The Aspiring Home Bartender: 5 Instagram Accounts to Follow During Lockdown
Modern day cocktail culture is being revamped by “drinkstagrammers”: a generation of cocktail enthusiasts who document their creations via Instagram. No longer is making cocktails reserved solely for the professional mixologist. Beautiful cocktails are, at all times, just a few clicks away.
With that being said, navigating your way through these accounts is no easy feat. One of the very real dangers of this movement is that aspiring home bartenders often stumble across recipes which no professional bartender would ever dream of serving. With the first sip of their horrible concoction, the home bartender assumes they’ve done something wrong and resigns themselves to leave the cocktail making to the professionals.
Lockdown has only exacerbated this issue. More people on Instagram posing as qualified mixologists, and more innocent home bartenders ready to fall into their incredibly aesthetic but not all that tasty traps.
As with all things, a little guidance in the area goes a long way. The following list has been curated especially with the aspiring home bartender in mind. If you’ve recently started your home bartending journey or are looking for some resources to help broaden your cocktailing horizons – the following accounts are definitely worth a scroll.
1. Cocktail maestro
Salvatore Calabrese (Aka the “maestro”) is a legend within the cocktail world. He’s one of the most well-known and respected bartenders of the 21st century, with a long list of bars, awards and recipes to his name. A quick google search will reveal everything you need to know about him - so we won’t bore you with the details, but just be aware: he’s incredible.
What really stands out about his page at the moment are his cocktail tutorials - he’s covered a very healthy range of the classics and refreshingly, he actually knows his stuff. There really isn’t anyone more qualified to be giving a cocktail masterclass.
2. PUNCH DRINK
Following at least one drinks magazine is a must if you’re at all interested in the drinks industry. There are lots out there, and obviously different magazines suit different readers, but my personal favourite (particularly in terms of Instagram content) is PUNCH.
The best thing about PUNCH is that they don’t fall into the ‘must make cocktail look as aesthetically impressive as possible’ trap. Instead, their feed is just a lovely string of minimalistic drinks photos; the captions of which briefly overview what’s discussed in more detail in the corresponding article.
Many of their articles are centred around a specific drink or recipe – so aside from being good reads, they’re also excellent recipe resources for those of you that are more interested in drinking than reading.
I can’t really recommend this magazine highly enough – both for cocktail novices and experts. Even if you’re not a diehard cocktail enthusiast, you’ll be surprised what you can pick up by just reading the occasional article.
3. THE Westmount
One of the smaller accounts on the list (relatively speaking) – but don’t let that fool you. We’re talking lots of colour, lots of lovely photos and lots of cocktail recipes.
If we had to, we’d identify his specialty as subtle twists on the classics; so definitely worth a look if you feel like you’ve started to get to grips with the basics and want to delve deeper. Again, lots of helpful tutorials on both his feed and stories, so this is a particularly good account if you’re looking for a “how to” guide.
Aside from the recipes – we also adore the photography on this account. A very good example of someone that knows their way both around the bar, and behind a camera.
4. House of Negroni
There’s been a lot of Negroni related chat on our socials recently; but I promise, this recommendation isn’t just another manifestation of our Negroni obsession.
Obviously, this page does host a whole range of Negroni pictures, recipes and variations; and is a great scroll for the Negroni lovers amongst us. Beyond that though, it’s essentially just an extremely aesthetic collection of photos which depict quintessentially Italian culture. It can and should be appreciated by Negroni lovers and haters alike.
In their own words:
“The House of Negroni was built to share the journey, history, culture, etiquette, style, class, art, design, and fashion associated with this iconic drink”
And so, it does. From glimpses of classic Italian Aperitivo hour to snapshots of iconic Negroni artwork, a quick scroll will no doubt have you contriving some form of Italian heritage. Even if the drink doesn’t do it for you (we’re not angry, just disappointed), the lifestyle probably will.
5. Apartment bartender
And finally, Elliot Clark. We’ve been a fan of this guy for a long time. He’s a drinks influencer who lives in Denver, Colorado – describing his own page as:
“Your Semi-Decent Guide to Great Drink & Great Living”
Recent highlights include his ‘we create anyway’ campaign (which is only open to US residents, but still worth checking out) and ‘1 Ingredient, 3 drinks’ series.
The latter (as I’m sure you can imagine), involves him creating 3 different drinks out of 1 mutual ingredient. This series, like many of his posts, is very home bartender orientated – making him a great person to follow in the current crisis.
Obviously, there are thousands of Instagram accounts out there that we love; and this list barely scratches the surface. Nevertheless, we hope these accounts will inspire, and enable you to take your home bartending to the next level.
And remember, don’t be put off if you make a cocktail from Instagram and it tastes horrible. Every man and their dog has a cocktail account these days - give home bartending a go from a tried and tested source before you write it off completely.
Happy Home Bartending!
(Co-Founder, Creative Juices Bartending)