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How to Shake a Cocktail Like a Pro

There are many ways to shake a cocktail. In the end, it comes down to personal preference and how you think you serve your friends or clients best. However, there are some little tricks and basics that might improve your shake. Be sure to watch the instruction video at the bottom of this article.

In this example, we use a Boston Shaker, as most bartenders will use this type of cocktail shaker. When adding the ingredients, use the glass part, as your friend wants to see what goes in their cocktail.

Step 1: Closing the shaker

Hold the glass with your pinky on the bottom as it can get slippery. Put the metal part on top and hold it with your thumb. Directly above the thumb, give the metal a firm tap down to close the shaker.

Step 2: Getting ready for the shake

Put the middle finger of the hand not holding the glass, on top of the metal and fold all fingers around the shaker. You now must turn the shaker around as you shake with the metal towards your friends. While turning, put your thumb under the glass, the middle finger on the metal and hold the glass with at least 2 fingers. Never point the glass at your friend, because if you didn’t close the shaker correctly, you might splash the contents on them.

Step 3: The shake

Now another element is added: showmanship. You will want to shake above your shoulder. Shaking also makes quite a sound because of the ice, so you will be sure to grab some attention. Shake with confidence and learn to develop your own style. The most important rule is to smile as your job as a bartender is to always please.

Step 4: Knowing when to stop shaking

The times you shake can have an impact on the quality of your cocktail. This mainly depends on the ice you use and the room, or outside temperature. When you shake, your ice starts to melt and causes your cocktail to dilute. This will disrupt the balance of your cocktail and its final taste. To reduce dilution, you want to use the best ice you can find. For example, crystal ice, as well as larger chunks of ice, will melt slower. In general, we recommend about 7-10 shakes.

Step 5: Opening the shaker

Lower the shaker with the metal at the bottom and hold it with one hand. Put your thumb right where the glass and the metal close the shaker. You must give a firm tap on the metal right next to the thumb. If you tap somewhere else, you could cause the glass to break.

Put the glass and the shaker down and now you are ready to pour the cocktail.

Watch Sterling shake a cocktail like a pro