How to make a cocktail?

Shaken not stirred might be one of the first things that pop up in people's mind when you say the word cocktail. These three words became iconic after used by the famed mister Bond.

These are just two of the many ways to make cocktails. If you read cocktail recipes you will often see words like build, layer, blend, and the aforementioned shake and stir. What do they mean and how do you use them to make easy cocktails for a party at home for instance?


Shake a cocktail

Let’s start with our good friend mister Bond. I often call shaking the rock and roll of cocktail making techniques. It’s sexy, it is full of energy and the sound of ice in a cocktail shaker fills a room with the atmosphere.

Read our blog on how to shake a cocktail and learn more about the different shakers and how to shake the best!

Stir a cocktail

If shaking is rock ‘n roll, stirring is ballet. It is subtle, it is classy, it is focus and attention. It is a technique often used in classic cocktails mainly booze forward. A beautiful Martinez with genever or an Old Fashioned with whisk(e)y or rum for instance.

Do you want to learn more about shaking and stirring, check out our blogs on shaking and stirring here.

Building a cocktail

Though very well known, shaking and stirring are probably not the most used technique to make cocktails. Building a cocktail in the glass you will drink from, is used for many cocktails you will drink at home or in the bar. Think of a Gin & Tonic, Woo Woo as well as a Mojito and the Caipirinha. Building is a great way to easily make cocktails at home. You don’t need a shaker or stirring glass to build a cocktail!

Learn more about how to build a cocktail here.

Layer a cocktail

Related to building is layering. Layering is a technique most often used for shots though that is definitely not the only purpose. Originally it was used in higher volume drinks. In 1862, Jerry Thomas wrote the first cocktail book and he included a pousse café in his recipes. This is a layered cocktail consisting of different types of liqueur.

If you want to create a great layered drink at home, check out our blog on how to layer a cocktail.

Blend a cocktail

Last but definitely not least we introduce blending. If shaking is rock ‘n roll, I am not sure what to compare blending to. Rock ‘n Roll on acid maybe? The most well-known blended cocktail is of course the Piña Colada. You add all ingredients to a blender, add ice, and just press play. If you use your home blender it is wiser to add crushed ice than cubed ice. Most of the home blenders are not designed for cubed ice.

Learn more about how to blend the perfect cocktail in this blog.

These are some of the most used ways of making cocktails. If you want to learn more about cocktails and how to make them, buy our online cocktail course for only 35 EURO and learn everything you need to make the best drinks at home or in your bar!

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