Techniques & Terminology

Some Terminology



Fine Strain
Strain out the ice and any solids with a fine mesh strainer. .


Double Shake
A technique in which you shake a cocktail once without ice, then again with ice to create a frothy, creamy texture. Usually done with egg white cocktails or heavy cream cocktails.


Using Egg Whites
Double shake the cocktail when it calls for an egg white. Whiskey Sours and Margaritas most commonly call for an egg white. Pro tip: when shaking the egg white with ice, use large pieces of ice. A large piece of ice will agitate the egg white without crushing the foam.


Up Cocktail
Any cocktail served without ice in a martini or rocks glass. This cocktail is typically built in a shaker or stirred in a mixing glass and strained into a chilled glass.


Stirred Cocktail
Any cocktail stirred with ice. Stirred cocktails are usually spirit forward (without fruit or citrus) that need to be stirred to dilute the cocktail. Manhattans and Old Fashioneds would be stirred cocktails.


Using a Shaker
Combine ingredients with or without ice, depending on the cocktail. There are several types of shakers. You can also use anything with a lid such as a mason jar.


Jiggers / Measuring Tools
Typically two-sided and used to measure the liquid portion of your cocktail. If you don’t have one, use measuring spoons or a shot glass.


Choose your ice carefully...if you have options. The bigger the ice, the slower the melting will occur. Bigger ice is used for booze forward drinks as it will hold up to the higher alcohol content. The smaller the ice, the faster your cocktail will melt it adding to the overall drink. Smaller ice is ideal for sweeter, juice forward cocktails.


Used to peel the zest from citrus primarily, but any fruit or vegetable can be zested for an added pop of flavor and color.


Typically this is a moderately long wooden, hard plastic, or metal tool used to smash fruit, herbs, or spices in a cocktail. Muddling should be done before any liquid is added.


Using Herbs
Use fresh herbs for bright flavor and color. Use dried herbs in moderation for added flavor and texture. Keep in mind that you may be drinking these herbs, so choose wisely. When garnishing a cocktail with fresh herbs like mint, express the oils by clapping the mint between your hands before garnishing.


Garnish should be edible but does not have to be, however it should always add something to the cocktail, be it aroma, flavor, or a contrast in color. Popular garnishes are things like citrus twists, citrus wedges, mint and herbs, drops of bitters, or edible flowers.


Bitters are used as intense flavor accents. Think of bitters as “salt & pepper” for your cocktail. There are several types of bitters, usually made with a base of some type of spirit. There are some bitters that use glycerol as the base solution if you are looking for a non-alcoholic option. The most common type of bitters are aromatic but there are also several types of fruit and herbal varieties available. Bitters are a great complement to cocktail mixers.


Shrubs are made with the use of vinegar to add balance to cocktails by adding acidity. Use shrubs in place of tart juice like lemon and lime juice. Most often used is apple cider vinegar.


Simple Syrup
This refers to the most common type of cocktail syrup and is a simple ratio of equal parts sugar dissolved in hot water.


Cocktail mixers are modifiers for beverages. Most commonly this refers to alcoholic beverages like Margaritas or Tonic for gin and tonics. This can also be used to make non-alcoholic beverages like sodas and NA cocktails

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