To celebrate the launch of our Cocktail Design Masterclass, I’m going to give you a quick overview of how I design craft cocktails!

Four Simple Steps to Designing a Cocktail:

1. Know your Goal

Is there a specific alcohol that you want to use? Is there a seasonal ingredient? Cold or hot? Know what kind of cocktail you would like to end up with and start from there.

2. Start with an example cocktail

Use a classic cocktail or use the internet to find inspiration. Start with a tried-and-true cocktail recipe that is similar to what your goals were in step 1

3. Substitute

Now that you’re closer, swap out some ingredients to turn it into the cocktail you envisioned. There are endless opportunities here, from changing the spirits to the mixers and everything else. Get creative!

4. Adjust for Balance

Too sweet? Too sour? Too strong? Too weak? This is the time to adjust your ingredients. Before I place everything in a mixing tin, I tend to map it out on a piece of paper first. This helps get the cocktail closer before investing liquor in the drink.

This has been a very, very brief overview of the cocktail design process, but it should be enough to get you started.

If you’re interested in learning cocktail design in detail, check out the Cocktail Design Masterclass that we just launched today!

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.