If you are a fan of James Bond, or have ever seen one of his movies, then you know just how he likes his drinks-shaken, not stirred. But, even though the line is a movie classic, do you really know what the difference is between the two mixing techniques?
Shaking a drink's ingredients to thoroughly mix them requires the use of a shaker, a separate strainer if the shaker doesn't come equipped with one, ice, and the ingredients.
Stirring is a much easier way to mix a drink. No special equipment is required, other than a glass, a spoon, or a mixing rod, in addition to the ingredients and, on occasion, ice. It may be the second oldest technique used when making drinks, but it is once again making a comeback in popularity.
One of the oldest known ways to stir a drink is by using a bar spoon and a mixing glass. A bar spoon is different than other spoons that you may already have in your utensil drawer. It comes equipped with a special, long handle that works well when mixing drinks in taller glasses. This is a wonderful tool for your bar collection, because it not only works well for stirring, it is also ideal for layering when it is turned over.
Many prefer to stir their drinks without adding ice to ensure that the ingredients do not become diluted. In this instance, the ingredients are mixed first in one glass and then poured over ice in another glass to chill the drink. However, some people enjoy stirring a drink together with ice, and can easily do so without fear of diluting the drink.
When stirring a drink, if you prefer to do so with ice in the glass, it is best that cubes should be used. Crushed ice can melt rather quickly, easily diluting the drink and its flavor. Cubes will not melt as easily, and will effectively chill the drink before releasing too much water into the ingredients. Should you use ice cubes during the stirring process, the liquid should be drained into another glass prior to drinking to ensure that the ice does not melt into the alcohol.
To stir a drink, the ingredients should be added to a mixing glass. A bar spoon, straw, or mixing rod is then used to stir the ingredients. The best way to stir is to do so slowly, in a clockwise motion, with 6 or so complete rotations made. The stirred drink can then be added to a chilled glass or a glass filled with ice.
Should you prefer to stir with ice, add the ingredients to a mixing glass that has been filled 3/4 of the way with ice. Use the spoon, straw, or mixing rod to stir the drink as you would if the glass did not contain ice.
Once the drink has been properly stirred and chilled, it can be strained into a chilled glass or a glass filled with fresh ice. Add your garnish of choice, and you're good to go!