Five tips for making cocktails at home



As London Cocktail Week hits town, we asked Alessandro Palazzi – master mixologist at Dukes – for his tips on making cocktails at home, from the truth about juice to simple bitter twists.

Always use fresh organic fruit. Ignore the juice section of the supermarket and squeeze fresh fruit just before you need it. It’s essential for getting the right aroma, flavour and intensity in a serve.

Get ingredients from the green grocer or farmers market. They’ll have the best and freshest ingredients, taking your cocktails to another level.

Don’t limit your herbs to mint in a Mojito. Grow a selection of herbs at home, and pick local herbs when you travel abroad. Alessandro has a small verbena tree at home, the leaves of which he dries for cocktails; and a trip home to Italy inspired him to use fresh fennel seeds in new serves.

It’s (almost) all in the presentation. An easy way to impress guests is with unique glassware. Alessandro likes to explore antique markets, charity shops and car boot sales for interesting (and often cheap) glasses.

Add your own twist with bitters. There is a huge variety of bitters available these days. Simple to use, they can add a wonderful twist to your serves at home. Experiment with the ones that you like the most. If you use the right bitter you can change the drink entirely.

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