At Bluewater, cocktails are the ultimate creative expression for the spirits we craft. It’s an opportunity to wow our customers with lush, vibrant and adventurous flavors, and also to elevate the bar with better ingredients and techniques. At our bar, we’ve learned every possible way to capture fresh flavors and redefine the bartender's approach - and we love to share our knowledge.
In its simplest definition, cocktails come in two varieties - spirit-forward (martini and manhattan) or fruit-forward (gimlet or lemon drop). Spirit-forward drinks typically rely on aromatic elements like vermouth, bitters or amaros to create dimension and complexity. Fruit-forward drinks, on the other hand, use the sour flavors of lemon or lime in balance with a sweet side to create the foundation for a fantastic world of cocktail recipes.
Consider the following chapters as a foundation for your home cocktailing. The goal here is to inspire your creativity and spark your confidence in crafting cocktails. Read on!
Infusions are the creative heart of our cocktails. At Bluewater, we love to infuse flavors into either an alcohol foundation or a sugar-water base. The infusions can be used as separate components into cocktails, and in some cases we create liqueurs by combining simple syrup into an infused vodka.
With Bluewater’s 100 Proof Organic Vodka you have the perfect foundation to explore fresh flavors from your favorite spices, herbs, fruits + berries. Develop your techniques with small batches at first, and keep in mind that delicate flavors like leafy herbs will infuse quickly and have a relatively short shelf-life. Robust elements like lemon zest being infused for Limoncello should take a minimum of four weeks and will maintain quality for several months.
When creating liqueurs, add one part simple syrup to one part 100 Proof infusion. You should land in the neighborhood of 25% alcohol content, which is ideal for liqueurs. Explore raspberry, orange or even venture into your own bitter-sweet amaro variations.
Tools to consider are wide-mouth jars, peelers + muddlers, strainers + mesh bags. Since you’re working with fresh ingredients, expect some sediment in the bottles. It’s a tough job, but be prepared to taste the infusions frequently to monitor taste quality. Be creative and explore compound infusions like our own Elderflower + Cardamom Liqueur. There are no limitations and very few rules - just have fun!
Our simple syrups are made with equal parts water to sugar, brought to a simmer on the stovetop. Combine flavors like sage, thyme or ginger as you heat the syrup. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, allow to cool then strain off the infusion elements before pouring the syrups into a jar or bottle. Keep your simples refrigerated and use within a week.