Shaken, Not Stirred: The Manual’s Guide to Cocktail Shakers

cocktail shakers

We’re just going to come right out with it: if you want to make cocktails, you’re going to need a cocktail shaker.

Sure, certain drinks need to be stirred, but by and large, a good chunk of the cocktails you’re probably going to make at home are going to call for shaking. If you don’t believe us take a look at any one of our cocktail roundups for proof. We’re going to get more into how to shake at a later date, but for now, let’s look at the types of shakers out there.

First, know that while there are basically two types of shakers, but there are literally thousands of options out there. Really. When you search “Cocktail Shaker” on Amazon, you are given 5,093 different options. You can search for size or price, but essentially all cocktail shakers boil down to two types: Boston shakers and Cobbler shakers.

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Boston Shakers

Boston shakers are made of two vessels, a smaller 16-ounce one that resembles a pint glass (but is not, in fact, a normal pint glass, as mixing glasses are created specifically for Boston shakers) and a larger 28-ounce metal tin. Depending on the bar and the bartender, you might also see a 16-ounce metal tin accompanying a larger metal piece. If you need to use a normal pint glass, you can, but you just have to remember that it was created differently. When using a Boston shaker, you will need a strainer of some sort, such as the Koriko Hawthorne Strainer, to properly transfer your drink from shaker to glass. Boston shakers are also great, as you can use them to stir cocktails when needed.

A standard metal Boston shaker set, made by Chefland can be found here. If you’re looking for something of a higher quality—maybe for a gift for the budding mixologist in your life—check out this set, made by Crafthouse by Fortessa.

Cobbler Shakers

The second kind of shaker is the cobbler shaker–a three-piece outfit that features a shaker (varying in size), a lid with a strainer built in, and a cap. These are convenient to have at home as they’re easier to use (and if you’re not used to a Boston shaker, less intimidating), while also already coming equipped with a strainer.

If you’re looking for a standard cobbler shaker, you can’t go wrong with Barware Styles version, which comes with its own jigger for measuring. The Belmont shaker by Viski, on the other hand, is good for when your home bar is as much a showpiece as it is a place for work and play.

When it comes to cobbler shakers, there are also mason jar shakers, which have come into popularity in the last few years, for those looking for a little more “down home” in their cocktail game.

Finally, one of our favorite cobbler shakers—for the fact that it’s heavy duty and perfect for camping— is the Stanley Happy Hour Shaker. Every piece locks into place and it comes with its own juicer as well as four cups. If you like cocktails and the outdoors, this is the one for you.

Now get shaking.