Really, it's anyone's guess.
From the time I started shaking cocktails I think I had a sense that the below-average "jostle and go" you typically see at bars was not my style... and did not make a palatable drink.
My first bar had a copy of Difford's Guide to Cocktails, Fifth Edition. By the time I was done with it it was loved to death. Simon recommends a shake that lasts about fifteen seconds, give or take a couple (mine is thirteen seconds; you can count if you like) This dilutes the drink and wakes up the ingredients in a way a light shake won't.
Around the same time, I had a guy come into my bar who was hand-picked to tend bar in Cyprus. Aside from teaching me how to flip bottles and flame zests, he highlighted the importance of entertainment in the cocktail process.
He also taught me how to use lighter fluid to breathe fire. I don't do that... At least, not anymore. ;)
Sure, mixology is important. The science is important. But I think there's not enough value attached to the myriad of things a bartender does. A good bartender isn't just a cocktailian... though knowing how to make a killer drink is essential. A good bartender is a waiter, drink chef, line cook, dishwasher, entertainer, psychologist, and confidante all rolled in to one. We put so much emphasis on the drink design, but I think the reason that bartenders are so well-respected in the industry is because they do a little bit of everything. Our "shaker faces" are just one element in a sea of things that we do.
So how did I come up with it? In the spirit of my shake, I'll keep the deets a mystery.
It looks cool. It shakes cool. And it makes a cool drink. :)
A shake is nice, but the most important element to a cocktail? Fresh ingredients. Everyone in The City's had a Margarita at some time or other. Here's a killer recipe for one:
2 oz. Tequila Milagro
1/2 oz. Combier Liqueur d'Orange
3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker, shake vigorously, and strain either into a fiesta grande glass or over a rocks glass filled with ice with a half-salted rim.
To get the salt on the rim, coat half of the exterior of the glass with the wedge of a lime and then dip the glass in salt, being careful to keep the salt on the outside of the glass.
Half-salting gives you the chance to try the cocktail with salt and without!
This cocktail is very, very simple. None of that dreadful margarita mix with pasteurized egg white-- put that in your Margarita and I guarantee you, that's all you'll taste. But nothing crazy here in this Margarita. Just three ingredients in the right proportion. Three, two, one, shake, And presto! An amazing cocktail. Anyone can shake it.
Here's a little number that I featured at Bar & Books for our Spring Season. Again, the ingredients make the difference, but this one's a bit more complex:
1 oz Casa Noble Silver Tequila
3/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal
1/2 oz Creme de Peche
1/2 oz Guava Puree
1/2 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Shake all ingredients, show your "Shaker Face," and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a Grapefruit Twist.
Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec "Feathered Serpent" God that Hernan Cortes was mistaken for when he discovered their empire. This cocktail has elements of the old world and the new. The smokiness of the mezcal adds another layer, as do the Guava and Grapefruit.