Tips to take your cocktails to the next level

We eat with our eyes first, and drink with them too, which is why the way a drink is presented is just as important as the liquid inside the glass. It’s one thing to buy a few ingredients and mix a drink at home, but a whole other ball game to make them just as Insta-worthy as what you’d get at Mzansi’s top bars.

So while cocktail hour may have moved from the bar to your kitchen, these simple tools and tricks will seriously up your cocktail game and make you look like a seasoned pro. Bottoms up!

1.Art of the garnish

When it comes to cocktails, garnishes are the ‘swipe right moment’ when looking at a drink. In addition to their visual appeal, garnishes add a unique flavour component to cocktails. So whether you’re after a sweet, bitter or salty flavour, utilise a garnish to subtly introduce flavour into your cocktail. From orange, to mint, to rosemary, olives and blueberries, we’re all about the garnish when mixing your favourite drink.

2.Break the ice

Let your drink be the topic of conversation at your virtual Zoom parties with flavoured ice cubes. Freeze anything from seasonal berries, to herbs in an ice tray with some sugar and water to spruce up the look and taste of any drink. You can even add an extra kick to your at-home creation by adding some extra alcohol to your ice cubes.

3.A glass for every cocktail

From highball glasses to martini glasses to champagne flutes and whisky tumblers, the right glass will not only instantly transform the appearance of your cocktail, but also enhance the entire drinking experience.

4.Take simple syrup to the next level

Infused syrups are an essential home bar ingredient that can turn a simple cocktail into something special. The best thing about it is, it’s easy and inexpensive to make. All you need is 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water and 1 sealable glass jar. Simply combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then let simmer for a few minutes. When cool, transfer to a sealable bottle or jar. You can add everything from fresh herbs to fruit to spies to your simple syrup. Allow the flavours to steep until infused, then strain and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

5.Puree it up

Fruit purees can have a big impact on your cocktails. They are delicious and add a fresher flavour than other processed fruit options like concentrate or juice. You can also freeze the puree, meaning they keep longer than fresh fruit. Just toss your favorite fruits into a blender, add simple syrup and a dash of lime and add to everything you can think of – get creative! We especially love ours in gin and tonic and prosecco.

6.Bling the rim

Adding a flavoured rim to your cocktail is another great way to add flavour and enhance visual appeal. Dip the rim of your cocktail in something that complements the flavours of the drink. Think salt for margaritas, sriracha or chili salt for bloody marys and cinnamon sugar for wintery cocktails with apple or pear flavours.

Running low on your home supply? Thirst’s got you covered. We’ll deliver your alcohol directly to your front door if you’re in JHB, CT or Durbs. We’re fully stocked and ready to roll. Visit to place your order.

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