Ina Garten's Secret to Making Perfect Cocktails Involves an Everyday Kitchen Item
The entire Internet exploded in collective laughter when Seth Meyers aired his latest "Day Drinking" segment with none other than the Barefoot Contessa—the pair headed to the Corner Bistro in Lower Manhattan and downed so many cocktails, we lost count. But these weren't any old cocktails; Garten and Meyers made classic drinks, from a Pimm's cup to a whiskey sour, straight out of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.
You'll certainly enjoy some laughs while watching the segment—where, among other games, Seth makes Ina take part in a taste test of Arby's horseradish sauce—but, if you watch closely, you'll learn a thing or two about how Garten nails classic cocktails.
In one part of the segment, Meyers and Garten head to the bar and attempt to make the best version of a Barefoot Contessa cocktail—each armed with a recipe card, and a divider between them to keep things fair. It should come as no surprise that Garten made the better cocktails, but you may be surprised to learn that she uses a measuring cup when making cocktails for the best result.
"I have a measuring cup, I brought my own," Ina says, pouring vodka directly into the measuring cup. "That's the problem with you cookbook people," Meyers replies.
Of course, cocktail recipes call for specific portions—but Meyers shows how easy it is for people to "eyeball" the quantity called for in a recipe… and Ina's face as she tries his concoctions illustrates how easy it is to get it wrong.
More Ina Garten tips and tricks:
At Cooking Light, we ran a monthly column where one of our nutritionists carefully curated cocktails that, in addition to being delicious, also provide a health boost. Our test kitchen editors know all too well that even a teaspoon more of liquor could completely throw a cocktail's flavor profile out of whack, and also derail the nutritional value of a drink—resulting in more calories, and a less healthy cocktail.
Ina Garten certainly knows how to hack her way through classic recipes, but this settles it: Even the Barefoot Contessa doesn't "eyeball" liquor, and neither should you. Armed with a measuring cup, you can expertly tackle all 22 of our favorite cocktails—including these four mood-boosting drinks that can help you get through the rest of winter with ease.