How Not to Be an Amateur Home Bartender

The gap between the drinks you make in your kitchen and the ones you get at a fancy bar often seems impossible to close, but just a few things make all the difference. Serious Eats asks professional bartenders what most bartenders do that amateur cocktail enthusiasts get wrong at home. It’s a balancing act. Herbs shouldn’t be simply packed into a glass without first getting smashed to release aroma, advises Terrence Lewis of Barbuzzo; nor should they be over-muddled warns Sam Scholl of Sweetwater Tavern and Grille. Use plenty of ice, which means making sure you always have enough on hand, but don’t let it sit in your freezer for so long that it becomes old. It’s all in the details. [Serious Eats]