1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How To Shake Cocktails

Shake It Like You Mean It


Shaking is an important skill to learn for creating the best cocktails.

Shaking is an important skill to learn for creating the best cocktails.

Photo by Dylan Goldby at WlkinLight Photography / Moment / Getty Images

Many cocktail recipes call for the ingredients to be shaken using a cocktail shaker. It is, by far, the most used, enjoyable, and entertaining technique in drink preparation.

Shaking is a simple technique that, with a little practice and by following a few tips, you'll master in no time. Once you get your personal shaking style down, your cocktails will emerge crisp, cool and concentrated.

What You Need:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Ice Cubes
  • Spirits, Liqueurs and Mixers as called for in the recipe
  • Strainer (if using a Boston Shaker)

Shaking Tips:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice first. This will chill the shaker and cool the liquids as you add them. If using a smaller shaker and making more than one drink at a time, use less ice to make more room.
  • Mixing glass pour. If using a Boston shaker, pour the ingredients into the mixing glass without ice. This gives you a visual as to how much liquid you are pouring and many professional bartenders use this technique when free pouring. See The Order of the Pour...
  • Don't overfill the shaker. Give the ingredients plenty of room to move around. This also helps to prevent spills while shaking.
  • Shake vigorously. Most drinks will be properly mixed if you shake steadily to a slow count of ten.
  • Shake drinks longer and harder that have many ingredients or ingredients that don't mix well such as eggs or cream. Thirty seconds is a good goal.
  • Look for the frost. The majority of the time, you are done shaking when the cocktail shaker becomes frosty on the outside.
  • Shake to a rhythm. Hum a tune and shake to the beat.
  • Shake it like you mean it. Shaking a cocktail is not a gentle thing and too many young bartenders make a weak attempt at it. Give the movement some force and power and enjoy the exercise. If you do it properly and shake often, your arms should be nice and fit.
  • A firm grip. Hold both pieces of any cocktail shaker firmly to ensure they stay together while you are shaking.
  • Over your shoulder. Shake over one of your shoulders (whichever is natural) just in case the shaker comes apart. Your backside may get wet, but your guests will not. This also helps add force to the shake.

The next step is to strain the cocktail, learn how to do this here...


View video: How to Shake a Cocktail

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.