When you mix a cocktail, you’re usually doing two things: combining ingredients and chilling the drink.  Occasionally you will use a blender.  Most of the time you will either shake or stir.  Rule of thumb: Stir drinks that have no fruit juice such as martinis, old fashioneds and Manhattans.  Shake drinks that do have juices such as margaritas and sours.

Use enough ice to fill the mixing glass or shaker above the level of the liquid.  The ice should extend from the bottom of the container to above the liquid.

When you stir, put the barspoon all the way to the bottom.  Using your wrist, begin moving the spoon around the bottom in a circular motion.  At the same time, roll the shaft of the barspoon back and forth between your index finger and thumb.  Now, your barspoon is traveling in a circle on the bottom of the glass and twirling at the same time.  Continue to stir until the ice has begun to melt and the drink is chilled.

To use the Boston shaker, assemble your ingredients in the tin and add the ice as above.  The pint glass will fit upside down inside the tin.  Don’t put it straight down.  Put them together at an angle.Boston Shaker

Like this:


At an angle, the round glass is pushed into an oval opening.  Now to separate the shaker you hold the tin with the glass tilted toward you and hit the glass on the side with the heal of your other hand.  This pushes the round glass over slightly into to the long area of the oval, releasing the glass.

Anyway, once you have the ingredients in the shaker with the ice and closed it up, shake.  As I’ve said elsewhere, really shake it for at least 10 – 15 seconds.  Then remove  the glass and pour your drink.

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