How to choose a cocktail shaker set

How to choose a cocktail shaker set
Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime!

Everyone’s favorite piece of barware has to be the cocktail shaker set, synonymous with bartending, cocktails and class. If you’re just starting to collect home barware, the cocktail shaker set is always your first purchase, after the alcohol! Which one should you pick? What is the difference? How do they work?

Hopefully after this post, you’ll be able to pick the one that works for you, or all of the cocktail shaker types and start a collection!

(I use the sound of a cocktail shaker as my intro to my podcast. Once you hear the sound of that shaker – you know that delicious cocktail is almost ready to imbibe.)

Jerry Thomas

What is a Cocktail Shaker?

According to my go-to online dictionary, “A cocktail shaker is a metal container for mixing ingredients to make cocktails.”

Therefore, we know it’s always metal and you put ingredients into it and out of it a shaken cocktail emerges. (I’m getting thirsty!)

History of the Cocktail Shaker

In South America around 7000BC, pisco was being shaken in a gourdy-type vessel, but the shaker we know of today is a little more recent. The 19th C gave us the cocktail shaker set we use now. Although there have been some variations, it’s basically the same idea.

The Three Most Popular Cocktail Shaker Sets

Cobbler, Boston or French – these are the most common cocktail shaker sets out there today, made up of two or three pieces of stainless steel or glass. They all more or less work the same way, so it’s just preference!

The Boston Shaker

The American in me has to start off with this cocktail shaker set. It consists of only two pieces – one glass or metal holder in which to put all the ingredients and a larger metal piece which you bang on top, turn the whole thing over and shake, shake, shake. The only hard part about using this one is that you need practice separating the two pieces. You need to give the one side a good knock until it opens.

Professional Boston Cocktail Shaker – Simple and efficient, the Boston Cocktail Shaker saves time with lids and various other cocktail equipment. Simply add your ingredients, shake and serve, et voila another beautiful cocktail. The can holds a generous dose of liquid helping you spend more time enjoying the drinks than making them.

The Cobbler Shaker

The Cobbler Shaker looks a bit more old-fashioned, but it is much easier to use that its Bostonian cousin. It’s made up of a large metal tin, a lid with a built in strainer and a cap. Throw everything in at once and then pour. It’s slightly less cool then the Boston one and takes a bit longer for the cocktail to emerge, but anticipation is the purest form of pleasure!

Cobbler Cocktail Shaker – This simple, no fuss Cobbler Cocktail Shaker lets you quickly and easily shake up a variety of cocktails. This shaker includes a strainer in the lid.

The French Cocktail Shaker – Oh La La!

The French Cocktail Shaker, or to be more exact the Parisian Cocktail Shaker, might be more style over substance, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. We are back to two pieces here – both metal. Plunk everything in and shake. Good for beginners and those who wear berets!

French Cocktail Shaker – Stylish and cool, made by KegWorks, combining ease of use with design.

Other Cocktail Shaker Sets

No one said you could show your personality while shaking a drink! I love these quirky ones – especially the penguin!

Penguin Cocktail Shaker – Technically a Cobbler Shaker, but much more fun! Who doesn’t want a penguin in their life? The cocktail party is just not the same without one.

Humphrey Whale Cocktail Shaker – To go along with its penguin friend. You will have a whale of a time (I couldn’t help myself) making cocktails in this shaker!

Airplane Cocktail Shaker – Your cocktails will be out of this world with this shaker!

Shake, Shake, Shake

Who cares how you make it as long as it gets done. Choosing a cocktail shaker set is personal preference and style. My suggestion is to try your hand at all of them and see which one works for you!


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