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How to Shake Cocktails

Learn how to shake cocktails like a professional bartender in this Howcast video about how to make cocktails.


Let's talk about how to shake a cocktail.

You probably have an idea of how, you know, just going back and forth and you're just chilling the ice. There actually is some techniques that are a good idea to master.

I've already built my cocktail in here. Now, this is a two piece tin. You can use the three piece ones, which are sort of self-explanatory.

I like these better because the ice really can travel and can chill the drink properly, chill it faster and then give it that really great, frothy texture that you want. Which is ideal for optimal deliciousness.

So, I've already built my drink in the small part of the tin. If I build it in the big part it might overflow when I combine them. So, small tin.

And now, we want to form that seal. Okay? So when you lift it up like that it stays together.

You'll notice that I have one part flush and then, so then there's the maximum distance here. Remember that.

So, I have two cocktails built here. And just to show off I'm going to shake them both.

Alright. So, if you're shaking two you want to hold them with two fingers on each side so that if you feel them separating you'll notice and you can, sort of, stop.

You should never be afraid of them separating on you if you form a tight enough seal. And if you're holding them properly, if it starts to break, you'll know before you make a mess.

If you're shaking one cocktail you can hold it together with both hands. But that's not what we're doing. We're going to go big today.

So, I'm going to be alone with my shakers while I rock this out.

Do you need to have a catchy rhythm when you're shaking? No. Should you? Yes.

Okay. You hear that? That's the seal already starting to break. Okay.

So, now we're going to break the seal. I'm not going to hit it on the part that's flush and I'm not going to try to break it on the largest distance. I'm going to go right in between. That sort of half way point.

With the palm of your hand. When you hear it start to hiss like that you know you already broke the seal. And then, just sort of jimmy it off.

It takes some practice to really get a feel for it. I've done this probably a thousand times. So, I really know how to do it.

But, don't feel bad if you're just like doing it a million times and can't get it. You'll figure it out. Just don't get frustrated. Don't get mad at the shaker. The shaker is your friend.

Okay. Now we're going to strain this cocktail. Pretty much any time you're shaking something you're going to strain it.

Even if it's going to be on the rocks, you don't really want to pour it out from the shaker because all that ice is going to be broken. It's going to melt really fast. You want to pour that over fresh ice.

In this case we have an up glass. So, we're going to take our Hawthorne Strainer. It's called that for over 100 years. People aren't exactly sure why. They think it was because this guy Hawthorne invented it in the late 19th century. I'm pretty sure they're right but we'll probably never know.

And I'm going to fine strain this. As you'll see, this is a daiquiri here, there aren't any ice chips on top. It just gives it a silkier texture.

And, there you have it. That is how you shake and how you strain a cocktail.

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