Everyone does it differently and the right technique can make or break the experience. The harder the better, usually. There’s certainly no way to do it gracefully and if you could see the face you’re pulling you’d probably never do it again.
Shaking cocktails properly is almost as important to the overall experience as the ingredients you (or we) have used. A well-shaken cocktail will be perfectly diluted, aerated, and chilled.
First things first; your choice of shaker. There’s a few types of shaker available but they essentially all do the same thing. At Edmunds, we prefer a boston shaker combined with a hawthorn strainer. You can also get cobbler-style shakers that have the strainer built into the lid. These tend to be a little easier to use. What’s important is that there’s plenty of space for ice and the lid will stay sealed – covering your guests in Espresso Martini is a guaranteed way to remove yourself from next year's many wedding invites.
Next up; ice. Don’t be shy, use plenty. Ideally, you want to fill at least a third of the shaker.
Once the ice and cocktail are in the shaker make sure it’s sealed (remember the weddings!) Now the fun part, give the lid a tap and a very gentle shake up and down to make sure you’re not going to embarrass yourself.
Finally; the shake. You want to focus on moving the ice up and down the shaker, the idea is to make the ice ‘bash’ the liquid as much as possible. A vigorous shake is essential to creating the perfect cocktail, this is what ensures it’s perfectly aerated, diluted, and chilled. You should aim for between 10 and 20 seconds, the harder you do it the faster you’re done.
That’s it, the hard part’s done. You can then strain your cocktail into the glass, add your garnish and enjoy. Of course, every cocktail is slightly different, and not everything needs shaking, but if you were sensible enough to buy an Edmunds Cocktail you’d already know that.