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What Is Dry-Shaking?

Know Your Techniques: Dry-Shaking

Cocktail aficionados may be familiar with the term dry-shake. It's a verb that's often used in drink recipes for classic and contemporary applications. But what exactly does it mean? Well, when I was a guest-bartender at Jardiniere, I got to know the phrase very intimately. Let me explain: to dry-shake a cocktail means to shake the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with no ice.

All recipes that involve egg whites (which is used to make many concoctions foamy), start with a vigorous dry-shake, one that lasts at least 15 seconds. Dry-shaking ensures that the egg white incorporates with the other ingredients and that it gets a nice frothy texture.

After a dry-shake, ice is added to the shaker and the mixture is shook again. Then, it's strained and enjoyed according to the recipe. Have you ever made a cocktail that called for dry-shaking?

Join The Conversation
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
Dry-shaking with a Boston shaker is hard! It was difficult for me to develop a seal without the ice. Not sure why.
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