The Essentials for Making Great Cocktails at Home

Making great cocktails at home is simple once you understand what makes up the essentials of a good drink. From knowing what kind of drinks to make to finding the right ingredients and tools, this blog post will guide you on your way to becoming a master mixologist!

These six essentials will get you started on being able to concoct delicious masterpieces for yourself or your friends. 

Bar Tools

The best way to master cocktail making is by investing in the proper bar tools. Start collecting these bartending tools to be able to make perfect your favorite cocktails with ease!

You don't need anything fancy and super expensive. Simply focus on quality essentials such as a good bar spoon, jigger or measuring cup, martini shaker, strainer with large holes (or tea strainer), muddler (optional), and citrus juicer (optional).

With these tools, you'll be able to make some great tasting cocktails with ease!

Good spirits 

You can't make a tasty cocktail without quality liquor! Here are some must-haves for your home bar:

- vodka (for Vodka Martini, Cosmopolitan, Sex on the Beach, White Russian, and Long Island Iced Tea, just to name a few).

Shop British Vodkas at Lassou.

- London Dry Gin (for G & T, Negroni, Martini, Gin Fizz, Tom Collins, Gimlet, and other gin cocktails).

Discover all the best independent gins here.

- tequila (blanco and reposado). Tequila is an essential ingredient for Margaritas, Paloma, Tequila Sunrise, Brave Bull & more. 

- rum (white and dark) for Mojitos, punches, Daiquiri & other delicious rum tipples.

Buy rum online at Lassou.

- whisky (for whisky sours, Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and other whisky cocktails).

Explore whisky on Lassou.

- sherry and vermouth. These fortified wines bring complexity and nuance to both classic and modern cocktails. Take a look at how to use vermouth in cocktails.

- liqueur. Triple Sec, coffee liqueur, and red bitter are some of the most widely used cocktail liqueurs.

Choose liqueurs for your home bar here. 

Also consider getting cocktail bitters, if you want to take your bar skills up another notch.

Mixers, syrups & shrubs

Mixers, shrubs, and syrups are essential cocktail ingredients. They have unique bold flavours, and they add amazing taste to many cocktails. There are dozens of tastes and there is a huge space for imagination and mixing experiments.

The classic cocktail mixers are, of course, tonic water, ginger beer, ginger ale, and club soda. There is also a great choice of flavoured mixers that are made from natural ingredients and bring some new notes to the table. Check them out here.

Shrubs are drinkable vinegar infused with fruits and herbs. They can add depth and complexity to your cocktails through a blend of sweet, savoury, and tart notes. These vinegar cordials work great with different types of alcohol — gin, rum, whisky, sparkling wine, red bitters, etc. Discover Nonsuch Shrubs at Lassou.

Simple syrups are used to bring sweet, savour, tart, citurs, spicy tastes to your cocktails. These syrups will really be lifesaving if you need to mix some drinks and don’t have cocktail mixers in hand. Discover the essential simple syrup recipes in our blog. 

Proper Glassware

Glassware always makes a difference. A cocktail in a proper glass not only looks great, but tastes much better. Proven by Lassou team! 

For your home bar, you'll need 5 essential glasses:

  • Highball Glass is a glass that you will use for the majority of your mixed drinks and cocktails. Drinks such as Rum and Coke, Gin and Tonic, Blue Lagoon, Tequila Sunrise are usually served in Highball glasses
  • Lowball Glass ( also called Rocks Glass/Shot Glass) it is a versatile glass used for drinks served neat, shots, and lowball cocktails like White Russian or Negroni.
  • Martini Glass.
  • Copa Glass. The bowl-like shape enhances the nose of the gin, allowing you to fully appreciate the botanicals and aromas.
  • A shot glass is a small glass for taking shots. Typically it holds one oz. or one and a half oz. of alcohol. The shot glass can also be used as a measuring device for making cocktails.

Cocktail Garnishes

Next time you are making cocktails, be sure to add some showy finishing touches, i.e. garnishes. They serve the purpose of accentuating the flavor of your drink and elevating it to new heights.

A well-placed sprig of mint in an old fashioned will have people wondering why they've never tried this before. The best part about garnishes is that you can  experiment with different flavors and combinations by using ingredients you like. The choice is limitless - from classic limes and oranges, to spices, vegetables and dehydrated fruit. 


To make the perfect drink, you need ice! Lots and lots of it. Ice does two things: One it keeps your cocktails cool. Two - ice slowly dilutes your drink helping open up spirits and cut the alcohol level. This helps balance your cocktail so it isn’t harsh from straight alcohol; dilution helps open up spirits and unlock flavours.

The ice from your standard tray or ice maker might cloudy because it becomes trapped with gas and impurities during the freezing process. Because of this, when you shake or stir, the ice will break down faster and you can easily over dilute your cocktail. To avoid it, use large ice molds. Big ice cubes melt slowly, properly aerating your drinks and chilling them without over diluting. 

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