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Cocktail Mixing Terms

Learn The Lingo: 


This is when the ingredients are poured directly into the serving glass. Plenty of ice should be added to the empty glass and then the cocktail ingredients are added. The drink should then be given a quick stir.


To churn a drink is when the ingredients are stirred with crushed ice. Churning will ensure that the drink chills very quickly.


To muddle is the act of combining and mashing ingredients in the bottom of the glass using a muddler. Soft fruits such as strawberries blueberries and raspberries are often muddled to release their flavours into the mix. The act of muddling, which is essentially a careful crushing motion, is done using a special tool called a cocktail muddler.


When you are browsing cocktail recipes on Social and Cocktail, you will mainly come across ingredients listed in ounces, splashes and dashes. You will sometimes come across ingredients listed in shots. A question may be raised about exactly what is a shot, however, as long as a consistent shot size is used this should not be a problem. For reference, the standard shot size in the UK is 25ml whilst in the US it is 1 fluid ounce, so if you can stick to one of these, all the better.


The vast majority of cocktails are served cold and shaking with ice is the best way to achieve a suitably chilled mixed drink. Most bartenders use the Boston shaker to mix drinks. It consists of a mixing glass and a stainless steel container that overlaps the glass.


When a mixed drink contains a distilled spirit, it`s is often preferable to stir instead of shake. When you stir a drink the trick is to gently combine the ingredients and dissolve enough ice to water down the potent mix. Stirring takes longer than shaking to chill a drink so patience is required.


If a cocktail contains ice or muddled fruit it will often need to be strained. There are two main types of strainers, firstly a Hawthorne strainer, which is the most common and will remove large particles such as ice and the tea strainer, which will remove finer particles, particularly from muddled fruit.