Tips for the home bartender on making cocktails and mocktails

Christmas and New Year celebrations are often a great time to enjoy carefully prepared, delicious drinks. The bartenders have certain tools for making different cocktails and mocktails, but have you ever had to wonder why and how each tool is used? Here is some clarification on the issue.


Why use a cocktail shaker

A cocktail shaker is used to combine ingredients and mix the different flavours and textures of a drink. Shaking the drink with ice is a great way to chill it, which is important if you’re serving the cocktail as is (i.e. without ice). In some cocktails, such as those using egg whites, shaking also helps to emulsify and aerate the ingredients, giving you a light and frothy texture.

Shaking the drink in a cocktail shaker will dilute it slightly. However, this is not a bad thing – water helps to open up the flavours of the cocktail and create a more balanced and tasty cocktail. The right way to use a cocktail shaker will ensure that the drink doesn’t get too diluted.


When do you need a cocktail shaker?

Popular opaque cocktail ingredients such as cream, egg whites, jams and liqueurs are best shaken.

A cocktail shaker can save time if you are making a drink for more than one person.

You don’t need to use a cocktail shaker for every drink, as for some, mixing is fine. This is often the case for spirits such as martinis, which should always be stirred rather than shaken. As a rule of thumb, if your drink is made up entirely of spirits, liqueurs and fortified wines, mix rather than shake.


How to use a cocktail shaker

First put plenty of ice in the shaker and then measure out the liquid ingredients. Avoid adding carbonated drinks to the shaker, as shaking the shaker will cause the drink to bubble out! Add the sparkling ingredients to the drink at the end.

Make sure that your cocktail shaker is properly sealed to avoid liquid spillage. When you’re ready, shake! The best way is to hold the shaker horizontally using both hands (one at each end of the shaker). Then shake the shaker over your shoulder.

Once shaken, open the shaker and pour the liquid into a glass through a cocktail strainer or the shaker’s own built-in strainer.


Why use a jigger?

Accuracy and balance are key in cocktails. If the mixing ratios go wrong, drinks can taste too sweet, for example. A basic alcohol meter i.e. jigger usually has two sides for measuring different quantities (50 ml and one for 25 ml).


Why are ice tongs used?

Ice is an important part of cocktails – in most recipes it is needed when shaking, stirring or serving a drink. For hygiene reasons, it is important to avoid handling ice with your fingers


How do I use a cocktail strainer?

After shaking or stirring your drink, pour it into a serving glass. However, some unwanted particles may have remained in the shaker – for example, pieces of fruit or ice (you should add fresh ice to the final drink). You can use a strainer to make sure they don’t spoil the flavour or texture of your drink.

Place the strainer over the cocktail shaker or mixing glass. The strainer’s tabs prevent it from falling into the container. Hold the container with your dominant hand and use the finger of the same hand to hold the strainer in place. Tilt it gently to strain the liquid into serving glasses.


How to use a cocktail spoon?

When mixing a drink, you need a cocktail spoon, in addition to the mixing glass. The spoon is usually long so that you can mix the drink in a deep glass.

Put the ingredients you want to mix into the mixing glass. Add a generous amount of ice and stir vigorously for about 15 seconds, making sure that the back of the bar spoon is right up against the inside of the glass and all the ice is moving as one mass. This will allow the liquid to move between the ice chunks, cooling them, and the ice chunks will not bounce off the glass.

The spoon can also be used to place ice cubes, berries, herbs and other garnishes and flavour elements in the drink or to measure ingredients (one spoonful = 5 ml).

Discover the products


Tsekkaa meidät somessa.

See also these