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Pro mixologists say these 9 ingredients will upgrade your home cocktails

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  • Even a simple garnish can take your cocktails up a notch, says Iverson Guo, Karma Asian Fusion cocktail director.
  • Garnishes like Amarena cherries, edible glitter, and blue cheese stuffed olives add visual appeal.
  • You can get a more complex flavor with rimming salts, flavored bitters, and infused honey.

The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a full-on home mixology movement. Now, most establishments have reopened and those quarantinis have reverted back to regular old martinis. But let’s be honest: you just can’t beat the convenience and affordability of a homemade cocktail.

What often separates a homemade cocktail from one you’d get at a bar are those subtle but special touches that add complexity and visual appeal. So, if ginger ale in your whiskey or cranberry juice in your vodka isn’t cutting it anymore, maybe all you need is some alcoholic boba or fruity bitters to instantly punch up your drinks.

“When experimenting with creating cocktails at home, I love to begin by choosing my favorite spirit and finding a seasonal fruit to use,” says Iverson Guo, owner, head chef and cocktail director at Karma Asian Fusion. “Square or sphere ice molds and fresh fruit garnishes can take your cocktails to the next level.”

Ready to embrace your inner bartender? Below, pro mixologists share some of their favorite ingredients for elevating your home cocktails.

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