Every time I take a cruise I seek out new cocktails. I'm not a heavy drinker by any means, one or two drinks over the course of a day, but I've become quite interested in mixology over the past few years.
I've been building up my home bar and I try to get to know a bartender on each ship to pick up some tips and I'll take a mixology class if they have one. Surprise, the Disney Fantasy had the best mixology class I've found at sea so far. This past cruise on the Celebrity Equinox I got to know Tamara at the World Class Bar and she gave me a couple of very basic, but wonderful tips.
First off you only need one Jigger to make any drink. I had a collection of four of them, but she showed me you just need one that has 1 ounce on one side and 2 ounces on the other side. The markings inside give you all the other measurements you need.
Two, a Boston Shaker with a steel cup and a glass cup is better than an all steel shaker. I purchased one, but I have to admit I still stick with my easier to use all steel shaker because it can be difficult to break the seal between the glass and steel sections.
Another discovery I made at my local Barnes and Noble bookstore is the book 11,000 Drinks. Oh my word, if you like to try new cocktails this book is awesome!
Sometimes I use the recipes as a starting point to experiment. With that many drinks to try, of course you're going to run into a bunch that you don't like. So I rate every drink on a 5 point scale so I both remember what I actually made and which ones I liked. The blue tabs sticking out the side of the book show drinks that scored 4+ and the yellow tabs below 4.
And finally, there is a whole new generation of bitters available now for the home mixologist. It used to be Agnastura bitters and you just added that whenever a drink called for bitters. At the local Tower Package shop there is an entire section of the store devoted to bitters! It was there that I stumbled upon Atlanta's own 1821 Bitters I purchased the Old Fashioned bitter set which makes a perfect Old Fashioned, just add whisky and an orange peel.
Follow along with my cocktail creations on my Instagram page and IGTV channel. It's a great time to be a home mixologist, enjoy!