Alright. You've got all the tools and ingredients you need, so lets get started! We're at day six of Queen City Cocktail's "25 Days of Cocktails," and we are ready to focus on technique. (PS if you haven't already, check out Day Three "Stock your Bar - Tools" to know what you will need for today's exercise.)
The first thing Andy will always point out to folks who have not done too much drink shaking before: there is no way to shake while looking sexy. Get over it. You will jiggle in places you would rather not, you will look like you should probably go drink some prune juice, and most people end up a little red in the face. Just remember: it's worth it.
Now that we've gotten that ugly reality out of the way... let's talk about how it all works. Several people we've had in our classes were suspicious that putting two cups together and shaking them would result in sticky drinks spilling all over their shoulders. So we want to be sure that doesn't happen to you!
First, we have to review middle school science: when things get cold, they shrink. (Get your mind out of the gutter, we're talking molecules.) When you put room temperature ingredients into a shaking tin with ice, then shake those up till they get cold, everything inside the tins will shrink, which creates a vaccum. So all you have to do to start is get a decent seal that the shrinking ingredients can leverage to hold the two tins (or tin and glass if you're going with a Boston Shaker) together. You do this by measuring all ingredients into the larger glass, add ice then place the second glass on top so that the verticle edge that faces you is flat - that means that the top glass should end up being slightly tilted compared to the bottom glass. Then you're going to give that top glass a firm tap (don't slam it, but don't be worried about breaking it). That creates the inital seal that you will then strengthen as you chill down by shaking.
If you try the above instructions, but you're finding the seal is leaking, there are a few tips to consider:
- Adjust your seal by taking the small tin off and repositioning before tapping it back together
- Tap more firmly than you think you're supposed to
- Shake a little more vigorously to chill and seal more quickly
After you tap your shaking set together, you're ready to start shaking! Shaking does two things: chills and dillutes (i.e. adds water). You don't want a cold drink that's way too strong, nor do you want a cool drink that's over watered. So aim for 10-15 seconds of shaking, or until your hands hurt a little because it's too cold. You should be shaking pretty hard, and it's best if you can get a little bit of a circular motion - this helps mix your ingredients rather than just slamming them together.
Then you have to break that shaker set apart! End with the large tin on the bottom. Squeez/pinch the lip of the large tin where the smaller glass sits flush and where the lip is furthest from the other glass (directly across), while you smack the lip large tin between those two points. This is just to shock the tins and break the seal. You may be able to pull the smaller glass off at this point, or you may need to wiggle it a bit to release. Don't be afraid to pinch/smack again if necessary.
Strain and serve!