The weather is finally permitting shirts, the air carries the spring scent of wet clay and you can feel the being within slowly evolving from caterpillar to social butterfly. Dividends from staying homebound during the winter have paid and, naturally, you want to throw a cocktail party!
You’re dreaming up ideas and themes and getting excited about having all your favourite people together in the same room! Then, suddenly, the pressure of having to “entertain” hits. How do you do this again? What will you need? What is the right amount of supplies not leave guests wanting but also not warrant waste? The cold has you a little out of shape.
Enter: Luke Marosszeky. Regatta’s own Bar Manager and cocktail extraordinaire. Well known in the East for introducing imaginative cocktails to a nook that’s been stuck in the lychee martini and passionfruit caprioska bubble for far too long.
Luke, thank goodness you’re here! What are your tips for getting the drinks aspect of a party en pointe?
“You’re going to want to make your cocktails in batches – or a punch bowls! To get it right adhere to this simple, old school formula and apply to any recipe:
• 1 measure of sour ie. lime, lemon or Yuzu juice
• 2 measures of sweet ie. sugar syrup, liqueurs such as Cointreau, St Germaine elderflower or, for the health and calorie conscious, juices such as watermelon, strawberry or cloudy apple
• 3 measures of strong ie. vodka, gin, white rum or white tequila
• 4 measures of weak ie. soda, tonic or straight water
• Once you have your base punch, use herbs and spices to add more depth ie. mint, basil, cinnamon or angostura bitters”
Oh awesome, so it’s just a game of multiplication?
“Not exactly. If you’ve taken your favourite recipe, simply scaled it up and found it didn’t quite taste the same, then you were right! Like with cooking a stew for one as apposed to 40, you can’t just multiply everything by 40. It’s about balance and that’s why the formula works!”
Speaking of ratios, what else do I not want to get wrong?
“When making your own sugar syrup always use a 1:1 ratio. In a heatproof container add 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup boiling water and stir well. There is no need to do it on a stove if you keep stirring. Let it cool before you refrigerate otherwise it might crystallise again.”
You’re a wizard. Tell me more!
“Here are my favourite party tricks:
• If you’re having a really big bash and don’t have enough jugs or punch bowls, use a glass vase and a kitchen ladle. Nothing stands out more than a 60cm tall mojito ready to be divvied up
• Make fruity ice cubes - blend watermelon, cut it into cubes and freeze! Guaranteed crowd pleaser
• Don’t forget to chill your mixers, no matter what! Nothing takes away the tangy effervescent aspect of a drink more than a warm mixer on cold ice”
You can catch Luke behind the stick at Regatta Rose Bay most days.