It’s a common misconception that a cocktail shaker is meant for shaking cocktails and not for crushing ice. In fact, the purpose of a cocktail shaker is to shake and then strain drinks. However, many people use the tool for both purposes because it’s easier than having to do two separate steps.
But can you crush ice with a cocktail shaker? It turns out that you can! But if the ice is too big, then it won’t properly fit in the glass or liquid container. So before using your cocktail shaker as an ice crusher, make sure you know the size of your cubes so they’ll fit inside without melting first.
What Is a Cocktail Shaker?
The main reason a cocktail shaker is useful is because it crushes ice. That’s how you want to break up large ice cubes so you can use them in your cocktail without having to use small ice cubes. (Also, it’s often a bit of a pain to crush them the old fashioned way.)
If you’re trying to make a big cocktail with a lot of ice, you could use a larger cocktail shaker so that the ice fits. However, if you just want to crush ice in your glass, you’ll want a smaller one, because the ice will fit better in the glass.
And don’t use a really big shaker if you’re only making a single drink because it might be difficult to get the ice in, and it’ll take more work to get the drink out. So make sure you’re using a proper size of shaker.
Does A Cocktail Shaker Crush Ice?
Once you’ve made sure you’re crushing ice properly, then it’s time to shake the cocktail. Typically, you’d shake the shaker with your hand held like you’re cranking a nut into a can. The ideal way to do it is to position the bottle of cocktail in the shaker, and then grab the cork to compress the ice against it.
If you’re having trouble crushing ice in your hand, then you can press the cubes into the shaker, instead. When the shaker is ready, you need to release the pressure and then turn the bottle upside down, so the ice and other elements settle in the bottom and that the top is flat.
You can also hold the bottle upside down so the liquid gets knocked out of the bottle. Once it’s as flat as you can get it, you pour the drink into the glass and garnish.
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How To Crush Ice With A Cocktail Shaker
One of the most basic ways to crush ice with a cocktail shaker is to use the “circular shake” method.
- Put ice cubes into the shaker so they’re on the inside and the outside.
- Then shake the shaker and add the same amount of water into the shaker and shake again. You want the cubes to be about two inches in diameter and the water to be about two ounces.
- Put the shaker back into the freezer to chill the liquid and to ice the edges of the ice.
- Once it’s completely frozen, just shake the shaker until the ice cubes are crushed into tiny pieces.
- If your shaker is too large, you can use the alternative “side-to-side shake” method.
- Just fill the shaker with ice cubes and the water (so that it’s about two inches high) and put the liquid inside.
Other Ways To Crush Ice
Once you’ve determined that your ice cubes are roughly the right size, it’s time to start crushing. To crush ice, all you need is a sturdy, flat surface. Because you want the ice to be able to roll around freely, you don’t want the surface to be too rough.
To choose a suitable surface, experiment with many different materials before settling on a design that works best for you. Make sure that the surface isn’t too hard or soft, because you want the ice to roll around freely.
And if you want your crushed ice to be even harder, try a smooth, hardwood board. These kinds of materials are much less likely to crush ice, which is what you want when you’re shoving it into a glass and pressing it down hard.
If you use a cocktail shaker, use it only for its intended purpose. For example, you shouldn’t use it to crush ice and then mix cocktails or pour drinks into glasses. Your cocktail shaker can do both things, so be sure to check your equipment before using it.