Saturday, August 21, 2010
Cocktail Shaker Village
Meet three of my best friends in the whole round world - my cocktail shakers. The first one doesn't have a name, but the middle one I call "Old Sarge" and the one on the right is "Beaky".
Beaky, the smallest and oldest of the triumvirate, is mainly for showing off with in front of collector-geek retro-hipster company. The large nameless one on the left is handy when I'm mixing more than one thing at a time, and/or when I need large quantities of something real quick-like. But it's the middle one that's my regular old reliable standby when mixing everything from cocktails at midnight to iced coffee at dawn.
Lou Reed once said, "Everyone should have two radios, in case one breaks." I posit that hoarding cocktail shakers is even more important to have this survivalist mindset about.
I shake almost every drink I make, even when the recipe calls for "stirred not shaken." On this matter, as with many matters, James Bond and I are in agreement.
Martin Sheen, as the President on The West Wing, said: "Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it." On this matter, the President and I disagree.
I don't find that shaking results in a noticeably watered-down drink (then again, my ice maker at home creates very large and very rounded ice cubes) and I like my drinks ice cold, cold as the pinnacle on a witch's hat. How long should a bartender shake a drink? My answer: until his/her hands are painfully freezing.
I don't subscribe to the notion that shaking "bruises" gin, either. But hey, I'm a hillbilly and this is how we roll in Rockcastle County. Shake it one time for me, Old Sarge.
- - JSH