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Cocktails at home I Photo from Shutterstock
Cocktails at home I Photo from Shutterstock

Drink This: fun cocktail recipes to make at home

Fancy a tipple, but you can't go out? Bring out your inner bartender and make these delicious cocktail recipes at home.

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Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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We've asked our readers what's their favourite cocktails are so we can teach them how to make it at home. They asked for G&T, old fashioned, whisky sour, Bees Knees, Moscow Mule, and Dirty Martini recipes. 

Now, get your hands dirty and get crackin' on these drinks. 

Tips: If you have no bar tools at home, you can easily use readily available tools from your kitchen.  

Bar spoon = regular spoon
Shaker = use your metal water tumblers 
Strainer = get your mom's kitchen strainer, it will do
Mixing glass = any glass or jars will do  

RECOMMENDED: Need supplies? Check out these liquor delivery services. Click here to know how you can help Hong Kong's bar industry during the pandemic

Cocktail recipes you can make at home

Gin and tonic
What you need to make a gin and tonic

1. Gin and tonic

Making a regular gin and tonic is the easiest and fastest cocktail you can whip up at home. You don't need to be a scientist to get the perfect serve, just follow your taste preference to guide you with the fruits, herbs, and other botanicals to use. For this recipe we wanted to make an herbal and spicy kick to the regular g&t.

Ingredients:

• 60ml London Dry Gin (you can use any juniper-forward gin like Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, or you can up your gin game by using craft gins like The Botanist, Gin Mare, Monkey 47)
• 3-inch fennel sliver
• 150ml chilled tonic water
• 6 pcs red peppercorns
• 1 slice grapefruit 
• ice cubes 

Steps:

1) Chill your gin and glass in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour so. The colder the gin and the glass so you can enjoy a cold drink.
2) Fill your glass with ice. Use bigger ice cubes so that it won't melt easily and dilute your drink. 
3) Pour in the gin over the ice. Stir around the edge and don't stir incessantly so as not to water down your cocktail. 
4) Add in the grapefruit slice, fennel, and red peppercorns. 
5) Top up with tonic water. We recommend a ratio of one part gin to three parts tonic, but it is entirely up to your preference. Taste and fix the ration until you get your desired mix. 
6) Enjoy!

Old Fashioned
What you need to make an Old Fashioned

2. Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned is a favourite tipple since the 1800s. The simple recipe often uses bourbon or rye whiskies, but you can use your preferred Scotch or Japanese whisky to create this recipe. All you need are four basic ingredients, and you are set. 

Ingredients:

• 60ml Rye or Bourbon 
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters 
• 1 sugar cube 
• orange peel for garnish
• ice ball 

Steps: 

1) Add the sugar cube in the glass and soak it with two dashes of Angostura bitters then muddle. If you don't have sugar cubes, regular sugar is ok, or you can use sugar syrup (at least 10 ml - equal parts water and sugar). 
2) Fill the glass with ice.
3) Add the whiskey and stir well until the glass is cold to the touch. 
4) Expel the oil from the orange peel on top of the glass then drop the peel into the glass. 
5) Serve and enjoy!

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Whisky Sour 
What you need to make a whisky sour

3. Whisky Sour 

Whisky sour has always been a favourite go-to cocktail for bargoers and a lot of bartenders have created various renditions of this classic drink. We can start with the basic then you can experiment with flavours once you've mastered. And yes, this one contains egg whites, (please make sure not to include the yolk!) it's what makes your whisky sour frothy and creamy!

Ingredients:

• 30ml whisky
• 15ml fresh lemon juice
• 15ml sugar syrup
• 15ml ml egg whites
• 3 dash of Angostura bitters
• lemon peel for garnish
• ice cubes

Steps:

1) Add the ice and all of the ingredients into your shaker (or your tumbler) and shake hard for about 20 seconds or until the shaker is too cold to the touch. Taste your drink to make sure the egg white is perfectly mixed. 
2) Strain the mix into a glass filled with ice. 
3) Add three dashes of bitters on the froth. 
4) Expel oils from the lemon peel, then drop the peel on your glass. 
5) Serve. 

Bees Knees
What you need to make a Bees Knees

4. Bees Knees

A Bees Knees is an aged old cocktail created during Prohibition Era. The phrase 'bee’s knees' means 'the best' or 'of 'excellent quality.' During the prohibition most bootlegger gins are not as smooth and good as what we have it today. To improve the taste, they added citrus and honey to cover its aroma and taste profile and that was the beginning of this favourite tipple. Made with gin, lemon juice, and honey, it's a simple recipe that you can make and enjoy at home. 

Ingredients:

• 60ml gin
• 25ml fresh lemon juice
• 15ml honey syrup (in a saucepan, heat equal parts honey and water until it gets a syrup consistency) 
• lemon peel twist for garnish
• ice cubes

Steps:

1) Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.
2) Strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. 
3) Garnish with a lemon peel twist. 
4) Serve and enjoy. 

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Moscow Mule
What you need to make a Moscow Mule

5. Moscow Mule

Born in 1940s, this classic cocktail recipe has always been a bar menu staple until today. It's a perfect combination of vodka and ginger beer, add the citrus for sour, and you get a spiked thirst quencher. The history of this drink started when the owners of three ailing products – Smirnoff vodka, ginger beer, and a copper mug – got together to create a drink to sell their produce. The drink was an instant hit and the sales of Smirnoff had more than tripled in the 1950s! 

Ingredients:

• 60ml vodka
• 15ml fresh lime juice
• 180ml ginger beer
• fresh mint for garnish
• ice cubes

Steps:

1) Add in all ingredients in a glass (no need for fancy copper mugs if you don't have at home).
2) Add ice and stir.
3) Garnish with a lime wedge and mint on top. 
4) Serve and enjoy!

Dirty Martini
What you need to make a Dirty Martini

6. Dirty Martini

Created in 1901, this cocktail recipe is a twist to the classic martini only with extra olive brine. The creator, New York bartender John O'Connor, found inspiration for the Dirty Martini in the regular martini's famous olive garnish – by muddling the olive into the drink and adding a splash of olive brine. 

Ingredients:

• 75ml of gin
• 15ml dry vermouth
• 15ml of olive juice
• 3 green olives on a cocktail pick

Steps:

1) Pour all ingredients into a glass with ice cubes. 
2) Stir well until you get the right coldness.  
3) Strain in the chilled martini in a separate glass. 
4) Garnish with three olives. 
5) Serve. 

We will keep updating our recipe recommendations, so, if you want us to share the recipe of your favourite cocktails, just buzz us at @timeouthk on Instagram. 

Learn from the experts!

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