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Crafting cocktails. It’s all about presentation

Speed is good, but presentation earns tips.
Speed is good, but presentation earns tips.
Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Sweet, tart, chocolate, creamy... Mixed drinks come in many styles and the quality of liquor is irrelevant since most mixers cover that cheap alcohol taste. But when someone asks for a fancy cocktail it’s time to roll up your sleeves and put on a show.

Bartending for over a decade in hopping venues and lazy hotel lounges helped hone my skills in crafting the sophisticated cocktail, and when patrons ask for martinis, cosmos, rusty nails, or complex liquor creations they want more than just a drink. They want a presentation.

Martinis, Cosmos, lemon drops, really anything that comes in a martini glass is someone making a statement and always deserves the proper attention. Conical in shape, the martini glass adds a modern sophistication to the standard highball glass and calls attention to the drink and its owner by portraying a certain lifestyle or social standing. And being a bartender means you have to draw as much attention to the individual as required. They want to get their moneys worth out of this cocktail and the result will also help you sell more of these types of drinks too. Its all about the up sell in any service industry so be the best. Seasoning the refrigerated glass is very important not only for the added flavor of the cocktail but it also draws more attention to the patron as you focus on making their drink. The following is an example of adding pizazz to a basic martini:

Pour a splash of Vermouth into a frosty martini glass. Swirl the liquor to coat the entire inside of the glass and set aside. Do not pour out the vermouth.

Fill shaker with ice. Pour good quality vodka into ice, cover and shake hard.

Note: The shaking of the ice is not to mix the liquors, mixers, etc. it is to shatter the ice. The small slivers floating in the resulting strain not only keeps the cocktail cool but also adds a visual sparkle to the drink.

Pour into seasoned glass. If the guest wants a twist take the time to remove the pulp from a fresh slice, twist the peel toward the glass to spritz the zest onto the top of the drink, and run the peel around the rim before dropping it into the glass.

If you need more info check out my video on how its done. When preparing an expensive cognac straight up its always wise to heat the outside of the glass with boiling water first. The heat helps release the flavors and aromatics of the liqueur without burning off the alcohol, and pouring the water on the outside ensures you don’t add any to the liquor.

Usually people who want to make an impression are those who order specialty drinks, and what better way for them to impress than to tip well so always make sure you give them plenty of reason to. Cheers!

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