Should Coffee Cocktails Be Shaken Or Stirred?

pouring espresso martini
pouring espresso martini - Catlane/Getty Images

Coffee cocktails are having their moment. Innovating beyond the iconic espresso martini, bartenders are melding the complex flavors of a morning pick-me-up with the expansive world of evening boozy libations. Plus, there are many traditional slings to recreate, from Mexico's beloved carajillo to the Canary Island's layered Barraquito cocktail. Regardless of the precise drink, the technique is everything -- so make sure to keep an eye on how you integrate the joe. Across the board, there isn't a generalization about whether a coffee cocktail should be shaken or stirred. Instead, it depends on the aim of the drink's consistency.

Shaking combines components more intensely, invoking air and causing more dilution. It's the necessary maneuver to craft that delicious foamy head, like the one present in an espresso martini. And if you're mixing heftier ingredients like eggs, cream, or citrus, you'll need to employ this more vigorous technique.

Alternatively, stirring is about melding ingredients with less dilution. It's the better pick for boozier coffee cocktails, meaning it's how you'll want to infuse cold brew into your next Negroni. It's also the move for working with hot coffee; Irish coffee needs to be stirred together. So, if you're ever confused, consider the cocktail's texture and temperature.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Shaking Or Stirring Depends On The Specific Coffee Cocktail

drink served alongside brewing equipment
drink served alongside brewing equipment - Melaniemaya/Getty Images

The absolute best coffee cocktails match the brew's flavor with the booze, all tied together into a pleasurable sipping experience. Navigating the necessary assembly method can feel overwhelming; each style offers a distinct take.

For the most fuss-free, there's Italy's caffè corretto, which combines a full-proof spirit with espresso. You won't even need a shaker, as the booze meets the coffee right in the cup. Other hot coffee cocktails, like Spanish and Irish coffee, are also stirred right in the serving vessel. The warm temperature is crucial, so you wouldn't want to expose the coffee to more air by shaking it, thereby cooling it down. Stirring is also the move for especially spirituous drinks, like in the classic cocktail spin-off, the cold fashioned, as well as in coffee negronis.

Shaking is the move when employing espresso in cold slings. The technique quickly cools the coffee, improving its texture with microbubbles and creating a foamy top. In addition to the expansive martini variations, the method also shines with boozy shaken espresso riffs. Plus, shaking is useful with complex multi-ingredient cocktails, like Death by Morning, which combines liqueurs, coffee, and spirits all into one. So, if you're building something ornate, reach for the shaker.

Read the original article on Tasting Table