Crafted cocktails are like the little black dress of entertaining. They never, ever go out of style. Whether you’re hosting a lazy summer brunch, or entertaining friends on a weekend evening, mixing up interesting cocktails will up your hosting game by several notches.
There’s quite nothing that can match a well-made cocktail, in ways more than one. First, there’s the effort that goes into it – making a cocktail isn’t as simple as pouring out a measure of alcohol and shaking it up with a few other things. Making a good cocktail is no less a culinary art than fine cooking – you’ve got to know your ingredients, their flavors, and then the right way of serving your creation. It’s also all about the theatrics – you’ve seen your local bartender do some crazy tricks, and each time, you’ve been wide-eyed.
Even if you don’t decide to go down the dramatic route, you can still show your flair as an expert mixologist in ways more than one. Pick your cocktails depending on what food you’re serving, as well as the weather and time. Next, know what you’re good at – it’s perfectly alright to stick to the classics; a well-made whisky sour or an old-fashioned mojito will never go out of style. As it is with cooking, it’s important to know the classics before you experiment with bolder flavors. And just what knives are to a chef, bar accessories are to a bartender.
It’s one thing to be in college and use a makeshift bar set with beer mugs and spoons and something else for a strainer. At any point after that, it’s time to upgrade and mix those cocktails with the respect they deserve, and while you’ll find a whole lot of cheap mixing glasses and shakers, it’s important to pick something that’s classy and useful.
Best Cocktail Shakers for Home Bartending (2018)
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Cocktail shakers, in particular, can be deceptively simple to buy. It’s easy to see bartenders pull out all the tricks up their sleeves and shake your cocktail while doing everything from juggling it to performing some cool dance moves. But if you think you could do that with just about any shaker off the market, you’re mistaken. There’s a lot that a good cocktail shaker can do for your cocktail, including vigorously mixing up the flavors, releasing the aromatic compounds from fruits and spices and giving your cocktail a well-balanced, rounded taste.
Even if you aren’t an expert mixologist, you’ll be able to tell apart a good cocktail from bad. Even if you’ve followed a recipe to the T, you could be still using the wrong shaker, or a poor quality one, which affects how your cocktail tastes eventually.
One of the best ways to make sure you pour a delicious cocktail each and every time, is to invest in a great cocktail shaker. There are lots of options out there, from minimalist stainless steel to vintage copper pieces, but it’s important to know what makes that cocktail shaker good on the inside as well as outside.
What Does a Cocktail Shaker Do?
A cocktail shaker is the most basic of bar tools, and the tool of trade for any bartender. Cocktails are usually either shaken, or stirred. Typically, cocktails that have mixers – juices, milk, eggs etc. are shaken with ice, and then strained out into a glass to be garnished and served.
Essentially, a cocktail shaker blends all the different flavors, spirits and mixers, as well as chills your cocktail, also aerating it to give you a richer, smoother taste. While these are the basics of a cocktail shaker, it could vary depending on the type of cocktail shaker you’re using.
Boston vs. Cobbler Style Cocktail Shakers
The two kinds of cocktail shakers you’ll see are the Boston and cobbler styles. The Boston Style is clearly a favorite with professional bartenders. It has a large and small cup that fit together. Cobbler-style shakers are more commonly found at home bars, and have three pieces – a canister or container, lid and a strainer. Bartenders aren’t too fond of this style of shaker since they aren’t leakproof and often cause spills, particularly during vigorous shaking.
Cocktail Shaker Reviews
Top Shelf Bar Supply Boston Shaker
Designed to be durable enough for a high-volume bar but perfect for any home bartender, this shaker set is ideal for any bar. Made of food-grade stainless steel, it will not break like similar sets made with glass, and will not rust or drip.
This piece has been hand-selected and tested by a professional career bartender to ensure a perfect watertight seal every time. It also fits all standard cocktail strainers and is dishwasher-friendly.
Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 6.9 inches
- High-quality stainless steel makes it durable and sturdy.
- Water-tight seal prevents spillage while mixing.
- Fits most standard cocktail strainers.
- Stainless steel makes it tough to open at chilled temperatures.
- Requires separate strainer.
Where to Buy
You can buy the Top Shelf Bar Supply cocktail shaker for a great price at Amazon.
At the listed price, it is a great buy, and perfect for larger parties since you can shake two cocktails in one go. True, you might need some muscle work to get the two parts to open, particularly if you’re shaking up a really chilled cocktail, but the watertight seal will make sure you don’t end up spilling even a drop and your bar remains mess-free.
OXO Steel Cocktail Shaker (Cobbler Style)
With its sleek lines, soft curves and brushed stainless steel finish, this is definitely a stylish cocktail shaker, perfectly suited to an elegant, minimalist bar. Not only is it stylish, it is also a solid piece of barware with its double wall construction, built-in strainer and jigger cap with soft grip.
Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 1 inches
- Double-walled construction means less condensation.
- Better grip prevents slipping and sliding.
- Built-strainer prevents ice from falling into the drink.
- Sleek, elegant finish.
- Cobbler-style shaker, can cause leaks.
- Smaller than other shakers.
Where to Buy
The OXO cocktail shaker is available for sale at Amazon.
This is a great product to consider if you’re looking for a stylish addition to your bar. With no leaks and drips, and the in-built strainer, this cocktail shaker makes everything from mixing to pouring a breeze. If you’re looking to mix more than one portion of a cocktail at once, though, this one might be too small, so consider that before you make up your mind.
Aloono Boston Cocktail Shaker
This is one absolutely beautiful cocktail shaker. If you’re someone with an eye for style and a love of all things vintage, then this Boston-style shaker fits right into your beautiful bar. Made of food-grade stainless steel, this copper shaker is designed to make sure that it will not bend or warp, making it perfect for vigorous shaking and large parties.
The two shaker tins are designed perfectly to fit each other to offer great water-tight seal, perfect for shaking cocktails like Mojitos and Margaritas. The cocktail strainer is designed for professional use, equipped with high-density spring, keeping ice fragments or fruit pulp from making their way into your drinks.
Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 8.1 inches
- Gorgeous, elegant looking copper finish with a vintage touch.
- Zero drips or leak because of its watertight seal.
- Dishwasher safe for home or commercial dishwashers.
- Durable and sturdy stainless steel material.
- High-density spring on strainer keeps ice out.
- Expensive as compared to other cocktail shakers.
Where to Buy
You can buy the Aloono cocktail shaker at Amazon
This stunning-looking cocktail shaker is a great addition to any bar, and is guaranteed to impress your guests. Don’t forget to pair it with a set of equally elegant looking glasses, and you can be sure your guests will remember not just your cocktail-mixing skills, but also your taste in all things classy.
With a great cocktail shaker, there’s no limit to the kind of cocktails you can whip up for your guests – from the classics to the absolutely adventurous combinations. So go on, give it a try, and raise a toast to your guests as they indulge in your tipsy concoctions.
top image credit: santypan (Deposit Photos)