How To Throw A Cocktail

Stretch your arms, steady your gaze and pull out those shaker tins, ’cause it’s time we show you how to really ‘throw down’ a drink.

By: Tiff Christie|May 26,2022

Now let’s be clear from the start – when we say throw, we don’t mean that we want you to hurl a Negroni at the wall (seriously people, that is just a waste of good Campari).

Instead, we want to show you there is another way, aside from mixing and shaking, that you can do to combine all those lovely flavours that will go into your glass. Basically, throwing is an age-old (and until recently, fairly forgotten) method of mixing a drink.

You may have heard the term, a ‘Cuban Throw’, as throwing was the most common way to mix a drink in Cuban bars such as El Floridita in Havana.


Why You Want To Throw

If you throw a cocktail correctly, it actually looks pretty cool. But aside from increasing your street cred, it’s actually designed to aerate a drink without diluting it too much.

Whereas stirring should not create any air bubbles, and shaking is intended to create large ones, throwing is meant to form tiny air bubbles. And these little bubbles are intended to give a certain amount of texture to the drink.

basically, throwing gives structure and body to the drink that you simply can’t get from stirring. through a beautiful, yet simple and elegant technique.

When You Want To Throw

In theory, any drink can be thrown. In practice, you are looking to throw drinks that would benefit from a certain amount of aeration.

Drinks that contain wine (Vermouth) or Sherry not only benefit from the aeration but the throwing also allows for the release of any aromatics.

Cocktails such as a Manhattan, a Negroni and even a Martini are the perfect cocktails to throw.

What You’ll Need To Throw

Aside from the alcohol and some decent ice, throwing requires two vessels, between which the drink can be thrown.

The shaker tins of a Boston Shaker are the easiest to use for throwing a drink, as the thinness of the metal rim will produce a clean pour.

Additionally, you will need a strainer to hold the ice back in the top tin as you ‘throw’ the liquid into the second. A Julep Strainer is more commonly used for this as it is easier to work with than a hawthorn strainer but realistically, the choice is up to you.

How To Throw

Throwing is one of the easiest ways to mix a drink. It has a gentle elegance about it that is fluid and somewhat mesmerising to watch. The drink moves from one tin down in a glistening ribbon until it lands safely in the lower tin.

Now, you’re probably not going to get it down the first time, so our advice would be to start with water and use that until you feel confident with the technique. How will you know when you are ready to work with real alcohol? When you can hold a conversation while walking and still throw efficiently, then you are ready.

So, Let’s Throw A Cocktail

  1. Assemble the ingredients of the drink in what will be the top tins. Add about 2/3rds ice but not too much that the top tin is hard to control.
  2. Place you strainer into the tin at a 45 degree angle, so the liquid can be poured back over the strainer.
  3. Hold the top tin high above your head with your dominant hand.
  4. Hold the lower ’catching tin’ close to the brim, between you thumb and middle finger, this will allow you to take the lower tin down as far as your knees.
  5. Raise the lower tin up to meet the top tin and start to pour, letting the liquid fall from high to low.
  6. Pour slowly, controlling the speed and concentrating on the tin you are lowering. To ensure it doesn’t splash, hold the bottom tin on a slight angle, so the liquid hots the indie edge of the tin.
  7. Increase the distance between the tins. You should have about a third of the liquid left in the top tin when you arrive at the maximum reach
  8. Then pour the partially mixed liquid black into the top tin and repeat the throw four to five times for the best results.

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