Master the art of building drinks

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Do not be fooled by the apparent simplicity of a ‘built’ drink. Though a ‘built’ drink requires no shaking, stirring, blending or other additional techniques – there are still several important elements to consider. Most importantly – Ice! When it comes to ice – there are 2 main approaches: ‘Ice first’ – and ‘Ice last’. Ice First is the more common approach. The preferred spirit or base liqueur is poured over ice – followed by the mixers or carbonated ingredients – to top up the mixture. Positives with this approach are: Ease of execution, speed – and a simple way to measure your mixer based on your glassware size. However, a growing number of bartenders are also adopting the ‘Ice last’ approach. Benefits to this include: Consistency – dilution – and temperature control. Pouring liquids into the glass before ice will allow the latter to mingle more evenly. This is different to liquid being poured over ice – where at times liquids can tend to layer. There is no right or wrong way with ice in built drinks – just do what works best for the type of service and bartending that suits you. But remember – whatever you do with ice – always use plenty of it.