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Our top 10 cocktail cheats

Our top 10 cocktail cheats

Making fantastic cocktails at home doesn’t require fancy tools or unheard-of ingredients.

1. Instead of a cocktail shaker, use an empty jam jar to mix up your cocktails. Use the lid to strain the cocktail as you pour in into a glass (or serve it straight from the jar).
2. Instead of using a muddler to make your mojitos, just use the end of a wooden spoon. Remember to press lightly rather than pulverise.
3. If you have no grenadine at hand, simply mix 1 cup pomegranate juice with 1 cup sugar, shake vigorously to combine, and pour.
4. Replace those long plastic swizzle sticks with chopsticks.
5. You can easily replace a cocktail strainer with a tea strainer.
6. Make some burnt sugar to create instant ‘aged’ liquors or bitters. Heat 1 cup sugar evenly until it has melted and is a dark, almost burnt colour; quickly stir in 1½ cups water until it forms a syrup; then remove from the heat.
7. Instead of slaving away over sugar syrup, use maple syrup or honey for a sweetener with an interesting flavour.
8. You can also substitute jam for sugar syrup. Besides sweetness, it can add a variety of flavours to the recipe.
9. Stick to exact measurements when mixing cocktails. If you don’t have a jigger, use measuring spoons instead.
10. Make crushed ice by smashing up ice cubes in a Ziplock bag with a rolling pin.

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