The 4 Secrets To Making The Perfect Cocktail

Craft mixologists have their mustaches and denim aprons for a reason… they put love and take pride into their drinks. Craft cocktails aren’t some lime wedge adorned vodka soda thrown at you by Jeremy wearing his snapback and styled stubble. There are reasons craft cocktails take so long and cost so much, of which we plan to show you so you can make that perfect drink.

So why are craft cocktails at speakeasies so much better than everywhere else? What are the rules to make sure your cocktail is absolutely perfect? Well, it is pretty simple but you definitely want to make sure you check a few boxes that are crucial to making sure it is the best drink it can be. These rules go for all cocktail recipes and once you start using them people there will be a major uptick in drink enjoyability.

Here is a video showing how to make amazing moscow mules using the 4 principles to making the perfect cocktail

I learned these tips at a Pinterest conference where all attendees were broken into different sessions… I decided to get drunk and stay a little extra at the expert mixologist session. Look who’s laughing now… my drink articles views are through the roof! ;). These tips are part of the mixologist handbook and now I use them when making all of my drinks! See my drink recipes here if you’d like.

So what are the rules to make the best cocktail?

When making a drink for people you need to give people an entire experience! In order to give people an experience you need you need to appeal to four senses.

1. Taste

You must make it taste good of course. This is pretty self explanatory and the most common of the four. However, when making a drink be sure you aren’t making to sweet, too carbonated, too much of an alcohol taste, not enough of an alcohol taste. If you are making it for someone you also want to make sure you know how tolerable they are to strong drinks or sweet drinks etc.

A good tip is to make two drinks and make each version a little different… then after they taste it you give them the one they like most. This eludes to tip #4 a little as well! If you are making Moscow mules then this is extremely important because there are some ginger beers that are NOT good thus make sure you know what you are doing. See here for the best ginger beer to use in Moscow mules.

2. Aroma

The drink has to smell good and give off a great aroma. This is why you will see craft cocktails always having fresh herbs on the top as you get hit with that fresh smell that accentuates the drink before you dive into it. It’s like the smell of flowers when you walk into the house or that infectious smell of the Cosmopolitan in Vegas where already your mind is being told “I like this” before you even do anything. Hitting that smell sense is big and preps your next senses to enjoy the drink even more. It’s almost like stretching or warming up before you play a sport… it isn’t mandatory but it sure adds to your performance if you do it!

3. Appearance

This is the most shallow of them all but it is 2nd most important! Remember this when cooking anything! “You eat with your eyes first” – Tieghan Gerard (Halfbaked Harvest, Top food blogger & cookbook author). This is invaluable and one of the best things I have ever heard in the cooking world. It is also easy for her to say as her pictures and food is absolute artistry.

Anyways, definitely make sure your drink looks good… if you have nice glasses then use those… not plastic cups. Add in the fresh herbs and citrus wedges. Google your recipe and see how you can make whatever you are making the pretties version of itself! Sprinkles of cinnamon on top, cherries, herbs, nice glassware… whatever you have at your disposal… use it!

4. Ambiance

This one is on you as I can’t make you entertaining or less awkward. However, just make your place the perfect setting to enjoy your drink. Set a nice drinking mood… clean your place up, dim the lights, light a nice smelling candle, have some good music playing, start a fire in your yard? Whatever you have to add to a perfect ambiance make sure you’ve got it happening.

A nice tasting shot is a great starter! People love shots and maybe it will quell some nerves if you are on a date or else it just makes your party more fun as people get tipsy a touch faster. Light a shot on fire! That will get people going… checkout my top 6 shot recipes for hosting here! An espresso martini like this recipe, is another great addition to the mood as the espresso will give everyone that energy and happiness boost!

Best tip to add ambiance!

If you want to go a step further… maybe the ideal way to add ambiance and appealing to all senses is by infusing your liquor. Infusing liquor is the greatest lie in mixologizing (that’s a word right). As what sounds extremely impressive is really just you pouring liquor into a jar and adding 1-2 ingredients then letting it sit for 1-7 days… or even 1 hour and just lying to your guests. Infused liquor makes you look like some planned, smart super-hero that would do anything to host people or impress your date for years to come. It will impress them and has you already 5 steps ahead on appealing to all of the senses!

Per my mention in #1… another way to add to the ambiance is giving them the choice of the drinks so they drink the better one. This gives people/your date a special feeling that you really want to be a host, are kind and you are putting their experience ahead of your own.

Hopefully you liked these tips and are on the way to making the best cocktails you have ever made! Leave a comment below if you enjoyed it, had any questions or think more could be added 🙂


Hola! I’m Fraser & this site is a guide to help you reach your goals, travel the world and create amazing food in between. Get inspiration for travel, recipes & to follow your dreams.

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