If there is one tool that is crucial for making amazing cocktails, it is definitely a cocktail shaker. Irrespective of which cocktail you want to make – either it’s Martini, Manhattan or Margarita – cocktail shaker is an absolute must-have.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of a cocktail shaker - its types and uses along with the actual cocktail shaker models.
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What Is A Cocktail Shaker?
A cocktail shaker is a special tool that is used by professional bartenders to blend cocktails. While bartenders use many different ways to mix drinks, shaking is one of the most common and efficient ones. A cocktail shaker is designed particularly for this purpose.
Normally, this tool comes in a form of a sealed cylinder. Cocktail ingredients are then added to the cylinder along with ice for the purpose of shaking.
What Is Cocktail Shaker Used For?
As I have mentioned above, a cocktail shaker is used to mix various beverages by shaking. Cocktail shakers are suitable for professional use at the bars, cafes, and other places, while many people also purchase cocktail shakers for home use.
Types Of Cocktail Shakers
In the world of cocktail shakers, there are three main types of them: Cobbler, Boston, and French cocktail shaker. All of them have the same purpose – to mix cocktails. However, each of the types has its own specifics.
The Cobbler cocktail shaker also is known as the Three-piece Shaker. The tool includes a large metal shaking tin, a fitting lid, and a smaller cap. The cap covers the strainer that is integrated into the cocktail shaker lid.
This shaker does not require any additional tools to get started. In addition, it is easy to fit parts together to make a drink.
The Cobbler shaker offers an inclusive design with a strainer, making this shaker a great choice for the amateurs. This type of cocktail shakers is the easiest to use, while they are also widely available.
Yet, mixing with this type of cocktail shaker can take more time due to the specifics of Cobbler cocktail shaker’s strainer’s form. Moreover, the tin can contract due to the cold temperatures, making it hard to take the shaker apart.
Moving on to the second type of cocktail shakers, we will focus our attention on the Boston shaker. Boston shaker is also known as a two-piece shaker, and it is very simple, yet practical.
This type of cocktail shaker consists of two different parts – there is a larger metal tin, which comes with smaller mixing container, which can be made of metal or glass. The glass vessel is usually the pint glass. The metal version of the second smaller vessel is usually called a ‘cheater tin.’
The design of the Boston shaker is very simple. However, this type of cocktail shaker can require more skills to use. It is very important to properly assemble a Boston shaker to ensure that it is not going to leak.
Additionally, taking apart a Boston shaker can be a tricky business. It is recommended to do so with care, especially if the cocktail shaker comes with a glass mixing vessel.
Due to the fact that this type of cocktail shaker only comprises two pieces, the lack of strainer requires additional step. After shaking your cocktail, you will need to use a separate strainer.
Boston cocktail shaker is the most common type of shakers for the professional bartenders. It is usually used in modern bars and restaurants. However, Boston shaker might not be the best choice for beginners.
The French Cocktail shaker is a simplified version of the Cobbler shaker. The French cocktail shaker consists of a large mixing tin and a metal lid that fits over the top of the tin. This is a two-piece cocktail shaker, which means that it requires the use of a bar strainer.
How To Use A Cocktail Shaker?
Now, when we know what the cocktail shaker is and the key types of it, it is high time to learn the right way to use one. When you see bartenders mixing your drink at the bar, you might assume it is easy to make a drink with a cocktail shaker.
However, the process is not that easy – it has 7(!) different steps. Take notes:
Chill Your Serving Glass
Prior to start mixing your drink, it is always recommended to chill the serving glass. You might keep it in a freezer or in a fridge for some time.
Measure Cocktail Ingredients
For this purpose, you will need to use a jigger, a special liquid measuring cup. After measuring the right amount of ingredients, pour them into the mixing glass or a smaller tin.
Now It Is The Turn For Ice
Fill the shaker about three-quarters of the way with ice.
Seal The Shaker
This is very important to seal the shaker so that the liquids do not leak while you are mixing the drink. Make sure to have a tight seal.
Here Comes The Shake
Shake your cocktail shaker for at least 15 seconds – you want to break the ice and mix all the ingredients properly.
Unseal The Shaker
After the shaking part is done, it is time to take a look at the result. Unseal the shaker and you are almost ready to present the cocktail to your guests.
This is the most satisfying part – remove the mixing glass and set up your serving glass. Add fresh ice if needed, and strain the shaken cocktail into the chilled glass.
What To Pay Attention To When Choosing A Cocktail Shaker?
As you already might have understood, cocktail shakers are a great thing that is not only useful at the bars and restaurants but also can come in handy at home.
However, when it comes to choosing one, how do you know which one is better? In this section, we will discuss the key points you need to pay attention to when choosing a cocktail shaker.
The first thing you need to consider is the type of cocktail shaker you want to buy. We have discussed three main types of cocktail shakers earlier in our article. For your convenience, I have summarized the pros and cons of the most popular types of cocktail shakers: Cobbler, Boston, and French.
