Have you ever seen a bartender effortlessly mixing cool cocktails that blew your mind (and taste buds) and thought “Man, I wish I knew how to do that”? If the answer is yes, then keep reading to find out what’s the key to making good cocktails so you can amaze people at your next house party. A lot of people tend to get intimidated by mixology because it seems overly complicated, but the basics of it are really simple and with enough time and practice, anyone can learn to make cocktails. To give you a head start, we are listing some of the most important things you need to know about becoming a good bartender in the comfort of your home.

  1. Know the crucial ingredients

Liquor is the most important ingredient of any cocktail, which means it’s the one thing you should not skimp on but always purchase a quality brand. Your first instinct may be to try and disguise the taste of alcohol with other ingredients, but that is not how a cocktail should taste. Quite the contrary, the other ingredients are there only to complement the liquor, never to become the dominant flavour. Ice is another crucial part of most cocktails, and since insufficient ice will just melt fast and end up diluting the drink instead of chilling it, you should always have plenty of ice in your freezer if you plan on making cocktails.

  1. Have the proper equipment

If you’ve ever seen a professional bartender mix drinks, you have probably noticed they use a lot of specialized equipment. Luckily, there’s no need for you to spend a lot of money on high-end equipment if you just want to mix drinks at home, but you do need some of the basics, such as a shaker, a strainer, bar spoons, measuring cups, a sharp knife and, of course, plenty of glassware. You can add more equipment (or get fancier versions of what you already have) in time if you feel you need it, but the basics will keep you covered for most of your home cocktail needs.

  1. Hone your skills

After a lot of time and practice, you will develop your bartending skills to a decent level and you may develop a desire to learn more and become an expert. You have several good options if you want to hone your mixology knowledge and practice – there are numerous books and resources online dedicated to this craft which you can utilize, you can ask bartenders for advice or take a mixology course for a more hands-on approach. And if you’re looking for the best, there is no doubt that you will find the top experts in mixology in NYC. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with your own recipes for new drinks or modify some existing ones to your personal liking.

  1. 4. Keep it simple at first

One of the most common mistakes is attempting to emulate a particularly complex recipe you saw online and failing because you tried to do too much too soon. After all, you wouldn’t try to run a marathon the moment you bought a pair of running shoes, would you? The key is to start with some simple and classic recipes such as a Martini or gin and tonic to get the hang of the basics and develop some confidence. When you become more comfortable with mixing drinks and understand which flavours work together best, you can attempt some of the more complicated cocktails or even try to develop your own.

  1. Have fun with it

Making cocktails is ultimately meant to be a useful skill that will make your life easier, whether you’re mixing drinks for your friends at a party, for yourself after a hard day’s work or for that special someone in your life. This is why it’s important not to stress about not having the perfect ingredients or the absolute best equipment because, in the end, all that matters is having fun with it. So just relax, go with the flow and make yourself a refreshing cocktail.