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Kathleen Purvis Q&A

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What’s a good cocktail shaker for a beginner?

Q: My sister-in-law and her husband are novice cocktail makers. Do you have advice on how to choose a cocktail shaker and a good basic cocktail book?

A: Making cocktails is a hobby of my husband’s, so I asked him to step in on this question. His advice on a good shaker for a beginner: Look for one where the mixing glass, or the bottom section, is “male” and the top is “female,” or fits over the bottom section. Some strainers fit inside the bottom and can leak if the two pieces aren’t firmly seated.

It’s also nice to get a three-piece set, with a mixing glass, strainer and stopper.

There are shelves of cocktail books. But “Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide” has been a standard for 75 years. It covers all the classics and is a great place to start.

Email questions about food and cooking to Kathleen Purvis at kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com.
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