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Frequently Asked Questions
THE BOSTON SHAKER FAQs
What are bitters?
Bitters are the spices of the cocktail world! They are highly concentrated tinctures, either alcohol or glycerin based, that draw their flavors from herbs, spices, citrus peels, and other bittering agents like roots or barks.
Think of Angostura Aromatic Bitters and an Orange Bitters as the essential Salt & Pepper, and all the flavors in between as a unique way to build out your bar. Bitters pair with all types of spirits and countless cocktails, and are a great way to add complexity and depth a few dashes at a time.
What are shrubs?
Shrubs are essentially vinegar-based syrups! Shrubs date back to colonial times, and the combination of fresh produce ingredients, vinegar, and sugar creates a bold and flavorful syrup. Containing both sweet and acidic elements, they bring bright fruit and citrus flavor to cocktails and mocktails alike.
How do I use shrubs?
Shrubs are a versatile ingredient in a variety of cocktails! We recommend combining shrubs with fresh citrus and effervescent soda water for a Highball cocktail.
- -2 oz spirit
- -1 oz shrub
- -1/2 oz fresh citrus
- -4 oz soda water
Combine spirit, shrub, and citrus in a tall glass. Add ice and top with soda water. Stir to combine.
- -1 oz shrub
- -5-7 oz soda water
Combine shrub and soda water in a tall glass over ice. Stir briefly to combine.
What is orgeat?
Orgeat (or-ZHAt) is an almond cocktail syrup made with orange blossom water and rose water. It is used in a number of classic cocktails, notably the Mai Tai, Army and Navy, Trinidad Sour, and Japanese Cocktail. It is one of our most popular syrups because of its versatility and distinctive flavor. While primarily associated with Tiki-style cocktails, orgeat can be used in many ways, substituting for simple syrup in any recipe and adding a fresh dimension to your favorite drink.
Which is the best orgeat?
We taste and test all of our products regularly to ensure the highest quality and standards for our savvy sippers. In our recent taste test, the Yes! Cocktail Co. Almond Orgeat Syrup received highest marks for balance and rich almond flavor.
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Boston Shaker (Two Piece) VS Cobbler Shaker (Three Piece)
We at the shop prefer the Boston Shaker as it is the more professional of the two cocktail shaker styles. The cobbler has the benefit of a built in strainer, but it is prone to getting stuck together, and people often lose the cap. The Boston Shaker is the simplest and most user-friendly cocktail shaker while giving you the most bang for your buck in terms of longevity and consistency.
When do I shake and when do I stir a cocktail?
The general rule of when to shake or stir a cocktail depends on the ingredients in the drink. If the recipe calls for the use of citrus or dairy products you will shake the cocktail. When fresh juices like lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, pineapple or cranberry are present, one will shake the cocktail. Likewise, shake for at least 10 seconds if the drink calls for milk, cream or eggs. Shaking is the best technique to quickly chill, mix, dilute and aerate your drink. Sour style drinks like the Daiquiri, Margarita, Bee’s Knees and The Cosmopolitan are great examples of classic shaken cocktails. Dairy cocktails like the Brandy Alexander or Grasshopper should also be shaken.
When the recipe does not call for citrus or contains only alcoholic or ‘spirit forward’ ingredients, one will stir the drink. Stirring is a gentler way to chill, mix and dilute a cocktail without adding unwanted aeration. The drink will come out smooth and silky, not frothy and bubbly. Old-Fashioneds, Manhattans, & Negronis are great examples of classic stirred cocktails.
What tools do I need to make drinks at home?
The essential tools needed to create cocktails at home will allow you to complete the basic techniques of cocktail making: Measure, Shake/Stir and Strain. Thus, a jigger for measuring, a Boston Shaker and spoon for shaking and stirring, and a hawthorne strainer for straining. Our Shaker Set collects all three pieces together in a single easy to use kit.
Does Glassware Type Matter?
Yes, and no. There are categories of glassware that best suit cocktails, but as we're fond of saying, "there's no cocktail police", so you're always welcome to experiment. Here is a general overview of the styles, and their uses:
“Up” or “Stemmed” glasses:
Use these glasses when you want to keep your drink cold. You'll hold them by the stem and the drink won't get warmed by your hand around the bowl of the glass. Many shaken drinks like the Daiquiri or Sidecar will be served 'up', as will stirred drinks like a Manhattan or Martini.
“Highball” or “Collins” glasses:
Highballs are lengthened with soda water or seltzer. Some drinks in this category also have crushed ice, like the Zombie or a Swizzle. Use a highball glass when you want a refreshing drink with more liquid volume.
“Down”, “Lowball”, or “Rocks” glasses:
Lowballs are typically stirred cocktails, like an Old Fashioned, drinks you'll serve with a large ice cube that will slowly melt as you sip your drink. Some crushed ice drinks, like the Mai Tai, also work well in a 'down' glass. If you like your Margarita on the rocks, use one of these.
