Cheers! Hilton helps at-home mixologists

i By May 7, 2020 No Comments

The pandemic has turned many of us into at-home mixologists. To help us evolve our bartending skills and expand our drink repertoire in these challenging times, Hilton got some cocktail/mocktail tips, tricks and recipes from its partners at Proprietors LLC, the training arm of renowned bar chain Death & Co. and also the team that trains Canopy by Hilton bar staff.

Know the fundamentals & experiment

According to Devon Tarby, partner, Proprietors LLC, you don’t have to be a professional to whip-up a great cocktail. You just have to know the fundamentals of drink-making and be willing to practice and experiment. “Take this time to perfect something you’ve been wanting to master—whether that’s an infusion, syrup or cocktail recipe. Now is the time to use the scientific method to refine your skills.”

His key tips and tricks for at-home mixologists are:


Less is more.

Three or four ingredients are all you really need to make a well-balanced, delicious cocktail at home with minimal effort.

Fresh is best.

Cocktails don't have to be complicated, but the details count. Fresh whole citrus will last for multiple weeks if kept refrigerated and dry, so picking up a few extra when you're shopping is a great idea. Never, ever use bottled citrus juice. If you're in a pinch and that's all you have, you're better off making yourself a simple highball with club soda.

Use what you've got.

A lot of cocktail traditions are rooted in preserving seasonal ingredients, so cocktails are a great way to repurpose ingredients that you already have at home. For example, plain, white sugar is an everyday cocktail staple as it provides a great, neutral backbone for making a variety of flavoured syrups. To make a base simple syrup, all you need to do is combine one cup white sugar with one cup boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Dried spices can be a powerful cocktail ingredient. Try infusing vodka with black peppercorns for Bloody Marys or whole cloves with whiskey for a more flavourful Old Fashioned. Tea is another amazing fusion ingredient. Alcohol acts much like boiling water does when combined with tea, extracting flavour in a relatively short period of time. Simply follow the instructions on the tea package for steeping, substituting the boiling water with alcohol. Try chamomile and tequila for a drink with a herbaceous Margarita riff.

You don't need to buy new gear.

No Amazon order needed. Materials found at home can easily stand-in for traditional bar kit tools. Anything that holds liquid and seals can become a cocktail shaker if you put your mind to it. Some examples are protein shake blender bottles, a glass jar with a lid, or a blender with a few cubes of ice thrown in. A tablespoon (0.5 ounces) can take the place of a jigger. If you don't have a bar spoon, try using a chopstick or a hard, reusable straw.

Practice makes perfect

Four recipes (two mocktails and two cocktails) to help you hone your skills.

Paloma Undercover

Image of Paloma Undercover mocktail. Photo courtesy of Hilton.

The Paloma Undercover is a zero-proof variation on the classic cocktail. Brown sugar and grapefruit pair to give the drink a bitter/sweet balance and soda water adds refreshing effervescence.

  • 2 ounces Seedlip Spice 94 (non-alcoholic spirit)
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce brown sugar syrup (make using two parts brown sugar to one part water)
  • 1-2 ounces soda water

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain the drink into coupe glasses. 

Tamed Tiki

Image of Tamed Tiki mocktail. Photo courtesy of Hilton.

The zero-proof Tamed Tiki transports you to somewhere tropical and warm right from the first sip.

  • 2 ounces coconut water
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce maple syrup (Homemade: two parts maple syrup to one part water)
  • 2 ounces ginger beer

Combine all ingredients, except the ginger beer, into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain the drink to a snifter or hurricane glass (or any glass you have on hand) with crushed ice and add ginger beer. Top with additional crushed ice to fill the glass.

Cherry Blossom

Image of Cherry Blossom cocktail. Photo courtesy of Hilton.

This perfectly pink, refreshing, tangy cocktail from Hilton Garden Inn’s Garden Grille & Bar is as fresh and beautiful as the cherry blossom season it is named after.

  • 1¼ ounce 80 proof tequila
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • Sugar as needed

Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake well. Strain into lime juice and sugar-rimmed martini glass or serve over ice. Feeling fancy? Garnish with a cherry or slice of grapefruit.

Judy’s Garden Gin

Image of Judy's Garden Gin cocktail. Photo courtesy of Hilton.

Award-winning actress, director, author and America’s best friend, Judy Greer, has been the star of Hilton Garden Inn’s ad campaign since 2017. She recently partnered with the brand to create her own specialty cocktail, Judy’s Garden Gin. This fun twist of the classic Daisy is perfect for at-home mixologists.

  • 2 ounces Tanqueray gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces soda water (optional)

Measure and pour all ingredients except soda water into shaker. Add ice to shaker (optional). Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Top with soda water (optional). Enjoy up or on the rocks.