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Cocktail making hints and tips

There is only one place to be at the end of the day, and that’s our sea view cocktail bar. When the sun is shining, you can relax on the sun terrace, and when there’s a bit of a storm brewing, you can settle at the bar to watch our mixologist at work, or just snuggle by the log fire.

But when you can’t make it to the north coast, here are some top hints and tricks from our resident mixologist, Ian, to help add a little bit of magic to your cocktail shaking.

Glassesfrozen-glassesFreeze your cocktail glasses beforehand to both frost up your glass for a pretty look, and to keep the cocktail cooler for longer.

ShakingshakingWhen shaking your cocktail a ‘dry shake’ is a cocktail shake without any ice, whereas a ‘wet shake’ is a shake with ice. Most cocktails need a good 12-15 seconds of vigorous shaking, but you should be able to tell when it’s ready by the thin layer of condensation that appears outside the cocktail shaker from the ice inside.

Strainingdouble-strainingAfter shaking, double strain your cocktails into their cocktail glass. Invest in both a fine strainer and a hawthorn strainer – the hawthorn strainer (with a coil) is held on top of the cocktail shaker, whilst the fine strainer is then held underneath – sometimes you may need to push the last bits through with a spoon. This results in a smooth, silky cocktail with no lumps of ice, pips or herbs.

Homemade ingredientssyrupsIf you’re really serious about your cocktail making, or just fancy really pushing the boat out, make your own cocktail additions, such as sugar syrups and saline solutions. Our mixologist makes a whole range of homemade ingredients, from chocolate and chipotle bitters to toffee popcorn syrup.

Ian suggests starting small to begin with with a simple sugar syrup – by combining equal parts of sugar and water and mixing together over a low heat so that it slowly dissolves. You can then make all sorts of different syrups from this recipe such as raspberry (add raspberries during the cooking process and push through a sieve) or ginger syrup (great in a classic Dark and Stormy) – just combine 500ml sugar syrup with 200ml fresh ginger juice (to make ginger juice peel and grate several slices of ginger and then squeeze the ginger through a cheesecloth to get the juice).

Finishing touchesspritzing Twist a piece of orange, lemon or lime peel over the top of the cocktail and as you squeeze out the zest over the drink, light it with a lighter so that the caramelized oils sit on the surface of the drink for an extra bit of flavor and smell. Finally, wipe the zest around the rim.

Nibblesthe-deliziaDon’t forget nibbles! Choose a few side snacks to really complement your cocktails – like chunks of dark chocolate and sugar dipped strawberries (which we serve with The Delizia) or slow roasted figs and slices of strong cheese (which we serve with The Fig-Aro).

If in doubt, visit the Bedruthan cocktail bar. Ian and the cocktail team can offer you hints and tips whilst they mix your favourite drink – they can even make your own personalised cocktail based on your favourite flavours and what is in season. The bar is open every day 3pm til late for both in house guests and day visitors, and there is plenty of parking and virgin cocktails for the designated drivers.