Take your mixology skills in a new direction with these great and unique cocktail ideas.

Are you a fan of amazing beverages that send your tastebuds to sensory heaven? Creating unique cocktails that wow with presentation and explodes on the palette is a truly mesmerizing experience. 

Tasty cocktails are not only for professionals to create, they can be made by anyone with a little bit of effort. The key is to experiment and find combinations that impress. Whether you’re entertaining guests or want to test your skill set, here are a few ways to achieve a unique and delicious drink.


Back to Basics

Before adventuring on a journey to create the perfect beverage, you need to start with the basics of making a mouth-watering cocktail:

  • Spirit: Choose the right spirit for your drink, whether it is whisky, gin, or vodka.
  • Mixers: These can be non-alcoholic, ranging from sodas to sparkling flavored waters and fruit juices.
  • Flavourings: Add dimension to your concoction with a simple syrup, bitters, or even a liquor.


Mixing Apparatus

There are some useful bar tools that will assist you in your creations. The following items can help you prepare a wide range of cocktails:

    • Cobble shaker: A three-piece stainless steel shaker used to shake cocktails with ice. Hawthorne strainer: Typically used to strain out solids or ice and will fit over the glass or shaker.
    • A Muddler: Great for crushing herbs or sugar in a glass to bring out aroma and flavor. Typically made of wood or stainless steel with a rubber end.
    • Manual juicer: Ideal for squeezing out juice from citrus fruits such as limes, oranges, and lemons.
    • Jigger: A two-ended measuring tool to accurately measure out ingredients, typically spirits. 
    • Blowtorch: Used to caramelize sugar, blacken ingredients, or bring out the oils in citrus fruits. 
    • Peeler or Zetser: Used to peel fruits or create citrus twists.


Add Festive Flavor 

Knowing flavor profiles is key to developing the perfect drink. Certain spirits pair well with certain mixers, fresh or dried fruits, herbs, and spices. 

Step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with unusual ingredient pairings. The options for infusing flavor are endless, and include:

    • Warm dried spices such as cinnamon and clove.
    • Combining unusual flavors like fresh aromatic ginger and sour tamarind.
    • Uncommon fruits, for example, dragon fruit or logans. 
    • Turn up the heat with chilis for a taste explosion.
    • Herbs and Aromatics are great additions – cilantro, rosemary, or lavender can elevate your cocktail.
    • Flavored Oils are common in beverages, add a hint of vanilla or lime for an element of surprise.


Focus On Sensory Seduction

Tease the five senses when creating a drink. Striking a combination of these can help to amplify your experience:

  • Sweet, Salty, and Sour – Achieving a balance between these three tastes is a great way to create an instant taste sensation. A sugary, salty rim or a bit of champagne vinegar can really amplify your drink.
  • Bitter and Herbal – Adding bitters to a cocktail can bring forward other flavors, along with adding herbs like basil or even lavender. 
  • Spicy and Savory – Muddle some jalapenos with your simple syrup or add some peppercorns to your gin.


Incorporate Gorgeous Garnishes

It’s not all in the taste, you want your cocktail to be inviting to the eye. Play around with different garnishes:

  • Use edible flowers to elevate the visual appeal. 
  • Fruits can lift presentation and flavor, for example, a twist of orange in your drink.
  • Rim glasses with different flavored salts and sugars.
  • Funky cocktail umbrellas or swizzle sticks can be a fantastic addition, jazz them up with skewered fruits or savory items like salty capers to add a kicker. Use a sprig of rosemary instead of a swizzle stick! The options are limitless. 
  • Dry ice is always a fun addition, just remember to tell people not to drink until it’s stopped smoking.


Use Radical Receptacles

Sidestep conventional glassware into the realm of creativity. Switch out the typical tumbler or flute and flirt with possibility. Perhaps you’re inspired by that milk frother looking to be repurposed or a unique vase that has been sitting in storage. 

Find the perfect glass for your stunning drink that serves its purpose and wows the eye! Here are some more ideas for ways to serve up a unique drink:

  • Mason jars
  • Hollowed out fruits like pineapples or coconuts
  • Small flower pots 
  • Mismatched upcycled jars from preserves 
  • Test Tubes 


Add The Right Chill

Like seasons themselves, drinks can be seasonal, too. An icy mojito on a hot summer’s day or a full-bodied red wine in front of the fire on a cold winter’s evening, temperature influences how we enjoy a drink.

A drink may be better served ice cold or at room temperature, so factor this in when designing your cocktail. Different-sized ice cubes will melt at different rates, affecting the dilution of your cocktail, use this to your advantage when planning your creation. You may also want the cocktail to dilute over time and slowly alter the flavor. Choosing a larger ice cube would help you achieve this. Or, you may want to chill the drink without any dilution, and a whisky rock is a great way to add the chill factor without any extra water.


Create Captivating Consistencies

The sensations we experience when drinking something can add to the overall experience of a drink. So, if your cocktail is smooth, pulpy, or fizzy, these different elements can shake things up. 

Passion fruit pulp is great for both taste and texture, or consider crushed ice for a totally different experience. You can also use the juice from premium quality pickles to add a briny mouthfeel and flavor to your drinks.


Be Internationally Imaginative

Unusual flavors lie within different cultures across the globe. Explore, research, and delve into the depths of different countries and their distinctive produce and spirits. 

Choose a theme for your cocktail, whether it’s a Mexican agave spirit and the heat of the desert that resonates with your creativity or Korean soju with its sweetness and easy drinking characteristics. Celebrate diversity and fuse different worlds together through your drink to create an entirely new experience. 


Keep On Creating Unique Cocktails

Creating a drink that is unique and delightful can be achieved through a bit of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. There are many ingredients available that, when paired together, take us on a sensory journey. 

Continually experiment with different textures and flavors. Use new glassware to impress the eye and set yourself up for success with the right tools. Test your new creations out on friends, family, or guests to get honest feedback. Remember to have fun and enjoy the process of new discoveries. The pleasure is in the mixing and the drinking!

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