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Basic Bartending Skills

Basic Bartending Skills

17. 2. 2023

Basic Cocktail Equipment List

Whether you're making a classic Old Fashioned or trying your hand at the Bannister New York Whisky Sour, having the right equipment will help you have a fun and creative experience.

  • Shaker: Shake things up with the classic tool of the trade. If you don’t have shaker at home, you could use a clean jam jar. 
  • Jigger: Measure like a pro with this handy dandy double-sided cup.
  • Strainer: Sift out the unwanted bits and let the good stuff flow with a strainer.
  • Muddler: Muddle away to infuse flavours and create delicious concoctions.
  • Mixing glass: Mix it up in style with a sturdy and elegant mixing glass.
  • Bar spoon: Stir in the perfect amount of finesse with a bar spoon.
  • Ice cube tray: Chill your drinks to perfection with the humble ice cube tray.
  • Peeler: Peel your way to citrusy perfection with a sharp peeler.
  • Garnish Skewers: Hold cherries, olives and more with ease.

How to Shake a Cocktail

Shaking cocktails isn’t as complicated as it might look - although you don’t need to tell your friends that!  The vigorous motion of shaking helps to emulsify and blend ingredients that wouldn't mix otherwise, resulting in a smooth and balanced drink which is perfectly chilled. Think about a delicious and velvety smooth whisky sour or espresso martini!

The ice tumbles and rattles in the shaker as the liquid inside is aerated and chilled to perfection. If you can hear the ice hit each end of the shaker, then it doesn’t matter how you shake, but that’s not to say you can’t make a performance of it and impress your friends! 

When it comes to shaking a cocktail, Hankey Bannister has a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Always make sure your shaker is chilled, use a firm grip and shake for at least 15-20 seconds, this will ensure all ingredients are well mixed and the flavours are balanced. And lastly, don't be afraid to get a little creative with your shaking technique, try different styles such as a "rolling shake" or a "flash shake" to add a little extra flair to your presentation. 

Remember, the key to a perfectly shaken cocktail is practice and confidence! With that said, mixing delicious cocktails for you and your friends is all about having fun so relax and enjoy your creations. 

Shaking with ice: 

  • Build your cocktail in one side of the shaker
  • Add enough ice so that the liquid almost reaches the top
  • Seal your shaker
  • Double check that you have sealed your shaker! Keep the opening towards you as to not soak guests!
  • Roll your shaker a few times to disperse the ice
  • Shake slowly, progressively speeding up until you reach a speed you can comfortably maintain for around 10 seconds, before slowing the motion down again
  • Put down the shaker and unlock the separate halves
  • Double strain the drink through a strainer and fine mesh sieve 
  • Pour the mixture into a suitable chilled glass and enjoy. 

Expert Tip: If your ice cubes are smaller, there will be more surface area of ice in contact with the liquid, so note it will dilute more quickly. If the end goal is not a diluted drink, ensure you use larger ice cubes.

What is Dry Cocktail Shaking?

This technique is a mixologist's secret weapon. Dry shaking is all about getting the perfect texture and foam for your cocktail.  The main reason is to emulsify ingredients that don't play well with ice, like egg whites or cream, before you add ice to chill. It also helps to create a richer, more luxurious mouthfeel. 

How to dry shake a cocktail

  • For a silky smooth texture, add the egg whites or aquafaba to the shaker first before adding any alcohol or citrus. 
  • Add the rest of your ingredients in the other side of your shaker 
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously for around 10-15 seconds dry (without ice) to create foam in the drink
  • Have a look inside and check that the mixture is foamy
  • Fill up your shaker with ice
  • Seal and shake vigorously again for a few seconds longer than last time, until the drink feels chilled through the shaker
  • Double strain the liquid

The Importance of Proper Cocktail Straining 

When it comes to crafting the perfect cocktail, straining is just as important as shaking. Imagine sipping on a beautifully balanced drink, only to have it ruined by a mouthful of ice chips or stray fruit pulp. That is where straining comes in to save the day. Not only does it ensure a smooth and silky texture, but it also allows the true flavours of the ingredients to shine through. Plus, let's be real, there's nothing more impressive than a beautifully presented, perfectly strained cocktail. So, whether you're using a classic Hawthorne or a julep style, make sure to give your cocktails the straining they deserve. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you.

Hawthorn vs Julep Cocktail Strainer: What’s the difference?

It is important to know the difference between a hawthorn and a julep strainer.  Traditionally, the julep strainer is used when straining a stirred cocktail from a mixing glass, and the Hawthorne when straining a shaken cocktail from a mixing tin.