Boasting ten years’ experience behind the bar, British mixologist Matt Standing has made drinks for thirsty punters in places as far-flung as Melbourne and Vancouver. After representing Canada in the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand, Matt has since swapped spirits for grapes, and now spends his days as a winemaker at the prestigious Ledson’s Winery in the heart of California’s Sonoma Valley. Read on for his finest cocktail making tips and a special recipe for a refreshing summer drink.
- 25 ml sugar syrup
- 25 ml lime juice
- 50 ml white rum
- 100 ml cloudy apple juice
- Fresh mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- Soda, for topping
MATT’S COCKTAIL MAKING TIPS
- Always use the largest amount of ice possible in the shaker and in the glass. This minimises dilution, as the liquid cools to the temperature of the ice faster due to greater the ice's surface area.
- Shake your cocktails hard and fast – it should sound like a machine gun going off.
- Always put the booze in last. If you make a mistake with the other ingredients, you will not run the risk of wasting any precious liquor.
- Taste your cocktails before serving to ensure balance. If it’s too sour just add sugar, or reduce excessive sweetness with citrus.
- If in doubt, stick to the classics. It’s a classic for a reason!
A mojito is traditionally made of five ingredients, which are mixed with ice into a highball. Dissolve the sugar in the water inside the vessel, then add the lime juice, a few mint leaves and some ice.
Rub a few mint leaves between your hands to develop the flavours, then place in the vessel and mix the ingredients together.
Fill the glass halfway with ice and add cloudy apple juice until the glass is half full. If opting for a little more pep in your summer beverage, now is the time to pour in the rum.
Fill the glass with soda water, garnish with lime and mint leaves and finish the drink by dropping in a cheerful straw.