Years ago, we threw Matt Farrow his 35th birthday party in our tiny apartment with our next door neighbors. We had barely started Iconic Cocktail Co. and still had our restaurant jobs. Our friends were a mix of industry workers, office friends, neighbors, family. Iconic was our side hustle, our far away dream. We had some of the original batches of Ginga Syrup, Lime Leaf Tonic, and Spiced Honey. And it’s safe to say, we were partying a lot more than we are now.
To nobody’s surprise, we were put in charge of the cocktails for this birthday gathering.
Our apartment turned into a bar while our neighbors served food from theirs (they were both chefs.) Instead of putting out wine coolers, buckets or beer, or batched cocktails, we decided that we would build a DIY bar...without even realizing what we were doing.
Spread across the kitchen counter, we put bottles of all different kinds of juices, spirits, citrus, and of course, Iconic Mixers.
These are the party hacks we learned on the fly that we’ll never forget.
Save some money by buying handles of spirits (might we suggest Costco) and then put them into smaller, easy to pour from bottles. We use recycled spirit bottles and slap a fun label on them. The smaller bottle makes it easier to use and people won’t be turned off by seeing an off brand (even thought the Kirkland brand spirits are actually pretty high quality)
Save time by going to Whole Foods and shopping in their cold press juice section instead of juicing everything on your own. Don't be afraid of the different flavor combos or you can ask the juice bar to set you up with anything specific. For lemon and lime juice, fresh is always best but you can always trust Santa Cruz Pure Organic (just make sure it's lemon/lime juice and not lemonade!)
Add Speed Pours to any bottle that will fit them! This is ideal for keeping your counter neat and tidy, while making your guests feel like a pro bartender.
When your guest arrive, it’s time for them to get creative and mix their own cocktail.
Ready for the secret sauce? Let everyone be the bartender. With just a few bar tools and a simple method to mixing, you can encourage your guests to get behind the bar and mix up a cocktail that is exactly what they like to drink.
When our guests arrived, we offered them a cocktail by introducing them to our DIY Bar that was stocked with everything they needed to be a bartender. Some friends knew exactly what to do while others were unsure of how to make a cocktail. With the simple method of mixing put on all our bottles (that hasn’t changed since day one), people could demystify the cocktail.
- Start with 2 parts of spirit. Whatever you like to drink
- Next, add 1 part of Iconic. This is your sweet component.
- Balance it out with a 1/2 part of tart. Use citrus, fruit juice, or a liqueur that excites you.
You can shake it up, build it directly in your glass, give it a stir, add soda water, add ice. Do a taste test. Adjust as needed. And there you have it. An Iconic Cocktail.
Before we knew it, our friends gathered around the kitchen counter (as people do at parties) while different people took turns behind the makeshift bar. Every cocktail was a different combination of flavors, different colors, different glasses. Throughout the evening, we heard people asking one another what they were drinking and deciding what they would make next.
It was the best cocktail party we ever threw. If you are ever put in charge of cocktails, give this style of serving a try! It encourages your guests to be creative and try something new.
Not just for parties, this simple of method is exactly what you need to balance out cocktails.
This idea truly became the foundation of Iconic Cocktail Co. Balancing a cocktail with Iconic’s simple method is more than just giving you a recipe. It teaches you to better understand ratios and flavor combinations. No matter your experience with mixing a cocktail at home, this simple method can always be your home base.
We put all the information in one place for you. We’re introducing our new online guide, the Simple Method of Mixing, that you can download for free! This resource is a collection of information that we’ve gathered over the years of making our Iconic Mixers and sharing our method of mixing. Find suggested spirits, flavor pairings, hot tips from Matt Farrow, and more in this downloadable guide. All you have to do is Just Add Spirit.