There are plenty of books and websites filled with cocktail ideas, but the real joy is experimenting and coming up with your own. Your best cocktails will ideally be discovered the hard way, after much intensive trial and error.
As you explore this colourful world, there are three important points worth remembering:
• A cocktail should taste good. Everything else about it, from smutty or unsavoury name to garish presentation, should be in the poorest possible taste.
• Variety is everything. If you are going to have a cocktail party, get as wide a selection of ingredients as possible. Then let your creativity get to work!
• No two cocktails, made to the same recipe, are ever the same. So if you get a good one, enjoy it – it will never be repeated.
If you’re planning a cocktail party, make sure you’ve got the cocktail recipes you need to get it going with a swing
Once the party is underway, cocktails seem to invent themselves spontaneously, but to get the evening started, try the following:
Burning botsford (also known as steaming cockroach)
Carefully pour in the Baileys, then the Kahlua, then finally the tequila, so that three distinct layers are visible. Light the top layer (tequila), wait five seconds, then plunge a short straw through the flames to the bottom of the glass and suck the cocktail up, layer by layer, as quickly as possible before the straw melts.
• 1 measure Midori melon liqueur
• 1½ measures gin or vodka
• Lilt fruit drink
Pour spirits over ice and mix with an equal measure of Lilt. This extremely nasty-looking cocktail is best served in a frosted highball. Hold up to black light to enjoy the toxic looking glow, then drink slowly and carefully.