Most of the cocktails recipes of today are prepared via a cocktail shaker, popularly called the martini shaker. One of the quickest and best ways to prepare cocktails, you must have seen many bartenders doing crazy shaking moves while making your customized martini.
Now, this shaking is all that is needed to make your drink taste smooth, delectable and crisp. However, to learn this right, you need to understand all about the cool cocktail shakers, aka. The pinnacle of bar tools.
Let’s Dig Deeper!
The Cocktail Shaker: Purpose
The purpose of the cocktail shaker is to mix and chill drinks. The shake is done with ice to chill, aerate, dilute and mix the drink. You can also use egg whites and dairy in the cocktail shaker as this helps in the formation of a nice form on top of the drink.
Additionally, the tumbler side of the mixer can also be used as a mixing cup to create a smoothly stirred drink.
Cocktail Shaker vs. Mixing Glass: When to Use?
For cocktail shakers, you do not generally use it to mix, chill and transform pure spirits. If the ingredients use alcohol, syrups and juice that is when the cocktail shaker is mainly important. However, as mentioned, the cocktail shaker has a larger cup, which can double up as a martini mixed if used correctly.
On that note, here are a few simple guidelines on when to stir and shake!
When to Shake Cocktails?
The right time to put your cocktail shaker to use is when you are using juice or alcohol. Apart from that, use your cocktail shaker when you are mixing dairy, eggs and creamy ingredients.
When to Stir Cocktails?
Stir cocktails if it only contains spirits. For example, suppose you are using vodka, gin, old-fashioned whisky or vermouth, it is best to stir cocktails. This is because, when you mix sugar, water and bitter spirits, stirring helps in quicker dilution.
Now, in case you add sparkling ingredients like ginger beer, soda or others, it is best that you shake the alcohol elements with ice in your cocktail shaker. After that, strain the beverage in a glass before adding the sparkling elements and stirring.
Tips to Use a Cocktail Shaker for Beginners
Whether you’re buying a two-piece traditional cocktail shaker or a three-piece easy to use one, you should know using a cocktail shaker isn’t very tough. All you need to do is master up a few simple moves.
- Muddle First (If the Drink uses muddler ingredients)
Cocktails with fruits like mint juleps and mojitos use fruits that require the use of a muddler. Now, before dumping these fruit-based ingredients into the cocktail shaker, it is primary that you muddle first.
To muddle you need to place all the cut fruit into the bottom part of the cocktail shaker. Add a sweetening syrup or liqueur that will allow some flavour to accumulate. After that, use a muddler to press down on the mashed items in a circular motion. For fruits and other ingredients muddle at least for 10-20 seconds and press down hard.
For mint and herbs, simply press lightly and muddle for around 10 seconds.
Once you’re done move to the next step!
- Measure ingredients
The next step involves measuring your ingredients atop the items that you’ve muddled. For this, you will need a jigger. Now, most jiggers are double-sided with measurements like ½ ounce to 2 ounces. So, distinguish the jigger that you need by size and use the one most suited to your purpose.
Once done add juices, syrups, bitters, mixers, spirits, liqueurs, dairy ingredients or egg whites as per the requirements of your recipe. Now, once done fill it to the rim and move to the next step.
- Dry Shake (Only if you’re using egg whites)
You only need to follow this step if you’re using egg whites for your cocktail. So, with egg whites what you need to do is dry shake. This means, do not add ice and simply shake the ingredients in your cocktail shaker vigorously. This will help in the formation of foam, which is necessary for cocktails like pisco sour.
Now, once you have added all the items along with the egg whites, place the lid atop the shaker and give the top of the shaker a tap. After that, hold the base of the shaker with one hand and place your other hand at the top. After this, vigorously shake for 15 seconds and your cocktail shaker will show the foam.
- Add Ice and Shake
Regardless of whether you’re using eggs or not, putting ice in your cocktail shaker is a must. So, hypothetically if you aren’t using eggs, simply place normal ice cubes in your cocktail shaker as these tend to melt quicker.
Now, while adding ice, use a scoop and fill ½ to ¾ of the shaker with ice. After that, put the lid on the shaker and tap again to make sure there is enough space for the ice to blend. Next, place one hand on the lower base, and the other on the smaller shaker. Once, you have this setup, shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Once done, use a strainer over the cocktail shaker and strain the liquid in a serving glass. Now, this is only required if you are using a 2-piece cocktail shaker like the Boston shaker. For best results, beginners should opt for using a 3-piece cocktail shaker like the Cobbler Shaker.
The Cobbler shaker, moreover, comes with a built-in strainer and hence, it is ideal for first-time users.
Well, there you have it! This guide concludes the ways to master the art of the cocktail shaker. Now, when it comes to buying this cocktail shaker make sure you understand your requirements before investing in one. Depending on your expertise and needs, either order a Cobble shaker or a Boston Shaker.
However, the good ones are priced under Rs. 3000 in the market. Thus, when buying, pick a reputed online store that specially sells barware. These stores have good testimonials and offer genuine quality products. For best results, it is advised to buy stainless steel barware products, as stainless steel is durable hard and less susceptible to breakage. Now, there are plenty of online stores, which sell barware, but for best results, you can check out stores like Ellementry!