How to Float Ingredients in a Cocktail Drink

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Floating is a technique in which different types of alcohol are layered on top each other to create visually stunning cocktail presentations. Floating also allows a specific liquor to hit the palate first, creating a flavor different from that achieved by simply combining them. Learning how to properly float ingredients in cocktails requires practice, patience and a steady hand; a slow pour will allow you to layer drinks like a pro.

Know Your Proofs

  • Before attempting to float one type of alcohol on top of another, know that alcohols lower in proof are denser and tend to sink. Alcohols that are higher in proof will float on top those lower in proof. Add the lower-proof alcohol to a glass. Take a spoon, round side up, and place the tip of the spoon inside the glass so that it touches just above the lower-proof alcohol. Slowly, but steadily pour the higher-proof alcohol onto the back of the spoon; the alcohol should evenly disperse and float on top of the alcohol below. Once you've mastered this technique, you will be able to layer several liquors in one glass as long as each layer is at least 10 degrees of proof higher than the previous layer.

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References

  • Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide; Mr. Boston
  • The Craft of the Cocktail; Dale DeGroff
  • Photo Credit duha127/iStock/Getty Images
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