Signature Cocktail Secrets

Mixologist and restaurateur Joe Campanale shares three secrets for creating your own signature cocktail. Using these principals, you can be confident in your cocktail creativity and shake up something special for your friends.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Joe Campanale. You're watching And today, I'm going to show you how to create your very own balanced signature cocktail. So, there are a few tools that you need when creating your own cocktail. The very first thing to remember is to use the freshest, highest quality ingredients. That means using fresh fruits for juices and garnishes. The next thing to remember is your spirit. You know, I say use the best spirit that you can afford, but, that doesn't always mean the most expensive. If you're making a cocktail, it doesn't make sense to take out your 25-year aged whiskey that you save for special occasions. Use something that's really great, but still affordable, like this Michter's whiskey. The next thing to remember when creating your perfect signature cocktail is balance of ingredients, and balance is the most important thing. In a cocktail, you have a few different components. You have heat from the spirit, you have sweetness, you have some acidity, and sometimes some bitter quality. And, if these are in perfect balance, you're going to create a great cocktail. So, acidity comes from things like lemon or lime. Sweetness can come from a variety of sources, such as sugar, or simple syrup, which is a sugar and water solution that really dissolves nicely. Sweet are fruit juices like pineapple or apple. And sometimes, we even like to use agave nectar, which is actually created from the agave plant, which is the base of tequila, and is a really, really nice sweetener. So, we balanced sweetness and acidity. Now what you want to balance is the heat of the spirit with the sweetness and the temperature of the cocktail. So, think about if you've ever had whiskey neat, and you just take a sip of that. It really burns the back of your mouth. In a cocktail, you're going to cool down that burn with the temperature of the drink, and you cool down the temperature by adding ice either directly to the drink, or chilling your class down, or even stirring the drink with ice, and then pouring it out. Or, sweetness. If you've ever had really spicy food, a sweet wine really balances out the spiciness in the food, the same sort of thing with the heat in a high spirit. Use the principles of fresh ingredients, high quality spirits, and balance, and create your own signature cocktail. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Joe Campanale, and please see me again at

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