Merlin Griffiths, master mixologist and Bombay Sapphire global brand ambassador, has travelled the world perfecting his craft and educating consumers and professional bartenders alike on the art of mixology. He offers the following tips to take your cocktails from good to great.

• Don’t be afraid to keep it simple — using too many flavours will confuse your taste buds. As a general rule, never use more than four ingredients in a cocktail. Not only will they be easier to make but also the flavours of your spirit and your key ingredients will shine through.

• Don’t forget ice — and plenty of it. Remove the ice from the freezer five minutes before use to avoid the ice from being too cold which will make it become brittle and sticky.

• Citrus twists will stay intact in ice water.

• Zests and sliced citrus fruits need storing in an airtight container in a cool place.

• Whole tropical fruits, like pineapple, are best stored at room temperature.

• Soft fruits and berries slice easier when cold.

• Keep all prepared garnishes chilled in airtight containers until needed.

• Remove from the fridge in portions to keep fruit fresh all evening.

• To ensure a complete bar kit, add the following tools to your barware: A sharp fruit knife and cutting board, cocktail measure (shot glass/jigger) and a long handled spoon. Nice extras include a citrus press/juicer, slim rolling pin or “muddler” for crushing fruit and a medium tea strainer for straining fruit pulp.

• Many are familiar with the three-piece shaker featuring the tin base, a cap with a built-in strainer and the top to close it while shaking. Although it does the job, most professional bartenders prefer the two-piece version — called the Boston shaker. It includes a glass which allows you to see the ingredients and quantities and a metal tin to give more space to shake the ingredients.

For more information and Merlin’s demonstrations on shakers, garnishes and mixing premium Bombay Sapphire cocktails, visit

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