Cocktail faux pas': The main newbie mistakes revealed

We see the bartender shaking around his cocktail maker, and it all looks very easy. Unfortunately, when we try things at home, it's anything but. In the worst-case scenario, the lid can fly off and leave you and your room with a liquid mess. Even in better situations, the taste leaves little to be desired for.

While this is by no means a crash course in cocktail making, by the end of today's guide we are hopeful that you will be armed with enough knowledge (in the form of the main mistakes) to ensure that your DIY cocktail making is anything but a disaster. 

To shake, or to stir?
It's a classic line from a famous movie but trust us, there's more to this saying than the big screen connotation.

On the contrary, some cocktails are designed to be shaken while, as you may have gathered by now, others are designed to be stirred.

So, let's jump into some examples. If you are operating with a cocktail that uses citrus, fruit juices or dairy, the standard rule is that it should be shaken.

Then, when it comes to drinks that should be stirred, this applies to most cocktails which primarily rely on spirits. This is because stirring is a more subtle way of integrating ingredients, meaning that the cocktail will still retain its strength from all of the spirits that have formed it. 

You can do everything perfectly... and then put it in the wrong glass
That's right, you can have the skills of a world-renowned bartender, but it all falls flat when it comes to pouring your drink.

Different cocktails need different glasses, and the point can be emphasized through this infographic. For example, in the case of a Poco Grande glass, this is primarily designed for Pina coladas and daiquiris. Then, when it comes to Margaritas glasses it won't be a surprise to hear that this is designed for its namesake. 

Never trust your eye
You might think you have a "feel" for your cocktail ingredients but in truth, you probably haven't. Again, professional bartenders might give off a different impression, but on the most part you will need to use measuring apparatus to calculate how much of each mixer and spirit you need in your shaker.

This equipment isn't expensive, but will mean that you are following a recipe down to a tee - and there's less chance of something going wrong. 

Be wary about substitution
Don't be under any illusions, substitution nearly always happens when you are putting together your own cocktails. After all, you're not a professional with a huge supply of ingredients - you are probably operating alone and this means that you will sometimes be short on so-called crucial elements.

However, try as hard as you can to limit this substitution. For example, subbing egg whites for egg beaters just isn't going to work. If you look hard enough there are some really good guides out there on how to substitute properly - and we would urge you to take advantage of such guides to make sure your cocktails don't suffer.

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