Sarah Scrimshire

Sarah Scrimshire

What is Dry Shaking? A Secret Ingredient to Make Your Cocktails Frothy! Plus 5 Cocktails you can make TODAY!

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Learn how to make your cocktails frothy with a simple secret ingredient!

make it frothy

The Art of Cocktail Shaking

Shake what your momma gave you! Cocktail Shaking is not just a method used in mixology, but many bartenders have taken it to the next level with the technique! My husband always makes fun of me because when I shake a cocktail, I tend to shake my body and hold my arms still… 😂 the coordination just isn’t there for me. I like handing over the cocktail shaker to him so he can properly shake it up! Keep on reading to find out how to use a cocktail shaker to make your cocktail extra frothy!

Shaking a cocktail has several different factors as to why it would need to be shaken, so here are some reasons to shake a cocktail!

  1. Mixing Ingredients: Shaking helps to thoroughly mix all the ingredients of a cocktail. This is especially important when ingredients have different densities or consistencies.
  2. Chilling: Shaking with ice rapidly cools down the liquid, making the cocktail refreshing and enjoyable.
  3. Dilution: The ice in the shaker also melts slightly during shaking, adding a controlled amount of water to the cocktail. This helps to balance flavors and reduce the harshness of the alcohol.
  4. Aeration: Shaking incorporates air into the mixture, creating a frothy or creamy texture in some cocktails, like the classic Margarita or Whiskey Sour.
  5. Emulsification: In cocktails with ingredients that don’t naturally mix well, shaking can help to emulsify them, creating a more cohesive and flavorful drink.
How do you shake a cocktail?
  1. Gather Your Equipment: You’ll need a cocktail shaker, ice, and the ingredients for your cocktail.
    • Here are some options of cocktail shakers. There are several different styles, some easier to maneuver than others. For me, I personally like shakers that have a cap and strainer built in such as in the second picture just because I can find the 2 cups hard to pull apart after shaking. It’s all about personal preference though!
  1. Add Ice to the Shaker: Fill the shaker about two-thirds full with ice cubes. Using large ice cubes is preferred, as they melt more slowly and dilute the drink less.
  2. Add Ingredients: Pour your cocktail ingredients into the shaker. Make sure to measure them accurately using a jigger or other measuring tool.
  3. Close the Shaker: Place the top of the shaker securely on the base. Ensure that it is sealed tightly to prevent any leaks.
  4. Shake Vigorously: Hold the shaker with both hands, one hand on the top and the other on the base. Shake the shaker vigorously and rhythmically for about 10-15 seconds. The motion should be up and down, not side to side.
  5. Strain and Serve: Open the shaker and use a strainer to pour the cocktail into a glass. Some cocktails are served “on the rocks” and should be poured directly into a glass filled with ice. Others are strained into a chilled glass without ice.
  6. Garnish: If your cocktail calls for a garnish, add it just before serving. Common garnishes include citrus twists, cocktail cherries, and olives.
What about shaking vs stirring?

In general, cocktails that are clear and spirit-focused, like a Martini or Manhattan, are often stirred, while cocktails with fruit juices, dairy, or egg whites to make the cocktail frothy, like a Margarita or Whiskey Sour, are typically shaken. There are some cases where you’d stir a dark-spirited cocktail like in an Old Fashioned- stirring gently mixes these ingredients without overly agitating them, preserving the spirit-forward nature of the drink.


  • Mixing: Stirring is gentler and is often preferred for cocktails where you want to mix the ingredients without overly agitating them. It’s commonly used for cocktails that are spirit-forward.
  • Dilution: Stirring tends to result in less dilution compared to shaking, as the ice melts more slowly.
  • Texture: Stirring does not introduce as much air into the mixture, so the texture is smoother and more uniform.
  • Temperature: Stirring chills the drink more slowly compared to shaking.
What about dry shaking? Make it frothy!

