Fizz This

A better way to dry-shake

The key to a good egg-based drink, i.e., proper emulsification, can be hard to achieve.

It is sometimes accomplished with a technique called the dry shake, in which the cocktail is shaken first without ice, then shaken once more with ice added.

Even then, emulsification can take forever, as evidenced by the Ramos Gin Fizz. The directions for this classic egg-white cocktail call for excessive dry-shaking of two or three minutes. Consider it the busy bartender's nightmare.

So it's no surprise that enterprising bar folk have found ways to cut corners. Here, two of our favorite tips for making your favorite fizz or flip.

The Cat Toy: At a recent Tales of the Cocktail event in Vancouver, legendary New York bartender Audrey Saunders revealed that she adds an (unused) cat toy to the tin before a dry shake. The toy acts like a whisk, helping coagulate the egg's proteins. Other bartenders have been known to throw the spring from a Hawthorne strainer into the tin for the same effect.

The Sugar Cube: Instead of using simple syrup in her Ramos Gin Fizz, bartender Karin Stanley of Dutch Kills in New York City adds sugar cubes to her tin before dry-shaking, which helps break up the egg and halves the shaking time. She then uses pellet ice to shake further; the small pellets melt faster, thus creating the dilution that would have occurred from using simple syrup (click here to see her recipe).

Get shakin'.