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Cocktails: Shaken or Stirred?

Shaken or stirred? No need to guess with this quick cocktail guide.

By: Tasting Table for Crate and Barrel

It may be tempting to try and impress your date by casually and ever so coolly ordering a martini shaken. But bartenders are in agreement: The suave-sounding request is simply wrong.

The fact is, a martini should always be stirred—never shaken.

The rules are simple: A drink containing only liquor—like a martini—should be stirred in a mixing glass with ice. Stirring ensures that the ice will melt slowly, calmly chilling the beverage without diluting it.

Meanwhile, drinks containing juice, egg or cream should be shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shaking breaks the ice, causing it to melt more quickly and infusing the drink with a tiny amount of water. In this case, that dilution is a good thing: It helps the ingredients integrate together smoothly. And never shake tonic or soda—fizzy ingredients should always be poured in last.

One last thing: Contrary to what you might have heard, gin doesn’t actually “bruise.” So it’s fine to shake gin drinks made with juice, egg or cream. Just don’t dare shake a gin martini.

Now that you know the basic, see how to set up the ultimate gin and tonic bar.

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