The USA Powerball lottery results once again dangled its jackpot prize for the lucky player to claim – we’re sure it’s due to be dished out very soon! And with the current jackpot prize sitting on $173 million for Saturday’s draw there should be a throng of players entering for their chance to win the incredibly large cash prize. Whoever is the next Powerball winner will have 173 million reasons to celebrate and no doubt host a party with all their loved ones. And what’s the best ingredient at a party besides a good laugh? It could only be your fully-stocked bar ready and waiting to create some lottery-celebrating cocktails that will satisfy your guests’ every whim.
For the best advice regarding a well-stocked bar we turned to New York’s cocktail guru Jim Meehan for his ideas. Meehan’s wealth of wisdom extends far beyond anyone else in the industry, and it certainly matches the Powerball jackpot cash prize. So what are these dashes of delightful tips Meehan revealed?
Firstly, how to attain the collection of cocktail ingredients so you’re never short when it’s time to celebrate. Meehan says, “Pick your favourite cocktail – such as the Martini, Manhattan or Margarita – and buy all the ingredients to make it. The next time you want to make cocktails at home, pick another drink, and do the same. After the fourth or fifth recipe, you’ll begin to have a sizable collection of bottles, and you’ll be able to start trying new recipes you’re less familiar with.” Sage advice for someone on a budget, but as a lottery winner you could simply go out and buy all the ingredients of your favourite cocktails to get started on a strong footing!
Which cocktail is top of your list for a celebration? Tell us - your comments earn lotto points!
Some of the most popular cocktails of all time are crafted from the simplest recipes, let’s take a look at some must-know cocktail recipes and Meehan’s advice regarding its presentation and ingredients:
The Old Fashioned – a throwback to the first-ever cocktail, this is simply the spirits (any kind is acceptable) mixed with sugar muddled in water to form a syrup, and a dash of bitters. This one will be close to your heart if you're a Mad Men fan.
And according to our cocktail expert Meehan, bitters is important in every cocktail so he suggests beginning with a bottle of Angostura Bitters and expand when required to an orange bitters and Peychaud’s Bitters for the flavour explosion in your cocktail that will set it apart from the rest.
Speaking of cocktails that stand out from the rest, the Martinez is a gin-based drink the cocktail connoisseur refers to as the “grandfather to the Martini” with the deep red hue of port and the flavours of sweet vermouth, maraschino or curacao, and bitters.
Mixers are also an important base to every cocktail, so your bar should be stocked with enough club soda, tonic water, ginger ale and ginger beer - go for 5-7 oz. bottles as opposed to cans and bigger bottle which will lose their fizz. Depending on your preferences you could keep a cola, pink grapefruit soda for high ball or fizzy cocktails and diet drink options, as well as a bottle of Prosecco, Champagne or Cava.
The French 75 is the impeccable example of the fizzy cocktail that delights at every party – with gin at its base and freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar and sparkling wine to accompany you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of cocktail garnishing whilst crafting this drink. Meehan suggests the main citruses and garnishes to keep in your well-stocked bar include lemons, limes, oranges and a jar of olives (stuffed or not) and cocktail cherries.
And finally, the Mint Julep is a cocktail that maybe created from any of the spirits available in your bar, from cognac and rum to rye whiskey and bourbon, to a combination of these. You can become innovative with the preparation process, making the julep your own. There are many different ways to prepare this refreshing icy drink – get creative with it and don’t be shy!
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