Shake, strain, and stir - 3 Cocktail Techniques for Beginners

Finally, you have the chance to stock-up on some fancy tools for your home bar. You can’t wait to show them off to your friends and are looking forward to having them over one weekend. After all, mixing cocktails should be easy, right? You just need to know the basics and you’re off to a good start.

Wait…what do you mean cocktail basics? Surely, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to prepare cocktails? Unfortunately, while cocktail mixing seems like a fairly simple process, cocktails require more than just simple shaking, stirring, and straining. Let us run you through some of the basic techniques in cocktail mixing.

How do you strain a drink?

Use a three-piece cocktail shaker to easily strain drinks from. This is because the strainer is already built into of the lids so you don’t have to use a separate strainer. You need a firm grasp of the mixing tin to secure it so the lid can won’t come off. Slowly tip the tool upside down and let the liquid out.

If you wish to use a separate strainer, know that there are three popular types out there. Hawthorn, Julep, and Fine mesh. The Hawthorn is used when straining from a mixing glass because of its unique design that helps keep the strainer in place. The Julep strainer, on the other hand, is best when straining from a mixing glass. Finally, if you want to filter of fruit pulps or seeds or small chunks of ice, use a fine mesh strainer instead.

When to Stir or Shake a Cocktail

The rule of thumb is to stir spirits and shake cocktails with chunk of ingredients. Stirring yields an icy and clear consistency while shaking makes the cocktail frothy and crisp.

Stir cocktails to mix the liquid properly. It is best to use your fingers and not your wrist do the stirring to keep the cocktail clear and its temperature chilled. Watch this video and master the bar spoon like a pro.

However, if a cocktail contains ingredients such as herbs, eggs, fruit juices, or eggs, you need a shaker to even out the taste and ensure the flavors are represented equally in the glass.

How long do you stir a cocktail?

How long to stir a cocktail can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute depending on several factors such as the drinks alcohol by volume (abv) or even temperature. The longer the drink is stirred, the more its flavor is enhanced and the more aromatic it becomes. Check out this beauty to step up your stirring game.

How do you use a cocktail shaker?

Shaking a cocktail is a relatively simple process if you know just the right technique. Pour ice and your ingredients into a shaker. Make sure that the lid is secure. Hold the shaker with both hands, then shake back and forth over your shoulder. Shake until frost appears.

How to shake a cocktail

Shaking should be done vigorously and fast.  If you are shaking ice, it is best to shake it hard for 8 to 10 seconds and the larger the ice, the longer it should be slammed back and forth in the shaker. Make your cocktail party an overnight success with this premium shaker kit.


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