Vina: bold, intelligent, badass. She’s the life of the party. She can mix a drink.
To help bring out that life-of-the-party vina that’s inside of you, I’ve compiled a tried-and-true list of cocktail-making tips so you can be that girl wherever you’ll be celebrating next.
Before I started following these five simple steps, not even my most beautiful glasses, stainless steel shakers, or a phone full of Pinterest recipes could save my drinks from coming out too strong, too sour, too much like juice, or too much like toxic waste. These tricks have helped me become more creative behind the bar and have given me a better understanding of how much alcohol each drink needs, all while keeping things simple, sweet, and cheap.
1. LESS IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO INGREDIENTS
A good cocktail doesn’t need to be complicated. Many of the best cocktails have three or fewer ingredients. The important thing to know is what mixes well with what. Here are two of my favorite simple drinks that have less than three ingredients:
The Paloma: 1/4 cup of tequila, 1/4 cup grapefruit soda (like Fresca or Jarritos), served on the rocks with a lime wedge. Add a salted rim to feel like a real pro.
The Bellini: 2 ounces chilled fruit purée (traditionally peach), 3 ounces prosecco. Usually served in a champagne flute, start with the fruit puree on the bottom, then pour the prosecco over the top. Feel free to add a fragrant garnish to up your bar cred.
These and other gorgeous two-ingredient cocktails can be found at http://www.mydomaine.com/two-ingredient-cocktails
WHEN IN DOUBT, STICK TO THE CLASSICS
Who’s ever turned down a whiskey and Coke or vodka and soda? These drinks are well known for a reason and are simple to make. The best part about their simplicity is that it makes them easy to customize and dress up. Put your own original spin on any of the classics with fresh herbs, splashes of fruit juice, or even a simple lime or lemon to impress your vinas.
GET CREATIVE WITH FRESH FRUIT AND KOMBUCHA
When you’re drinking, you ’re probably not drinking for the health benefits (unless you’re one of those red-wine-with-dinner people). Still, it’s nice to mix up a fun drink that ’s light on guilt sometimes. Fresh fruit, kombucha, and even Perrier can make awesome additions to classic drinks. (HINT: The Real Food Dietitians suggest replacing the ginger beer in the classic Moscow Mule with kombucha and adding fresh ginger, mint, and cucumbers.)
CHEAT SHEETS ARE A VINA’S BEST FRIEND
Now that you have the inspiration, it ’s time to get technical. You don’t want to make your drinks too strong or watered down. To ensure that you pour just right every time, check out this amazing cheat sheet that explains the use of “parts” in drink recipes. You can always print it out and keep in your kitchen so you ’re ready for your next soirée.
USE THE TOOLS AVAILABLE
There are so many amazing resources where you can find easy drink recipes. Use them! There’s no shame in borrowing a few tips and tools from the pros. Here are two personal favorites:
Now that you know the tricks of the trade, I fully expect to see you giving back to the Vina community by hosting a meet and greet cocktail party with your new matches!
Find some new vinas to invite to your next cocktail party by downloading Hey! VINA on the App Store today! You’re new best friend could be just a swipe away! 👯📱