Story byKlea Gonzales
Photography bySonny Thakur
Est. Read Time
Even as virtual happy hours become the norm, there’s nothing quite like the Filipino inuman. But in place of the typical wine and beer, a great way to spice up your at-home drinking experience is to create your own cocktails.
Cocktails can be intimidating—but the team behind Craft Me Up assures us that it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems.
“I used to mix Amaretto and Whiskey together without knowing it was called a Godfather,” says co-founder and head bartender Mark Princesa.
A longtime fan of spirits, Mark’s passion for cocktails led him to establish Craft Me Up with cousins Anna Princesa and Chris Escalante. Now, they’ve made it their mission to encourage others to learn more about the art of mixology at home.
“Mixology is about more than just getting drunk.We want to help people appreciate the spirits, the flavors, and the craftsmanship behind how it’s made.”<callout-alt-author>Chris Escalante<callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author>
At-home mixology is a simple way to customize your drinks to suit your taste. And you don’t have to worry about knowing everything before you start—trying new things is part of the fun!
“The best part of making cocktails at home is the discovery,” Mark says. “That you don’t have to leave home to try something new.”
START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
It might seem like a fun idea to dive right in with the fancy liquor, but the best way to start your mixology journey is to use liquors and flavors you already know you enjoy.
“Don’t jump off the deep end with strong, bitter [liquor] if that isn’t your thing,” says Mark. To help you hit your bartending stride, identify which spirit you like best—whiskey, gin, rum—and try making a few cocktails using that as a base.
TIP: You don’t need to build a 30-bottle liquor collection from the get-go (as cool as that sounds). Start off with two or three variants of your spirit of choice, then start to branch out when you feel ready to give other ones a try.
“Start with something familiar and comfortable; if you like sweet drinks, let that be your guide.” <callout-alt-author>Mark Princesa<callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author>
A good cocktail is all about balance: the correct mix and proportion of quality ingredients that brings out the best flavor notes in each one. But at-home mixology is also about what appeals to you: start off with something familiar (like a Cuba libre—which is really just rum and Coke), and work your way up to more adventurous flavor combinations. (Coffee! Chili peppers! The possibilities are endless.)
A good rule of thumb is to make the drinks you would want to drink.