Tag Archives: stir

Build! Shake! Stir!

 

 

 

What can I get you?

 

 

Whether you’re at a bar to meet friends or to meet new ones, the drinks that are being served are either Built, Shaken or Stirred….. but what’s the difference and why does it make a difference?

Lets break it down….

Built drinks are things like a Rum and Coke or a Vodka with Club Soda – Glass-Ice-Alcohol-Mix-Garnish and Straw, EASY!!!

Stirred drinks are things like a Negroni or a Manhattan – Mixing Glass-Spirit-Ice-Stir-Strain into appropriate glass

Shaken drinks are things like a Cosmopolitan or a Whiskey Sour – Shaking glass-Mix-Spirit-Ice-Shake-Strain into appropriate glass

Built drinks are the easiest of the three and 60% of drinks in a busy nightclub are made like this. What about the other 40% of drinks?

20% of drinks would be BEER!!! After that everything else is either shaken or stirred.

 

Bartenders all over the world have their own method of shaking and stirring with their own style and panache. With proper training you learn that although Ice is your friend in a lot of cocktails one doesn’t want to OVER dilute drinks with improper use of our frozen friend H2O. Whether stirring or shaking a cocktail ice should always be added to the mixing glass AFTER the ingredients have been added, this will minimize the dilution and result in a better cocktail. Stirring is a technique, usually reserved for ‘Spirit-forward’ cocktails (cocktails without any non-alcoholic ingredients) and is all about preparing a drink with ice to both chill and dilute the drink without bruising the spirit. Shaking is the most fun way of making a cocktail and has been taken to unbelievable levels of style by bartenders who want to impress their guests. A good shake can be the difference between a great drink and a happy guest or a bad one and a disappointed guest. Shaking not only chills a cocktail, dilutes it and mixes the ingredients together but it can also introduce air, texture or ‘mouth-feel’ to a libation. With the addition of egg whites to a cocktail like an Amaretto sour, when shaken can dramatically change the dynamic of the feeling that is experienced when sipping on it.

 

Question: Whats the best method to use?

Answer: It all depends on what drink you’re making.

 

So, grab your shaking tins and bar spoons and figure out how you are going to build, shake and stir with passion, style and your own little twist.

 

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What is the Importance of Ice

 

 

Enticing yes...

 

Ice is…. An Integral Component of Every cocktail, under the general definition of a cocktail being “an alcoholic beverage which includes: Sugar, Bitters and Water (Ice)”. Whether it is being used to chill a cocktail, mix ingredients together, for dilution and water content or simply just to take up space in a glass – Ice is just as important as the drink itself.

 Bartending classes teach, about how much Ice a bartender should use in each cocktail being made, both in cocktails with a mixer for example a Whiskey Sour or even something as simple as a Rum and Coke and in ‘spirit- forward’ cocktails such as a Negroni or a Manhattan. These applications are concerned with ice in the final product, but what about drinks that are served with no ice?

Question: What does ‘Neat’ mean?

Answer: NO ICE!!! A drink served neat, would be a shot of liquor that has had no contact with Ice. It’s gone straight from the bottle to the glass.

So what does ‘Straight-Up’ mean? Ever had a Cosmopolitan or a Vodka Martini with Ice in it? I doubt it. Now think about this…..Have you ever seen a bartender shake or stir a drink, then strain the drink into a glass with no ice? This cocktail would be called a ‘Straight-Up’ cocktail.

So to simplify, both ‘Straight-Up’ and ‘Neat’ drinks are served without Ice. The difference is that ‘Straight-Up’ cocktails have had contact with ice at some point leading up to being served.

As mentioned earlier, Ice can be used to take up space in a glass. “Why wouldn’t I just use a smaller glass?” I can hear you all asking. Have you ever had a Mojito served straight-up or in a short glass with no Ice? Crushed Ice is used in the classic Mojito recipe, because not only does it keep the drink ‘Ice” cold, it takes up space in the glass allowing the drink to contain less liquid, but still appear to be a tall, grande, gesture from your favourite bartender.

Egg whites are becoming a commonly used ingredient in a whole range of different libations. Just like pineapple juice, the egg whites will emulsify under heavy shaking or whisking creating a foam. The Ice used in the shaker tin almost acts as a whisk and helps the process of emulsification during shaking, in such cocktails as the Whiskey Sour or the Gin Fizz.

Question: How important is ‘Dilution’?

AnswerIn many cases, it is very important.

Many cocktail recipes include a shake or a stir, these are for both mixing the drink, making it cold and dilution.

Look out soon for the up-and-coming ‘Build, Shake, Stir’ blog.

Also, take a look at our molecular mixology program which will give you the lowdown on both liquid Nitrogen and Dry-Ice

 

 

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