My hope in writing this blog is to make cocktail preparation something accessible to all; to demystify what goes on behind the bar. Cocktails (and not just drinking them!) have become an enjoyable addition to entertaining at home. The art of preparing fresh, delicious libations begins with an understanding of the basics.
So on that note, today that age old question... shaken, or stirred?
Generally, cocktails are shaken when they involve fruits, juices, liqueurs, simple syrups, egg, dairy, and other thicker ingredients (non-carbonated). Shaking the drink (with ice) produces a colder result than stirring. As Martinis have progressed over the years, to include Vodka, they are mostly shaken. In the days of Gin Martinis, they were stirred so as not to "bruise" the delicate flavor of the gin. Shaking produces air bubbles into the drink, often giving a cloudy effect (which once strained into the glass, dissipates after a few minutes). If ice cold is what you are after, shaking is your method.
Stirring Cocktails is generally a method for delicately melding a spirit with other alcohol, and ice (i.e. gin & vermouth). No cloudy drinks or ice shards here, just a smooth, silky texture.Highly effective for drinks such as Manhattans, Negronis, Martinis.
Mr. Bond was bucking the norm when he asked for his Martini, but the "rules" I am giving are never hard and fast—and like Mr. Bond, one can have their Martini shaken.