When to Shake and When to Stir

Sips Cocktail Emporium

Sips carries a variety of shakers and mixing pitchers for any kind of cocktail, shaken or stirred. However, it's not commonly known which cocktails to shake and which cocktails to stir. Here's a helpful guide for when to shake and when to stir to help make your drinks even more delicious!

When to Shake:

Cocktails that include fruit juices, dairy products, simple syrups or shrubs should be shaken. These mixes and your spirits have different densities and will not become one unified cocktail without a bit of hard work. The shaking process adds air to create a unified texture between the heavier mixes and the lighter spirits. Helpful hint #1: When using egg whites, you might want to double your shaking time. Helpful hint #2: Don't shake fizzy liquids such as pop or club soda, otherwise you'll spend more time cleaning than sipping.

When to Stir:

Cocktails that are made up of only spirits should not be shaken. The next time you are making a Manhattan, make sure you're stirring together the sweet vermouth, whiskey and bitters instead of shaking them. There are three main reasons for this: First, stirring will prevent the ice from breaking apart into tiny shards, thereby ensuring the spirits don't become diluted faster. Second, it is suggested that shaking can bruise a spirit, thereby changing its flavour-- something you don't want in a boozy cocktail designed at showcasing that spirit's flavour. Lastly, and most importantly, when mixing together two or more spirits, they just don't need to be shaken; the two or more spirits will mingle well together with a gentle stir, so why add more work than you need to.


We hope this has helped provide clarification on the subject. Now someone needs to tell James Bond he's doing it wrong.

Available products featured in this post's photo:

  1. Mason Shaker
  2. Quilted Glass Mixing Pitcher
  3. Stainless Steel Stirring Spoon with Ice Hammer Handle