As any great bartender will tell you, there's nothing more fun than mixing hand-crafted, delicious ingredients together into a well-made drink. The point is to have the right stuff - spirits, sodas, juices, ice, garnishes and glasses - and the right frame of mind, one that's ready to chill with friends and enjoy your favorite E&J Brandy cocktails.
Start things right with a standard jigger (1.5 ounces) for measuring. You'll need a long cocktail spoon for mixing, a two-part (glass and metal) shaker set, cocktail strainer, paring knife, cutting board, funnel, bottle and can opener, as well as a wine opener. Keep a muddler - a long wooden spoon - nearby for mashing or muddling fruit juices, fruit pieces, herbs and ice.
For cocktails with fruit juice, put the fruit juice in the glass first, followed by any bitters and mixers. Then pour in the base brandy and any other spirits, followed by ice, if the drink is served on the rocks. If only spirits are called for, put the ice in first, followed by the brandy and any other ingredients.
Cocktails with only spirits need just a stir, ideally with a long cocktail spoon. However, if you want your fruit or citrus-juice cocktail to take on a lovely effervescence, give it a quick shake just before serving, and behold the bubbles.