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Choosing the right cocktail shaker

When you’re ready to make some cocktails at home, you’ll need to give some thought to choosing the right cocktail shaker. A cocktail shaker is a container that allows for mixing of cocktail ingredients by shaking them together. It normally consists of a large cup, with an attached strainer and lid.  Read on to find out the common types of cocktail shakers, and find the right one for you:

1. Boston Shaker

The Boston shaker is a cocktail shaker with two components, one of which is usually a glass and the other a large stainless steel cup. The more recent versions are constructed of two stainless steel pieces, with one being heavier. Weighted shaker tins are stronger, reduce bartender strain, and chill the drinks faster. As the two-piece Boston shaker does not have an incorporated strainer, professional bartenders use a separate strainer, known as a “Hawthorne strainer.’ This separates ice, pulp, and other ingredients from cocktails when pouring them into a glass.

Boston shaker

2. Cobbler Shaker

The body, built-in strainer, and cap make up the cobbler shaker. This is a fully stainless steel cocktail shaker and so it is often dishwasher safe. The most typical fault is that the cap gets frozen and trapped when the shaker becomes too cold. The larger holes in the built-in strainer may also allow pulp and muddled ingredients to flow out together into the cocktail glass.

Cobbler cocktail shaker

3. Parisian Shaker

The third style, the Parisian or French shaker, is made up of only two components: a body and a cap. As it lacks a built-in strainer, it also requires a Hawthorne strainer. It’s not advised in large bars since the cap can also be wedged as with the cobbler. If this happens, it can be released by submerging it in hot water.

4. Budget Shakers

One or more of the above strainers will certainly provide some flair and make your cocktail-making appear professional. But any container with a secure lid is equally effective. A protein shaker bottle makes a good cocktail shaker – many have an in-built strainer. A large jar also works – but in either case, it’s important to ensure that the container doesn’t leak when you shake it vigorously.

Protein shaker bottle

Which cocktail shakers have you tried, and which do you prefer? Do you have any tips for choosing the right cocktail shaker? Let us know in the comments below.


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