Bars are closed again, but there are still to-go cocktails – a pandemic-era innovation approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control – which represent a great way to support local businesses. But maybe now is the time to learn how to make a cocktail or two at home. Local bartenders have their own favorite drinks at home, and tips for making yours better. We checked in with three.
Mike Macedo, bartender at The Crown and Anchor:
“My favorite cocktail when I get home is a Manhattan. I usually use Bulleit 10 Year, vermouth and blood orange bitters. Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and stir it, don’t shake it. And of course a maraschino cherry. The blood orange bitters make it a little sweeter and citrusy. It’s my favorite thing to drink and you can’t find those bitters at most bars, so I have to have that one at home.”
Jesus Flores, manager at Dubber’s:
“I’m a simple guy, I like whiskey and beer. Moscow mules are popular ones to make at home. But if you’re going to make cocktails at home you’ll need your mixers, your fruit juices. If you really want things to taste good and not just like you’re at a house party with too much vodka in a glass, proportions are the best way to do it.”
Maribel Mendoza, bartender at A.W. Shucks:
“Normally at home, especially now, I drink a lemon drop martini. Lemon drops have a little bit of citrus and just enough alcohol and it’s nice for a hot day to enjoy outside. It’s been one of my favorites and it’s either that or a margarita. When you’re making drinks at home always use fresh ice and make sure you shake it really well. Even if you don’t have all the equipment you can use two different shaped glasses or a spoon.”