The world's best bartender reveals how to make 5 simple cocktails that will really impress your friends

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If you’re having friends over to your house for a gathering, the question turns to what to serve them for drinks.

Wine is always a good choice, but why not go above and beyond to kick things off, and make them cocktails?

Bartenders make mixing look like a fine art that requires hours of practice, but in reality there are some simple and easy cocktails you can make yourself at home.

We asked the 2018 World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Australia’s Orlando Marzo, from Melbourne’s acclaimed Lûmé restaurant, for five simple cocktails you can make that will really knock the socks off your friends.

They include a range of different ingredients, including the spirit Marzo says will be the most popular during summer: gin.

Here they are.

A spritz

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“Spritzes are super versatile and great to serve as an aperitif,” Marzo says.

“Pour 30ml of your favourite spirit, add 60ml of sparkling wine, 30ml of soda and then dress it with fruit, a citrus wedge or olives for a savoury twist.

“I recommend Tanqueray London Dry Gin or Ketel One Vodka,” he says.

A negroni

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“These have grown incredibly popular in the last decade and can be made using the classic recipe of equal parts (30ml) Tanqueray No.10 gin, sweet vermouth and bitters,” Marzo says.

“They’re not only one of the greatest classics but a very solid formula to make drinks.

“Choose from your archive your base spirit, your fortified wine and your bitter,” he suggests.

A margarita

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“They are arguably the benchmark of cocktails for home parties, and will add a zesty and uplifting note to any drinks list,” Marzo says.

“My recipe — 50ml of Don Julio Tequila, 15ml of Orange Curacao, 5ml of sugar syrup, and 20ml of fresh lime juice.

“Combine in a shaker with 2 strawberries or raspberries or anything fresh to give it a twist,” he says.

A Tom Collins

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“A Tom Collins made with gin is always a refreshing cocktail addition, and can easily be adapted with your own syrups or sodas,” Marzo says.

“Use 60ml of Tanqueray London Dry Gin, 1 lemon wedge, 20ml lemon juice, 20 ml sugar syrup and then shake, strain into a glass and top with soda.”

An old fashioned

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“If you’re winding down the night, opt for one of these as the last drink you offer your guests,” Marzo says.

“I use 50 ml Johnnie Walker whisky, 10ml sugar syrup, and 2 drops Angostura bitters.”

“You can add a sweet element to your old fashioned by diving into your pantry and adding a bit or honey or maple,” he says.

Marzo beat more than 10,000 bartenders worldwide in the World Class Global Bartender of the Year competition which involved hundreds of cocktail-making challenges over six months.

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