On the surface, making a drink doesn’t seem all that complicated. But there are so many details you typically don’t realize until you stand behind a bar for several thousand hours. Fortunately, Senior Staff Writer Bryan Kim has done that - and he’s here to answer all your cocktail-related questions.
Like this one, about how to unstick a cocktail shaker:
How do you easily unstick a cocktail shaker after shaking it? With Boston shakers (and especially cobbler shakers), I always have to build in an extra minute or so of fighting the thing to get it unstuck!
“It takes a tiny bit of practice to get used to a Boston shaker, so I understand where you’re coming from. Fortunately, I spent most of my 20s with a Boston shaker in at least one of my hands, and I’m here to guide you through this. After you put the top on your Boston shaker (smacking it with the heel of your hand so it forms a seal at about a 15-degree angle), you’re then going to shake your drink. As you do this, your shaker will get cold and the metal will constrict, resulting in an even stronger seal. But just find the place where the two halves of your shaker start to diverge, and give that a good smack with the heel of your hand. It should come right apart.
As for cobbler shakers, you’re kinda out of luck. Part of the reason bartenders like Boston shakers is because they’re easier to put together and take apart. Cobbler shakers, on the other hand, always seem to get stuck. If you’re having a really tough time, run yours under some warm water, and it should come apart.”
Are there any cocktail tools you didn’t cover that you think we should know about?
“When I was a bartender, I used to hoard sharpies and masking tape. Seriously, these things were more valuable to me than gold or hard currency. Because that’s what you use to label stuff, helping you keep track of when things (like lime juice or simple syrup) were made. Also, the bartender with the most Sharpies and masking tape is technically the ruler of all other bartenders.”
Got a cocktail-related question for Bryan? Submit it here.