Hey guys, welcome back to Basics with Babish – where this week, we’re delving into the always well-stocked bar behind me. We’ll take a look at some five o’clock essentials that will help you make a host of different cocktails for your weary co-workers and your spouse’s friends. Let’s get down to basics. Basics with Babish and the all-new basicswithbabish.com are brought to you by Squarespace. Head there now to checkout recipes from the show, kitchen equipment lists, my personal blog posts, and more. Get 10% off your first Squarespace order with offer code “Babish”.
Whether you need a domain, website, or online store, make your next move with Squarespace. Alright guys, before we delve into cocktail essentials, we need to delve into some essential cocktail tools. Let’s start with a muddler, essential for everything from muddling herbs to muddling fruit. Then a jigger, essential for measuring; some Angostura bitters – comes in handy with a great many cocktails; and then the components of a cocktail shaker. Here, we’ve got a large stainless-steel tumbler with which we can mate a rubber-rimmed pint glass, or we can take another smaller tumbler, and, giving that a quick pound with the heel of our hand, seal the two together for a good shaking, and then when it’s time to retrieve the fruits of our labor, simply cock the smaller tumbler forward and pour into your desired vessel – possibly through a strainer like this which keeps any fruit pieces or other detritus from ending up in your glass. Then, it’s always handy to have a few squeeze bottles around for simple syrups and you want to have a combination lemon zester and channel knife like this for different types of garnishes and then a long cocktail stirring spoon is essential for both looking fancy and stirring some of those taller cocktails. And you probably already got a vegetable peeler, but it comes in handy in the bar. So that’s all the absolute essentials that you’re going to need now. What do you say we tie one on? Let’s start with a gin and tonic. Into an old-fashioned glass, we’re pouring two ounces of good gin, squeezing the juice of half a lime, and topping up with some tonic water. Everyone’s aunts favorite cocktail really is that simple. Garnish with a lime wedge, if desired, and serve. This is a very simple starting point, so measure and taste until it resembles that cocktail you’ve ordered on every nervous first date you’ve ever been on. Next up, we’re moving to slightly more delicious territory: the Moscow Mule. We’re going to need the juice of half a lime and four ounces of vodka – traditionally Smirnoff (not sponsored, just sayin’). Add to an ice cube inside of a copper mug and then get ready for– get ready to add a little bit of, um– Oh shoot, we need the tool that I left out from the beginning: the waiter’s friend. Now we can top this guy up with ginger beer and add a squeeze of lime. You’ll notice that I’m measuring alcohol, but not mixers, because this is going to come down to your taste. This is about how much booze you want in there – you can go ahead and adjust accordingly. Here comes that long spoon, looking pretty cool, and serve one of these guys up on a summer day to the delight of your friends and family. Speaking of summer cocktails, how about one of my favorites, the Negroni? With this guy, we’re talking equal parts; that is, one ounce each – of sweet vermouth, good gin, and Campari, which is a bitter Italian liqueur. Like most classic cocktails, these guys come together to form something greater than the sum of their parts. And they are complemented by a little twist of orange peel. Sub the gin for whiskey and you’ve got yourself a Boulevardier. But now it’s time to talk one of the most classic and contested of cocktails: the martini. We’re making both a dry and dirty martini using different combinations of sweet vermouth, vodka, and olive juice. For the dirty martini, I’m going with 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, and 1 ounce of olive juice. Not how I take my martini, but who am I to judge? You’ll also notice that we are chilling our martini glasses with ice and water while we give our martini a good shake. And now I can absolutely guarantee you that I’m going to make a huge– uhh– oops– See? I already– already made a mess. Dump out the ice water, clean up the inevitable spillage and pour your martini into the waiting chilled glass. If you’re using a Boston shaker, use that strainer that we mentioned earlier. And of course, this lightly tinted green martini would not be complete without an olive impaled upon a toothpick. Why anybody would drink their martini this way, I don’t know, but again not here to judge; here to inform. So, here’s how to also make a dry martini. We’re using three and a half ounces of vodka to half an ounce of sweet vermouth. As always, these amounts are going to depend on the size of your martini glass – it is the proportions that you want to keep in mind. And remember that you can always stir this instead of shake it, if you’re not feeling very James Bond-y today. And to prevent any and all ice fragments from ending up in our drink, we’re going to strain this one through a fine mesh sieve. And there you go: two different martinis for two very different types of people. Next up, how about we refresh our palate with my favorite drink: the old fashioned? We’re starting with two ounces of high-quality bourbon to which we’re going to add a few dashes of angostura bitters. If you spill any down the side of the glass like that, a tradition that I just made up says that you need to lick it with your finger before adding a small dash of simple syrup and giving it a stir. Then if you want to add a little bit more complexity and theatricality to your old-fashioned, simply slice yourself a thin round orange peel, hold over an open flame, and give it a squeeze. If you make sure to use a fresh orange, the essential oils will spray out and ignite in a splendor of citrus flame. Give it a little rub around the rim of the glass and drop into the cocktail. And there you go: the old-fashioned, a cocktail you kind of have to like if you have any sort of facial hair or tattoos. What about the cocktail that you have to like as a living, breathing, human being? For that we need to turn to the margarita. We are salting the rim of a glass using kosher salt and the juice of a lime, adding four ounces of high-quality tequila. I cannot stress high-quality enough. There’s a reason that people think that tequila gives them terrible hangovers is ’cause they’re drinking crappy tequila. We’re also going to add one ounce of triple sec, which is an orange liqueur. You can adjust these proportions to your taste, but I like my margaritas with a shout of tequila and a whisper of triple sec and, of course, a full squeezed lime. And if you’re feeling particularly wimpy, a little squirt of simple syrup. This is a margarita with all the bells and whistles, but bear in mind you can make a really solid margarita with nothing more than very good tequila and lime. But for our next cocktail, we need a mélange of sugar, herbs, and alcohol That’s right, we are making a mojito. Cut one whole lime into slices and add to a collins glass with a bunch of fresh mint and either a couple sugar cubes or a squirt of simple syrup. And, at long last, it’s our muddlers time to shine. The objective here is to get all the juice out of the limes and to get the mint to release its essential oils. Once we feel like we’ve done that, add some ice to the glass along with two ounces of white rum. Give this a good mix with your long fancy spoon to make sure that all these flavors are well incorporated before topping up with a bit more ice and some plain club soda. Make sure everybody’s mingling, getting to know each other, and garnish with a wedge of lime. Now this is one of the many cocktails that is improved vastly with a metal straw They’re like, ten bucks for a pack of six on Amazon and they are worth it. And, after all this cocktail making, I gotta say: I’m a little thirsty. Here’s to you guys. 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