What is the general rule of thumb when it comes to stirring a drink vs shaking a drink?

If I come up with my own cocktail recipe, how should I determine if it should be shaken or stirred? I think cocktails including egg of some sort are supposed to be shaken, like bourbon sour, eggnog etc. because of the texture of the egg (?).

I also wonder what the difference between a shaken or stirred dry martini is (in terms of texture, taste, etc). I don't think it will be that different if you shake or stir the dry martini, given that it only consists of vermouth and gin.

2 Answers 2


Shaking aerates a cocktail, whereas stirring allows flavours to blend without getting bubbles in.

Purists argue that if the cocktail contains only alcohol-based ingredients (spirits, vermouths, liqueurs) it should be stirred; if it contains any non-alcoholic ingredients (citrus juice, eggs, cream, fresh fruit or herbs), it should be shaken. (Some examples of classic shaken/stirred styles at Masterclass.com.)

But as with anything food and drink, that's mostly nonsense - it should all really be about preference.

For example, the Martini - the rule is that it should be stirred, and that is also supposed to keep the delicate taste, and the oily nature of the vermouth, but many people prefer it shaken. Probably Ian Fleming's fault, but there you go.

If you invent a cocktail, try it both ways, and ask testers to try both ways, and see what they like.


When making a cocktail, it is important to know when to stir and when to shake. Generally, drinks that contain only spirits and mixers should be stirred, while drinks that contain juices or dairy should be shaken. This is because stirring helps to combine the ingredients without adding too much air or diluting the drink too much, while shaking helps to emulsify the ingredients and create a frothy texture.

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