Glass Temperature Matters: Make sure the temperature of your glass matches the temperature of your drink. Even if you’re using ice, if you’re serving a chilled drink, stick your glass in the freezer for a few minutes before pouring—this ensures that your cocktail will remain nice and icy cold from the first to the last sip. For warm drinks (Irish coffee, Hot Toddies), pour some hot water inside the glass beforehand. Speaking of ice…
Know Your Ice Cubes: Using the ice from the fridge or that bag you bought at the grocery store may be convenient, but any distinguished bartender or drinker knows that it negatively impacts the presentation, consistency, and overall enjoyment of the beverage. While these may do the job for a casual pool party, for fancier occasions, you want that to use a single chunk, cube, or even sphere of ice. Trays that produce ice of this size can easily be found online.
Use Fresh Mixers: Sure, buying a carton of orange or pineapple juice at the store is easier, but nothing beats the taste of fresh ingredients in your drinks, from fruit to even syrups. If you’re serious about your bartending, there are even specific juicers and siphons that allow you to make anything from a fruit cocktail to soda water. But if you are going to use store bought cola, at least use individualized cans rather than two liter bottles. This also applies to vermouth, which should only be used up to 30 days after being opened.
Shaken or Stirred: While the majority of the people know how to order their martinis thanks to countless James Bond movies, know whether to shake or stir a drink based on its ingredients. Remember: shake cocktails if they are thick and contain flavorful mixers (such as juices), and stir those that include distilled liquors and light mixers (such as tonic water).
Use a Strainer: While it is best to use ice to mix drinks, this ice will have already begun to melt by the time the mixing is complete. Once finished shaking or stirring, use a strainer to pour the mixed drink into a fresh glass along with fresh ice to ensure ideal taste and presentation.