Making that perfect drink can be done easily with some techniques used by the professionals. The guide below will help you understand the basic techniques used by professional bartenders. Basic Drink Making Techniques:Shaking - Drinks containing eggs, fruit juices or cream, it will be necessary to shake the ingredients. Shaking mixes the ingredients and chills them simultaneously using ice cubes three-quarters of the way full. Always use two hands when shaking, one hand on top and one supporting the base with short, sharp, snappy shakes. When water has begun to condense on the surface of the shaker, the cocktail should be sufficiently chilled and ready to be strained.Straining - Most cocktail shakers have built-in strainers. When a drink calls for straining, use ice cubes instead of crushed ice because it can clog the strainer. If a drink requires to be shaken with crushed ice (ie. Shirley Temple), it is to be served unstrained.Stirring - Cocktails can be stirred with a metal or glass rod in a mixing glass. If ice is to be used, use ice cubes to prevent dilution. Strain the contents into a glass as soon as the surface of the mixing glass begins to collect condensation.Muddling - To get the most flavor from certain ingredients, such as fruit or mint garnishes, crush the ingredient with the muddler on the back end of your bar spoon, or with a pestle.Blending - An electric blender will combine ingredients that can not be mixed by shaken. For example, recipes containing fruit or other ingredients which do not break down by shaking. Blending creates a smooth ready to serve mixture. Some recipes will call for ice to be placed in the blender.Building - Building is when the cocktail’s ingredients are poured individually into a glass and floated on top of each other. Occasionally, a swizzle stick is put in the glass to allow the ingredients to be mixed. Layering - Allowing the weight of each ingredient to float (ie. cream, liqueurs) on top of another is layering. The technique to do this requires the use of a rounded part of a spoon which is placed against the inside of a glass. Slowly pour the ingredient down the spoon and into the glass. The heavier liqueurs go in first so lighter ingredients float.Flaming - Flaming is when a cocktail or liquor is set alight and is used to enhance the flavor of a drink. This should only be attempted with caution and the use of safety measures, not because it looks cool. Higher proof liquors will ignite easier than lower proof liquors. Flaming a small amount of liquor in a spoon will cause the alcohol to collect at the top. You can then pour this over the prepared ingredients. Don't add alcohol to ignited drinks, the flame can get out of control. Always light liquor where they pose no danger to anybody else, and ensure no objects can possibly come into contact with any flames. Always extinguish a flaming drink before consuming it.
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