Shaking Cocktails, Making Martinis - dummies

Shaking Cocktails, Making Martinis

The main reasons for shaking drinks are to chill a cocktail, mix the ingredients, or put a head of foam on some cocktails.

As a general rule, you should shake all cloudy drinks (including cream drinks and sours), and you should stir all clear drinks. Never shake a cocktail that has carbonated water or soda. For some drinks, such as the stinger or martini (recipes below), ask your guests whether they prefer them shaken or stirred.

All shook up

Most professional bartenders use the Boston shaker to mix drinks. It consists of a mixing glass and a stainless steel container that overlaps the glass. To shake a cocktail in a Boston shaker, follow these steps:

1. Put some ice cubes (if called for in the recipe) in the glass container.

2. Add the cocktail ingredients.

3. Place the metal container over the glass container.

4. Hold the metal and glass containers together with both hands and shake with an up and down motion.

Make sure that you always point the shaker away from your guests. This way you avoid spilling anything on them if the shaker isn’t properly sealed.

The two pieces of the shaker may stick together after you shake a drink. Never bang the shaker against the bar or any other object; instead, gently tap it three or four times at the point where the glass and metal containers come in contact.

When pouring or straining the cocktail, always pour from the glass container.

Martini madness

A real martini is simply a couple ounces of ice cold gin (or vodka if gin isn’t your thing) with a dash of vermouth. Some people like more or less vermouth than others (or none at all), and some people prefer an olive or a twist of lemon or even a pearl onion for a garnish. But that’s really about it when it comes to true martini variations. Other cocktails are “martinis” only because they’re served in martini glasses.

Here are three fruit-flavored “martinis” to enjoy:

Apple Martini

1-1/2 oz. Glacier vodka

1/2 oz. Schoenauer Apfel Schnapps

Dash of cinnamon

Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of apple.

Limón Martini

2 oz. Bacardi Limón

3/4 oz. Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth

Splash cranberry juice

Shake with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


2 oz. Absolut Raspberri

1/2 oz. Cointreau

1/2 oz. cranberry juice

1 dash lime juice

Lime wedge

Shake with ice and strain into a well-chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.