Dry shaking is a bartending technique used when preparing certain cocktails, typically those that contain ingredients like egg whites or cream to give a frothy texture. Unlike regular shaking, where ice is used, dry shaking involves shaking the ingredients without ice first, followed by shaking the mixture again with ice. This technique helps emulsify the ingredients and create a smoother texture.

Here’s how you would dry shake a cocktail:

  1. Add all the ingredients (including the one requiring emulsification, like egg white) to a cocktail shaker without ice.
  2. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to ensure they are well-mixed.
  3. Open the shaker and add ice.
  4. Shake the mixture again, this time with ice, to chill the cocktail and further blend the flavors.
  5. Strain the cocktail into a glass and serve as desired.

Egg White Cocktails

When I first heard of cocktails with egg whites, I was a bit grossed out, but when I learned about what an egg white does to a cocktail, I gave it a try and I was surprised!

Egg whites are often used in cocktails to add a rich, creamy texture and a frothy foam to the drink. Here are four classic cocktails that commonly include egg whites:

  1. Whiskey Sour: Made with whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white, the Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail with a silky texture and a foamy top. The egg white is dry shaken first to emulsify it before adding ice and shaking again.
  2. Gin Fizz: The Gin Fizz is a refreshing cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water, along with an egg white. The egg white gives the drink a creamy texture and a frothy top. It is typically shaken vigorously with ice and strained into a glass.
  3. Pisco Sour: A popular cocktail from Peru, the Pisco Sour is made with pisco (a type of brandy), lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white. The egg white is dry shaken first to create a frothy texture, then ice is added and the mixture is shaken again.
  4. Ramos Gin Fizz: This classic cocktail is known for its complex preparation, which includes shaking the ingredients (gin, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, cream, orange flower water, and egg white) for several minutes to achieve a rich, frothy texture and a thick layer of foam on top.

The Smoked Tangerine Hot Honey Sour

This cocktail combines the smoky aroma of the lemon peel with the citrusy flavors of tangerine and lemon, the earthy notes of tequila, and the spicy sweetness of hot honey, creating a complex and intriguing drink.

  • Tequila: The tequila provides a bold and earthy agave flavor, with hints of pepper and citrus.
  • Lemon Juice: The lemon juice adds a bright and tart acidity that balances the sweetness of the honey and tangerine.
  • Tangerine Juice: The tangerine juice contributes a sweet and tangy citrus flavor, complementing the tartness of the lemon juice.
  • Spicy Hot Honey: The spicy hot honey syrup adds a complex sweetness with a kick of heat, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the cocktail.
  • Egg White: The egg white adds a rich and frothy texture, giving the cocktail a velvety mouthfeel.
  • Lemon Peel Smoke Dust: The lemon peel smoke dust provides a subtle smokiness and aroma, enhancing the sensory experience of the cocktail and highlights the lemon and citrus flavors of the cocktail!

Tangerine Hot Honey Sour

Frothy, tangy, sweet, and spicy!
Prep Time10 minutes
Keyword: egg white, lemon juice, lemon peel smoke dust, tangerine, tequila
Servings: 4


  • 1 cocktail shaker and strainer
  • 1 Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker
  • 1 Rocks glass
  • 1 Butane Torch



  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz fresh tangerine juice
  • 1.2 oz hot honey syrup
  • 1 egg white

Garnish & Smoke

  • 1 pinch Lemon Peel or Apple Smoke Dust
  • citrus slice



  • Smoke rinse empty rocks glass. Place smoker on glass with either nothing inside or with ice. Add dust to smoker, smoke 10-15 seconds, leave smoker on while cocktail is being prepared in the shaker.
    1 pinch Lemon Peel or Apple Smoke Dust
  • Add tequila, lemon juice, tangerine juice, hot honey syrup, and one egg white to a cocktail WITHOUT ice. Give it a good shake.
    2 oz tequila, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1.5 oz fresh tangerine juice, 1.2 oz hot honey syrup, 1 egg white
  • Add ice then shake again.
  • Remove smoker and strain into glass. Top with citrus slice!
    citrus slice

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