Basic mixology utilizes methods of mixing cocktails. Below you will find a brief explanation of them.


Start with a clean glass. Fill it with ice. Pour spices first if any. Measure spirits into glass.Top with mixer. Add swizzle stick. Stir gently before drinking.


Spirits and mixers are mixed with ice in the glass end of a Boston shaker, or beacon. Stir with a cocktail spoon. Strain cocktail into a chilled glass, or over fresh ice.


Put ice into cocktail shaker of choice. Pour spirits and mixers over. Top the shaker & shake it up good. Strain cocktail into a chilled glass, or over fresh ice.

In the old classic movie, The Thin Man, William Powell plays Nick the detective who instructs his bartender, "The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you always shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time."


A layered cocktail is a delicate process. Since each spirit has its own weight, commonly referred to as density, great detail and experimentation is necessary in determining the outcome, as different brands have different densities. There are a couple methods of layering, both of which require a bar spoon. One is to pour down the twisted handle of it, and the other is to pour over the back of the spoon part into your glass. I personally prefer the back of the spoon and I barely rest the edge of the spoon against the glass.


To float or to top is to layer or gently pour a spirit on top of the finished drink.


To frappé is simply to pour your spirit over crushed ice. The drink is also referred to as a mist.


Besides the drink as described above, there is a method of misting. This is done with an atomizer. Before a drink is strained into a glass, a spritz of spirit is used to coat the glass first. With the newer popularity of drier martinis, vermouth is a good example of misting a glass, where the minimum of spirits is used, but equally distributed around the glass.


Muddling is as basic as mashing. Herbs such as mint and various fruits are called for in recipes to be muddled. A wooden or ceramic pestle is the best method, but the back of a bar spoon can also be used. Generally muddling is done before the ice and ingredients are added, and the pulp distributed around the inside of the glass.