Glass Too Warm
Even if you’re not mixing bad drinks, they’re not going to taste great in a warm glass. A warm glass means that the drink warms up, causing the ice to melt faster and dilute the taste. The ideal temperature for a cocktail is cold enough to keep the ice from melting quickly. If the ice sticks around, the cocktail will stay cool. The best way to keep a drink cool is to cool the glass, then fill it with ice before your pour the drink in. You can cool glasses beforehand by keeping them in a refrigerator, or you can chill them on your counter by keeping them filled with ice water until you need them. Once you’ve got a cold glass, keep it cool by adding lots of ice before you pour anything else in. The more ice you add, the more slowly it will melt. Of course, a cold glass won’t help you if you’re mixing bad drinks because of a problem like warm liquor.
Liquor Too Warm
No matter how advanced your mixology skills are, and no matter how expensive your liquor is, if you’re making cocktails with warm or room temperature vodka, you’re mixing bad drinks. Likewise, if you’re making cocktails with cold whiskey, you’re mixing bad drinks. Liquors that should always be kept chilled include vodka, gin, and rum. When you add ice to chilled spirits, it will help to keep the drink cold, but it won’t melt quickly enough to seriously dilute the flavor. On the other hand, if you add ice to a drink that is room temperature, it will start to melt immediately, which means your cocktails will taste watery and weak, no matter how strong they actually are. Of course, not all liquor is meant to be served cold.
Liquor Too Cold
Most of the time, chilling your booze means that you won’t be mixing bad drinks. However, some spirits are best at room temperature. The only liquors you shouldn’t keep chilled are those that are meant to be served neat, without ice, like good quality whiskey. A chilled scotch or bourbon whiskey will seem flat, because it is only warmth that can release the full aroma and taste. That’s why you should serve whiskey at room temperature. And, please, don’t serve warm booze in chilled glass. Serve whiskey in a room temperature snifter, where the warmth of the drinker’s hand on the glass can awaken the scent and flavor. So, leave your whiskey in the cupboard instead of in the freezer. It’s also fine to leave tequila on the counter, but only if you’re planning to use it for shots or sipping. If you’re mixing with warm tequila, you’re mixing bad drinks.
The Blender Mistake
Mixing bad drinks is easier, but it is even easier with a blender. The easiest mixology mistake that you can make in a blender is trying to make a slushy drink like a margarita or a pina colada, but ending up with a thin, drippy mess. More often than not, this is because you’re trying to get your blender to take on more ice, or bigger chunks of ice, than you can reasonably expect it to be able to handle. To start with, never try to use a blender to turn ice cubes into crushed ice unless your blender has an explicit ice crushing function. Even if you can get your blender to crush ice a few times, it won’t last. Dealing with hard ice cubes dulls your blender’s blades, so you’ll be back to mixing bad drinks pronto. You’re better off getting crushed ice to start with, or buying an inexpensive bar blender. Some of them run as low as fifty or sixty dollars. Then, mixing bad drinks because of blender problems will be a thing of the past.