Before you think about memorizing a book full of recipes, understand the basics including;
1) the shape and capacity of the glassware
2) the shape and consistency of the ice
3) the ratio of liquor to mix
For example at Mugsy's for basic mixed drinks such as a rum/cola, gin/tonic, screwdriver, we use an basic short 8 oz. glass (similar to picture at right) that fits in the palm of your hand. The ice is of full dice size, manufactured by a Manitwoc ice machine. We use a ratio of 1 oz. liquor, filling the mix to about 1/4 inch from the top resulting in a ratio of about 1:1.5.
Starting with an empty glass we fill it with ice to the brim, slightly over. Then we add 1 oz of liquor, fill with mix to about 1/4 inch from the top, and a straw for stirring/sipping and serve. This drink results in a ratio of approximately 1 part liquor to 1.5 mix resulting in a drink that you can clearly taste the liquor and the mix without either over powering the taste of the other.
At Mugsy's according to the ratio recipe above we have the necessary ingredients to make a near perfect drink every time. However, when at home or elsewhere understanding the basics and how to work with them will make it easier to for you to make that near perfect drink anywhere.
Please note that the shape of the glass, the capacity, the shape and consistency of the ice, and the ratio, all come together so that you have a proper amount of ice to chill the drink. Without it smaller cubes will melt too fast, thus watering down and diluting the drink. Ice that is too big will leave too much empty space allowing your "fill with mix" recipe to over power the liquor with too much mix.
Global Warming? When It's Cold as Hell --- Warm Up With a Hot Irish Coffee
Gather the following necessities - approx. 10 oz. coffee mug, Kahlua, Irish Whiskey, whipped creme, cherry, Green Creme De Menthe, straw/stir stick, coffee.
Upright the glass
Add 1/2 oz Kahlua, 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey
Fill with hot coffee up to 1 inch to top
Add whipped creme to top, put cherry on top
Dribble small amount of green creme de menthe over whipped creme
Add 2 stirs, serve
OR Get One When It Gets Cold Outside at Mugsy's Pub!