Food, Home & Lifestyle

Exploring the Palate

Your individual palate should guide you in building cocktails that balance sour and sweet flavors. Lynnette and Ryan demonstrate their preferred lemonades and then add seasonal ingredients, resulting in perfectly balanced non-alcoholic drinks.

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Topics include: The Lemonade Test


[00:00:07.16] - So a crucial part of understanding how to build cocktails is to really understand how the palate works and how people perceive the liquids in their mouths. You know, so people have different taste buds, different sensories, different sensitivities to different things. So understanding how my palate works helps me also understand how I'm viewing the cocktails I'm making and then understanding the palates around me who are working on the cocktails with me. [00:00:30.89] - Not only does it help you kind of understand how you could create drinks for your friends and kind of keeping that violence in check in your mind, it kind of helps you push it a bit, as well. Once you understand the way it works and your bias in terms of the way that you skew your palate, you can start to find ways of kind of flipping it around, understanding what happens when you dry out a drink by either increasing the acidity, or dropping the sugar, or adding other elements around it. And it just helps you kind of create things in a slightly different way. [00:01:02.95] - So Ryan and I were both discussing about how we figure out where someone's palate is. And in our bars, we both use a similar approach to kind of figure out where our bartenders are starting from. And we use a simple test, which is making lemonade. As simple as the task might seem to a bartender, what we think is that this test really shows how someone balances their sweet, their sour, and water element within a cocktail. [00:01:26.34] - It's also one of those drinks that I think people overlook. It's really delicious to have a proper lemonade. Everybody reaches for kind of like the clear gun lemonade, or a bottle, and it doesn't taste like lemons. And it's-- it's an amazing base. Not only does it teach us about that balance and how to keep all of those elements in check. It's actually just a really amazing kind of lengthener to be able to use as a-- as a mix for your drink. So once you kind of get around this technique, you kind of go, it's actually just really nice to have a proper lemonade. [00:01:54.36] - I like to look at this as a test for my bartenders just to see how they would understand building a sour. Because I do think sours are a big base of many, many cocktails. So just to see what their relationship to sweet and tart is, I always start by using my citrus. I like to know how tart that is before I start. [00:02:14.10] So I just-- usually will just give it a little taste and-- to see where-- where it's going. After it's juiced, it will change over time. So tasting your juice every day is really important. I realized this was quite tart even for me, so I know I'm going to have to add a bit of sugar to round that out. And I'm also have to think about how water is going to help basically tone down that acidity. [00:02:37.62] So I did two parts of my lemon juice. I'm going to do one part of my one to one syrup, because I do still want that fresh lemon flavor to be present. And the...

About the Instructor

James Beard honoree Lynnette Marrero has been at the forefront of the NYC craft cocktail movement. Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) is the founder of Dandelyan, named the world’s best bar. They will teach you the essentials of cocktail making, from developing your palate to building your home bar. Learn how to mix a perfectly balanced drink for every occasion and mood—and become your friends’ new favorite bartender.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Lynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana

World-class bartenders Lynnette and Ryan (aka Mr Lyan) teach you how to make perfect cocktails at home for any mood or occasion.

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