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A cocktail shaker is the cornerstone of the home bar. With so many available we decided to look at a selection to come up with our favorite choices. We look at several cocktail shakers to help you determine which is the best cocktail shaker for your needs.

When to use a cocktail shaker

Cocktails made of different densities of ingredients are best made with a shaker. A good shaking can emulsify the ingredients into a perfect silky beverage. Drinks with eggs, dairy, even some thicker fruit juices benefit from shaking. Besides mixing the drink, the cocktail shaker cools and aerates the drink using ice. The ice is easily strained leaving a perfectly chilled and mixed drink.

Different styles of cocktail shaker

There are two main styles of shaker that are in use today.

  • Boston Shaker
  • Cobbler Shaker

The Boston style is a simple two piece shaker. A weighted metal tumbler and a second tumbler – glass or metal that fit together to make a tight seal. If you have never used a Boston shaker before it takes a little practice at first. Your effort will be rewarded. 

The Cobbler type is a tumbler that has a tight fitting lid with a smaller cap. This is frequently called the classic cocktail shaker. They are often metal but can also be made of glass. The lid has a built in strainer.

The Cobbler shaker is great for casual mixing and beginners, as it is all self contained. No additional strainer is needed. They are easy to use and are easy to open and clean.

There is a third style of shaker, the French shaker. It is something of a hybrid of the Boston and the Cobbler. The French shaker is like a Cobbler shaker, but does not have a built in strainer.

Our Favorite Boston Shaker

Two-Piece Pro Boston Shaker

This two piece Boston style shaker is made from stainless steel. The larger 28 ounce tumbler is weighted. The smaller 18 ounce tumbler is not weighted. This is a hiqh quality shaker. It forms a tight seal. There is a learning curve to using a Boston shaker. Getting the right seal and opening the shaker takes a little practice, but is easily mastered. We feel it’s worth the time to learn to use a Boston shaker. The shaker tumblers can also be used as a cocktail mixing glass with the addition of a mixing spoon.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Larger capacity

Cons:

  • No strainer
  • Can be difficult to open

Boston Shaker Set

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Our Favorite Classic Shaker Set

Elite Cocktail Shaker Set by BARILLIO

This stainless steel Cobbler style shaker comes with some bar tools. A great way to start or build your collection of implements. Included is a muddler, a jigger, and a bar spoon. This can also be used as a cocktail mixer by using the bottom of the shaker with the spoon. Dishwasher safe means cleanup is a breeze. People have noted that the shaker can be difficult to open if closed too tightly.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • All in one kit

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to open
  • Learning curve with Boston style shaker

Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set

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Our Favorite General Purpose Classic Shaker

OXO Steel Cocktail Shaker

OXO is a trusted name in kitchenware. It’s no surprise that they make a great cocktail shaker. This Cobbler style shaker is made of stainless steel, with silicone gaskets to make a watertight seal. The cap also doubles as a jigger measure. People have noted that sometimes the jigger cap will drip down the sides of the shaker. Just be sure to rinse the cap after measuring and before shaking. This shaker has a nice 24 ounce capacity and is dishwasher safe.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Silicone gaskets
  • Cap doubles as measuring jigger

Cons:

  • Cap can drip liquids if not rinsed before shaking

OXO Cocktail Shaker

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Our Favorite Boston Shaker Set

Four-Piece Pro Boston Shaker Set

If you’re just starting your home bar a set with tools is a great way to do that with just one kit. We like the durable stainless steel construction of this set. The same high quality of our favorite Boston shaker, with an added Hawthorne strainer and jigger. This has the larger weighted 28 ounce tumbler paired with the unweighted 18 ounce tumbler. The shaker tumblers can also be used as a cocktail mixing glass with the addition of a mixing spoon.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • All in one kit

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to open
  • Learning curve with Boston style shaker

A Bar Above Boston Shaker Set

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Our Favorite Designer Cocktail Shaker

Stelton Cylinda Line Cocktail Shaker

Stelton Cylinda Cocktail Shaker by Arne Jacobsen
Stelton Cylinda Cocktail Shaker by Arne Jacobsen

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Stelton makes some of the best form follows function Scandinavian design products. The Cylinda cocktail shaker designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1967 is an outstanding example. Made of high quality stainless steel with a satin finish, this classic Cobbler style shaker is as beautiful as it is functional. This shaker has an ingenious removable strainer. This is a good sized shaker, about 25 ounce capacity. We recommend hand washing this shaker to protect the gasket in the lid. I personally have owned this cocktail shaker and the matching drink mixer and ice bucket for over 25 years, and they still look as good as new. I Highly recommend Stelton, they have been at the forefront of quality and design for decades.

Pros:

  • High end quality
  • Designed by Arne Jacobsen
  • Range of matching products in the Cylinda collection

Cons:

  • Hand washing recommended

In Conclusion

Which style of shaker appeals to you is a personal choice. We are certain that you will find a cocktail shaker that suits your needs from our selection of favorites. Happy shaking and enjoy your adventures in mixology. Cheers!

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