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by Yee-Fan Sun
continued from page 1
No matter how uncool
you think it looks, you'll want to take the time to actually measure
your ingredients when you're making your cocktails. Yeah, it's a little
anal-retentive, but remember: real bartenders measure too. And honestly,
it's the best way to make sure that your drinks are consistently good.
Again, thinking in terms of
ratio will make life easier for you: instead of fussing with 1 Tbsp. of
whatever and 1½ oz. of something else, combine 1 part whatever with 3
parts something else. This means that, essentially, you only need one
measuring device rather than a whole arsenal of spoons and jiggers. A
simple standard shot glass works dandy.
Some common bar measurements,
and how they relate…
1 Tbsp. = 3 tsp. = ½ oz.
1 oz. = a pony = 2 Tbsp. = a normal shot glass
1½ oz. = a jigger = 3 Tbsp.
There are two basic
methods for combining the ingredients for a cocktail: shaking and
stirring. So how do you know which to use when? Basically, stirring is
more gentle than shaking, and the general wisdom is that drinks that
contain all alcoholic ingredients, like martinis, are best stirred, as
the ingredients will mix readily without two much agitation. On the
other hand, cocktails that contain a mix of non-alcoholic and alcoholic,
like cosmos, should be shaken to ensure that everything gets properly
combined. Personally, I like martinis shaken, so that they get those
lovely frosty flecks, but ultimately, I suppose, this is just a matter
of preference. One thing you definitely don't want to shake is any drink
containing fizzy ingredients -- stir gently, to ensure that all those
bubbles don't go bye-bye before anyone gets the chance to enjoy the
If you are shaking it up, make
sure to shake that cocktail good. No half-hearted wrist wiggle, please;
use two hands if you must (although you'll win more style points if you
can manage a good one-handed, over the shoulder shaking), but do
whatever you have to in order to really mix up those ingredients
properly. Shake until the shaker's too cold to hold.
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