Some people are confused when to stir and when to shake cocktail drinks. Normally, cocktails are stirred when they contain distilled spirits only, like Manhattans and Martinis. Usually, drinks that are intended for sipping rather than gulping are stirred not shaken, in order to preserve the texture. Cocktails are stirred to cool them down in a much gentle manner. Stirring also allows for improved control of the dilution.
A shaker is necessary even when easy recipes contain any kind of juice, non-alcoholic sweetener, like syrup or shrub, or egg white. Shaking is necessary to emulsify, as well as dilute and chill. It is important to know if a drink recipe requires shaking or stirring, otherwise the flavor can be muted. Aside from the flavor, the wrong technique will also affect the texture. You can tell the difference if you're served with a shaken and stirred Manhattan or Martini.
However, most bartenders today shake instead of stir almost all kinds of cocktails. This is probably because of the speed, ease, and presentation, or maybe because guests expect them to shake. Stirring seem like a basic and simple technique, anyone even little kids can do, but its purpose in mixology is very important. The key to stirring cocktail drinks is to gently combine all of the ingredients and dissolve just enough ice to the water down the potent mix. Stirring cocktails is not like mixing a cake batter. It should be smooth, slow, and steady. Patience is important.
Below are the steps on how to stir cocktail drinks. The whole process is easy and usually takes about 20 to 30 seconds.
1. Halfway fill a mixing glass with ice, usually 5 to 6 ice cubes for a single drink. If you do not have a mixing tumbler, you can make use of a highball glass or the base of a cocktail shaker.
2. Add desired liquors and other ingredients.
3. Get a bar spoon and hold it at the top of the twisted portion of the shaft between your first two fingers and your thumb.
There are two techniques you can use: 1. Dunk the spoon into the glass and then twirl the shaft up and down and back and forth for about 20 to 30 seconds. 2. Place the spoon along the inside of the glass and then rotate it gently around the outer edge for about 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure you move only your wrist.
4. Strain the drink into a well-chilled cocktail glass and then serve.
Here are additional tips in stirring cocktail drinks:
When preparing mixed drinks most bartenders will give the drink a stir or simply leave it drink as is. But they usually include a straw or a sip stick for people to stir, if they want to do so. If a bar spoon is not available, look for the longest spoon available and stir it slowly around and up and down the glass. Diluting the ice cubes into the drink is important to water down the alcohol, just enough to make it friendly to the taste buds.