Whether you’re soaking up the sunshine in your back garden – or breathing in fresh foreign air… Hack hydration this summer with a vegan happy hour.

Measuring

Following the measurements provided in recipes is key to getting the most out of the taste of your cocktail. Over, or under do the alcohol and mixers, and you could end up with a not-so-satisfying cocktail. To ensure you hit the right measurements, we recommend you get your hands on a Jigger. This is an hourglass-shaped stainless steel measuring tool that will help you add the correct measurements of alcohol to your cocktail.

Shaking

This part of a cocktail method ensures the drink is well mixed. Plus, shaking a cocktail or mocktail also chills, dilutes and aerates it. Most cocktails are to be shaken with ice, so make sure you put enough into your shaker (or the ice will melt quickly and dilute your cocktail). You can also roll your cocktail in a shaker too.

Stirring

The secret to stirring a cocktail is to let your fingers create the movement and not your wrist. Add a bar spoon to your mixing glass, and then add ice (if required). Aim to be as quiet as possible when stirring for the best tasting results.

Straining

This removes any lumps that could float to the top and ruin the cocktail. It’s very similar to a sieve, as it separates the liquid from solids.

Swizzling

Get a stick (or a spoon if you don’t have a stick) and just lightly swizzle your cocktail contents in the glass so that it infuses the liquids together.

Blending

Pop all the ingredients into a blender and blitz together. If you are using ice make sure it’s crushed so you can
achieve the correct smooth consistency.

Layering

You will probably need to get in a fair amount of practice for this technique. Whilst layering is simply pouring different ingredients on top of each other, the weights of various ingredients affects how well they separate in the glass. Most recipes should guide you with this, but if you are making your own just give thought to what is the heaviest and lightest layer.

Infusion & Maceration

For a more intense taste you can soak herbs, spices, nuts and fruit in alcohol for duration of time so the alcohol can immerse their flavours. If you ever feel up to the challenge of designing your own cocktail, this would be a great way to add natural sweeteners and flavourings.

Read our full essential guide to classic cocktails in Issue 11 of Cook Vegan.