A classic process used to aerate, chill, combine hard to mix ingredients and add dilution from ice melt. This is the ideal technique to bring together powerful ingredients into one a cohesive cocktail.

The Process

  1. Take a shaker and add all ingredients except for any carbonated ingredients.
  2. Measure in your ingredients BEFORE you add ice
  3. Only when you are ready to shake the cocktail, and not before, fill the shaker with as much ice as possible.
  4. Close the shaker and shake hard.
  5. The length of time you shake for is vital for adding the correct amount of water from ice melt and aeration from the action of shaking. Somewhere around 15 seconds. Remember Be aware of the ice you are using. Larger ice cubes or ice straight from the freezer will chill and dilute more slowly than smaller ice cubes, especially thinner or hollow ice cubes, or ice that has warmed up and is starting to melt.
  6. When you have finished shaking it is important to strain the cocktail into the serving glass as soon as possible so that excessive water is not added from the melting ice. But remember to taste your balance of flavors first!


There are lots of different ways to shake a cocktail, but all that really matters is that ingredients are flung from one end of the shaker to the other over-and-over again. As the ice and ingredients smash into each end of the shaker the ingredients are mixed together, and air is forced in. So, the movement must be vigorous and give your arms a good work out!

The strainer you use will depend on the ingredients you are using and the final aesthetic you want to achieve. A strainer’s job is to hold back the ice used during the shaking process. For this you can use a variety of strainers such as the Hawthorn or Julep. If you don’t have one of these, just use a large spoon to do the job!

If you have shaken with soft herbs, berries or other ingredients that you think will look unsightly in the final drink, you can ‘double strain’ your drink into the glass to remove this debris. Put simply, it means straining the drink twice, hence ‘Double Strained’. Firstly out of the shaker and through a strainer to hold back the ice, and then through a tea strainer to remove any unwanted debris, chipped ice etc..