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Cocktail Essentials Every Home Mixologist Should Know, According to the Pros

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Have you always been keen on learning the tips and tricks to being the best home bartender but never really knew how or where to start?

Being a mixologist is truly all about practising and experimenting, knowing what works and what doesn’t. The key to this is using the right equipment, glasses, ingredients and techniques. The best mixologists may have honed their skills through years of shaking, stirring and serving, however you need not go through this as the pros themselves have shared some of their tips and tricks to becoming a great mixologist right at home.


  • Essential Cocktail Ingredients
  • Ingredients form the foundation to any recipe. Likewise, your ingredients for the cocktails are very important. We have listed down a few key ingredients that every home bar mixologist should have.

    • Liquor- Depending upon the occasion and your guests, the liquor choice needs to be sorted. You can get them from the local liquor store or even online, depending upon your personal preference. However, remember not to spend too much on the liquor as they are eventually going to be mixed for your cocktail.

    There are certain liquor types that are a must- haves like vodka, gin, whiskey(bourbon, scotch or rye), tequila, rum, brandy.


    Besides these,you can keep your options open with a few Nice-to-haves like dry and sweet vermouth, triple sec, Grand Marnier and Pernod.

    • Bring in the Mixers!

    Cocktail mixers will always add a twist to your glass of creation, they will always give the cocktails that extra feel of vibe that can be according to the theme, the occasion or the location of the certain celebration. 

    • The must-haves include tonic water, ginger beer, club soda/sparkling water, simple syrup, limes and lemon juices.
    • While the Nice-to-haves include orange juice, ginger ale, cranberry juice, soda/diet soda.
    • The Garnis DOES matter

    Just like a cherry on a cake can elevate the taste as well as the entire appearance, in the same way the topping to your cocktail also matters. They not only enhance the look but also amplify the flavors.

    • A few must-haves as garnishes include limes, lemons, oranges for peeling, fresh herbs and spices like rosemary, mint, basil and cinnamon sticks.
    • Besides these garnishes like pearl onions, black pepper and coconut cream can also be used for extra flavor.


    • ‘Ice’ to meet you!

    Yes! This is a very obvious must have for any drink but it is only because of the role that it plays in making a difference to your drink. The kind of ice that you use in your drinks matters. Ice from a standard tray or ice-maker is cloudy due to gases and impurities becoming trapped during the freezing process compared to the more sophisticated, directional freezing method used by professionals. Larger and harder cubes allow for a proper shake-time which will aerate the drink, giving you a nice chilly and frothy head glass of cocktail.

  • Cocktail Essential Tools
  • The gadgets to make a proper cocktail are quite important and make a huge difference. This however does not mean that you ought to spend huge amounts on buying tool kits that are a craze and hype, simply focus on quality essentials.These include- Jigger, Cocktail shaker, Muddler, Long-handle metal bar spoon and of course a blender.

  • Cocktail Glasses
  • The kind of vessels that you choose to serve the cocktails adds the climax to the final tasting. Searching for wares in vintage and thrift stores can be quite rewarding. Here are a few must-have glasses for different kinds of cocktails-

    • Vodka/schnapps glass
    • Old-fashioned glass
    • Cordial/liqueur glass
    • Highball glass
    • Margarita glass
    • Cocktail/martini glass
    • Collins glass
    • Champagne glass


    Get these and begin serving!

    With these essentials listed above, don’t let anything stand in your way of making the most cocktails for everybody to savour. You need a degree or those expensive professional equipment, just stick to the basic essentials and get creative!

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