Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Shaken, Not Stirred

One of the most common questions I get, this time from the YouTube site:

Q: When it comes to bourbon, when do you shake and when do you stir? The two drinks you showed in your last video are really similar but one was shaken and the other was stirred.

A: Great question, and a source of contention among some bartenders. Shaking versus stirring doesn't depend on the liquor, but rather on the mixers and, more importantly, on how the bartender wants to present the drink. Shaking aerates the drink, which makes it easier for your nose to get involved in the tasting and can thus intensify the flavor. This also froths the ingredients, which lightens the texture but also clouds the liquid. Lastly it imparts ice flakes which help keep the drink at temperature.

Stirring keeps the drink dense and clear, but does this at the expense of aeration and ice flakes. To me, flavor and temperature are more important in most cocktails than keeping them clear, so I shake almost all my drinks. The exceptions are liquor-only (no mixers) drinks that I serve up (no ice) and specifically want to keep crystal-clear - and these are rare. (Also consider that even a shaken drink will clarify in just a few minutes.)

I've taken temperature readings over 30 minutes of shaken and stirred drinks countless times in training classes, and shaken drinks stay significantly colder longer. A properly-shaken martini will still be below 40F after sitting for 15 minutes, while the stirred version doesn't hold temp nearly that long.

Last common misconception is that shaking waters a drink down more than stirring, which is not only untrue but immaterial. First off, ice melt is an important ingredient in a properly mixed drink. Secondly, physics tells us that cooling a liquid from Temp A to Temp B requires the ice to absorb X amount of heat, which in turn results in Y volume of ice melt. Both methods rely on convective cooling and if the temperature is lowered the same amount, the melt will be equal.

Thanks for watching!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Episode 70: White House Press Dinner, Pt.1

Anthony heads down to Washington, DC, to attend the Capital File Magazine White House Press Correspondents' Dinner After Party in the first of this 3-part AOTD On The Road series!

Right click and "Save As" to download Video | Phone Format | PSP

If you enjoy Art of the Drink, please look us up on iTunes and write a review -- thanks!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Anthony Returns to the WPIX-TV Morning Show

I visited the WPIX-TV Morning Show to mix up three Fourth of July-inspired cocktails using beer, cider, and wine as the main ingredients: the Red, White and Blueberry, a Cider Flip, and my original Pear Royale Martini.

Red, White and Blueberry
In a pint glass, layer:
6 oz. Bluepoint Blueberry Ale (bottom)
6 oz. Guinness Stout (top)
Drizzle over top:
1/2 oz. Chambord

Cider Flip
In a mixing tin with ice, add:
2 oz. Heavy Cream
2 oz. Egg Beaters
1 tbsp. Superfine Sugar
1/4 tsp. Dried Pumpkin
1/4 tsp. Grated Lemon Peel
Shake until mixture is thickened, add:
1 oz. Bacardi Light Rum
4 oz. Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider
- Shake gently to incorporate, strain into a large wine glass
- Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg

Pear Royale Martini
In a mixing tin with ice, add:
1-1/2 oz. Chianti
1 oz. Crème de Cassis
Shake until tin is frosted, add:
1-1/2 oz. Prosecco
- Roll into mixing glass and back into tin
- Strain into a martini glass lined with thinnly-sliced Seckel pear
- Garnish with a float of 3 fresh raspberries

Check it out at the WPIX Morning News Blog.