Spirit Forward Cocktails
The standard bar procedures for Spirit-Forward favorites.
Spirit-Forward Cocktails Should Be Stirred
Despite what James Bond prefers, spirit heavy drinks are best when they are stirred, not shaken. This allows you to blend and chill the ingredients without breaking up the ice too much, so you can control the level of dilution. These drinks don't usually call for acidic juices like citrus, so a lot of dilution is not necessary--let's not water down delicious spirits!
When preparing your cocktail, a mixing glass is usually the preferred instrument, however you can use any large pitcher or container, or stir drinks in your cocktail shaker. A long-handled bar spoon is also preferred here--the twist in the shaft allows you to easily rotate the spoon between your thumb and first two fingers while also stirring around the mixing glass. Finally, a julep strainer is better for stirred drinks. The large holes allow fast straining, and its shape allows the strainer to fit inside a mixing glass, so the pouring lip is unobstructed.
The Larger The Ice, The Better
Ice is a very important detail in cocktail world, and shouldn't be overlooked. Similar to the reasoning behind why spirit-forward should be stirred, larger ice is also best in these drinks so you have less dilution. While the king cube is very attractive in cocktails, its purpose goes beyond the presentation. A clear King ice cube holds less impurities, so it melts much slower. This will keep your drink cool as you sip, but won't water your drink down quickly.