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“Martini, shaken, not stirred.” Ordered James Bond in Goldfinger.
How one iconic statement changed the cocktail world forever. It is often repeated and unfortunately imitated. Do you know when you should shake a cocktail and when you should stir one?
The only reasons you should shake a cocktail are as follows:
1. There’s Citrus
If you are a having a margarita, cosmopolitan, Ward Eight, etc. which is a citrus-based cocktail, you want it to be shaken. Shaking a citrus-based cocktail livens up the citrus, making it more flavorful. It also adds air bubbles to the mixture, making the cocktail light and frothy, in turn making it look even more delicious. Also, keep in mind, if you are using fruit juices to create a cocktail, for example, the Mai Tai, you want to shake these, too.
2. There are Egg Whites Involved
If you are ever drinking a cocktail that has egg whites as an ingredient, it needs to be shaken. The purpose of the egg white is not for added nutrition. It is to create a meringue type of texture and a beautiful white foam for the presentation. The only way to get this taste and the aesthetic appeal is to whip the egg whites, which is done through shaking.
3. Your Ingredients Include Dairy Or Cream Liquors
If you are consuming a Mudslide, Chocolate Martini, or White Russian, shaking is a necessary component to create a lite, airy texture.
Moral of the story, if you drinks have added ingredients, and are not predominantly spirit-based, then you should probably be shaking them.
The purpose of stirring a cocktail is to create a smooth, silky texture, uninterrupted by extra water, cloudiness, and ice chips which usually happens from the aggressive shaking technique. If you are making a drink that is based around spirits such as the Martini, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or any version of these, please stir them.
Shaking a cocktail doesn’t make the cocktail colder; stirring can have the same effect.