The cocktail shaker of choice for most bartenders. The Boston shaker is a two-piece cocktail shaker that features a glass and a larger metal tin (known as a ‘can’). To make a cocktail using this shaker, put all the ingredients into the larger metal tin, then place the glass inside the tin and tap firmly to create an airtight seal. Then you’re ready to shake!
A bar spoon is effectively just a really long teaspoon! But, you wouldn’t use a bar spoon to measure out your cocktails, this spoon is designed for stirring and its long length means you can stir in even the tallest of glasses.
The perfect shaker if you’re just getting started. The cobbler shaker is an all-in-one cocktail shaker, so you can shake and strain using just this piece of equipment. This shaker comes in three parts, a tin, a lid with a strainer and a cap style lid. This is a must-have piece of equipment if you’re looking to shake up cocktails at home but don’t want to shell out on a bunch of different tools. If you’re not overly fussy, you won’t even need a jigger to measure standard recipe volumes, as the cap is usually around 25ml.
A French shaker is pretty much a cross between a Boston shaker and a Cobbler shaker. This shaker featured a curved design similar to a Cobbler, but, like the Boston, it doesn’t have an integrated strainer.
Keeping your cocktail chunk free, the Hawthorne straining features a flat strainer with a spring attached to the rim. This strainer is great for holding on to fruity bits that you’ve shaken with your cocktail and fits perfectly into the tin side of a Boston shaker.
A cocktail jigger, or spirit measure, is necessary for creating the perfect ratios in your cocktails...and the perfect ratios equal the perfect taste! A jigger is a double-ended spirit measure, with a single (25ml) measure on one end and a double (50ml) measure on the other.
The Julep strainer got its name because it was originally created in order to serve mint juleps. This strainer is curved with holes across its surface. The julep strainer is typically slightly smaller than a Hawthorne strainer and is better when straining from a mixing glass rather than a tin.
Designed to smash and mix (muddle) cocktail ingredients together, a muddler is great for injecting a burst of fresh citrus from lemons or limes at the bottom of a glass, or for crushing fresh mint for an extra fresh mojito.
SPIRITS & ALCOHOL
Creating the perfect balance of flavours is an important part of cocktail making, and this means choosing the right alcohol for your drink. Although many cocktails call for a particular spirit - here at Funkin we love experimenting with new flavour combinations.
An aperitif is a drink designed to be enjoyed before a meal. The idea behind an aperitif is that it stimulates the appetite and complements your upcoming meal. This means your favourite sweet cocktails are out (that would be like dessert before dinner). Instead, aperitif cocktails take on a more bitter note that you find in cocktails such as the Negroni and Aperol Spritz.
Absinthe is traditionally green in colour and is known for being an extra-strong spirit. There have been many myths and legends about absinthe, the most popular being that it will cause you to hallucinate. However, none of this is true! It’s actually just a really tasty anise-flavoured spirit that creates great tasting cocktails - just don’t use too much, it may not make you hallucinate, but its 45–74% ABV definitely puts it at the top of the ‘blow your socks off’ chart!
A sweet Italian liqueur with an almond-like flavour. Amaretto can be drunk neat, as a mixer in a long drink or cocktail, or even in cakes and desserts. Despite its almond flavour, Amaretto isn’t always made using the nut. In fact, the most popular amaretto brand, Disaronno, make their famous version using is an infusion of apricot kernel oil with "absolute alcohol, burnt sugar, and the pure essence of seventeen selected herbs and fruits".
Shake up your own amaretto cocktails.
Bourbon is an American whisky and is made from a grain mash that contains at least 51% corn. This is contrasted with Scotch whiskey which is typically made from malted grains. This means these classic spirits have a distinctly different taste. Bourbon tends to be a sweeter drink when compared to scotch.
Brandy might not be the first spirit you think of when you want a cocktail, but this underrated liquor is definitely worth shaking up! Brandy is produced by distilling wine and some are aged in wooden casks creating a smooth caramel colour (some are simply dyed with caramel in order to simulate the ageing effect). The Metropolitan cocktail is probably the most popular cocktail made with brandy.
