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7 Tiny Cocktails to Stay Ahead of the Trend

June 10, 2024 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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Hold on to your hats, DIY cocktail connoisseurs. Today we’re tumbling down the proverbial rabbit hole to shrink down in size and discover the many marvels of tiny cocktails! These small sips are redefining how we think about entertaining, offering a new way to enjoy the complexity and artistry of cocktail culture without the commitment of a full-sized drink. 

The charm of tiny cocktails

Close up of a variety of tiny cocktails of different colors on a serving platter

Tiny cocktails, also known as mini- or micro cocktails, are precisely what their name suggests: smaller versions of classic or contemporary drinks, served in shot glasses, mini Martini glasses, or other types of petite glassware. They present a unique opportunity to savor multiple flavors and drink experiences in a single sitting, all while maintaining a sense of balance and sophistication. 

One of the most compelling aspects of tiny cocktails is their perfect portion control. In an age where moderation is increasingly valued, these little drinks allow for indulgence without excess. They’re perfect for social settings where guests can sample a variety of sips without overindulging.  

Tiny cocktails are also particularly well-suited to tasting menus or cocktail flights. Much like food-tasting menus allow diners to sample various dishes, cocktail flights can present a range of drinks that showcase different spirits, mixers, and techniques.  

In fact, if you’re hosting a party at home, serving a selection of tiny cocktails can turn a simple gathering into an extraordinary experience. It sets the scene for guests to enjoy a curated selection of drinks, each crafted to highlight different flavors and styles, without the commitment of a full-sized cocktail. 

We also love that cocktails have an edge when it comes to sustainability. By reducing the size of the drink, there’s less waste in terms of unused ingredients and excess alcohol. This approach is both eco-friendly and cost-effective, making it a smart choice for bars and home enthusiasts alike. 

FUN FACT! Tiny cocktails have their roots in a tradition called the ‘bartender’s handshake’. This informal ritual among bartenders involves offering a small, complimentary drink to industry friends or respected patrons as a gesture of hospitality and camaraderie. These drinks are typically quick to prepare and consume, often showcasing a bartender’s skill and creativity in a small package. 

How to craft marvelous mini cocktails

Close up of a woman holding a tray of one-sup martini cocktails

For home mixologists, tiny cocktails present a veritable playground of possibilities. With smaller quantities, there’s less risk in trying out new combinations. It’s a chance to play with flavors, proportions, and presentations, making the process as enjoyable as the result. 

Quality is non-negotiable when shaking up tiny cocktails. Every ingredient must be perfectly balanced, as any imperfection is more noticeable in a smaller drink. This focus on precision elevates the craft, ensuring that each sip is a carefully crafted experience. 

Despite their size, tiny cocktails also shouldn’t skimp on presentation. These drinks should enjoy the same level of garnish and detail as their larger counterparts. Imagine a Tiny Martini, complete with a single olive or a delicate twist of lemon peel, or a Mini Margarita with a perfectly salted rim and a tiny lime wedge. How fun! 

Top tips to make tiny cocktails with ease

A jug of Margarita cocktails next to three small coupe glasses on a table

Serving up adorable bite-sized cocktails is a fun and sophisticated way to entertain. Here’s how to master the miniature mixology game: 

Batching small drinks for big events

Shakeable cocktails like Margaritas or Espresso Martinis are easy to make in bigger batches on the day. We recommend having two cocktail shakers on the go, and portioning out your snackable sips as you go.  

When it comes to drinks like the Manhattan, Negroni, and Old Fashioned, you could go with a freezer-door cocktail approach. Simply mix, freeze, and then pour out icy-cold mini masterpieces when your guests arrive. 

Prepping small sips for date night

If you want to create a romantic and intimate cocktail experience for date night, simply pick your favorite cocktail recipe and split the finished drink between two chilled miniature glasses. Voila! Perfect mini cocktails for two. Remember, the key is keeping things icy cold, so pop your little glasses in the freezer before you start mixing. 

Choosing glassware like a pro

Now for the fun part—choosing the ideal vessels for your miniature masterpieces!  Think tiny and elegant. European wine glasses, the kind you might find in a charming Italian farmhouse, or even small sherry glasses are perfect options. Get creative, explore different styles, and embrace the charm of these short kings of the glassware world! 

Popular recipes for DIY miniature cocktails

Essentially, turning your favorite cocktail into a mini cocktail drink simply involves scaling down the recipe. For example, if a standard cocktail recipe calls for 2 ounces of spirits, use a quarter to a third of that amount. Precision is key, so measure your ingredients carefully to maintain the balance of flavors. 

1. Tiny Negroni

A TIny Negroni cocktail on a coaster, garnished with a wedge of orange

The Negroni is a drink that has stood the test of time. To make the tiny version, combine 0.25 oz gin, 0.25 oz Campari, and 0.25 oz sweet vermouth in a cocktail glass with ice. Stir, strain into a small serving glass, and garnish with an orange twist.  

Make it with: Campari 

2. Minor Old Fashioned

A Minor Old Fashioned cocktail in a small rocks glass

The Old Fashioned is a classic clinker, if ever there was one. To make this major into a minor, follow our Freezer Door Cocktail recipe, and pour a 1.5 oz measure into a chilled serving glass when you are ready to serve.  

Make it with: Wild Turkey Bourbon 

3. Snaquiri

A Snaquiri tiny cocktail on a table next to a serving platter with mini tacos

The darling Daiquiri also makes a sensational smaller sip. To craft a Snaquiri, add 0.5 oz rum, 0.25 oz fresh lime juice, and 0.25 oz simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a mini glass, garnish with a small lime wedge, and enjoy! 

Make it with: Home-made simple syrup 

4. Mini Margarita

A mini Margarita in a small rocks glass next to a serving platter of grilled corn and chicken wings

Bring a touch of South American swagger to your shindig with a Mini Margarita. To make one, combine 1 oz tequila, 0.5 oz lime juice, and 0.5 oz Grand Marnier in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until frosty, strain into a small serving glass rimmed with salt, and serve.  

Make it with: Espolòn Tequila Blanco 

5. One-Sip Martini

A One-Sip Martini garnished with a green olive on a wooden cocktail pick

The One-Sip Martini skyrocketed to popularity thanks to Monica Berg and the rest of the talented crew at Tayēr + Elementary in London. To make something similar at home, stir 1 oz gin and a splash of dry vermouth in a cocktail glass with ice. Strain into a tiny Martini glass, garnish with a green olive, and enjoy.  

Make it with: Cinzano Vermouth Bianco 

6. Baby Bellini

A Baby Bellini next to a plate stacked with pancakes

A sparkly Bellini is always a treat. To make a tiny version, add 1 oz peach puree to a mini Champagne flute, and top it off with sparkling wine. Simple, yet stunning.  

7. Mini Manhattan

Two Mini Manhattan cocktails on a table next to a bowl of cherries and a few pieces of dark chocolate

This sweet, smooth sipper makes a great welcome drink. To make a mini version, add 1 oz rye whiskey, 0.5 oz sweet vermouth, and a drop of orange bitters to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until icy cold, strain into a chilled serving glass, and garnish with an orange twist. 

Make it with: 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso 

In short, tiny cocktails are more than just a diminutive trend; they represent a fun new way of discovering the art of mixology. By focusing on quality, presentation, and the joy of experimentation, these small sips make a big impression. Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or a home cocktail enthusiast, tiny cocktails offer a delightful, sustainable, and sophisticated way to explore the world of classy clinks. Cheers, dears! 

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