Summing up the advantages of a Cobbler shaker:
- Easy to use
- Great choice for beginners
- Integrated strainer
- Available in many different shapes and designs
- Great look
The disadvantages of a Cobbler shaker include:
- Sometimes hard to take apart
- Slower mixing process
- More parts to clean
Summing up the advantages of the Boston shaker:
- Available in many different price classes
- Faster to make cocktails
- Easy to clean
- Takes little space when storing
The potential drawbacks of the Boston shaker include:
- Glass can break when taking the shaker apart
- Requires certain level of skill
- No strainer
Talking about the advantages of the French cocktail shaker, it is important to mention the following points:
- Simple to use
- Stylish look
- Good choice for beginners
- Easy to clean
The potential disadvantages of the French cocktail shaker comprise:
- More expensive
- Not always available
- No strainer
- Can be difficult to separate
The next point you need to pay attention to is whether you need a weighted or a nonweighted cocktail shaker. Some shaking tins have the re-enforced base, which has an impact on the process of shaking.
The base has to do with the center of gravity, which makes the tin spin in the air in a certain way. There is no better spin style, yet the weighted style can appear easier to perform tin stalls. Thus, if you are planning to go into the flair bartending, you might want to consider weighted cocktail shakers.
Coating of the tins is another thing you would want to look into while choosing your new cocktail shaker. There are two key types of tins coating that you will encounter while searching for your new cocktail shaker. These are Powder Coated Tins and Vinyl Coated Tins.
Powder Coated Tins
Powder coated tins come with a solid color coating over the stainless steel. They are great for competition, while many flair bartenders use them to make the routines more visible. Powder coated tins are available in a great variety of colors.
However, the powder coat is subject to chipping. Thus, unless you are flair professional bartender, I would not recommend buying cocktail shakers with this type of coated tins.
Vinyl Coated Tins
Vinyl coated tins are covered with a rubbery vinyl to approximately 1 inch from the lip of the tin. Such coating provides the bartender with a great grip while flairing.
However, due to the specific texture of the coating, it is almost impossible to perform nested tin moves where they split – they will simply stick together.
Best Cocktail Shakers
As we discussed the key uses, types and the specifics of cocktail shakers, it is just the right time to take a look at the actual cocktail shaker models. In this section, we will go over the most popular cocktail shakers available on the market:
Bartender Kit: Nau Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set
The Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set is what you are looking for if you search for the premium bar product. The whole set comprises as much as 10 different items to assist you in making great cocktails for yourself and for your loved ones. The Nau Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set is also a great companion for professional bartenders.
This outstanding set offers you everything in one shot - The Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set includes:
- 25 oz Boston Shaker Tin
- 16oz Boston Shaker Cheater Tin
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 40 ml / 20 ml Large Jigger
- 1 oz / .5 oz Small Jigger
- Cocktail Bar Spoon with Masher
- Waiter’s Corkscrew
- Speed Bottle Opener
- Ice Tongs
The Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set is a high-quality stainless steel Boston shaker drink mixing set. The Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set includes every single piece you need to make the perfect drink.
The two Boston shaker cups fit together perfectly. This provides a tight seal for the leak-proof shaking. The set comes with 7 classic liquor recipes. The key highlights of the Premium Boston Shaker Barware Set include:
- 10 pieces in the set
- Comes with 7 classic liquor recipes
- Material of the tin: high-quality stainless steel
- Tight seal for the leak-proof shaking
Buddy 16-Piece Stainless Steel Wine And Cocktail Bar Set
16 piece Bar Set! Yes, you heard it right, this Buddy Stainless Steel Wine and Cocktail Bar Set includes 16 different pieces that will aid you in your bartending routine.
With this Buddy 16-Piece Stainless Steel Wine and Cocktail Bar Set, you will be able to mix cocktails and serve wine just like a professional bartender. All the tools in this great Bar set are produced with one purpose – to create a perfect drink. This bartending kit is made of stainless steel 304 18/8 and zinc alloy.
Moreover, this bar kit comes with great wine accessories – you can use the stainless steel ice bucket to chill a nice bottle of wine. The simple and practical wine opener and four wine stoppers will come in handy, as well.
As for the cocktail mixing enthusiasts, the bar set is just a dream - it has the strainer, stirrer, double jigger, muddler and 4 pourers. In addition, the Buddy Bar set includes one-handed drink shaker. This unique tool makes is very easy to stir drinks.
Moreover, this Buddy Bar set is completely dishwasher safe.
