Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

The Mother of Invention


Mrs. E. and I packed only a bottle of Champagne and a couple of bottles of wine to take on our week long sojourn to the Outer Banks. We should have realized that at least one happy hour would require a margarita or similarly holiday-invoking cocktail. Now, for the most part, I stir my martinis. But there are cocktails that require a shaker. For once, I hadn’t packed one of mine.

My brother-in-law discovered the same during his last tour of duty in the Gulf. He and his fellow officers experimented with a variety of vessels and settled on a Tupperware container with an airtight lid and pour spout purchased in Bahrain. Marines are notoriously inventive.

A quick root through the kitchen cabinets revealed a lack of suitable Tupperware containers… but it did turn up a number of “go-cups” from a local bar. Ah-ha.

Let it be known: go-cups make excellent tops for a makeshift Boston Shaker.

At it’s most basic, a Boston Shaker is a two part affair usually consisting of a metal cup and a glass cup. Bartenders like them for two reasons. First, it multitasks. You may use the parts together to shake or separately to muddle and stir. Second, the parts won’t stick together like an all-metal cocktail shaker that is cold enough.

Conventional wisdom has it that you must use a strainer with the top/metal half to pour the drink. You should, but in a pinch, or at the beach where your host may not have thought to provide one, you may pour through a narrow gap you create between the top and bottom half of the cups.

Above: The Easy and Elegant Life Makeshift Boston Shaker Margarita.
(Serves 2, if you’re willing to share.)

Load a tall pint glass or equivalent with ice cubes.
Pour for a fast count of eight, white tequila over the cubes. (Or use the half cup measure as seen above.)
Pour for a fast count of six, Triple Sec, into the same glass. (Or don’t quite fill the half cup measure.)
Add the juice of one lime. (Drop spent half of lime into a glass as “garnish.” It may be muddled to release more lime flavour if desired.)
Add a splash of orange juice.
Shake like mad.

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