Shaken vs Stirred Cocktails: What's the difference?

When it comes to making cocktails, the debate on whether to shake or stir can be a hotly contested one. Both methods have their pros and cons, and the final choice often comes down to personal preference. But what exactly is the difference between the two techniques, and which is the best for which drinks?

Shaking cocktails is a fast and efficient way to mix ingredients, and it's ideal for drinks that contain fruit juices, syrups, and other ingredients that need to be well combined. The motion of shaking aerates the ingredients, giving the drink a lighter, frothier texture and helping to blend the flavors together. Shaken cocktails are also a great choice for drinks that need a bit of dilution, as the ice in the shaker will help to bring down the strength of the drink.

Stirring cocktails, on the other hand, is a more delicate technique that is used for drinks that are spirit-based or contain ingredients that don't need to be aerated. The motion of stirring is gentler and results in a silky, smooth texture. Stirring cocktails also allows the bartender to be more precise with their measurements and to control the temperature of the drink.

So which is the better method? Well, it ultimately comes down to the type of cocktail you're making. If you want a drink that's light and frothy, go for a shaken cocktail. If you're after a drink that's smooth and silky, go for a stirred one.

Here's a quick guide to help you choose:

  • Shaken: Margaritas, Daiquiris, Mojitos, Piña Coladas
  • Stirred: Martinis, Manhattans, Negronis, Old Fashioneds

Of course, this is just a general guide, and you can always experiment to see what works best for you. The key to making great cocktails is to have fun and be creative, so don't be afraid to try different techniques and find your own signature style. Whether you prefer your drinks shaken or stirred, the most important thing is that they taste great and make you happy!