What Happens If You Overshake A Cocktail

You may need to reel in your enthusiasm while using the cocktail shaker you just purchased for your at-home bar. As tempting as it might be to show off your developing bartending skills to your friends during your next hosted happy hour, your drinks may benefit from a little less pizazz. 

While you're shaking the liquid of your homemade concoction with ice, the ice will melt in the stainless steel container. The longer you shake the cocktail that has been poured into the shaker in your hands, the longer the ice you have included in the shaker has to melt and mix into your drink. No matter how dramatic your presentation might be, a watered-down cocktail won't do your drink recipes justice: Overshaking a drink can result in a diluted drink recipe.

As fancy as the bartenders might get at your local pub when mixing up drinks, the theatrics of shaking cocktails with different motions, grips, and spins are simply for show. When mixing up martinis and cocktails to serve straight up to your friends, 15 seconds is the maximum time you should be agitating the drink. If your cocktails will be poured over ice, you'll only need around five seconds to chill your drink. 

Place emphasis on taste, not production

While chilling shakers before mixing drinks and the type of shaker used can impact the temperature of a poured drink and how quickly alcohol will chill, the rest of the details are negligible. The point of shaking a drink with ice is to cool your mix of ingredients and blend the combined liquid smoothly. In addition to chilling a cocktail, shaking aerates drinks and adds small air bubbles to your recipes, developing the texture of the beverage and producing that texturally satisfying crown of foam that adorns the surface of a drink.

Make sure the ice in your shaker is cubed, not crushed, and keep your stainless steel horizontal as you shake. Use a strainer for the smoothest serves, as the fine wire mesh will remove any debris or pieces of ice floating in the shaker. Your friends will be more impressed by the delicious beverages you pour than by any extended shaking presentation that looks like an entry for a dance competition.