Mixology 101

A primer for novices, and a refresher for veterans. Mixology 101 is the home mixologist’s handbook.

When to shake:
Drinks that contain fruit, juices, sugar, eggs, cream, or ingredients that don’t easily mix should be shaken with ice. You should also shake when frothiness is preferred. For presentation purposes, first shake, then pour into a clean glass.

When to stir:
Drinks containing clear liquors and ingredients should be gently stirred with ice. Drinks that contain a carbonated mixer (tonic, soda, etc.) should be stirred to preserve the sparkle. The key is to stir the drink enough to chill and mix its ingredients, but light enough so you don’t melt the ice and dilute the drink.

Multiple Pours:
When making the same drink or shot for numerous people, make them all in the same batch. This ensures each drink will have the same strength and taste. Then line the glasses up in a row. Fill each halfway, then start over and top them all off.

Layering Cordials:
To layer cordials on top of others, slowly pour each ingredient over the bottom side of a spoon and into the glass. The rounded surface of the spoon will slow each cordial’s pour and evenly spread it over the one below. You want to start with the densest liquid and finish with the least dense.

Always use plenty of ice. And put the ice into any container before pouring any liquids. This allows the liquids to chill as they’re poured and prevents splashing. More ice means less mixer and less mixer means stronger drinks.

Choosing cubed, shaved or shaped is typically preference, but all ice should be fresh, crystal clear and free of any taste. If you’re struggling to obtain clear ice, try using boiled or bottled water.

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