Essential guide to making cocktails

The essentials of making a cocktail

You're not alone if you've ever enjoyed a wonderful drink at a bar or restaurant and wished you could prepare it at home. Making your own drinks may seem difficult, but learning the fundamentals of cocktail mixing is simpler than you may think. You can make scrumptious and eye-catching cocktails in the convenience of your own home with the right equipment, ingredients, and methods. What you should know is as follows.

Cocktail making tools

Before you start making cocktails, you will need the right tools on hand. There are a myriad of cocktail mixing tools out there but here are the few essential cocktail making tools that you will need:

  • Cocktail shaker: The quintessential cocktail tool that bartenders use for mixing and chilling cocktails quickly and efficiently.
  • Bar spoon: A long-handled spoon used for stirring cocktails
  • Jigger: A small measuring cup used to measure ingredients accurate.
  • Strainer: Used for straining ice and various other ingredients out of your cocktail.
  • Citrus press: Used to extract juice from fruits, mint leaves, etc.

To simplify your shopping, check out our very own cocktail making kit that will turn you from a home bartender to a Mixologist! This kit contains 12 of the most essential and extra tools that you will need to be a full blown mixologist.

Important ingredients for making cocktails

With the necessary tools in hand, you now need to stock up on the staple cocktail ingredients:

  • Liquor: It wouldn't be a cocktail without liquor, these include rum, vodka, gin, tequila and whisky.
  • Mixers: These include fruit juices, soda water, tonic water and simple syrups.
  • Bitters: These are concentrated flavorings commonly used in cocktails to add depth of flavor.
  • Garnishes: Something to decorate your cocktail like olives, cherries, mint, basil, citrus wedges, anything you are creative enough to use to enhance the aesthetic of your cocktail.

Shop at Three Musketeers Liquor for a one-stop shop for all your cocktail ingredients with a wide range of spirits and mixers; delivered straight to your doorstep! Shop now:

Essential cocktail making techniques

Now that you have the all the tools and ingredients, here are some of the most commonly used techniques to create cocktails (with visual examples!)


The signature method used by bartenders to mix cocktails, this technique is especially effective when used to mix a cocktail that contains juice or egg white. Shaking vigorously in a cocktail shaker will ensure that the contents are well mixed.


For cocktails that do not contain egg whites or juice, stirring with a bar spoon is the best way to chill and mix a drink.


Straining is the act of removing ice and other unwanted ingredients from your cocktail using a strainer.


Used to crush herbs or fruits in the bottom of a glass/ shaker before adding other ingredients, releases flavors by crushing the ingredients.


Layering is a method that plays with the density of the cocktail ingredients to create visually appealing cocktails with several layers, the best way to do so is using the back of a bar spoon to pour the various ingredients.

Popular cocktail recipes

Like all beginners, a great place to start is by watching someone proficient at the task execute it and copy them until you are familiar with the various combinations and start experimenting yourself.

We've done some blogs in the past covering cocktails that you can make with popular, everyday spirits like the Monkey Shoulder Whisky and the Bacardi Rum! Check out those blogs for a step-by-step comprehensive guide to crafting those delicious tasting cocktails!

Other popular places to learn fun recipes would be content creators on Youtube like The Tipsy Bartender & Steve the Bartender where they frequently post different cocktail recipes ranging from classic ones to completely eccentric & creative ones.

Where to buy cocktail ingredients?

The most important aspect of ensuring that your cocktail turns out great is by using quality components. Shop for these quality ingredients with a reputable online store like us (Three Musketeers Liquor Delivery) and have your order delivered straight to your doorstep!

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