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Up your cocktail game with these 3 hacks

Take your cocktail-making game to new levels with these simple hacks that are easy to manoeuvre and, surprisingly enough, don't require any pro-bartending skills. However, you'll still come off as if you belonged behind the bar, wearing that leather apron and impressing your guests.

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Mixology is on the rise so naturally, cocktails are getting their deserved time in the spotlight. And to make a great one, you need a great recipe, quality ingredients and good techniques – lucky for you; we will guide you through the basic techniques required to start making cocktails yourself confidently!

VSOP Cocktail cinnamon

How to garnish your cocktail

It's said that it's in the details – but we will show you that it's in the twist. So let's twist and put that fingertip control to good use. So if you want to garnish your cocktail like a pro, take notes because this is how you twist your orange to really garnish your cocktail like a pro!

1. Start with peel of citrus. ​
2. Straighten the long sides so they are parallel and cut the short sides. ​
3. Turn the peel so the pith is facing up, cut from the centre to the long corner of the peel. ​
4. Create two more parallel cuts above that original cut. ​
5. With the pith still facing up, twist the peel tightly with both hands forming a tight spiral. ​

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Did you know?

The citrus twist is a fundamental but remarkable element and is perhaps the most typical cocktail garnish. Unlike the other garnishes, its purpose is not to add a subtle fruit flavour or visual presentation but to impart the oil from the citrus peel to the drink. This simple addition of oils substantially improves the flavour of a cocktail while also cutting through the sweetness of syrups or liqueurs.

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VSOP Cocktail ice cube

Create the perfect ice cube

Carving techniques? Yes, there is such a thing, and it can be applied to ice cubes as well. It is a simple but effective way to impress your guests – and yourself, for that matter – and is a technique that is very easy to replicate at home!

1. Use a sharp knife or chisel to shape and flatten each side of the clear ice block.
2. Cut each of the six sides into equal squares forming a perfect cube.
3. Ensure the shape of the cube fits into your glass.
4. Place your ice into the glass, serve and enjoy!

Cocktail VSOP lifestyle left and right

Did you know?

Good ice for cocktails is dry, thick and solid ice that melts slowly – the type that your fingers easily stick to. Bad ice for cocktails is easily chipped and feels wet, which would melt quickly in your hand. Why is this important? Poor ice or ice used multiple times will overly dilute your cocktails – both during the mixing and when consumed, making the drinking experience far less pleasurable. So to elevate your cocktails, your ice cubes must be up to a certain standard. To get those beautiful clear ones that you'll find at high-end cocktail bars, boil some water, let it cool off, boil it again, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze immediately. And voila – you have professional looking clear ice cubes that the professionals use!

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Shake it like a pro

What is one of the optimal ways to bring your cocktail game to a new level? By shaking it to perfection! Don't stall; replicate his technique at home and wow your guests with it! You ready?

1. Put all of the cocktail ingredients into the shaker (except anything carbonated, of course).
2. Fill it to about 2/3 with ice – using less ice may result in a cocktail that is not sufficiently cooled and is over-diluted.
3. Place the lid on the cocktail shaker and hold the cocktail shaker together firmly in two hands.
4. Shake vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds – or until the condensation has formed on the outside of the cocktail shaker.
5. Strain the ingredients into a cocktail glass.

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Did you know?

You can shake a cocktail in two ways: the "wet shake" – shaking with ice – and the "dry shake" – shaking without ice. Wet shaking a cocktail involves building the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and briskly shaking the cocktail so that the components are cooled, aerated, and diluted – just enough – to take the edge off the alcoholic burn of the spirits in the cocktail. Dry shaking is simply shaking the ingredients in a shaker without ice. This is common amongst cocktails containing cream and/or egg whites because shaking without ice allows the elements to aerate and emulsify better, giving a lighter mouth feel to the cocktails.


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