Virtuoso cocktail shaker does his thing

Here's Japanese mixologist Kazuo Uyeda demonstrating his "hard shake" technique. Whatever he's mixing looks delicious.

ginza hard shake (via Kottke)


  1. Looks like a variation on a gimlet.

    One of my favourite bars serves a frothy gimlet like this one. It’s very good.

    Though I can’t imagine it being that delicious if you added Gordon’s – foul muck. (I’m more of a Bombay fan myself.)

    1. Gordon’s Gin varies quite a bit based on where you are I think. It is odd, and I suppose remnants of market positioning strategies past.

  2. Gin, dry vermouth, and rum. Based on the proportions, looks like a K.O. Cocktail, 2 parts gin, 1 part each dry vermouth and rum.

  3. Tight shake style indeed.
    But unless the bottles “Chris the Tiki guy” has on his shelf have been sitting there opened for a decade or two, that’s not what vermouth or rum look like :-)
    Lime Juice and sugar syrup, mmm.

    1. You’re right. I mis-heard “lime juice” as “vermouth” and, when the videographer requested clarification and said “lime, fresh lime” in response, I heard it as “rum.” Although a good dry vermouth can be anywhere from pale straw to damn near transparent. And the K.O. calls for Bacardi White, which would be similar to that last Erlenmeyer.

      But yes, upon review, totally a gimlet. My mistake

  4. Gin, Eggwhites and simple syrup/possible citrus infusion. That’s right eggwhites. Don’t whine softies. This is real life.

    1. Raw egg whites fill me with horror. I have discovered that cocktails containing uncooked egg whites are okay if you drink them quickly. Exposure to air, however, causes the albumen smell to get stronger and stronger. For me, it’s unbearably nauseating after about five minutes. I suspect that some people can’t smell albumen or they wouldn’t be able to gag that stuff down.

  5. @ Chris the Tiki Guy

    Like dman says, the other bottles contain lime juice and (likely) syrup. At one point in the video a question is asked and the answer is lime juice.

  6. Am I the only one who finds silly show-offy bartending tricks offputting?

    The best bartender delivers tasty libations, a soothing attitude, and a friendly vibe.

    As soon as they become the center of attention and do stupid parlor tricks it’s not a bar I am comfortable hanging out in. In fact my first reaction to show-offy stunts behind the bar is to run away.

    1. I’ll point you towards a series called Bartender, which yes, they made a cartoon about bar tending too. A serious one in fact.

  7. The look of intense concentration on his face as he infuses the booze with the spirit of the true bartender is priceless. Granted, it’s probably a $12 gimlet but still, that guy makes the process as delicious as the drink.

    1. You’re right, if you’re going to pay for a fancy cocktail, might as well get a performance with it

  8. He’s ruining that drink. Ideally you only shake it a few times to chill the ingredients, then pour. The more you shake it the more you crack the ice and water down the cocktail.

    That said, he looked to be very focused.

  9. In regards to #16, I will second Bartender. It’s a wonderful unknown anime that’s very relaxing and an interesting watch, much different than the usual tripe that’s aired nowadays (and it’s only a few years old!).

  10. This is, surprisingly, pretty standard bar technique in finer bars in Japan. They craft the hell out of drinks there. Order a whiskey on the rocks and the bartender will hand carve a sphere of ice the exact diameter of the rocks glass to provide maximal cooling and minimal watering down.

    The only problem is that it takes so long to make the drinks that it’s virtually impossible to get drunk.

  11. Is there a right way to shake a cocktail shaker?
    Or is this all just for show? And a Good show.

    I mean, talk to the right kind of barista and you will hear way too much about steaming milk.

    Is this that kind of thing?

    1. My usual technique calls for shaking for around 30 seconds while humming “Brazil.” That tempo gives me a great beat to shake to, not too fast, not to slow, and gives ample time for the ice to cool the liquor.

      And for shaken drinks, the expectation is that the ice will melt slightly and dilute it. For well-crafted concoctions, that’s factored in. Otherwise, they turn out WAY to strong, and horribly off-balance.

  12. There’re all kinds of cool videos out there showing flaring or nifty tricks (“Paris Flair” contest last year, lotsa commercialism: / rainbow from one shaker: ) but, as a guy in the business more’n 20 years, I’d say this about this:

    PLUS SIDE: seems to have frozen the drink with his bare hands (and likely super-cooled ice), wastes not a drop pouring a perfectly-filled glass, proportions look dead-on (but yes, it’d be better with Bombay Sapphire).

    MINUS SIDE: Ice _usually_ melts and adds too much water after more than 10 seconds of shaking), three vigorous shakes from elbow- to shoulder-height will combine the ingredients just as well, he could be bouncing the shaker off the ceiling and balancing it on his head.

    At least he’s not flipping alcohol all over the floor and ruining my shoes.


  13. Nothing special about that shake, as far as I can see; plus he’s using the much less effective Manhattan shaker, not a Boston shaker, which is generally the sign of an unprofessional bar.

    Drink isn’t a gimlet, as that requires lime cordial, not lime juice; basically a gin sour by the look of things, maybe an Aviation.

    Drink isn’t strained after making, which is also pretty poor; flakes of ice left in the drink will unevenly dilute it, and putting the ice cube (wet ice from the shaker, no less) into a martini glass would be cause for that drink to get returned. Shoddy.

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