Have you ever ordered a mixed drink “shaken, not stirred?” because you were pretending to be James Bond (we hope ironically)? And did the bartender roll their eyes at you and completely ignore your instructions? Or maybe you don’t get into hypothetical scenarios and are just wondering whether or not you should stir a cocktail?
Shaking and stirring aren’t always a matter of preference, and it strongly depends on the drink whether you should shake or stir. So instead of relying on a worn-out movie trope, let’s take a look at the ins and outs of stirring a mixed drink so that can be a real expert… or just have a fun fact for parties.
Stirring vs Shaking: What’s the Difference?
Before delving into the stirring debate, it's essential to have a basic understanding of the two primary techniques for mixing cocktails: stirring and shaking.
Stirring is a gentle and controlled technique used for cocktails that are primarily spirit-based and clear. This method is ideal for drinks like the classic Martini or Manhattan. When you stir a cocktail, you're primarily diluting it while gently blending and chilling the ingredients. This results in a silky-smooth texture and a crystal-clear appearance.
Shaking, on the other hand, is a more vigorous technique typically used for cocktails that contain citrus juices, syrups, or other ingredients that need thorough mixing. Cocktails like Margaritas, Daiquiris, and Pina Coladas benefit from shaking. It not only chills and dilutes the drink but also aerates it, creating a frothy texture and enhancing the aroma.
When to Stir a Mixed Drink
Here’s your cue to stir a mixed drink:
- Spirit-Forward Cocktails: Stir when you want to highlight the flavors and aromas of the base spirits, as shaking can over-dilute the drink.
- Clear Appearance: If you want your cocktail to maintain a clear and pristine appearance, stirring is the way to go.
- Minimal Aeration: Stirring introduces less air into the cocktail compared to shaking. This is desirable for drinks where you want a silky texture, like a Martini.
- Layered Cocktails: When creating layered cocktails like a B-52, stirring can help maintain the separation between the layers.
When Not to Stir a Mixed Drink
Shake, shake, shake, señora! At least, shake whenever your cocktail sounds like this:
- Cocktails with Froth: Shake it if your cocktail recipe includes citrus juices, egg whites, or other ingredients that develop a frothy texture.
- Dissolving Ingredients: Sugar and syrups may dissolve more effectively when shaken.
- Herbal or Muddled Ingredients: Cocktails that incorporate muddled herbs or fruits may require shaking to extract their flavors fully.
Canned Cocktails and Canned Mocktails: No Stirring (or Shaking) Required
If that all sounds way too complicated, good news–HOUSEOFLOVE’s canned cocktails and mocktails are here for you.
If you’re after the best LGBTQIA drinks, look no further than HOUSEOFLOVE Cocktails and Mocktails, created with two of the best-known LGBTQIA cultural phenomenons, RuPaul and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Featuring premium ingredients, this lineup of LGBTQIA cocktails is for everyone.
The HOUSEOFLOVE menu features these five killer ready to drink cocktails and mocktails:
- Tangerine Margarita (Gluten free)
- Strawberry Daiquiri (Gluten free)
- Pomegranate Lime Vodka (Gluten free)
- Ginger Mule Mocktail (Gluten free, non-alcoholic)
- Colada Mocktail (Gluten free, non-alcoholic)
HOUSEOFLOVE Cocktails and Mocktails are perfect for anybody who lives life with pride. Find us at your local liquor or grocery store, or order a viewing party box online–enough for all your squirrel friends!