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How To Stir a Cocktail


Cocktail on Bar with Stirrer

Cocktail on Bar with Stirrer

Alyson Aliano/Stone/Getty Images

Typically, drinks are stirred when they contain distilled spirits only, such as Martinis and Manhattans. It may seem like a simple technique that you mastered when your were four, and it is, but its purpose in mixology is important. When you stir drinks the key is to gently combine the ingredients and dissolve enough ice to water down the potent mix: don't stir cocktails like you are mixing a cake batter, instead keep it slow, smooth and steady and be patient.


Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 20-30 seconds

Here's How:

  1. Fill a mixing glass half way with ice. Use the base of a cocktail shaker or a highball glass if no mixing glass is available.
  2. Add liquors and other cocktail ingredients.
  3. Hold a bar spoon at the top of the twisted part of the shaft between your thumb and first two fingers.
  4. Technique #1: Dunk the bar spoon into the glass and twirl the shaft back and forth and up and down for 20-30 seconds.

    Technique #2: Place the bar spoon along the inside of the glass and gently rotate, moving only your wrist, it around the outer edge for 20-30 seconds.

  5. Strain the cocktail into a well-chilled glass appropriate for the cocktail.


  1. When making mixed drinks (built in glass over ice) most bartenders will either leave the drink as is or give the drink a stir or two, but will usually include a sip stick or straw for the drinker to stir as desired.
  2. If no bar spoon is available, use the longest spoon possible and slowly stir it around the glass as well as up and down.
  3. Diluting the ice into the cocktail is essential to water down the alcohol just enough to make it palatable.

What You Need:

  • Mixing Glass, Base of a Cocktail Shaker or Highball Glass
  • Bar Spoon
  • Ice
  • Cocktail Ingredients
  • Strainer

View video: How to Stir a Drink

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