Watch a bartender make a cocktail these days and you might be left thinking you need a lot of fancy ingredients and equipment -- and a degree in chemistry -- to pull off cocktails at home. But all you really need is the RIGHT ingredients, a measuring glass, metal shaker, a jigger or shot glass, some simple math skills (2 ounces x 2 ounces = 4 ounces), a little confidence and a willingness to taste and experiment.
I signed up for a workshop called Mixology 101 at the Savvy Wine Cellar, in Camillus, last month.
James Reed, bar manager at Pastabilities in downtown Syracuse, walked our group of 20-plus guests through four hand-crafted cocktails: a Margarita, Cosmopolitan, French 75 and Mint Julep. Each was very tasty (even the Julep; I'm not a bourbon fan) and easy to make. No powdered or liquid mixes, no blenders required.