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The ABC of cocktails

Discover Caraïbos' golden rules for a successful cocktail

Step1: Getting ready

Making a cocktail is a real art which requires preparation.
The aim is not to serve a cocktail like you would serve a simple glass of water.

Key points to remember:
A cocktail is normally composed of three types of ingredients:

  • 1 type of alcohol (and only one!) which forms the base of your cocktail. This is the part which gives it its strength and body.
  • Fruit (liqueurs, cream liqueurs, syrups, bitters, vermouths) and/or soda (tonics, soft drinks) and/or a flavour enhancer in a tiny dose (bitter or spicy sauce) giving the cocktail flavour and colour.
  • Ice, to cool it all down! It is best to use big chunks of ice and make sure it is very cold to avoid adding too much water to the mixture.

Step 2: Putting it all together

Assembling the different ingredients making up your cocktail is a crucial stage in its success. This can be done in 4 ways:

  • Using a cocktail shaker
  • Using a mixing glass
  • Directly in the glass: this technique is often used for the simplest cocktails or layered cocktails.
  • Using a blender: this utensil is preferred for making frozen drinks, creamy mixtures, or exotic cocktails requiring a specific consistency.

Step 3: Serving

Each type of cocktail has its own type of glass.
There are 3 main types of glasses:

Verre à cocktail ou verre à Martini

The cocktail, or Martini, glass: (7-12 cl), sleek and sophisticated,
this type of glass is typically used to give
that 'classic cocktail touch' to your drinks.

Tumbler pour long drinks

Le tumbler: (20 à 25cl) ce type de verre aux lignes plus classiques
est majoritairement employé pour les long drinks. Sa forme allongée
ainsi que sa taille permettent d’y placer un nombre important de glaçons
pour rafraîchir intégralement la préparation.

Verre old-fashionned pour short drinks

The tumbler: (20-25cl), this type of glass with its classic lines is mostly used for long drinks.
Its elongated form and size lets you put plenty of ice cubes in it to fully chill the drink.


The Old-Fashioned cocktail glass: (15-33 cl) wider and shorter than the first two, this "short tumbler" is a classic and used mainly for short drinks.
You can, of course, use any type of glass to suit your taste because there are so many. Find all the original glasses in our "universe of ustensils" section.

Step 4: Decoration

Decoration is often neglected yet vital when preparing a cocktail. Although a cocktail is a taste sensation, it is first and foremost a feast for the eyes! It is part of the essential art of making a cocktail and makes each drink unique. Find our decoration tips in the "Tips from the Experts" section.