Kaytee Serving Kis Cocktails at Feastival on the Wharf, Kingscote April 2013
I’ve never really been a cocktail drinker. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound of ordering cocktails, rattling them off in front of peers like I’m a walking recipe book, the sophisticated look sitting at bar crossed legged, and the thought I can afford the expensive luxury. But I’ve never thought about drinking a cocktail because I like them.
Recently I realised that my ideal of a cocktail was misconstrued, and more like a snippet from a very girly and dramatic Hollywood film. I’ve since learned that cocktails come in multiple forms and something as simple, but as loved, as a Gin and Tonic, is also cocktail classed. I now find myself drinking lots of cocktails, and when falling short of rattling names start making them up. When there are so many cocktails out there, who would know if mine were fact or fiction.
I’ve also learnt that I am reluctant to cocktail preparation as when I need a drink, it’s usually now, and not anticipating for 15 minutes.
Wow how life has changed.
Since working in a distillery, making premium spirits and fantastic liqueurs, I’ve learnt to understand the feel in your mouth and it’s importance, flavours that work and those that don’t, and how to think about millilitres of alcohol instead of pixels of photography.
I’ve now changed my drinking habits. Be it a Vodka Soda, or a Caprioska, I now have a greater understanding for the who, what, where, when and why of cocktails.
Who – Who drinks cocktails? Well, who doesn’t. When you accept that the world’s most famous cocktail is a Gin and Tonic, you’ll realise that most people whether or not aware of it, drink cocktails. Of course you get crazy bar staff who shake and strain and stir and set fire to, the home-style mixology classes one would present their friends, and amateurs who mix 6 styles of alcohol, no mixer and wonder why it doesn’t set their pallet in heaven. Alas, I’ve even overheard an old businessman order a Cosmopolitan.
What – What is a cocktail? I feel like I can conclude anything can be a cocktail. Previously believing that preparation, high alcohol, expense and hassle defines a cocktails, I now see that anything that can work, can be. I’m getting into syrups and flavours myself. Things like a coriander syrup that’s sweet and herbaceous, yet sets off the drink to perfection.
Where – Everywhere? Although there’s a philosophy and understanding in the bar scene of ‘good cocktails’, and the skill and training involved, there are cocktails everywhere. There are great cocktail bars, and great bars serving cocktails. There are airlines, and restaurants, individuals and groups. We have a Margarita night regularly at my house!
When – Monthly if not more frequently at my place! Cocktails are a good evening drink, after work wind down, summer afternoon, winter warmer, actually, I think any time of day is ok!
Why - I don’t believe this heading is required. I have learnt that like most things, cocktails come in multiple shapes and forms. I’ve passed the mindset that snobs drink cocktails, they break the bank, and that they save the smallest glasses for the most mouth-watering and expensive drinks.
It’s taken awhile, but I’m on the bandwagon. Mixing drinks is a major part of my event work, and has become a passion. It’s incredible studying a drink and changing it into something vastly different. The KI Spirits offer a pretty great range to start playing with. My past summer favourite was simply Limoncello and Cranberry Juice; My winter warmer, Hot Chocolate with Vodka Chilli; My Spring get ready for Summer, Tom Yum Cocktail with Predator, Lime Juice and sugar syrup.
Next time you see us at a cocktail event, come and check out our latest mix, or jump onto Facebook or online and see a list of our cocktail recipes. Plus, we’re always happy to hear your favourites.
And, if I haven’t convinced you cocktails are in, join us in October for our hands on cocktail making class and mixing class, and make your own Gin. Further details to come.
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