Tom Cruise was glorious in Cocktail, the movie, if only (according to most women) because he was great looking and seemingly carefree in spirit. Lots of sex appeal the ladies say. Tom could wield a shaker to make the perfect drink in a flash. We watch his efforts as he finds himself in Jamaica amid a ludicrous romantic plot that doesn’t challenge his acting talent a bit. Imagine a finale in which our hero ends up with twins! However, he can make the perfect drink. Like his character, Brian, in the film, who doesn’t want to be adept at this sociable and fun enterprise?
If you aspire to the status of top drink maker and want to wow your friends, as many do, you need a well-equipped bar before you can shake it like Cruise. You need a “full bar” with all the basics, a set of glasses in various sizes and shapes, and the tools of the trade like a corkscrew, a shaker, a knife for garnishes, a jigger cup, an ice buket, and something with which to stir it all up like a metal spoon. You will also need recipes if you haven’t gone to bartending school. This would be the fastest way to emulate Cruise, but it isn’t necessary.
So you have the vodka, gin, scotch, bourbon, rum, tequila, among other assorted items. Fine, you can make most drinks; but martinis are the in things these days, so here’s where you can give your cocktail shaker a workout. Without the shaker, the basic procedure is simple if you make it on the rocks.
Using 100 proof vodka, mix 1 oz together with .25 oz of dry vermouth, 3 dashes of bitters, and a squeeze of lemon. Fill a large mixing glass with solid ice cubes, pour in all the ingredients, and stir ten to twelve times at most. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. End by zesting the lemon peel over the top, and enjoy.
To have more fun and to use the shaker, put your vodka of choice and a splash of vermouth in the shaker with ice and go to town. Pour into martini glasses and garnish with fresh olives. Simple, easy, and effective.
- Mix 1 part sour apple Schnapps, 1 part Peachtree® Schnapps Liqueur, 1 part cranberry juice in a shaker filled with ice. Serve in chilled martini glass and garnish with the orange wheel.
- Pull together .75 oz of vodka, .75 oz champagne, .75 oz white grape juice and throw it in the shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and savor the flavor.
You can make Bloody Marys, Manhattans, Margaritas, and much more in a shaker as a substitute for a blender, which gives more froth when it is desired. There are virtually hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes available. You may need to spend a week online and then experiment on yourself—sounds like fun! It can get very sophisticated to make Bellinis, Mojitos, Juleps, Pina Coladas, Cosmopoitans, Mimosa, and dozens more. You will be an expert if you have the drive. All it takes is a great thirst.