Our esteemed guest bloggers at The Blind Pig Cocktail Co. are serving up their third and final “How to cocktail” installment. You can catch up with their first two blogs here and here.
With the latest James Bond installment due to be released in cinemas this autumn, The Blind Pig is asking a timely question: shaken or stirred?
Shake it to make it!/Shaken or Stirred?
So, for the final time, we pay a visit to the 4 pillars, to visit the pillar “weak”. This is the counterbalance to the “strong” from our spirit.
The weak is also referred to as the dilution, and for this, there are many options available.
A cocktail with citrus, dairy, and/or egg will be shaken almost every time, while a cocktail without will be stirred. Why is this? Both shaking and stirring chill a drink and cause water dilution; however, shaking also adds aeration. Through aeration, acid in citrus is softened. Terpenes found in citrus are exposed to oxygen, changing their composition. In a nutshell: shaking results in a better-tasting citrus cocktail. By contrast, stirring a spirit-forward drink preserves the smoother mouthfeel of the spirit; aeration is usually detrimental to a cocktail without citrus.
Stirred – Drinks like an Old Fashioned or traditional Martini, are stirred over ice – this allows for dilution of the drink, but to a minimal effect – these cocktails tend to be more alcohol forward and are more of a sipping drink.
NOTE: James Bond famously asks for his Martini “Shaken, not stirred”. This is not the typical way and results in a drink that is more diluted and is known as a Bradford… perhaps he was watching his alcohol consumption to keep his wits about him!
Shaken – A shaken cocktail will allow for greater dilution, while also chilling the drink (no one wants a room temperature cocktail!) and also allows you to mix all of the ingredients together much better. Typically cocktails with more ingredients in them tend to be shaken, or cocktails with ingredients like pineapple juice or egg white such as Cosmopolitans, Margaritas or Sours.
Tips on Technique – Shake in an oval shape, making sure the ice strikes both ends of the shaker. The quality, shape, and temperature of your ice will affect the necessary length of shake, but a good sign that you’ve done it right is that the outside of the shaker will become super cold and frosty.
After you’ve shaken your cocktail, you should use a Hawthorne Strainer and a fine strainer.
The Hawthorne strainer catches the large chunks of ice, with the fine strainer getting those little pesky pieces of ice and other ingredients that got all churned up. It helps the drink looks more finished and besides, no one wants little bits of things floating around in their drink!
Poured Over Crushed Ice – This is for a cocktail where all the ingredients are added straight into the glass, such as the Mojito. The crushed ice acts to dilute the drink, while also keeping the drink nice and chilled.
And so we come to the end of our lesson. We’ve walked you through how to stock your home bar, what ingredients you’ll need and how to prepare ahead of time, and we’ve talked through choosing your method for mixing and serving your drink… so the class is dismissed. Go forth and a cocktail! Send us a picture of your creations on Instagram or Facebook.
Adapting to change
COVID has forced all of us to change our routines, and businesses such as The Blind Pig Cocktail Co. have been hit hard with the loss of their busy summers season of private and corporate parties, weddings and anniversaries.
But you can’t keep a good thing down and the team have adapted their service to help keep people entertained, including:
– virtual happy hours and cocktail classes
– Pre-batched cocktails for at-home events
– Full bar and party setups, available with or without bartenders (cocktails can be pre-batched for ease)
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with everything!
About The Blind Pig
Founded in 2017 the Blind Pig Cocktail Co. is the result of the shared vision and passion of founder Somers Carr and co-owner Matt Francis.
The Blind Pig Cocktail Co. offers Bermuda a high-end catering service specializing in fully customised craft cocktails, alongside full bar service including wine and beer. Relax happy in the knowledge that Bling Pig have got your event libations handled; from creating a bespoke and personalised drink menu to serving drinks that will delight your guests. No detail is overlooked from beautiful glassware to best quality ingredients, professional staff, purpose- built bar rental and retro bar décor!
Somers has been in the hospitality industry for 13 years, working in countries all over the world and is a familiar face behind the bar back home in Bermuda. Having honed his craft in the lively bar scene of Edinburgh, Matt has competed in cocktail competitions both on the island and internationally and notably has won:
- Stoli Bermuda Cocktail Master 2015
- Goslings Best Bartender 2016
- Bacardi Master Bartender 2018 & 2019.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theblindpigbermuda/?ref=br_rs
Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/theblindpigbermuda/
A huge thank you to The Blind Pig for their contribution to our blog this week. They’ll be back for their final installment next month answering every Bond fan’s question: what exactly is the difference between shaken and stirred?
If you can’t wait till then to find out, don’t forget you can ask the masters themselves on their cruise on Friday 18th September. You can book tickets for the event here.
Local Bermuda is about the Bermudian way. If you would like to contribute a story to be shared on our blog, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a request here and we’ll reach out to you. Stay safe everyone!