If shaking up a cocktail intimidates you and you鈥檝e resigned yourself to pouring a glass of wine or cracking open a can of beer, you鈥檙e not alone, and it doesn鈥檛 have to be this way. There鈥檚 actually a golden ratio that will help you master every adult beverage. Dominic Alling, mixologist and national brand ambassador for Cointreau, helped break it down for us, since *side fact* this year marks the 70th anniversary of The Original Margarita, created by Dallas socialite Margarita Sames, who drank a blend of Cointreau, lime, and tequila.

the golden ratio of cocktails

鈥淭he key to any good cocktail is achieving a balance of flavors,鈥 says Alling. 鈥淣o matter what the beverage, it鈥檚 hard to 鈥榤ess it up鈥 as long as you remember that.鈥 The golden ratio of two-one-one, which breaks down to two parts alcohol, one part sweet, and one part sour, achieves just that. So for the perfect Original Margarita, mix together two parts (or ounces) of tequila (the alcohol), one part (or ounce) of Cointreau (the sweet), and one part (ounce) of fresh lime juice (the sour).

the golden ratio of punches

If you鈥檙e making punch, there鈥檚 another golden ratio to follow. 鈥淢y tip for making good punch [is] one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak,鈥 says Alling. That seems easy enough, especially since it rhymes!

In this case, the sour refers to citrus like a lemon or lime juice. The sweet can be juices like orange or cranberry or a sweet liqueur like orange Cointreau, raspberry Chambord, or elderflower St-Germain.

The 鈥渢hree of strong鈥 refers to liquor like tequila, gin, vodka, rum (Alling prefers Mount Gay Black Barrel), or bourbon. The 鈥渇our of weak鈥 dilutes the punch so it becomes more drinkable. This could be your classic club soda or, if you鈥檙e like Alling, you might take it up a notch. 鈥淚 like to make a big batch of fresh ginger tea and add a little water鈥 of course, finish the drink with Angostura bitters and an orange, lemon, or lime wheel for garnish,鈥 he tells us.

don鈥檛 forget to do this every time

With all cocktails, you should always taste-test. If your drink is too strong, dilute it with a mixer or water. If it鈥檚 too tart, add more of something sweet. If it鈥檚 too sweet, squeeze in more citrus.

Have you tried the golden ratio or have any other cocktail tips? Share over @BritandCo.

(Illustrations via Rebecca Fong/ Brit + Co)