How often have you thought about making your favorite Gervasi cocktails at home for your guests? Gervasi Vineyard Resort & Spa (GV) offers award-winning spirits to help get you started as a hobbyist bartender or mixologist.

Using a few suggestions that follow and trying one of the GV’s cocktail kits, you will quickly learn how to serve amazing cocktails to your friends all summer long.

Some experts recommend starting with the basics such as making martinis, Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, or by mixing up a seasonal Sangria.

“Our GS Wine Barrel Bourbon is always a hit no matter the season, especially for the gentleman,” said Nicholas Scarberry, Crush House Operations Manager. “The ladies LOVE our Gervasi Small Batch Gin, especially when they find out how easy it is to make a GV Gimlet, it’s super simple and what I feel is the best drink to showcase our gin.”

Making Cocktails Personal

The best part of making cocktails at home is making the cocktails reflect personal tastes while adding a bit of pizzazz to each special drink. Add items like hot sauces, different types of olives, sweet fruits, honey, marmalade, or tea.

Be creative and you may end up making a signature cocktail that friends will ask you to make time and again!

Nicholas said, “Find inspiration from your local grocery store or farmer’s market. The exotic fruit section is a great place to start. Golden mangos, passionfruit, guava, and blood orange are some great summer flavors to play around with. Don’t forget to look at the deli counter for hot honey, fig jam, marmalade, or even a balsamic glaze that could really take your cocktail up to the next level.

Getting Started

How do you get started with making your own special cocktails at home this summer? Nicholas has several suggestions including starting with a cocktail “that speaks to you”.

“Focus on finding a spirit that “speaks” to you. I love gin and bourbon, so I would start with a Gimlet, or a Kentucky Mule. Once you find a cocktail you enjoy, learn to master it before moving on to others.”

Some of the more advanced cocktails that you can work up to include Pisco Sours, which uses a standard sour ratio of 2-parts spirit, 1-part citrus juice, and 1-part simple syrup, or a Ramos Gin Fizz which combines gin, citrus, simple syrup, egg white, heavy cream, orange flower water, and club soda creating a panoply of flavors and textures.

Nicholas offers the following three tips for successfully mixing cocktails at home.

  1. Measure the ingredients – free-pouring is fun, but if you want a great cocktail, measure.
  2. Quality ice – Distilled water and a silicone mold off of Amazon will make a big difference as well.
  3. Fresh juices – We all know fresh is better than concentrate, but it really matters in your cocktails. Lemonade from the fair is a great example of this. Bottled lemonade is okay, while fresh lemonade is just on another level. The same goes for your cocktails!

Can It Get Any Easier to Make Cocktails at Home?

One last tip for making cocktails at home is to check out the cocktail kits available at Gervasi’s Marketplace gift shop.

The Marketplace operations manager, Sandy Fraedrich said, “We carry a wide variety of items for creating your own cocktail creations.  We have a gift basket of essentials to get you started, it includes a bar mat, mixing pitcher, bar spoon, strainer, muddler, weighted cocktail shaker, and jigger. All pieces can be purchased separately as well.”

You can also purchase other items to assist your at home mixology endeavor, including mixers, bitters, syrups, garnishes, and glassware of all types (think Rocks, Martini, Highball). The Marketplace even carries everything to make a smoked cocktail!

For some of the most popular GV cocktails, The Marketplace has created of gift boxes that include all the necessary items for the perfect cocktail! All gift boxes also include an easy-to-follow recipe card. The Espresso Martini box includes GS Giava Liqueur, GS Small Batch Vodka, and Chocolate covered espresso beans. While the GV Manhattan box includes GV Santo Port Wine, GS Wine Barrel Bourbon and two Rocks Glasses. And finally, the BLU Mojito gift box includes GS Spiced Rum, GS BLU Liqueur, and Simple Syrup.

Sandy said, “We are also happy to assist in creating a customized cocktail kit! We have several complimentary recipe cards so that guests can find the spirit needed for their cocktail of choice and we carry several cocktail and mocktail books for purchase.”

“Mixing cocktails at home has grown in popularity for us over the past few years and we love it when the guests share their creative recipes and home cocktail stories with us. We are always up for the challenge of finding a garnish or syrup that they need to complete their cocktail!”

Make it a shaken not stirred or stirred and not shaken kind of summer and become a skilled mixologist right in your own home. Remember, Gervasi is there to help you achieve your mixology and summer fun goals!

If you would like to learn from a mixologist before you try cocktail making at home, experience a Sip and Learn class at Gervasi Vineyard – new dates added regularly.