Campari is an Italian alcoholic bitter liqueur and is considered an apéritif. With a strong bittersweet orange flavour to match its red colour, adding a dash of Campari can elevate the flavour profile of your serve in an instant. Made by infusing herbs and fruit, the Campari is an essential ingredient in the classic Negroni cocktail.
Check out our campari cocktails for more ideas.
Known for its bright blue taste and for adding a little zing to a Blue Lagoon cocktail, Curaçao liqueur is made using the dried peel of the bitter orange laraha. This citrus fruit is grown on the Dutch island of Curaçao (we’ll let you guess where it got its name from).
A digestif is effectively the opposite of an aperitif. These drinks are designed to be consumed after a large dinner. They’re not a dessert drink as such, instead, they’re boozy numbers that pack just the right punch for a full stomach. Think Old Fashioned or a Manhattan if you’re looking for the perfect Digestif cocktail.
A liqueur is a sweet fruity mix of spirit and additional flavourings. Typically less alcoholic than a spirit alone, a liqueur helps to add a syrupy edge to your drink that’s perfect as an after dessert treat. They are created by mixing a base spirit, such as brandy, gin or rum, with sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices.
It’s easy to get liquor and liqueur mixed up. Liquor is the base distilled alcohol in your drink. A spirit. Vodka, rum, gin and tequila are liquors. So, if there’s nothing else added to it, it’s a liquor, if it’s been sweetened with sugar, fruit or spices, it’s a liqueur.
Port is typically a fortified sweet red wine, although it can come in white varieties also. The perfect partner to a cheese board or a dessert.
Fancy mixing a port cocktail? Check out our recipes.
First created in the Caribbean, rum is the sweetest of all the spirits. It’s made by fermenting and then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. There are a range of different types of rum; white rum, dark rum, spiced rum and coconut rum. White rum is a sweeter, more subtle flavour than darker varieties, due to the fact that it is aged for less time. Dark rum packs a more powerful punch. It starts its life as a clear white rum, and is then aged in a charred oak or wooden barrels creating a darker colour and bolder flavour.
Spiced and flavoured rums, such as coconut rum, are simply white or dark rum with added ingredients to create the flavour profile you need in your cocktail.
Want some more rum inspiration? See our rum cocktail recipes to mix up your own.
Schnapps can take many forms and flavours. At its most basic, Schnapps is a distilled spirit, made by fermenting fruit juices with a base liquor. The most widely available schnapps in the UK is Peach Schnapps, such as Archers.
Sherry is actually one of the oldest wines around, but you wouldn’t want to replace your favourite pinot with sherry! As a fortified wine, sherry is typically much stronger than a glass of red. Sherry is aged using the solera system. This often overlooked drink comes in a range of different flavour profiles, from sweet to dry, and is typically viewed as a dessert drink.
The term spirit is used to describe a base liquor. Effectively a spirit and a liquor are exactly the same thing.
Made from the blue agave plant, tequila is a bit like marmite - you either love it or you hate it - although this might just be due to too many tequila slammers at the weekend. Tequila actually has a much milder taste than other spirits and its distinctive agave taste blends perfectly with lime to make a much loved Margarita.
The fun doesn’t stop at a margarita, find more great tequila cocktail serves.
Triple sec is a strong, sweet and colorless orange-flavored liqueur, flavoured with Curaçao oranges. Similar in flavour to Curaçao, though triple sec tends to have a drier quality due to a different distillation process.
A fortified wine flavoured with herbs and spices, and then sweetened. Originally vermouth was marketed for medicinal purposes, it is now enjoyed as an aperitif. There are a range of different vermouth available, from the dry vermouth, an essential ingredient for a classic martini, to sweeter versions that taste great in a negroni.
Mix up your own cocktails with vermouth with Funkin.
The name vodka is thought to come from the Russian phrase ‘zhizennia voda’ meaning ‘water of life’. It’s an essential ingredient in your home bar, and forms the base of a range of great cocktails!
Vodka mixes perfectly with a whole host of different flavours, get some recipe inspiration with our vodka cocktails.
