20 Tips on How to Mix A Perfect Cocktail

Armanetti Liquors or Armanetti Beverage Marts as they are now known are one of Chicagoland’s leaders for providing fine wine and spirits.  I came across an old Mixology booklet from them at a local flea market a few months back.  I’m guessing it to be from the 50s or 60s as the phone number on the back contains a 2 letter extension before the numbers.

Of course there are tons of fabulous cocktail recipes, but there is also a section of Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Mixing.

I thought I would share them here!

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Cocktail Do's and Don'ts


  1. Do use a jigger (1 1/2 ounces) when measuring your liquor.  Don’t rely on your eye


2. Do Measure all ingredients exactly.  Don’t guess, you may spoil the drink.

3.  Don’t shake when you should stir and don’t stir when you should shake.  Each has it’s own meaning.


4.  When possible, do chill your cocktail glasses before serving.  Serving drinks ice cold will improve their taste. A perfect way to do this is find some freezable glasses like these:41bQub6h2mL

Or if you really want to chill all of your glasses and add some professionalism to your home bar you could get a glass chiller:


5.  You can frost your glasses by wetting them before putting them in the freezer.  Sugar frosted glasses should be rimmed with a slice of lemon and dipped in a saucer of fine sugar, then into the freezer.

6.  Don’t change your order of ingredients.  It should always be ice first, then whiskey, then mix.

7.  Slice or squeeze fruit just before using.  Fruit and juices go stale when left to stand, even when refrigerated.


8.  Fresh fruit juice always makes a drink better than canned juice.

9.  For small parties, you can make enough of your own juice by emptying your trays well in advance, into clear plastic bags.  The bags should then be placed in the freezer.

To add a little fun to your parties include a themed ice tray or find a spherical ice tray such as these I found on Amazon.

These Tiki Ice molds are perfect for parties with a beach or luau theme!

Or try these spherical ice trays to make round ice!


10.  Ice should be taste free and crystal clear.  Avoid using ice that has been exposed to foreign odors.  For larger parties it is best to obtain ice from and ice machine or ice company.

11. Don’t make the second drink with the same ice cubes.

12. Do strain your cocktails, unless otherwise indicated, but don’t use silver, use a wire strainer.


13. Don’t keep drinks in your cocktail shaker. The drink will taste flat if the ice is allowed to melt in it.

14. Don’t fill cocktail glasses more than three-quarters of the way.

15. Don’t let spirited drinks sit in metal containers for any length of time.

16. Don’t stir carbonated drinks vigorously or you will encourage them to go flat.

17. Do soak lemons in cold water to get more juice and for easier squeezing.

18. Don’t stir a drink containing a lot of ice too much. You might dilute it too much.

19. Do dissolve sugar in a little water before mixing it in the drink.

20. Do – enjoy the fruits of your labor!

How do you mix a perfect cocktail?  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

Until next time,


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