- -Old Fashioned Glass
- -Double Old Fashioned Glass
- -Pineapple Rocks Glass
- -Cut Crystal Double Old Fashioned Glass
What is a Swizzle Stick and how do I swizzle?
A swizzle stick is a classic Caribbean bar tool, originally made from the native Quararibea turbinata tree. It is used to make the Swizzle style of cocktail, which is built in tall glasses over crushed ice.
To ‘swizzle’ a cocktail, submerge the pronged end of the swizzle stick into the crushed ice and gently roll the stick between your hands like you’re starting a fire. Move the swizzle stick up and down in the glass to chill, mix and dilute the cocktail and create a frosted effect on the outside of the glass.
Best Books for Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced
- -12 Bottle Bar by David Solmonson & Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
- -The Essential Cocktail Book by Megan Krigbaum
- -3-Ingredient Cocktails by Robert Simonson
- -Easy Tiki by Chloe Frechette
- -Shake. Stir. Sip. by Kara Newman
- -The New Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff
- -Drink & Tell / Drunk & Told by Frederic Yarm
- -Drinking Like Ladies by Kirsten Amann & Misty Kalkofen
- -The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
- -Cocktails with a Twist by Kara Newman
- -The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan
- -Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske
- -Tiki by Shannon Mustipher
- -Meehan's Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan
- -Death & Co. by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day
- -Smuggler’s Cove by Martin Cate & Rebecca Cate
- -Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold
How do I use a Gift Card Online?
Yes, Boston Shaker Gift Cards may be applied to online orders. When viewing your cart or checking out there is a drop box on the right entitled 'Gift Card'. Enter the entire number found on the back of the Gift Card, under the barcode. You may also check the balance of a Gift Card online using this method. If you have any issues or need assistance applying a Gift Card to an online order, give us a call or email and one of our associates will be happy to assist you. 617.718.2999 or [email protected]
How do I place an order for In Store Pick-up?
To order for In Store Pick-up, proceed to the one-page Checkout page. Enter your Payment Information, then proceed to the Shipping Method. Select Curbside Pick-Up and complete the rest of the transaction.
You will receive an immediate order confirmation via email when your order has been placed. Please allow a short window of time for us to put together your order. You will receive a second email notification stating “Your Order Is Ready for Curbside Pick-Up!” when your order is ready. Pick-up hours are the same as our store operating hours: 11am - 7pm, Monday - Saturday.
How do I enter a discount code?
To enter a discount code, proceed to your cart or checkout. There is a 'Enter Coupon' drop down box on the right under the Gift Card drop down box. Enter the discount code in the space provided. If you have any issues or need assistance applying a discount code to an online order, call or email and one of our associates will assist you. 617.718.2999 or [email protected]
How do I sign up for the rewards program?
Want to become a member of the Shaker rewards program and earn 1 point for every dollar you spend? Points are redeemed for exclusive discounts and gifts?!
Simply signing up through our webstore will earn you 100pts or $5 off your entire order. Check out our Shaker Rewards Program.
Reward Points do not expire.
How do I build a custom Gift Box?
To build a custom Gift Box, select any combination of products and add the 'Gift Box' product to your cart. Use the comment section at checkout to communicate which items should be included in the box; be sure to include any personal notes or instructions.
We'll wrap all the items up with care, arrange them in the box and ship the gift out safely. Each gift box includes the craft box, kraft crinkle, and custom tape.
We have three gift box sizes: small, medium, and large and will choose an appropriately sized box for each order. The three sizes will hold approximately 3, 5, or 8 products, respectively. Please be aware that larger orders with larger products may require more than one box.
How do I send a Gift Note?
To send a Gift Note, proceed to the one-page Checkout page. At the bottom of the page, enter your Gift Note in the “Comment” box.
We will print your Gift Note on a custom note card and include it with your order.
How do I set up a return?
If you need to return a purchase for any reason, please send an email to [email protected] along with a copy of your receipt. If an item was damaged in transit, please include a picture. We will be happy to solve your problem with either a replacement or a return label.
How do I reach out to a cocktail consultant?
Our Craft Cocktail Consultants are standing by for all your drink inquiries. Feel free to reach out via email, phone or through any of our social media channels.
Phone: (617) 718-2999
Email: [email protected]
How do I find out about promotions?
Be the first to know about new promotions at The Boston Shaker! Sign up for our monthly newsletter, and follow us on social media.
Facebook: The Boston Shaker
How do I sign up for classes/when are they?
Classes are held twice a month, on Thursday evenings. The class runs from 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM. All currently available dates are posted on the Classes page of our webstore. You can also give us a call or shoot us an email if you have questions about a specific class date. If you're looking ahead to the future, you may also be notified of upcoming events and classes through our newsletter and social media platforms.