doing and watched her with bated breaths.

Bryan: “Come on Cynthia, you can do this.”

Cynthia wipes her tears, takes a deep breath and goes..

“And don’t look back in anger”

Pause. She looks around and takes in the atmosphere.

“I heard you say.”

And just like that, as the sun rose, our farewell party came to an end. Goodbyes were said and hugs were given. A special thanks to all the guests who attended the party, the staffs who helped out and the amazing bands and DJ that helped entertained the crowd. It has been a pleasure making everyone’s night through this two years and we hope to do so in the near future! Hopscotch will be temporarily closed while we source for a new location, we’ll keep you updated when a space has been found. Meanwhile you can catch some of the Hopscotch staffs shaking up cocktails in our various events. As always, we hope you have a great week ahead, cheers!

The Best of Hopscotch

Finally! We are proud to announce the final cocktail menu of Hopscotch Bar! Do remember to catch us daily from 4pm to 1am. The menu features favourites from each menu so far, and some favourites that our regulars have came to enjoy dearly.

All cocktails on the menu will be presented the way they are shown in the pictures above, because we always believe that serving craft cocktails is a multi-sensory experience where no single aspect be it service or aesthetics could be compromised.

 

Don’t forget, we also have a 1 for 1 happy hour going from 4pm-8pm daily. For reservations, please call 6327 4820.

Hopscotch Menu v 4

If you guys are still not in the know. Hopscotch Bar is undergoing its fourth bar menu change. Hopscotch has the policy of changing its menu once every 6 months, and this will be the last and final time at Red Dot Traffic building before Hopscotch moves out to a new venue.

Featuring one of the most interesting drinks on the menu, The Melon Milk, a delectable dessert like drink in a bingsu form. The whole drink is served in a flower pot, and drizzled over with an oreo and granola grind. The drink concludes with a sprig of basil which adds on a pleasant scent for a beautiful finishing touch.

The new bar menu is launching 29th July 2016, this Friday. See you there at Hopscotch Bar.