Lesson One: Mixology

Chapter Five: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

In French cooking, first you master the basics—learn how to wrestle all the traditional ingredients into submission, assemble the grand old sauces, and turn everyday, unexciting things like sliced potatoes into bits of sensory heaven (secret: you deep-fry the potatoes twice and they puff up into little golden pillows). It takes years. Only then do you get to play around with exotic tropical ingredients, startling new textures, sci-fi flavor combinations, and all that fun stuff. In mixology, the same principles apply—or should. Luckily, in one important way mixology isn’t like French cooking. You can master the basics with a couple of weeks of steady practice.

After that, you’re on your own. Substitute away. Rhubarb for raspberry? Why not? Basil for mint, yuzu (that’s a particularly sour and costly Japanese citrus fruit) for lemon, vanilla vodka for rum? You’re the general. If you want to mix unflavored gelatin into that Martini, slice it into sheets and stack them in an inverted cone interleavened with sheets of jellied Manhattan, g’ahead. Tired of tequila, bored with bourbon, jaded by gin? That’s what infusions are for—herbs, fruits, spices, soaked for days or weeks in the liquor of your choice. Habañero pepper–vanilla vodka? Give it a try. It can’t hurt. As for us, though, we’ll be the guys in the corner hunched over rye Old-Fashioneds, shots of Mezcal and ice-cold Martinis. As in gin. Really? Did you have to ask?

Whiskey Sour

Ryan Demonstrates How To Make a Whiskey Sour.

Whiskey Sour
Strain 1 Egg White into mixing glass
Add 1.5 oz Four Roses Bourbon
Add 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Add 1 oz Simple Syrup
Dry shake contents
Add Ice
Hard Shake contents
Strain into cocktail glass

Reproduced from “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich.

Now Click on the “Lesson Two – Recipes” button below to continue your lessons on how alcohol beverages are made.