There are actually a whole host of different types of whiskey available. The three main types are: Irish, scotch and bourbon. Firstly, Irish whiskey has a super smooth flavour and is made using malt. Scotch whiskey, on the other hand, is made using malt or grain and there are actually laws in place to ensure this drink is perfect every time. Both Irish and Scotch whiskey must be aged for 3 years! Finally, Bourbon is an American-style whisky made from corn.
Mix up a whiskey cocktail at home with our recipe ideas.
INGREDIENTS & MIXERS
Agave syrup is used in place of sugar syrup in cocktails to keep the calories down. It is made using juice from the blue agave plant, with its high fructose content making it sweeter than standard sugar syrup.
Check out our agave cocktail syrup.
Cocktail bitters are an aromatic, concentrated infusion of botanicals in an alcohol base. They are great for enhancing the flavour of your serve by adding a dash here and there. The most well known brand of bitters is Angostura Bitters, which is made from a secret blend of tropical herbs and plants.
A bubblegum gin and tonic is fast becoming the most loved drink around, and we can see why. The blend of gin, bursting with botanical flavours, and sweet bubblegum topped with either lemonade or tonic. Mmm. What’s not to love?
It’s really easy to make your own at home too! All you need is your favourite gin, your choice of mixer and our bubblegum cocktail syrup. Our syrup uses natural sugars from beetroots to mimic the retro sweet flavour whilst also adding a baby pink colour to cocktails.
If you love your cocktails sherberty sweet, you’ll want to add citric syrup to your home bar. Inspired by the sweet shop flavours of pic and mix, citric syrup blends perfectly with flavoured vodkas for creating your own unique cocktail taste.
Make your Pornstar Martini sing with a glug of passion fruit syrup, or add some zing to a bellini or mojito with a dash of rhubarb cocktail syrup. Fruity syrups are really concentrated, extra sweet and a massive must-have if you really want your cocktails to sing!
Ever wondered why your favourite cocktail tasted so fruity and delicious? It’s likely they’ve been made with real fruit puree. You can pretty much make puree from any kind of fruit, just give it a good mash and voila! Puree. Ok, there’s definitely a little bit more to it than that, but the main thing is that in order to make great tasting fruity cocktails, you need great tasting fruit.
Don’t fancy spending your weekend mashing up and straining your favourite fruits? Our cocktail purees are made with 100% real fruit (and a dash of sugar). Plus, they’re what the professionals use!
Ever wondered how you make the ombre effect of a tequila sunrise? The answer is grenadine syrup, and it’s a must-have ingredient in your cocktail making arsenal. Made with a blend of different tasty fruits, perfect for finishing off a super sweet and flavourful serve! Our exact grenadine recipe is a closely guarded secret, but we can tell you it does contain lemons from Sicily, three varieties of strawberry, Serbian morello cherries, wild blackberries, and a hint of rich vanilla.
Got some grenadine to use up? Discover new grenadine cocktail recipes.
Earthy and inviting, hemp syrup gives cocktails a herbal, green tea inspired taste. It’s versatile flavour is designed to complement cocktails and work with a plethora of spirits, including tequila, gin and rum.
Learn to mix up your own cocktails using our hemp syrup.
A mixer is really anything you mix your spirit with. If you’re making a long drink, such as a cuba libre which is made with rum and cola, your mixer will be cola. We like to use the term mixer to describe our cartons of pre-mixed cocktail ingredients. Funkin’s cocktail mixers have everything you need to create great tasting cocktails in no time at all - just add your favourite liquor.
If we want to get specific, oleo-saccharum is actually Latin for 'oil-sugar’. It’s made using three simple ingredients - orange and lemon peel and sugar. Mix these two ingredients together and leave it to sit for 3 hours to a day. During this time the sugar draws out the natural oils from the fruit skin, and there you have it, you’ve just created your very own fragrant syrup.
Don’t fancy making up your own? We’ve bottled up the perfect Oleo Saccharum for you.
Vanilla syrup is a great way to add an extra layer of sweetness to both cocktails and coffee - and even better: coffee cocktails! There are a whole range of cocktails that use vanilla syrup. Add to rum based cocktails for a warming and subtle sweetness, dribble into mulled wine to add sweetness and depth or mix with vodka for some classic favourite cocktail flavours.
