Bar Technique and Tips

Daniel's Cocktails




Cocktail Shakers


Boston ShakerBoston Shaker

The Boston Shaker is used to mix as well as chill the drink ingredients. It's got two parts: a flexible metal tin and a mixing glass. Fill ice and liquids in the mixing glass. Put fit the tin part on top and press lightly to form a seal. Shake it up. You need an additional strainer to trickle the mixed drink into a glass.

The Hawthorne strainer

The Hawthorne usually has a spiral on the edge to keep ice cubes and fruit lumps out of your drinks. When you buy a shaker, it often comes with a strainer. In a pinch, an everyday kitchen strainer works as well.


Julep StrainerThe Julep strainer

This one is shaped like a bowl with a handle, and will fit tightly into a mixing glass or shaker when inserted at the proper angle. Liquid passes through holes or slits in the bowl.



Cocktal ShakersThe Classic Cocktail Strainer

The Classic strainer has three pieces. The cocktail tin, the strainer lid and the cap that covers the holes in the strainer lid. together this shaker/ strainer can get the job done. The biggest draw back to this type of shaker is seperating the pieces after shaking with ice. The metal constricts and it can be difficult to pull any of the pieces apart.

Dry shake

A dry shake is when you shake the ingredients without ice for 5 or so seconds, to get a start at frothing the mix before adding the ice. This is a good technique when shaking a cocktail with egg white. Standard shaking will not always froth the mixture and can leave some of the egg white unblended. This is not desirable. Cocktails that use cream or Bailey's or thick ingredients such as honey or syrups can blend much more thoroughly if you dry shake them first. A good dry shake will ensure a well blended cocktail with the perfect froth.

Rimming The Glass

Today's Cocktails are becoming more and more intricate. The list of ingredients has become long and very specialized, even the rim of the glass has undergone some changes.

It used to be that salt was the only thing to rim a glass with, drag a poiece of lime around the rim of the glass. pour kosher salt on a plate and turn the rim of the glass through the salt and shake off the excess.

Now we have sugar, crushed candy, crushed pepper corns, cookies, crackers, ect... well, here is the good news; the mothod is the same. Moisten the rim of the glass and drag the rim of the glass through whatever granules you need to stick the the rim of the glass.

Dash or Splash

A Splash is bigger than a dash, but both are small amounts. You use them to flavor a cocktail for taste, so it's a bit of a judgment call. A splash generally involves less viscous liquids such as mixers, whereas dashes are used with stronger flavourings, such as tabasco.

A splash of mix is usually 1/2 ounce or less, like the splash of coke on top of a Long Island Iced Tea. and a Dash is harder to measure because it is more relative to the product. A dash of Tabasco is one shake of the bottle and a dash of worchestershire is one shake of the bottle however the two bottles dispense a different amount.

Parts, Ounces, CL's, or Jiggers

The beauty of using PARTS

Many cocktail Recipes follow different measurement standards. Recipes done in PARTS means that all parts are equal. So 1 part vodka and 2 parts cranberry juice means there is twice as much cranberry. This is a good system when the cocktail recipe can be made in large or single drink amounts. using the same bottle of vodka and two equal bottles of cranberry juice. SAME DRINK!

Ounces and centiliters

Depending upon where you live you will favor either ounces or centiliters, Imperial or Metric measurements. This method is the same in so far as you will measure exactly, the amount for each ingredient. coupled with this method we use tablespoon, teaspoon, dash, splash, pinch.

If you need to convert Imperial to metric then;

1 ounce = 3 centiliters

1 centiliter = 1/3 of an ounce.

Jiggers and Pour Spouts

A jigger is a bartool used to measure cocktails. The one problem with a jigger is....they come in many sizes. American (imperial) and Metric. The most common size is 1, 1-1/4, and 1-1/2. or 3 to 5cl's in metric.

Using Pour Spouts

The Pour Spout or speed pourer is most often used by bartenders. The Pour spout allows the user to measure the amout of alcohol, by counting how long the liquid is flowing from the bottle. This is mastered only with practice. The higher and faster you count the more accurate you can be, but most bartenders use a 3 or 4 count. Simply hold the bottle upside sown and start counting. Tip* add water to a bottle and practice pouring into a measuring cup.

Simple Syrup and your own Syrup Infusions

Making Simple Syrup is very easy. One part Water and One part Sugar. That's right equal parts. So a cup of water and a cup of sugar. You must heat the water in a pan and add the sugar to the hot water. There is no need to boil the water, but if you do you will need to add a bit of extra water to compensate for the water loss from evaperation/boiling. This will keep you at a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar. When the Sugar has disolved, cool the mixture and store in a clean bottle. The simple syrup is good for 2 weeks refrigerated.

Infusing flavor into the Simple Syrup

to creat your own homemade syrup is easy. Add the flavoring of your choice to the water, tea is the easiest. and proceed with heating and then adding sugar, disolving, cooling and bottling. The simple way to add flavor is the heat it with the water, strawberries, oranges, candy, herbs, also cominations of ingredients. Another method is to mash up the fruit and maranate in water for 24 hours to get all of the flavor then heat and add the sugar.

When making flavored Simple Syrup you will most often need a seive to seperate the solid parts from your finished product.

Cutting Garnishes

Cutting Board, Knife

keep a clean cutting board and sharp knife behind the bar at all times. Don't use an old dull knive that's been lying around behind the bar for years. most accidental cuts are from dull knives that slip. another thing is to place a towel under your cutting board so it doesn't side all over when your cutting garnishes.

So sharp clean knife, let the blade do the work for you, if you have to press hard when cutting then the knife is not sharp enough.

A slip resistant cutting board or a damp towel under the cutting board to stop slipping and reduce an accidental cut.

Twist knife

Use a twist knife or peeler to make twist. Making twist the proper way will give a better presentaion to your drink and also a twist with all of the oils from the peel to rub on the rim of the glass.


The barspoon give the bartender an easy tool at hand for getting cherries and olives from the jar as well as a tool for swirling cocktails and layering ingredients.

Mixing Glass

The mixing glass is part of your boston shaker. it is always a good idea to have several of these on hand. The mixing glass is a pint glass that fits snug into a cocktail tin. We use this glass for shaking and stirring drinks and mostly strain out the ice and pour the ingredients into a serving glass full of fresh clean ice.


Which Glass Should I Use

Cocktail Glass

The Cocktail or Martini Glass as it is sometimes called is for chilled drinks with the Ice strained out. This is usually some sort of Martini like a Cosmopolitan, Gin Martini, Manhattan.

Hurricane Glass

The Hurricane Glass is used of course for a Hurricane, and many tropical drinks are made in a hurricane glass as well. Mai Tai, Adios Mother, Long Island Iced Tea, a Zombie and more. Because the glass is so large you can end up with 4 ounces of alcohol in a drink that doesn't taste overpowering.

Margarita Glass

This is most comonly used for a frozen Margarita, the shape of this glass is perfect for any frozen drink with a 1/2 alcohol and 1/2 Mixer ratio.
Because the glass is shallow there is not much seperation between ice and liquid. Great for Daiquiris, Margaritas, Create your own...2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce triple Sec, 1 ounce Orange Juice. Don't be afraid, get creative.

Brandy Snifter

The Brandy Snifter is designed specifically to do two things. 1. The bulb part of the glass rest in the palm of your hand and warms the Alcohol which enhances the flavors. 2. The rim of the glass is made to allow your nose to draw in the character and finer aroma of the spirit. Brandy, Cognac and Armanac are the top spirits to use in a Brandy Snifter but whiskies can also benefit from this glass. *I hope, needless to say, no ice goes in a snifter.

Old Fashioned, Rocks and Double Rocks, High Ball

These Three glasses are the same style just different in size. The Rocks glass is designed for a single shot of spirit over ice, usually around 4 ounces. The Double Rocks and Old Fasioned glass(Bucket) are the same except for how we use them. The old fashhion glass is for a spirit and a mixer over ice. and the double rocks is for a spirit just over ice. the High Ball holds the same sized drink as an Old Fashioned but the glass is Slimmer and Tall.

Wine Glasses, Sherry, Port

The red wine glass has a buld that is shorter and fatter than a white wine glass. with a wider rim. Red wine will have more flavors and the glass is designed to enable you to smell the different aspects of the wine. The wite wine glass is more narrow with a smaller opening at the rim, also the stem of the glass will be a bit longer so you can hold the glass there, so as not to warm the wine with the heat of your hand.The Sherry/Port glass is a small sized wine glass around 4-5 ounces.

Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Sparkling Wine

The Chapagne flute or the French Champagne Glass, is long and narrow and has a small stem to hold the glass. The American Champagne glass is a wide and shallow glass with a longer stem, The American champagne glass is not good for much except making a toast. The champagne spills at the slightest move, so you only fill with a small amount.

Shot Glass

Shot Glasses are for spirits or liqueurs straight up,(no ice). The standard shot glass is 2 ounces. some of the higher ens spirits and Liqueurs will use a cordial glass or small sherry glass. these are shaped like a sour glass or sherry glass but in a 2 ounce size.

Beer Glasses

Beer glasses come in as many styles as the beer comes in Goblet, Pint Glass, Stein, Mug, Pilsner. The key to a good beer glass is Clean with a large opening to smell the beer as you drink it.

Coffee Glass and Coffee Mugs

Classic Coffee cocktail glass is a 6 ounce glass with a handle, Thicker glass than a cocktail glass to handle the heat and not break when you pour in the coffee. Two styles are tall and short. Many hot ciders, and Toddy's are poured into this kind of glass.


Pint Glass, Tumbler, Iced Tea Glass

This is the large plain glass that we use in the bar for substitute of a Hurricane glass, maybe the customer wants a Hurricane but not the fancy glass. The other use is for sodas and other non alcoholic drinks. the Pint Glass is also used as a mixing glass. The Think and indestructable nature of this glass makes it a perfect choice and it fits nicely into a cocktail tin.

Chilled Glasses

Your thicker glasses can be chilled. Shot Glasses, Rocks Glasses, Pint Glasses, and Beer Glasses. There is not a down side to chilling these types of glasses and always a good thing to have frosty cold glassware at hand.

Specialty glasses

The Sour Glass, a small sized wine glass used for making sours.

The Collins glass(chimney) a tall skinny hiball style glass used to make a Collins Cocktail.

Pousse Cafe, a Tall Shot Glass sometimes fancy used for layering shots.


Muddling is becoming more comon place. The technique is simple for herbs, the goal is to release the oils with out breaking the leafs into tiny pieces. This is done by using the flat side of the muddle and pressing the herbs. When muddling fruits and veggies use the toothed side of the muddle. Squeeze out the juice and oils but the same thing applies, we don't want the cocktail to be full of little bits.

The Importance of Ice

New clean ice is very inportant to making great cocktails. It is the foundation on which your creation stands. Some think that all ice is the same, but that's not true. The fresh ice that has come straight from the freezer is dry and solid and takes longer to melt, which keeps the cocktail cold and adds less water to the drink. Ice that has been sitting out is wet, rounded half melted. This ice will melt into the cocktail fast watering it down and quickly becoming warm.

Ice also comes in different shapes and sizes. This also effects how the ice works in a cocktail. The larger the ice cubes the more room for liquid, the smaller the ice the less liquid will fit in the glass.

The ice not only chills the drink but takes up space in the glass. A 7 ounce glass will only hold 4 ounces of liquid when filled with ice. This is important to the balance of the drink (1 ounce of spirit : 3 ounces of mix.) When someone asks for less ice their cocktail has to be filled with mixer and ruins the ratio of alcohol to mix. instead of a 1:3 ratio you end up with a 1:6 ratio unless you double the alcohol too.

Crushed ice

Crushed ice is used is certain cocktails like the Mojito, and can also be used in drinks like the pina colada, margarita and daquiris. when using crushed ice it is a good idea to chill the cocktail in a shaker and strain the contents onto fresh crushed ice. The crushed ice will melt really fast if you pour warm ingredients straight onto it.

The 2:1:1 Drink Ratio

This is simply an easy formular to follow for making the 2-1-1 ratio cocktail.

2 parts spirit
1 Part Sweet
1 Part Sour

The 2:1:1 drink is a short drink meaning that its half spirit and half mix in a small glass. Many martinis follow this formular and Margaritas, whiskey sours. If you want a long drink you can add juice or soda to this formular. For example; 2 parts vodka, 1 part lemon Juice, 1 part simple syrup, fill with club soda and a splash of cranberry juice. (I just made that up). A Collins uses the 2:1:1 formular with club soda to make it a tall drink.

2 Parts Gin
1 Part lemon
1 Part Simple Syrup
fill with club soda.