The Basic Drinker's Guide To Fancy Mixology Terms

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1. What’s the difference between SHAKEN and STIRRED drinks?

What's the difference between SHAKEN and STIRRED drinks?

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“If you have cream, egg whites, or fresh citrus in the cocktail, you’re going to want to shake it. If it’s just alcohol and maybe a little bit of sugar, you’re gonna want to stir it.

I would compare shaken vs. stirred cocktails to lemonade vs. hot coffee. Shaking a cocktail creates a little bit of foam, making a brighter, bubbly, and more refreshing drink. A daiquiri (a shaken drink), for example, is to a bartender what a lemonade is to a mailman on a hot summer day.”

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13. I’m always too embarassed to ask, but what’s the difference between SCOTCH, BOURBON, and RYE?

I'm always too embarassed to ask, but what's the difference between SCOTCH, BOURBON, and RYE?

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These all belong in the whiskey family,” Centeno says. “But each one has key differences that are actually defined by law.”

Scotch must be produced in Scotland, and is made predominantly from malted barley.
Bourbon must be produced in the United States, from a grain mixture that’s at least 51% corn mash, then aged in charred oak containers.
Rye must be produced in the United States, from a grain mixture that’s at least 51% rye, then aged in charred oak containers. (There’s also Canadian rye, which has no legal requirements beyond the fact that it has to be produced in Canada. But, the rye you see at bars is likely American rye.)

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17. What are some basic cocktails I should know?

“Five cocktails everyone should know are the Daiquiri, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Gin Martini, and the new modern classic: the Penicillin. Made with scotch, ginger, honey, and lemon, this was invented in NYC in the last ten years, and any bar (that knows better) will know how to make it.”

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