To shake or to stir, that is the question

Lots of folks are intimated when they think about making cocktails in the home, but it doesn’t have to be so scary! If you’re new to cocktailing (or just want to learn a bit more) here are a few main principles that will point you in the right direction:)

Boozy-Stirred vs Sour-Style
There are two main styles of cocktails you’ll see out in the universe: "boozy-stirred cocktails” like Old Fashioneds, and "juicy sour-style cocktails,” like Margaritas. ** When you see more elaborate options like barrel-aged cocktails or Carbonated cocktails, these are typically boozy-stirred or sour-style cocktails with another process added on afterward to enhance the flavor or texture. (Technically “Highballs”, (Vodka Soda, Gin + Tonic, Whiskey + Cola) are a third category, but the ones that confuse people are the first two we mentioned, so this is our main focus.)

The style of cocktail you’re making (boozy-stirred or sour-style) informs the decision to shake the cocktail or stir it, so the basic rule is you shake cocktails with juice, cream, or eggs, and stir cocktails that do not contain these ingredients. The intention is to apply the right technique to bring out the best attributes of the cocktail. For example, a spirit-forward cocktail like an Old Fashioned (typically made from Whiskey, Bitters, Water, and Sugar) is stirred by default, to incorporate and chill the ingredients, while maintaining a “clear mountain stream” aesthetic with few if any ice shards on the surface of the cocktail.
Conversely, you typically shake cocktails containing juice, cream, or eggs to fully mix and aerate the ingredients, contributing a lighter, brighter, more airy mouthfeel.

We’ll list some cocktails from each category below, but the most important thing to remember is that these are GUIDELINES to help achieve a specific outcome, but you should trust your palate first! If a recipe says to stir a Manhattan but you prefer them shaken, make them that way. Cocktails are about you and your enjoyment, not about following instructions to a “T”:)

How does this relate to Cheeky?

Normally when making craft cocktails, bartenders make all of their syrups and juices from scratch, but who wants to do this every time you want a real cocktail at home? 

Cheeky Syrups and Juices

Cheeky’s syrups and juices are shelf-stable versions of essential ingredients used in over 20 of the top 50 cocktails in the world, so with Cheeky your cocktail options are only limited by your imagination.

Here are a few classic cocktails you can make using Cheeky’s Syrups and Juices, but remember, you can use Cheeky to replicate any drink recipe that calls for any of the following ingredients, whether it’s a full-proof cocktail (with alcohol) or a non-alcoholic cocktail!

100% Lime Juice

100% Lemon Juice

Simple Syrup

Agave Syrup

Honey Syrup

Honey Ginger Syrup

Cranberry Syrup

Espresso Syrup

Mint Syrup

A Few Shaken Cocktails (click on the cocktail names for the full recipes)

A Few Stirred Cocktails(click on the cocktail names for the full recipes)
  • Old Fashioned: Stir your choice of American Whiskey with a barspoon or two of  Cheeky Simple Syrup, two to three dashs of aromatic bitters, and “big ice” (the bigger the better) for a smooth and sophisticated Old Fashioned. Garnish with a fresh orange twist.
  • Mint Julep: Muddle fresh mint leaves and Cheeky Mint Syrup, (or skip the muddling entirely and just use Cheeky Mint Syrup!) Add bourbon and crushed ice and stir til frosty. Garnish with a generous bunch of mint sprigs.
  • Revolver Cocktail: Whip together a Revolver Cocktail with Cheeky Espresso Syrup in the place of coffee liqueur. Stir bourbon, Cheeky Espresso Syrup, and orange bitters over ice, and enjoy over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Like this type of content? Want to see more or have a specific question you want answered? DM us on IG or send us a note here - we love requests!

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