Wixon Jewelers in Minneapolis, MN




There is something to be said with finding joy in one of life’s simple pleasures, like a enjoying a perfectly crafted cocktail. These last few years have sparked a desire in many of us to invest in glassware, grab a shaker, indulge in a new or unusual spirit and really go for it within the comforts of our own homes. Here at Wixon, we believe quality is found in the details when it comes to our jewelry and fine Swiss timepieces. This same adage holds true for the way you pour, mix, shake, garnish and serve a good cocktail—the details matter.

There are times when we drink to quench our thirst, to toast a friend or a special occasion, or even to awaken our tastebuds before a meal. Then there are times when we drink for no other reason than for sheer pleasure and as a way to revive and invigorate our spirits after the longest of days. Whatever the occasion or reason may be, our Wixon team of wannabe master mixologists have a few tips and recommendations to elevate your drinks and bring the best parts of the bar to your home-crafted cocktails.


By Jessica Gylsen

Head shot of Jessica GylsenBest in Glass

I’m a firm believer that the glass you choose to drink from will significantly impact your experience. For me, the glassware is as important as the quality of the beverage that’s being served. Stemware is designed with a distinct purpose in mind; it allows the wine to breathe and helps control temperature. The same holds true with cocktails where aroma and temp control correlate to the crystal shape. Different glassware styles elicit different aspects of the libation. Beautiful glassware is just as much a mental thing. A fantastic glass of wine or creative craft cocktail is a small moment of luxury meant to be enjoyed start to finish. It’s a curated moment where the glassware makes the beverage an all-encompassing heightened experience.

Pro Tips

    • CONVERTABLE CLASSICS: Invest in multi-purpose basics first and think creatively. Top-quality lowballs double as a beautiful piece of crystal to house a variety of different cocktails. A classic coupe glass will be one of the most versatile in one’s collection.
    • SIGNATURE STYLE: Search antique markets, specialty stores and online purveyors of crystal for unique pieces that suit your home and match your personality.
    • HANDWASH ONLY: Don’t use the dishwasher. If you’ve had more than one, always wait to wash glasses until the morning after. Trust me… I speak from experience.


By Dustin Reed

Headshot of Dustin ReedTaste the Difference

The quality of the spirits and ingredients that you use creates a distinct and noticeable difference between two styles of the same drink. Take the simple Screwdriver for example. Have you ever noticed how much better it tastes with premium vodka, or how fresh-squeezed juice makes all the difference versus juice from a carton? The details are where a cocktail goes from average to awesome! A good beverage is so much more than the sum of its parts—if you put good in, you’ll get good out.

Pro Tips

    • BOTTOMS UP: Your top-shelf spirts should be reserved for drinks with minimal to no added ingredients. For ingredient-heavy cocktails, it’s perfectly acceptable to use mid-range spirits.
    • SUGAR RUSH: The quality and type of sugar can make a big difference in the overall taste of the drink. For the classic Old Fashioned, try using fine-quality Demerara sugar instead of a basic white blend for a richer, more robust flavor.
    • ICE ICE BABY: Don’t underestimate the power of the cube! The purity of the water as well as the shape, size and texture of the ice makes all the difference. It’s possible to make clear ice at home, but I’ve found MN Pure Clear Ice to be the best.


By Hope Wixon

Headshot of Hope WixonTop It Off

It’s often said that we eat with our eyes; it’s all about the presentation! The same philosophy is equally important with what’s being poured. Through sight and smell, we get a first glimpse as to what our liquid experience entails. Garnishes add something extra to indulge the senses while enhancing the enjoyment of the drink. Fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary and thyme from the garden lend both flavor and visual interest to a cocktail. Experiment by incorporating different herbs, spices, fruit, nuts and even candy. As we all know in life, it’s all about accessorizing.

Pro Tips

    • FRESH IS BEST: Go with what’s fresh and in-season. At their peak, basil, mint, rosemary and thyme will lend a strong impactful flavor to a wide variety of drinks.
    • RAID THE FRIDGE: Look for items in your fridge and cupboards. A good cocktail is really about being a good cook. Cayenne, cardamom, star anise or even a tablespoon of raspberry jam can all come into play.
    • SMACK THAT: Before adding it to the cocktail, smack your fresh herb garnish against your hand before adding it to the cocktail to release essentials oils and add extra aroma to the drink.


By Jayme Pretzloff

Headshot of Jayme PretzloffShake It Up

Mastering mixology requires an intimate understanding of your ingredients and how they blend together. A simple rule of thumb is that anything containing juice, eggs or dairy should be shaken, while cocktails made entirely of spirits or that include a carbonated liquid should be stirred. Most cocktail recipes are self-explanatory—shake it or stir it—but there are some techniques that can really elevate your cocktail game. Experimentation is key, but practice makes perfect. Developing your bartending skills can be a lot of fun, and with a little practice, you’ll be whipping up amazing drinks just like a professional bartender.

Pro Tips

  • DRY SHAKE: When making drinks containing egg whites, it’s imperative to first shake the mixture without ice. Then add ice to the shaker and shake the drink a second time. The initial “dry shake” allows the drink to emulsify and produce a thicker foam on top of the finished cocktail. Without a good dry shake, cocktails such as the Whiskey Sour will come out flat and froth-less.
  • CHILL OUT: To keep cocktails crisp and cool longer, it’s important to chill your glassware. Before you start making the cocktail, fill the glass with ice and water. By the time you’re ready to pour, the glass will be adequately chilled.
  • POOR POUR: Use a jigger to get all your measurements right. While free pouring is faster and flashier, small inaccuracies can quickly add up and

See the full issue of The Wixon Experience 2021 | Volume 8

Posted In: Lifestyle

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