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Shaken, Stirred, Blended or Layered? Ways to Make Your Ingredients Mingle

There are four ways to mix it up when you're making a cocktail-shaking and stirring are the most common methods. If the drink calls for fruit juices, mixers or milk, start shaking. When to stir? Break out the bar spoon if your recipe only calls for spirits.

Measure the ingredients for your cocktail into an ice-filled pint glass. Place the metal shaker over the pint glass and create a seal between the shaker and the glass. Shake thoroughly with two hands (remember you're making a cocktail, not a mess), pop the glass from the shaker and serve.

Stirring

Pour your spirits into an ice-filled cocktail glass. With a long cocktail spoon, gently give your drink a few splatterless stirs. Using a julep strainer, strain your cocktail into a glass and serve.

Blending

Some recipes call for you to blend the ingredients with ice. Crushed ice reduces the wear on your blender's blades, so it's the best choice if it's available. Add the ice after you've added the other ingredients. Increase the speed as you blend.

Layering

As the name suggests, layered drinks include layers of different ingredients, typically of different colours. This effect is achieved by pouring each ingredient into the glass so that it floats on the layer below it. As a rule of thumb, drinks with less alcohol content are heavier and should be poured first. To pour, turn a bar spoon upside down, hold it against the side of the glass and slowly pour each ingredient over it.