4 Classic Bartender Tricks

The shake: As a general rule, cocktails that contain heavy ingredients like eggs, dairy products, fruit juices, or cream liquors should be shaken so that you get a lovely froth with a minimum of effort. Most bartenders do so using a Boston shaker: a pint glass topped with a metal tin. Fit the tin over the glass and give it a tap to seat it firmly. Holding the shaker and glass, shake them vigorously end to end for ten seconds. Give the glass a thump with the heel of your hand to break the seal before removing it.
The stir : Clear drinks like martinis and manhattans should be stirred, not shaken (which causes bubbles and froth to form). The key is to stir long enough for the ice to chill the ingredients thoroughly (the glass should feel very cold) without watering it down-a full 30 seconds isn't too long. Grip a bar spoon lightly near the top of its shaft and, moving only your wrist, gently but firmly swirl the spoon around.
The flame: Applying fire to citrus oils enhances their flavor and adds toasty caramel notes to whiskey- and gin-based cocktails like the rob roy and the tuxedo. Cut a thick, 1" circle of rind from a fresh orange. Light a match and hold it above the glass; grip the piece of rind by the edges, hold it skin side down above and to the side of the match, and sharply pinch the peel. This will send a spray of oil through the flame and onto the surface of the drink.
The crush: Cracking ice cubes into jagged pieces increases their surface area, allowing them to melt faster and mellow the alcohol's bite while also making the drink easier to stir. The most efficient-and dramatic-way to crack ice is to place the cubes in a sturdy canvas bag and whack them a few times with a mallet.

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