Mix it up: Cocktail beginners should turn to a bit of fizz

 
Philip Salter
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WHETHER you’re knocking back happy-hour m ojitos at Be At One or sipping on millionaire cocktails at The Savoy’s American Bar, what you’re drinking doesn’t always matter.

But making cocktails at home for friends is a different kettle of protestors. The act of creation takes centre stage.

Your first time will be messy. The crisp, clean actions of the bartender that you largely ignore will be replaced with your uncoordinated, erratic shambles. The chances are that your kitchen will end up looking like a vision of hell as dreamt up by Heston Blumenthal. But if you start simply, you can limit the damage to your property and confidence.

The first stage in your progression to cocktail aficionado should probably start with a cheap (but decent) bottle of something sparkling. Also pick up a bottle of crème de cassis, the sweet blackcurrant liqueur, and make a Kir Royale. It’s just the combination of these two ingredients and makes mixing a gin and tonic look like brain surgery.

Stage two involves testing other liqueurs and adding garnishes. My Cherry Amour came about when I wanted to show off. This cocktail has a solid base of cherries that contrasts with top notes hinting at cherries, leaving your palate with a distinct, subtle impression of cherries. In short, it’s cherry cola for adults, although the quality of the ingredients maketh the cocktail.

The most important thing about experimenting with bubbly and liqueurs is you’ll be able to have fun coming up with names for them (thankfully this is one area of our lives where people can’t take out copyrights). Cocktails taste even better if you put your name in the title, but it’s not obligatory.

MY CHERRY AMOUR

Ingredients
2 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries (and around 10ml of the juice)
20ml Maraschino Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
Prosecco

Method
Put a cherry with the juice and liqueur in the glass
Top up with prosecco and stir
Garnish with a cherry