Pre-class notes for Seco Cocktail Classes
HOW TO BE READY FOR CLASS
- To make simple syrup, simply combine equal parts sugar and water and stir until fully dissolved. No need to heat treat if you are making it within 3 days of use. Please refrigerate.
- To make agave syrup or honey syrup, use the 3:1 ratio. Three parts honey or agave to one part water.
- Have your juice prepared before class (juice your juice)
- Please, please use fresh juice! Buying real citrus and squeezing it the day of is the best thing you can do for quality cocktails.
- You can usually squeeze .75 oz out of 1 lime but I always recommend having a few extra around in case the limes are on the dry side.
- Don't stress over the "best" - middle of the road makes better cocktails. Period.
- I have listed some common tools, but people don't stress over this! You can use mason jars, chopsticks, and more. Get creative and stay comfortable.
THE EQUIPMENT BASICS
Shaker set - I highly recommend two-piece metal-on-metal tins
Jiggers - measuring 1 and 2 ounces
Mixing glass or yari
Please scroll down to see some handy substitutions.
SUPPLEMENTAL RECIPES / COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I make a tisane?
To make a tisane or tea infusion, simply prepare according to the instructions. You're just making tea!:) Please let cool to room temperature before class begins.
How many lemons or limes do I need to make a cocktail?
You can usually squeeze .75 oz out of 1 lime but I always recommend having a few extra around in case the limes are on the dry side.
How do I make simple syrup?
Simple syrup can be made by combining 1 part cool to warm water with 1 part white sugar. For example, 100 grams of water to 100 grams of white sugar. Simply combine the sugar and water and stir until completely dissolved. Please refrigerate - you can keep it for 2 weeks.
How do I make other syrups?
To make agave syrup or honey syrup, use the 3:1 ratio. Three parts honey or agave to one part water.
Can I use fake juice?
Please, please use fresh juice! Buying real citrus and squeezing it the day of is the best thing you can do for quality cocktails.
THE EQUIPMENT DETAILS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
A Boston shaker. This two-piece shaker, composed of two mixing tins, is suitable for shaken drinks (for which you require both parts). Substitutions include three piece shakers or mason jars.
A bar spoon. A long bar spoon (approximately 11 inches) is needed for all stirred drinks. Substitutions include spoons for tea, which are typically longer than the regular soup spoon, chopsticks, bbq skewers, etc.
A jigger. Most jiggers are stainless steel and have a dual-measure design. The most common ones have a 1-ounce capacity on one end and a 2-ounce capacity on the other. Substitutions include a tablespoon. ( 2T = 1 ounce )
Strainers. You need a julep strainer (which has a perforated bowl shape) for stirred drinks and a Hawthorne strainer (which has a metal coil wrapped around its bowl to keep out citrus pulp) for shaken drinks. The Hawthorne can do double duty if need be. Substitutions include tea strainers and chinois.
Mixing glass. Yaris can set up back a pretty penny. A great substitution is a pint glass.
Large-scale ice trays. A large ice cube makes a big difference, both aesthetically and tastewise, in some stirred, sipping drinks, like the Old-Fashioned. Molds for these sorts of cubes, typically 2 by 2 inches in size, are now very easy to find.