Pick out a glass to put your cocktail in.
Decide on the sort of cocktail you want to make.
Get your heart broken. And we mean totally, irrevocably, gut-wrenchingly broken by someone you thought loved you but obviously never really did.
And while you are at it, you might as well also choose a spirit … sure, your actual spirit is broken, but the liquid spirit will dictate how you will proceed.
Maybe it goes a little like this …
On the way home from work, you come across a bar and decide to drown your sorrows. You don’t know what to order, so you ask the bartender what he recommends. He makes you a New York Sour. You like it, but you don’t love it. The red wine float reminds you of just how much your heart is bleeding. You go home.
The next night, you go back to the bar again. You show the bartender a picture of your ex-partner. He commiserates. You ask him to make you something similar to the night before but different (he knows what you mean…). He makes you a Whiskey Sour. That’s better, you think, but it still doesn’t quite hit the spot, but you drink it anyway. You go home.
On the third night, the bartender is shaking up a drink before your ass has even hit the barstool. It’s a Gimlet. Sure it may look a little girly in that glass, but still, the sharpness of the Lime is hard to resist. You have another. Then another. You go home and drunk dial your ex-partner and sob for twenty minutes … and you think perhaps Gin should not be your liquor of choice …
You go to work, to the bar, get served a new cocktail, and go home.
And you do it all again … and again … and again.
One day, instead of talking about your ex-partner, you ask the barman why he stirs some drinks instead of shaking them. He starts to explain to you about citrus and general bartending techniques. You find it interesting, and you start watching him more closely.
You go to work, you then go to the bar, you get served a new cocktail, you go home.
And you do it all again …
But this time, the bartender puts drinks in front of you and asks you if you can tell him what’s in them. It turns out to be a more interesting game than you thought. You learn about nuance, you learn about balance, and you learn about flavour.
You go to work, then to the bar, get served a new cocktail, and go home.
One night, you realise that there’s someone else who comes to the bar regularly. They always sit two stools away from you, and they always end up getting the same drink that you’ve just been served. You think it’s odd, but hey … each to their own …
You go to work, you go to the bar, you get served a new cocktail, you watch this person out of the corner of your eye, and you go home.
Soon that person starts talking to you about the drink you’ve both just been served, and a discussion starts about the distinction of different spirits. You start talking about whether there really can be terroir in Vodkas. Terroir in Vodka? What’s happening? You feel ashamed. You go home.
You go to work, to the bar, drink a new cocktail, discuss it with the person next to you, and go home.
You do it all again …
Soon you realise that it’s been eight months since you started going to the bar, and by this time, you’ve probably tried over 200 cocktails, half of those you’ve tried with that same person who sits near you. And you realise that perhaps it’s time you go out on your own.
So you ask that person to pick a drink they’ve really liked, and you buy the ingredients and suggest that they join you at your place so you can put into practice a little of what you’ve learned.
It’s only then that you realise that everything, whether it’s getting over heartbreak or learning to make some really good cocktails, it all takes time …
Choose a garnish