Shaking & Stirring
The hallmark of any great bartender is their ability to master stirring and shaking cocktails effortlessly with consistent results. While stirring with a cocktail mixing glass does take a little practice and shaking is just plain fun, you can easily pick up a few techniques in no time.
To Shake or To Stir? That is the Question.
Stirring a recipe is gentler and allows spirits to mix together without chipping the ice and over diluting the cocktail. Stirring is good for cocktails like Negronis and Manhattans. Shaking a cocktail will chill the mixture faster than stirring. Shaking is best with cocktails that need the ice to break apart and mix with a combination of dairy, liqueurs, fruit juices, eggs, or sour mixes. Shaking is ideal for cocktails like Margaritas or Cosmopolitans. Almost every recipe should spell out what to do, but do make a note which method of mixing you’ll need to use in your drink recipe beforehand so that you are properly prepared with the tools necessary.
Shaking it Out
If I say cocktail, what's the first image that pops into your head? That’s right, someone using a shaker. To shake like a pro, find a shaker that you can hold firmly in your hands and can easily seal and open. Treat the contents inside as one solid mass you’re moving back and forth quickly. Aim for about 10 seconds of vigorous, over the shoulder shaking.
How to Use a Bar Spoon in Less Than 10 Seconds
Stirring with a bar spoon does require a little technique. Place the spoon up against the inside of your mixing glass with the curved surface facing out. Begin stirring slowly, gradually picking up speed, keeping the spoon up against the inside of the glass at all times (this prevents ice chips and too much dilution). Within moments you’ll be enjoying a professionally finished cocktail.