Today, I thought of you. Like you, I have been extremely busy almost slogging through exhaustingly slow tic-tok hours, getting home late, and thinking “of course I deserve to treat myself well”.
There is no better way to sink into a plush restive state than with stylish sophisticated easy home-made after work cocktails.
After all, this is a special occasion to spend time with yourself and unwind in elegant style.
I’ll share with you how I make myself easy cocktails with only what I have in the fridge; with no complicated thought processes, or the need for a mixology Master’s degree, and absolutely no need for garnishes.
I didn’t make this up, the famously adventurous Ernest Hemingway quoted
But one of my favourite rambunctious authors, who has a quote for almost anything decadent, controversially said
And that is why, my dear Sybarite, having an occasional after-work cocktail is so very important.
Ending your day well with a cocktail boils down to a few important factors:
- Making sure you have your favorite music on
- Always having a few bar basics to hand
- Figuring out what it is your body needs today to determine the cocktail to match
- Delivering the best kick of flavour you can muster.
Always having the best liquors around can help you achieve just the mood you want to create.
Contrary to what you may believe, alcohol isn’t your enemy. I suppose the research has been heavily skewed towards the negative effects, due to the serious effects overconsumption can have on humans.
However, I read this interestingly informational article Functional Benefits of Modest Alcohol Consumption (Adapt Human Behav Physiol 2017; 3(2): 118-133 Dunbar, Launay et al who cited that the use of fermented beverages can be back-dated to at least 7000 years with a widespread archaeological view that cereal cultivation was first started in order to brew beer rather than provide food!
They astutely raised the question of why, despite considerable research being conducted to determine alcohol’s detrimental effects, no one has questioned why there is only one perceived benefit – being hedonistic.
I completely agree with them that alcohol in moderation does have physiological health benefits in the form of being an anxiolytic (reduction of anxiety and stress) and being a potent trigger of the endorphin system.
Their research was supported by other medical authors (Machin and Dunbar, House, and Kim et al) who all state that endorphin activation not only makes us feel more relaxed, but it also seems to tune the immune system, which may have indirect fitness benefits through the positive effect it has on health and survival.
I felt I had to share, but that’s enough of work, for now, right? But that is the geek in me, and I have a social responsibility to you.
So before you read any further, this is a reminder that although I’m recommending that you have one or two elixirs to smooth those cobwebs of stress away after work, I’m recommending only that you keep within the parameters of low alcohol intake.
Having cocktails is definitely not for every day. Stringently stick to the recommended limits of moderate intake. I know it can get confusing but there is a really good guide on the NHS which I tend to recommend to patients to get a really good idea of how many units are in your favourite tipple –https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alcohol-misuse/
ONE DRINK PER DAY FOR WOMEN AND NO MORE THAN TWO DRINKS PER DAY FOR MEN
The maximum targets per week are : Men 21units and women 14units – spread over three or more days.
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Focus on Building Your Bar with the Basics
First you really want to build an honest-to-goodness enviable bar.
However, you want it tailored to you so it is easy to grab a spirit you know can be versatile and not get drowned out in a cocktail.
Focus on getting the liquid gold commonly used in cocktails such as
Gin, Whisky, Rum, Vodka, Brandy, Tequila, Champagnes and sparkling wines
Essential Basic mixers
Soda water, tonic water, cola, lemonade, fruit juices, and always have Vermouth handy.
Good quality glasses are also a must. This is ultra important, as there is no point going through the effort to use cheap glasses that will not only spoil the taste of your drink but also the look.
To start with, you don’t need much. But, only by having the basic building blocks will you then be able to successfully make a three ingredient kick-ass cocktail.
Trust me, you will be extremely proud of yourself and want to share – not just swig in isolation. If you have an impromptu guest, I bet they will eagerly want to revisit time and time again to ask “what have you got swigging today?”
Variety Does Matter
It would be practically impossible to expect to stock your home bar to be equipped to make every possible cocktail. It is after all, a home bar- not Ricks Café.
I would strongly suggest you limit what you buy, with the intention of only making a few select sophisticated very easy homemade cocktails.
Pay attention to the taste of different brands to determine what you like. Not all gins taste the same.
The next time you are at your bar, quickly quiz your bartender. I guarantee they won’t mind. Bartenders can give you a wealth of information of what the best brands of spirits are, whilst whipping you up a few cocktails to choose from. You can really cultivate and stimulate the tastebuds, but also your olfactory and visual senses at the same time.
Consider this research as that data your tastebuds collect is priceless. It will tell you a lot about your own preferences, so you can better stock your bar.
Learn From Your Mistakes
As you start to make cocktails on your own, try to pay attention to the measures you use, hence, with time there will be no need for a jigger.
In a short span of time, your cocktail repertoire will increase.
Don’t be caught out not having enough ice on hand as I did. Ice doth a cocktail make!
Disaronno and Coke
Gin and Tonic
Have You Tried Any?
I hope you have.
I dig deep to see what I can learn about my after-work needs. However, sometimes what I feel I need isn’t the real issue.
On the flip side, it can be helpful to simply sit and be in the moment with a cocktail of choice in hand.
After a long but energetic day, a cooling Mojito will do.
If you want an aperitif prior to a quick light meal, an Aperol Spritz is just the tonic.
If you are feeling utterly exhausted, and just want to fall in bed without “ahem” not even showering- an Amaretto Sour or Whisky is usually a great sedative.
Another day, yoga may just be the remedy.
The last thing you want to do when you are home from work is to reflect on your day. Leave work at work!
This is your time to wind down, and the best way to do this is to have a very easy homemade cocktail with whatever you have on hand from the well stocked home bar. Feel free to mix and match spirits and absolutely throw prescriptive measures through the door. This is your space, do what suits you, within reason of course.
Don’t miss our best bar essentials, where you can get proven ideas on how to build your home bar and improve your mixology-making prowess.
Learning how to make easy homemade after-work cocktails creates a deeper sense of calm and connection with yourself and helps you recover better from a stressful job.
Use all the information gleaned to learn more about what it is you need to rebalance after work, to allow you to function and connect with yourself so you can continue to give back both to yourself and your job the best version of you.
A rocking simple cocktail can actually help you do that.
The more you know about what it is you like, and the better stocked your mini-bar, the more effective you will be at making easy cocktails.
Need More Ideas on how to make the most of your down-time?
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