Here at MKHQ, we love ourselves a cocktail, especially with the holiday season in sight. So we asked Trish Brew, award-winning bartender and Fever-Tree ambassador, for her tips on how to make cocktails their absolute best this Christmas and New Years. And Trish sure delivered, with tips on mixing, how to set up your home bar, and why the Paloma is her summery drink of choice this time of year.
How to make cocktails like a pro
Trish, what’s the secret to creating a well-balanced, delicious cocktail?
Quality ingredients… and only a few of them! The general rule to make a balanced cocktail is three components: one strong ingredient (your spirit of choice), one sweet ingredient (mixer or syrup), and one sour or bitter ingredient (such as fresh lime or bitters). Then it’s all about ratio. The combinations are endless and the fun part is experimenting to find out what you enjoy the most.
What are your top three mixers every home bar should have?
For white spirit drinkers, the Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water is a great all-rounder and absolute staple for my 100+ gin collection! I’m a big fan of classic cocktails, so the Fever-Tree Blood Orange Soda has a vermouth quality about it. That makes it perfect for a long and refreshing twist on a negroni or a spritz. Last but certainly not least, everyone has ‘that bottle’ collecting dust that you simply don’t know what to do with… Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is your answer! Its robust ginger flavour will carry just about anything from whisky to rum to liqueurs. Just add a squeeze of citrus and you’ll have yourself a delicious concoction in no time!
Is there a ‘magic ratio’ between spirit and mixer?
Fever-Tree was created with the idea that if three-quarters of your drink is the mixer, mix with the best. This ratio is perfect to create a long and refreshing drink while still being able to taste the base spirit. We’re all different though, so it’s ok to add less mixer for a stiffer drink. You just don’t really want to exceed three-quarters as you risk drowning your beloved spirit of choice.
How do you pick the perfect variety of Fever-Tree tonic water?
When finding the perfect gin and tonic pairing, it’s easiest to compare flavours in the tonic to that of the gin. If the gin is a ‘classic dry’ gin, the Indian tonic will be harmonious. If the gin is floral, the Elderflower tonic will be gorgeous and for spice-laden gins, the Aromatic tonic with its blend of exotic spices will be perfect!
Are there any ingredients that can make or break a drink, or give it that extra edge?
Salt! A small amount of salt amplifies flavour and sweetness while dulling astringency. Also, Fino sherry is another great option as it’s basically the salt of the bartending world.
You’re an award-winning bartender with more than a decade of experience, plus the Fever-Tree ambassador for Australia. What’s the best thing about your job?
Getting to meet amazing people across Australia, be it bartender, distiller or consumer. It’s always exciting to help them find their new favourite flavour pairing. There’s something really satisfying about educating people on how to drink better! Also… unlimited Fever-Tree. WIN!
That sounds good to us! So if you HAD to pick one product from the range, what would it be?
This question is cruel because I love the choice that the Fever-Tree range provides. However, if I had to choose one, it has to be the Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic. It not only goes with every gin but also whisky, white rum, tequila, vermouth… the list goes on. It’s just so versatile.
And your favourite cocktail to make with a Fever-Tree mixer?
Currently the Paloma – it’s the bartender’s drink of summer! It’s simply good-quality white tequila topped with Fever-Tree Pink Grapefruit soda, served tall in a salt-rimmed glass. So simple, yet so delicious.
Thanks so much, Trish!
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