If you’re the type of gentleman that enjoys hosting a night cap at your place after the date, then you’ll absolutely need to know how to properly make her drink. Sure, wine is great, but if you can make her a fancy cocktail, she’ll be even more impressed, and more willing to stay a while…
Up your cocktail game with a few pro tips from Alex Black, an accomplished bartender from Vancouver’s most celebrated cocktail bars:
Shaking a drink seems—let’s be honest—pretty simple. Could there actually be such a thing as “technique” for shaking cocktails? To answer the question you first have to understand what the hell is happening inside that tumbler because proper shaking can actually help you make tastier cocktails.
Stirring a cocktail helps to both chill and dilute the drink and makes for clear, silky-smooth drinks. Shaking is not about chilling and diluting the drink; it’s about getting the drink ingredients to fully combine. Shaking also helps make a drink light and aerated. Stirred drinks don’t need to be shaken because combined liquids have similar densities and are easily mixed with one-another. The shaker is for combining liquids with different densities.
Drinks that include syrups, egg, cream, or juice usually need to be shaken. When there’s only a small amount of juice or syrup, you can simply stir and still get a great result, but the general rule is that you shake the drink if you add an opaque ingredient. Shaking also influences the thermodynamics of a drink, and depending on how warm or cool the drink needs to be to combine the ingredients will affect how fast you need to shake the drink.
So how fast should you shake? Vigorous shaking (think three seconds before climax) takes a drink that’s 23°F to about 18°F in around two seconds. It would actually take around two minutes to stir a drink to that temperature, so shaking just speeds up the process. A longer shake actually doesn’t mean a colder drink because drinks kind of level off at about the 18°F. So don’t ever ask your bartender to shake your drink longer. It’s just rude.
Shaking also adds aeration. Air is shaking around with the liquid inside the tumbler and also gets mixed into your drink. You might get a bit of foam (with drinks that include egg or cream) or just tiny bubbles that quickly disappear in your glass.The key is not how you shake but how long you shake. Make sure you’re rocking that tumbler for a good thirty seconds.
The last tip is to just be sure and make this process as sexy looking as possible. You don’t want her staring at you why you shake the hell out of this thing while showing off your aggressive/sweaty face. Smile, and show her your confidence and that you know what you’re doing.
Otherwise, this could lead to you spending the rest of the evening alone with your cocktail…