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I had no idea why or how you would use a shaker. I thought it was something only for a fancy bartender in a tropical location. It was foreign and confusing. And I was so very wrong!
First off, why would you use a shaker?
1. Its the best way to thoroughly mix your ingredients
2. Quickly cools your drink without watering it down
3. Adds effervescence and lightens the texture
That all makes sense and actually seems simple enough. But how do you know when to use a shaker? Well, usually the recipe tells you to! But a good rule of thumb is whenever you're using a fruit juice (also drinks with egg or cream but those are much less common).
The actual mechanics of using a shaker is super easy! Fill it up about halfway full of ice and add the ingredients. Hold it tight in your hand with a finger over the lid and shake until it feels colder than comfortable. That's when you know its ready!
But, honestly, my favorite reason for using a shaker is that you just look really cool. You can shake with flair. You can shake your whole body. You can shake just at the wrist. You can make a face. You can be serious or laughing. And the best part is the look on the person you are making the drink for. Their eyes light up and they say 'Oh! Its a fancy drink!' and feel very special.
Here is one of my favorite shaken, not stirred cocktails:
1 oz HDC Raspberry Vodka
2 oz Pineapple Juice
Squeeze of lime
Shake over ice
Pour into martini glass
garnish with Raspberry and Lime
Shake it up people! Shake it up!