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Stir or Shake

Ian Shapiro


Ever since there have been cocktails their has also been a debate as to whether to shake or stir cocktails. This is especially true when talking about the famous Martini. shake stir cocktail

As you're looking through cocktail recipes you will see some are shaken and some are  stirred. So the question is, when to shake and when to stir your favourite cocktails? So how do you decide?

There is a general rule regarding the shake verses stir issue, and of course like any rule there are always exceptions to it so it is best to follow a recipe's instructions. of course you could always experiment and do your own thing.

Anyway here is the general rule

When to Shake
Shake cocktails when they include fruit juices, cream liqueurs, simple syrup, sour mix, egg, dairy or any other thick or flavourful mixers. Shaking will create a strained drink with a cloudy, look at first that will clear up within a few minutes after straining.

When to Stir
Stir cocktails that use distilled spirits or very light mixers only. Stirring is a more gentle technique for mixing cocktails and is used to delicately combine the drinks with a perfect amount of dilution. Many gin and whisky cocktails are stirred because shaking is said to bruise the spirit.

This "rule" refers to cocktails and not necessarily mixed drinks which are almost always stirred and served with a dipstick or straw