right cocktail shaker

How to choose the right cocktail shaker

Bar shaker, cocktail shaker, or just shaker. No matter the name, we all picture a bartender juggling spirits and ice, and the shaker. Maybe we think of the classic James Bond phrase “shaken or stirred?” Here is all you need to know to choose right cocktail shaker.


Choosing the right cocktail shaker

There is really no right or wrong in choosing a shaker. The different types of cocktail shakers all give the same result; a shaken cocktail. It all comes down to three things: design, versatility and the volume of liquids. Let’s take a look at the three main types of shakers.


The Cobbler shaker

right cocktail shaker
The Cobbler shaker is the most common type of cocktail shaker. (Picture: Unsplash.)

This is the most popular shaker and the most common for the home bartender. A cobbler shaker consists of three parts, a metal tumbler, a metal lid with a built-in strainer, and a metal cap to cover the strainer.

This shaker is easy to use. Add liquids and ice in the tumbler. Place the top with the strainer and cap on top of the tumbler and shake. A Cobbler shaker can be used with only one hand. When you are finished shaking, remove the cap and pour the content of the shaker into a glass.

The real challenge (sometimes) is to separate the top with the strainer from the tumbler. Sometimes a simple knock on the side of the shaker will do. Other times, the only way to get it off is by a combination of martial arts and black magic.


The good and the bad

+ No strainer needed
+ Easy to use
+ Cheap

– Difficult to separate
– The ice can block the small strainer
– Can get really cold


The Boston shaker

right cocktail shaker
The Boston shaker consists of two parts. Here, the liquid is poured into a glass with the help of a strainer. (Picture: Unsplash.)

This is popular with many bartenders. The Boston shaker should be the second shaker you buy for your home-bar. The Boston shaker consists of two parts; a mixing glass and a metal tumbler. The ingredients are poured into the tumbler and the mixing-glass is then placed on top. Make sure to give it a squeeze so that it creates a seal.

Using the Boston shaker requirer two hands. This can be challenging in a crowded setting. If you don’t use ice, it is harder to get the two parts to seal properly. To separate the two parts, give the metal tumbler a knock right where the two parts meet.


The good and the bad

+ Holds a large volume
+ Compact when stored
+ Both parts of the strainer can be used as a mixing tumbler

– Should be used with two hands
– Can spill
– Requires a strainer


The French shaker

The French shaker, sometimes called a Parisian shaker, is the worst of two worlds. Essentially, it is a Cobbler shaker without the built-in strainer.

The good and the bad

+ Looks good

– Requires a strainer
– Can be difficult to separate


Does the material count?

When choosing the right cocktail shaker, it is not only about the form. Shakers come in several materials. The most common is stainless steel and glass. Most Boston shakers have one part made of stainless steel and one part made of glass.

right cocktail shaker
Copper barware looks stylish but requires high maintenance. (Picture: Unsplash.)

The Cobbler shaker and the French shaker is most commonly made of stainless steel. Some models have a glass tumbler with the strainer and the lid made of stainless steel. On the cheaper models, the stainless steel is replaced with plastic. Stay away from these. They make an awful noise when you are shaking with ice. Lately, copper barware has come into fashion. Copper looks stylish but requires some care to stay good looking. Copper barware cannot be put in a dishwasher.


Shaken or stirred – does it matter?

The very short answer: Yes. A shaken drink is colder but more diluted. A stirred drink is not as cold but has more taste. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. For more detail, read the below blog post.

Shaken or Stirred? What is the difference?

Shaken or stirred? Your answer to this question depends mostly on your own preference. In this post, you will find ...
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No bar is complete without at least one cocktail shaker. Choosing the right cocktail shaker is a matter of personal preference. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a stainless steel Cobbler shaker. With an additional Boston shaker in stainless steel and glass, you have all the tumblers you need for both stirring and shaking.




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