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Cocktail Shaker

A cocktail shaker is an irreplaceable bar accessory that has become an indispensable part of the life of professional and amateur bartenders. Countless cocktails, such as the Whisky Sour, Planter’s Punch, Daiquiri or Cosmopolitan are prepared with the help of a cocktail shaker. There are various different cocktail shakers, from cheap to expensive, from functional to the highest design. A cocktail shaker belongs to the basic equipment of every professional and hobby bar, just like a bar strainer, a bar spoon, a jigger and a muddler. In the following, we would like to introduce you to some cocktail shaker variants, show you their advantages and disadvantages and explain to you why cocktails are shaken in the first place.

Different types of shakers

Speed Shaker

The speed shaker is probably the simplest, but also the fastest and most effective way to prepare a cocktail. The speed shaker consists of only one cup, which is placed directly on the cocktail glass and then shaken. The drinks can be served immediately after shaking.

Speed shakers are therefore ideal for preparation in clubs, bars and discos. In other words, everywhere where drinks have to be prepared quickly. However, any professional cocktail bar is advised not to use these cocktail shakers. Hobby bartenders should also use Boston or Cobbler shakers.

speed shaker
tin tin shaker

TinTin Shaker

The TinTin Shaker is very closely related to the Boston Shaker. With the TinTin, two cups (not a glass) are placed inside each other and shaken. Then a bar strainer can be held in front of the cocktail shaker and the liquid strained into a glass. Afterwards, you only have to strain the drink and can then serve it to your guests.

Boston Shaker

The Boston Shaker* is probably the best-known and most frequently used cocktail shaker of all. Similar to the TinTin Shaker, the Boston Shaker is also used to put two vessels into each other. A copper cup and a glass. When these two vessels are slightly connected to each other, you can start shaking.

The Boston Shaker can be cleaned much faster than a three-piece shaker. Therefore, with the help of this bar accessory, you can prepare more cocktails much faster. Most cocktails, such as the Sidecar or the Whisky Sour, are well mixed after about 20 to 25 seconds of shaking and can be poured through a bar strainer directly into a glass and then served.

boston shaker
three piece shaker

3-piece cocktail shaker

A three-piece shaker is usually made of stainless steel or metal. The bar accessory consists of a cup (at the bottom), a strainer (in the middle) and a cap (at the top). The great advantage of using these three-part shakers is that they do not require an additional bar strainer for straining the cocktails. This makes it easy for hobby bartenders to prepare delicious cocktails.

The 3-piece shaker is not so suitable for professional bars, as cleaning the three parts takes much longer than cleaning a speed shaker. Another advantage is the cap of the shaker. This can usually be used as a jigger and has a filling volume of 2 – 3 cl. This means that you as a hobby bartender do not have to buy an additional jigger.

To prepare a delicious cocktail in a 3-piece cocktail shaker, first open the cap and remove the bar strainer. Now you can put all the ingredients (ice, spirits, fruit juice, etc.) into the shaker. Close the bar accessory with the strainer and the cap and shake it well. Make sure that your hands press firmly on the cap so that it does not come off. After about 20 seconds, the shake is well shaken and can be strained into a glass, all without a jigger or bar strainer. Now you just have to strain the drink and serve it.

Shaken, not stirred!

Cocktails that consist only of alcoholic ingredients are always stirred. This allows the alcoholic ingredients to combine. However, if alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients are mixed together, they must be shaken. Only by shaking can the ingredients combine with each other so that a pleasant flavour can develop.

Various cocktails, thanks to the Cocktail Shaker

All cocktails that are not stirred are prepared with the help of a cocktail shaker. In addition, all mocktails are prepared through a cocktail shaker. Drinks are shaken if there are non-alcoholic ingredients in addition to alcoholic ingredients. A drink that consists exclusively of alcoholic ingredients (e.g. Dry Martini or various aperitifs and digestifs) is stirred. The alcoholic ingredients are easily combined by stirring, so there is no need to use a shaker.

Drinks such as the Daiquiri, Tom Collins, White Russian or Cosmopolitan require alcoholic ingredients to be mixed with non-alcoholic ingredients. This process can only be created by shaking. If you were to stir these drinks, parts of the cocktail would taste very alcoholic and other parts would taste very sweet or fruity. The ingredients simply did not mix. So, for all cocktails that do not consist only of alcoholic ingredients (and for all mocktails) you should use a cocktail shaker, otherwise a mixing glass.

Historical Background

The first shaken cocktail is said to have been shaken only in the second half of the 19th century. Before that, drinks were classically stirred in a mixing glass. At that time, the various ingredients were sometimes poured back and forth between several glasses so that they mixed. This mixing process was called “rolling”.

With the increasing use of ice cubes in cocktails, shaking became established. At the beginning of the “shaking culture”, two cups made of copper were simply inserted into each other. These were the predecessors of today’s Boston Shakers. A light tap on the back of one of the cups causes the cups to tilt slightly into each other, so that they can then be shaken without any problems. At the end of the 19th century, the first three-part shakers were developed and introduced. The great advantage of these three-part vessels is that the sieve integrated into the lid means that there is no need to use an additional bar strainer to retain the ice.

Shaker FAQ

What is a cocktail shaker?

A shaker is a well-known bar accessory that can be used to prepare cocktails. The bar accessory is essential for your home bar and should always be one of the first bar accessories you purchase for your home bar.

How much do bar accessories cost?

The price of a shaker always depends on the material used and the quality. Nevertheless, a high-quality shaker should not cost more than 20 euros.

Which well-known cocktails are prepared with it?

Actually every cocktail that does not only consist of alcoholic ingredients. Examples are the Daiquiri, Sex on the Beach and Lond Island Iced Tea.

For which drinks do you need a shaker?

All cocktails that consist of at least one non-alcoholic ingredient can be prepared in a shaker. By shaking, the alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients combine with each other.

Where can I buy a cocktail shaker?

A shaker is best purchased online. On the one hand, you can choose between a large selection and on the other hand, you can have the bar accessories conveniently delivered to your door.