Watching bartenders and mixologists choose different alcohol bottles, splashing syrups, shaking cocktail shakers, and finally, garnishing their drinks is quite a performance. Their skills have probably made you curious about how to mix cocktails and if you could do it on your own.

Unfortunately, people think that mixing drinks is something only skilled professionals behind the bar could do. You’ll often hear people blurt out the excuse that they don’t have the right knowledge or equipment to craft delicious cocktail drinks. Although they have a point, this shouldn’t stop you from wanting to create drinks yourself.

Mixing and creating drinks is relatively easy, especially if you have the right palate, know how to measure ingredients, and can shake a cocktail shaker like a pro. In this article, we’ll give some tips on how to give classic cocktail recipes your twist and reinvent them as your own. Take a shot of tequila, warm up your engines, and let’s start mixing!

Loosen up and learn

Don’t be afraid of tinkering with and editing existing classic cocktail recipes. To make unique drinks, think of these classics as a great starting base for your new cocktails.

Learning the anatomy of classic cocktails is essential, so you understand the drinks’ structure, the techniques used, and which flavours blend and work together.

To help you understand classic cocktails, try all the traditional drinks, dissect it, learn each ingredient’s purpose, and how it is made and served.

Swap ingredients

You’ll notice that some craft distilleries offer traditional cocktails with a twist. Often, they taste both familiar and unique. One of the techniques that mixologists do is swap some ingredients in a traditional recipe with a new flavour that can give your palate a different experience.

When you modify an existing recipe, you reinvent it and turn it into a different version. You can do this by choosing an ingredient that you think can be replaced with something much more unique. This could be the cocktail’s base spirit, chosen liqueur, mixer, or even the garnish.

Ideally, when swapping ingredients, you want to do it one component at a time to reduce the trial-and-error process. This way, you understand the way the new flavours blend and which other ingredients could be swapped.

The great thing about cocktails is that each ingredient has an obvious purpose and it’ll be easy for you to spot which properties and flavours you can change.

Polish, modify and improve flavours

After altering your cocktail recipe, the next thing you want to do is to enhance and polish its flavours by adding another level of complexity and depth to your cocktail.

You can boost your drink’s complexity by incorporating infused spirits or syrups that contain fruit, flower, herbs, or even spices. Additionally, you can add bitters or liqueurs to change its depth.

By making these small changes, you are completely changing your drinks’ flavour profile and ultimately transforming your drinking experience.

Get expert feedback

The best way to learn is by getting feedback from experts. You can do this by visiting your local craft distilleries and asking your bartender friend, or review great content from Aaron Hatchell or Monica from Liqculture to try your recipe and give you some tips and comments.

You don’t always have to mix and create drinks on your own; when you create something, it requires collaboration. And the best way for you to develop the best cocktail reinvention is by getting feedback and making necessary adjustments to your recipes.


When you want to dive into creating and mixing drinks, don’t be intimidated by working with traditional cocktail recipes. These classics are here to help you mix signature drinks and to help you find the best flavours for you. If you’re ready to dive into reinventing cocktail drinks, visit different craft distilleries, do some research, and don’t be afraid to swap, mix, and shake. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to mix and create drinks like a true mixologist.

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