Simple Syrup/Sugar syrup
Heat up a 50/50 mix of water and sugar, leave to cool, and you have sugar syrup. Also referred to as simple syrup, you’ll find this ingredient in a huge range of cocktails, from daiquiris and white russians to martinis and mai tais.
Want to know what to use your sugar syrup in? We’ve rounded up the recipes that use sugar syrup in one handy place.
Sour mix is a staple ingredient in an amaretto sour, and is a mix of lemon juice, lime juice and sugar syrup. You can mix up your own, or we’ve done the hard work for you with our pre-mixed sour mix carton.
Fancy shaking up something sour? See our sour mix cocktail recipes.
Tonic water is another ingredient that started its life as a medicine and was originally created as a treatment for malaria. Now, it’s just the absolutely perfect partner to gin. The nation loves a G & T, but tonic doesn’t have to take a back seat when you fancy something a bit more cocktail-y. It’s actually the perfect ingredient for making a sparkling cocktail, like a bramble spritz.
TERMS & TECHNIQUES
Build In Glass
When you put the ingredients straight into the glass, that’s called building in the glass you will use to serve your drink. Probably the easiest way to make a cocktail...but also the least fun!
Sometimes mixing the perfect cocktail takes precise measurements, and sometimes it takes a dash of this or a splash of that. Effectively, just a little bit - but really, as much as you want.
The most common ‘dirty’ cocktail is a dirty martini. What makes this classic drink dirty is the addition of olive juice. In it’s purest sense, to make a drink “dirty,” means changing the colour or taste by altering the ingredients.
Double straining means, well, straining twice. To do so, you strain through a regular strainer and then directly through a finer mesh strainer. This removes small bits of fruit and ice, which can ruin the appearance of a drink.
A dram is a Scottish term and simply means a small amount of spirit - usually Scotch whisky.
Many alcoholic drinks fall into either the ‘dry’ or ‘sweet’ category. A dry drink is one that has less sugar, and so taste, well...dry. It’s most commonly used when talking about the dry martini.
Floating is a technique where a liquor is layered at the top of a drink. The cocktails produced with this technique are known as either a Pousse-café or a layered drink.
A garnish. The finishing touches. The piece de resistance, you might say. The garnish is what really sets off your cocktail. It can be simple, with a sliced section or fruit, or extravagant and garish.
Infusing in cocktail making is a technique where you place an ingredient, such as fruits or spices into a liquid for a period of time in order to impart this flavour. This is commonly seen with flavoured spirits, such
A long drink is the term used for everyday drinks, such as a gin and tonic. Typically, in a long drink the alcohol, if present, is not heavily concentrated.
Mashing in cocktail making is exactly what it sounds like. Some recipes call for using a muddler to smash the ingredients to draw out the flavours. The most popular recipe to use this technique is the mojito where the mint is lightly mashed to draw out the flavour.
Muddling and mashing mean pretty much the same thing - using a muddler to mash cocktail ingredients to draw out the flavour.
Mulling is a technique whereby a drink is heated, sweetened, and flavoured - usually with spices. The most popular mulled drink is mulled wine, the perfect festive warmer.
A neat drink is a spirit served on its own. Brandy and whiskey are the most popular spirits to drink neat.
On The Rocks
A spirit served on its own over ice is known as being “on the rocks”.
Spirit pourer/pour spout
A spirit pourer or pour spout is added to the top of a spirit bottle to make it easier to pour.
Alcohol proof is a measure of the content of ethanol (alcohol) in an alcoholic drink.
Punch is a term that can be used for any
Shaken and Stirred
Two key ways to create your cocktail - especially for James Bond. These two methods of mixing create a distinctly different appearance. Shaken cocktails typically have a cloudy appearance, whereas a drink that is stirred will likely be much clearer.
A cocktail that is served straight up is one that is built either via the shaken or stirring method, but this then strained so that the ice is removed from the finished drink while staying ice cold.
A toddy is a drink made of a spirit, hot water, sugar, and sometimes spices.
A virgin cocktail, also known as a mocktail, is a cocktail with no alcohol. In some instances the spirit is simply removed and in others it is replaced with a non-alcoholic spirit, such as STRYYK.
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