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The secret to be able to prepare excellent cocktails, as well as excellent raw materials, are definitely know how to prepare cocktails, so we need to knows the Mixology Techniques. As in the kitchen there are different cooking techniques and in the mixing there are different techniques to prepare the different types of cocktails.
Below I will explain the different Mixology Techniques, some surely you know them without knowing it, others instead, you know them because they are the most famous and others it is good to know them even if they are little used.
Neat: Refers to the service of a usually alcoholic drink, in the glass without ice, in moderate quantities (brandy, grappa…)
On the Rocks or Build: it’s prepared directly by pouring it into the glass on ice, possibly mixed with a stirrer or with a barman’s spoon and eventually a garnish. e.g .: On The Rocks.
Dry Shake: is a method used to emulsify ingredients that must be “whipped” as cream and egg white. Make an energetic shaker without ice, you can help yourself by using the spring of the hawthorne strainer or with a special spring. then proceed to add ice and shake the cocktail normally.
Shake and Strain: made with the Boston, Cobbler or Parisienne shaker. It is mainly used when there are ingredients of different consistencies that need to be well emulsified. Fill the shaker with ice and shake it for a few seconds. If you are using the Boston or the Parisienne you are using a hawthorne strainer (the one with the spring in the photo), the Cobbler has its own integrated strainer. If desired, at the time of filtering, an additional strainer, preferably cone-shaped with narrow meshes, can be used to eliminate any type of residue from the cocktail such as pieces of ice or aromatic herbs, this technique is called double strain. ex .: Yussupova
Shake and Strain with ice: Proceed as above, but pour the cocktail into a glass with ice, in some cases it’s poured with ice into the shaker.
Mixing or Stir and Strain: This technique is used to mix “easy-to-mix ingredients”. You use a large glass or the special mixing glass with ice. With this tool you mainly use the bartender’s spoon, sometimes, before inserting the ice you use the mudler, to crush leaves or citrus fruits;
Muddler: It’s the technique for preparing the so-called muddler cocktails. With the use of a special pestle, fruit, sugar, herbs or citrus peels are crushed in the glass or in the shaker to extract juice or oils. It’s also used in mixing glass but usually with citrus peels, herbs or maybe a few slices of cucumber. ex.:Mohito
Blend: a blender is used, all the ingredients in the glass (spirits, fruit etc.) and ice are added to obtain the cocktails that are called frozen.
Others Mixology Techniques
Those just listed are the most common and used Mixology Techniques but there are others that you should know.
Shake and Poor: you use the tin or the metal part of the boston and instead of its glass you use a glass Highball where at the end of mixing the cocktail will be served.
Mix: the drink is emulsified with a mixer and then poured into a glass with clean and dry crushed ice.
Build Layer: It’s a somewhat complex technique and requires a good knowledge of the density and specific weight of liquids. This technique is used to build cocktails whose ingredients will form clear and visible layers.
Swizzle: To prepare these cocktails, a Swizzle is used, that is a particular wooden stick with tips at the end, which dips into the glass and rubs between the palms of the hands so that when moving it goes to mix the cocktail. Mostly used for tiki cocktails and to prepare Caribbean punches.
Rolling: Two shakers are used, one with ice and one without, the cocktail is passed from one side to the other, obtaining a delicately mixed, cooled and slightly diluted cocktail.
Throwing: It’s similar to rolling, but it is an advanced and very scenic Mixology Techniques. It consists in using an open boston shaker by passing the liquid from one glass to another, cooling and letting the cocktail airy. In this case the dilution with ice is lower than that obtained from the classic shake. The peculiarity of this technique is that you start pouring the cocktail and as the liquid flows, the two halves of the shaker move away so that the liquid forms a waterfall. It’s repeated 7/8 times.
As you can see, there are different Mixology Techniques. Now that you know them you will be able to understand why one technique is used rather than another and in case you try your to creating your own cocktail, you can choose the best method based on the ingredients you want to include and based on the final result you want to obtain.