Making a cocktail is a work of skill, flair and art. The method which pushes in some extra charm to the process is Shaking.
Shaking can be elaborated as the mixing of ingredients thoroughly with ice by shaking them in a cocktail shaker and straining them into the appropriate cocktail glass. Normally this is done with ice cubes three-quarters of the way. The purpose of the shake is to chill the drink and add dilution, ideally with as much control and consistency as possible.
But this is not as simple as it looks in these words. In the world of cocktails , the word ‘Shaking’ has forever evolved with some convincing dynamism and authority. Different ways have come up, let’s talk about them.
Invented by Japanese bartender, Kazuo Uyeda, the hard-shake is a stylised way of shaking a cocktail intended to drive the ice inside around the shaker rather than simply back and forth crashing into the ends.
The bartender also said that no one except me can perfect this shake, but with time , the world picked up and mastered.
A Cobbler shaker with a big chunk of ice are a must have, for the hard shake. Snap your hands forwards and backwards, using only your wrists. The tin should whip back and forth, while your elbows remain still and motionless. When your snap is done correctly, you can hear a change in the sound of the ice clanging in your tin. Once you have perfected the snap with the shaker, relax your arms and find your own rhythm.
“Try to find within your own body a way in which you can shake according to the rhythm which creates the figure eight,” experts say. Eventually, you will find your own rhythm and create your own version of the hard shake. All y ou need to do is practice. What does it do to your drink?
According to Uyeda, in his book the “Cocktail Techniques,” the ultimate goal of the hard shake is to create aeration, which “acts like a cushion that prevents the bite of the ingredients and the sharpness of the alcohol from directly attacking the tongue. The bubbles expand the alcohol, and the flavor becomes softer.”
Aiming at a froth heavy cocktail, with some heavy foam, dry shake is the way to go.
A Dry Shake essentially means shaking the drink without ice.
The aim of a dry shake is to whip air into the cocktail to give a foamier, or more mousse-like texture to the drink.
Majorly, all recipes that involve egg whites and aquafaba start with a vigorous dry-shake, one that lasts at least 15 seconds.
Some great cocktails associated with this method are Pisco sour, Whisky sour , Gin fizz.
- Classic Dry Shake
A Classic dry shake involves a shake without ice at first and then followed by a shake with ice. Both the shakes can go on for twelve seconds each, depending on the requirement.
Profile – Smooth, slightly foamy, creamy essence, homogenization of foam and drink
- Reverse Dry Shake
In the reverse dry shake the cocktail is shaken with ice at first and then followed by a shake without the ice.
The duration of both the shakes shall be at least 12 seconds here as well.
Profile – More large stable foam, lower homogenization of foam and the drink, less creamy
If you ever struggle to get a stable foam, one trick is to remove the spring from your Hawthorne strainer and drop that in while you Dry Shake. This helps give the airiness you might be looking for.
Both the Classic and the Reverse create luscious cocktails with tasty gripping foams. What method you want to go in for comes down to your preference and ease.
Wet Shake is referred to as the technique of shaking the drink with ice added.
Shaking with ice is key for any cocktail with citrus, fruit, cream, liqueur. Anything that’s not straight spirits. All dry cocktails go through a wet shake , and hence its the most dynamic and renowned shake in the industry.
Some famous cocktails which are exclusive to a wet shake are Daiquiri, Bees Knees, Cosmopolitan, Margarita.
Whip it up!
This term is homely to bar geeks in New York City and still pretty new to the ones outside.
The technique was mastered by Attaboy’s Michael McIlroy, who developed it as an efficient way to quickly dilute and emulsify ingredients that benefited from increased aeration, and it was quickly adopted by many other NYC bartenders.
It includes shaking cocktails with a few pieces of crushed ice or a single ice cube. It’s typically used in the preparation of creamy, frothy, or those that are served over crushed ice
The minimum amount of ice in the shaker makes space for greater whipping of the ingredients which results in a frothier mix.
This method can also be used for the drinks which don’t aim for frothiness and a creamy texture as less ice in the shaker helps to partially dilute and chill the cocktail. This would make it ideal for pouring over quick melting crushed ice.
The ice wastage in this technique is minimal when compared to others, hence contributes to sustainable bartending.
Ramoz Gin fizz , Clovers Club and Baileys martini are a few drinks which cater this method very well.
However, these are only recommended shakes for the respective cocktails. The only hard rule to remember is that if a cocktail has only alcohol for example a Negroni or Martini, then it is to be stirred. If there is anything apart from alcohol, then shake away!