With Buddy 16-Piece Stainless Steel Wine and Cocktail Bar Set, you will be fully equipped to deliver tasty drinks .It is a very versatile cocktail kit. The Buddy 16-Piece Stainless Steel Wine and Cocktail Bar Set is a perfect buy for oneself or as a gift. The set includes:
- 25oz Cobbler Shaker (750ML)
- Four (4) Pourers
- 1⁄2 and 1oz Double Jigger (15/30 ML)
- Stirrer (long-handle spoon)
- 50oz Ice Bucket with Tongs (1500ML)
- Four (4) Stoppers
- 1000 Cocktail Recipes PDF
The key highlights of the Buddy 16-Piece Stainless Steel Bar Set comprise:
- 16 pieces set
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Wine accessories
- Dishwasher safe
- One-handed drink shaker
Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit
Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit is exactly what you are looking for! This great kit includes as much as 12 professional bar set pieces. The kit is designed to provide you with the opportunity to stir a flawless cocktail for your guests or for yourself.
The Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit is an ultimate bar set – it will be suitable not only for those, who just start their journey in cocktail mixing world but also for professional bartenders. It is ridiculously easy to whip up the perfect cocktail with this Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit wherever you are – in your kitchen or behind the bar stand.
This bar kit includes a 3-piece martini shaker with a fitted strainer lid. The shaker has an impressive capacity of 25 oz while being 100% leak-proof. The Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit’s tools are made of stainless steel and they are rustproof, according to the producer.
In addition, the highest quality of the material used for the production of this bar set ensures the high durability – this helps to save your money! But that’s not all – the Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit comes with a great bonus – an access to great online catalog “Mixology & Craft’s recipes experience”.
The Mixology & Craft Bartender Kit includes:
- Rustproof 25.3 oz cocktail shaker
- Ice tongs
- Mojito Muddler
- Mixing spoon
- Hawthorne strainer
- 2x Liquor Pourers
- Bottle opener
- Double lever corkscrew
- Two Double sided Jiggers - (15/30 ml and 20/40 ml)with imperial and metric markings
To highlight the key characteristics of the Mixology Bartender Kit:
- 12 pieces Bar Set
- Material: Rustproof stainless steel
- Suitable for beginners and professionals
- Highly durable
- Comes with “Mixology&Craft’s recipes experience” online catalog access
Elite Cocktail Shaker Set Bartender Kit by BARILLIO
Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set is a high-quality 6 piece bar set that includes just the right accessories for creation of your next perfect drink. The kit comprises all the essential tools that give an opportunity to mix delicious cocktails in a breeze!
The Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set includes:
- 24 ounce SST Cobbler shaker
- Mojito muddler
- Mixing spoon
- 2 liqour pourers
- BONUS: velvet bag for storage and pocket booklet with great cocktail recipes.
This Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set made of high-quality rustproof stainless steel. All of the tools in a set underwent restricted inspection in the US. The Barillio Cocktail Shaker has a food-grade inside, which allows for safe usage – it does not leech harmful chemicals. It also does not affect the flavor of the drinks.
The Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set is dishwasher safe, which is a great advantage.
The practical and stylish velvet bag for storage provides an opportunity to keep your Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set safe. By keeping your Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set in a bag, you will protect tools from scratches and keep them clean between uses. It also provides convenience in case you need to travel or if you want to take your set to a party.
The producer of this Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set provides a 100% lifetime money-back guarantee, which signals great reliability of the item. As a bonus, Barillio provides a very informative eBook + booklet with delicious drink recipes.
Let’s sum up the key highlights of Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set:
- 6 – piece bar set
- Material: High-quality rustproof stainless steel
- Food-grade inside, which allows for safe usage
- 100% lifetime money-back guarantee
- Dishwasher safe
- eBook + booklet with delicious drink recipes
- Velvet storage/carrying bag
Oggi Pro Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cocktail Shaker And Bar Tool Set
This Oggi Pro Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cocktail Shaker and Bar Tool Set is a piece of art! The highly innovative and modern design of this bar set will not leave you emotionless. Oggi produces some of the most inventive and interesting pieces of kitchen accessories on the market.
This Oggi Pro Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cocktail Shaker and Bar Tool Set is not an exception.
The 10-piece bar set includes:
- A two-piece glass and stainless shaker set
- Double jigger
- Lemon/lime slicing knife
- Bottle cap lifter
- Cocktail strainer
- Chopping board
- Rectangular stand
The whole set is made of stainless steel, which makes it very durable. The key highlighting features of Oggi Pro Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cocktail Shaker and Bar Tool Set include:
- 10-piece stainless steel bar kit
- Suitable for use at home bar and at parties
- Has a double jigger with a 2-piece glass and stainless steel shaker set for stirring drinks
- Comes with special lemon/lime slicing knife, bottle opener, cocktail strainer, stirrer, and tongs
- All tools are very stylish, designed with contemporary black accents
- The set comes with cutting board and useful black stand for storage
Regardless of how often you want to make a fancy drink for yourself or for your friends, there is no doubt you will need a good cocktail shaker. It just makes everything easier – a cocktail shaker provides better taste, smoother texture, and of course, a wider choice of cocktails.
A high-quality cocktail shaker will open up a new world of sophisticated and creative drinks for you. All of the above presented models are the perfect candidates for the right to be called the best cocktail shaker on the market. Yet, my favorites are: