Bartending/Techniques/Stirred cocktails

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Book Citation: The following text on drinks and bartending contains information based on The Official Harvard Student Agencies Bartending Course, Third Edition, ISBN 0-312-25286-2

Stirred cocktails are drinks such as Martinis, Manhattans, and Gimlets. They are stronger than highballs and typically are 4 oz. (120 mL) of liquid.

Stirred cocktails can be served straight up, without ice; or on the rocks, with ice. In either case, the drink is mixed with ice and then strained; drinks on the rocks are strained into a glass with fresh ice. Stirred cocktails should be strained into a glass with a stem so that they keep cold longer, especially when served straight-up; a cocktail glass is exactly this.

Making a stirred cocktail[edit]

To prepare a stirred, follow the below directions.

  • Fill a 12 oz. (350 mL) shaker glass two-thirds full with ice.
  • Add ingredients from smallest to largest amount, so that if you pour in too much you don't have to discard a whole drink.
  • Stir very well.
  • Strain the drink into a serving glass. For drinks on the rocks, strain into a glass with fresh ice; for drinks straight up, strain into an empty glass.
  • Garnish as necessary.

You can add the smallest ingredient before the ice; this is recommended for drinks such as Martinis, where you have to add a very small amount of dry vermouth.

Stirred cocktails can also be prepared as shaken cocktails in many cases; this may mix the drink better, but it may also make it cloudy. Shaking can also chip or break up the ice, increasing the water content of a drink. Stirred drinks should be stirred unless the patron requests it be shaken. As a rule of thumb, drinks made entirely of clear ingredients should be stirred, while drinks containing other ingredients such as fruit juice or egg white should be shaken.

Stirred cocktails[edit]


  • Martini
  • Dry Martini
  • Extra Dry Martini
  • Gibson
  • Vodka Martini
  • Tequini Martini
  • Black Martini
  • Chocolate Martini
  • Cosmopolitan
  • French Martini
  • Saketini