Tips & techniques

Cocktail basics

Back to basics! Philippe Paiva, our Beverage Innovation Director in France, teaches you the bases for tasteful cocktail creations.

1. The balance
The 3 S golden rule when making cocktails : Sweet, sour and Strong.
Sugar is essential in a drink as it ehances the natural aromas. It is brought but syrups or liqueurs. Thanks to the wide range of MONIN syrups and liqueurs you can let your imagination wander and create a huge possibilities or flavour associations from the
most classic one to the most originals.
A the time of the old classics like the Margarita, Daiquiri and Blue Lagoon the sour taste was brought by the lemon juice. It was also brought sometimes brought also by orange juice and those were the only juices available behind the bar. The lemon juice also helped to have a long lasting taste, it was used to bind the sugar with the alcool, and helped to balance and sublimate the cocktails. Today a lot of othe types of juice are available to bring this sour touch.
Spirits will be the last ingredients used to have an homogeneous mixes. however one has to be carefull as some spirits will not mix well with some ingredients. The spirit also helps to balance the sugar content brought from the juices and the syrups. The
more you will know about the spririt's components and origins, the easier it will be for you to imagine the possible associations.
2. Texture
The texture of your cocktail is important and often make them fall into different categories : fance drink, before/ after dinner or desseet drinks.
The texture is brought by a long list of ingredients such as fresh cream, yogurt, milk,soja milk, cottage cheese, egg, ice cream or sorbet, honey, jam, fruit purées, but of course also blended and muddles fruits and veggies. And of course MONIN product
through the various ranges of syrups, sauces, liqueurs, fruit smoothie and cocktail mixes...
3. Combine and associate ingredients
a. Follow what the nature does
Mixing fruits, juices, and spirit of similar origin if often a winning choice.
Try mixing rum with tropical fruits like passion fruit, coconut, banana, lime, pineapple or guava.
Orchard fruit such as apples, pears, apricots, cherry plum will mix well, and so will the red fruits.
b. The bartender is a drinks chemical engineer
Knowing the composition of your ingredients will help you to make better mixes.For instance, gin may have some floral and spicy notes, lemon zest, cucumber peel, angelica roots, rose petal and saffron notes for some will mix weel with MONIN syrups such as Cinnamon, Rose, Frosted Mint, Cucumber and Jasmine.
c. The bartender can be a pastry cook 
Here is another means to find nice ideas of combinations : find yous inspirations from
desserts and chocolates.
Create the liquid version of your favorite dessert like the Ispahan Macaroon created by famous pastry chef Pierre Hermé which is a rose-raspberry-litchi macaroon. For this you will just need to use MONIN Rose and Macaroon syrups combined with MONIN Lychee liqueur, a lemon zest, and soda water for a resfreshing drink.
Find inspiration in the chocolate bestsellers such as dessert drinks combining MONIN Dark chocolate sauce with MONIN Tangerine syrup and a bit of vodka which will balance the drink and keep a gourmet velvet taste.

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