The Latest in To-Go Mixology

Jan 20, 2021

The biggest trend in the beverage world shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. People still want to enjoy a great cocktail, perhaps now more than ever. But how do we offer cocktails when the restaurant is closed due to a global pandemic?

Enter: The To-Go Cocktail Kit!

In some regions, restaurants can sell complete cocktails; in others, they can sell bottles of booze and wine at retail price plus mixers, and in others, they can only sell non-alcoholic “add-your-own-booze” cocktail kits.


Take-home margaritas from Solita Tacos & Margaritas


Sanitary measures are essential, so many restaurants opt to pre-bottle cocktails with vacuum-packed garnishes, vacuum-packed ice (sometimes specialty ice to create that real bar feel), and recipes. Ensure the finished product is ‘Instagramable and the instructions include technique so that customers can enjoy a cocktail just the way they would at your bar.


Here are some Mixology Pro-Tips from the new SynergySync Training and Operations Platform app:


Shaking and stirring yield different results in temperature, texture, and dilution. The technique used will make or break a drink. A good rule of thumb is to always shake drinks with juice, like a daiquiri or margarita, and always stir alcohol based drinks like a Manhattan or a martini (unless the guest requests it extra cold). Shaking adds more water (dilution) and adds tiny bubbles to things like fruit juice that give the drink a fabulous texture. If you over-mix a drink, it can be too watery, and if you under-mix, it could be too strong. Always strain your drink over fresh ice (unless otherwise instructed) to prevent over dilution. All of the recipes were developed with the following standards:


Fill line:

Fill Shaker Completely

Ideal Time:

12-15 seconds


Fill line:

Fill mixing glass 3/4 full

Ideal Time:

30-45 Seconds

How to Shake a Cocktail

  1. Always build your drink dry in the shaker (no ice) so that if you have to step away, your cocktail won’t be ruined by melted ice.
  2. Add enough ice to fill the shaker
  3. Position the shaking tin on top of the building tin and give it a hard tap with the heel of your hand to create a seal. The top shaker should be cocked to one side so there is a straight line from the bottom of one shaker to the top of the other.
  4. Grip the bottom cup base with the middle and index fingers of one hand, cradling the rest of the cup with your thumb and remaining fingers. Grasp the top cup, which is also called the shaking cup, with your other hand, holding your thumb on top of the shaking cup to keep it secured. The top shaker should be facing you, and the bottom shaker should be facing away from you
  5. Hold the shaker parallel to the floor and shake back and forth, allowing the ice to travel to the end of the cup before snapping back. Do this for 12-15 seconds to avoid “bruising” (over diluting) the drink.
  6. If you look down on the shaker from the top, you will see two circles formed by the rim of each cup. At one spot, they will be touching, and at the opposite end, they will not. Use the heel of your palm to smack the lower cup near the top at the space between where the cups are touching and separated.
  7. Place a hawthorn strainer over the top of the shaker once separated and strain the drink over fresh ice into the cocktail glass and garnish.
How do you properly shake a cocktail?

Shaking Do’s and Don’ts


  • Shake the cocktail in the direction of your guest
  • Attempt to get away with filling the shaker only partway with ice
  • Shake up and down, perpendicular to the floor, as the drink will not aerate or dilute properly


  • Turn 45 degrees to one side and shake
  • Fill the shaker completely with ice, maximizing chill and minimizing sloshing
  • Shake parallel to the floor, ensuring that the ice can travel the full length of the shaker and properly aerate and dilute the drink


How to Stir a Cocktail

  1. Build your drink in the mixing glass dry and add enough ice to fill the glass only ¾ full.
  2. Lightly grasp the spoon in the middle using your thumb and forefinger. The spoon’s concave bowl should be facing the interior of the glass and the convex back of the spoon should be nestled in between the ice and the wall of the glass’s interior.
  3. Using your pinch on the spoon as a pivot only, begin to push and pull the spoon away from and toward your body using your ring and middle finger. Doing this should naturally guide the spoon in a circular motion as you push and pull the spoon.
  4. Stir for 30-45 seconds, then strain over fresh ice or straight into the cocktail glass.

Stirring Goals

  • A final product in which everything is thoroughly combined
  • A crystal clear drink that is free of bubbles or ice shards
  • A properly diluted cocktail – just enough to take the sting off the alcohol
  • An ice-cold cocktail