After a long day out at work or in your home office, there’s nothing like a late-afternoon cocktail to relax into the evening. And when it’s time to party, a savvy hostess has a fully stocked bar to keep her guests happy, their thirst for quality cocktails quenched.
If you are a mixologist-in-the-making and yearn to master the art of mixing perfect cocktails for you and your friends, then you need to start with the basics – a good cocktail shaker. No matter what type it is, the main function of this bar staple is to properly mix the ingredients of a cocktail, martini, shot, or any drink that combines two or more ingredients into one deliciously flavored drink. Shaken, not stirred!
Even the most primitive of home bars should be equipped with this essential tool. Choosing the one you like is not necessarily a difficult task, but does require some research.
We feature four cocktail shakers you can buy online. Read on to see if one of them matches your needs.
Top Pick Best Basic: INNÔPLUS Store Cocktail Shaker
If you’re at the beginning of your cocktail-making career and you’re on a budget, then this basic cobbler-style cocktail shaker is perfect to get you on the way to entertaining your friends at your next party.
Made from smooth 18/8 grade stainless steel with a sleek-looking mirror finish, this cocktail shaker is comprised of three pieces; the container, the lid and the cap. It holds 25 ounces of liquid, which is the perfect amount for making one drink or two drinks at a time.
The 100 percent leak-proof lid is great for beginners – you don’t want to lose a drop of liquid on your first go-round – and it has a built-in strainer, so you don’t need a separate one when pouring your drink into a glass. And while the lid is leak proof, it’s also easy to detach from the shaker when your cocktail is mixed and ready to enjoy.
The weighted ergonomic design of this cocktail shaker has no sharp handle edges, reducing hand and finger fatigue, so before you know it, you’ll be shaking up lots of fun and refreshments at your next party.
- Cobbler-style cocktail mixer with integrated strainer
- Made from smooth 18/8 grade stainless steel
- Leak-proof lid
- 25-ounce capacity holds a smaller volume of liquid than other models
Top Pick Best Boston Shaker: A Bar Above Premium Weighted Cocktail Shaker Set
Professional bartenders argue that the best way to make a cocktail is to use a Boston-style shaker, and many people with a home bar would agree. Comprised of two separate pieces, it takes a greater level of skill and practice to use this kind of shaker properly but in the end, it’s worth pouring out a perfectly mixed drink.
If you are looking for a good Boston cocktail shaker to equip your home bar, then we recommend this high-quality two-piece Boston shaker set. Made from professional food grade stainless steel 304 and dishwasher safe, this sturdy shaker will not break and has no rubber seal to crack or warp with age.
The two weighted shaker tins create a water-tight seal that won’t break open or freeze shut, so you can use them to make shaken drinks like margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos, or you can just use the bottom tin for stirred drinks like a martini or a Manhattan.
So easy to use, just add your ingredients to the shaker with ice, put the other cup over the first one and give it a whack with the palm of your hand. The shakers will seal tightly together so you are ready to shake. Once done, open the shakers and pour your drink. And when you’re done, it’s an easy cleanup and the shakers nest nicely inside each other for convenient storage when not in use.
- Made from food grade stainless steel 304
- Two tins create a water-tight seal
- Dishwasher safe
- Fits all standard Hawthorne and Julep cocktail strainers
- Does not have a built-in strainer
- Strainer must be purchased separately
Top Pick Best Boston Shaker Travel Set: JAKE AND JILL Boston Cocktail Shaker Set
Wouldn’t it be great if you could pack up your home bar and take it with you to a friend’s house, the cottage or even camping, to whip up the delicious cocktails that you enjoy?
Well, now it’s possible with this five-piece Boston shaker bartending kit that packs easily into a carrying case, making it the perfect on-the-go bar accessories set for vacations and upscale parties.
The simple yet elegant Circle Seal engineered design makes for an effortless seal. Once you’re done mixing, it’s a snap to separate, even after a lot of heavy shaking, so you can shake with one-handed confidence and avoid embarrassing spills and sloppy drinks.
The included double Japanese jigger has a tall, skinny design to stop spills while the outside one-ounce and two-ounce markings makes it easier to measure the right amount of liquid. The high-density coil on the cocktail strainer filters ice, herbs, and fruits better than open-coil options, and the 100 percent stainless steel construction of the shakers means this five-piece bar set is as easy to clean as it is to use.
And since it also comes with a 500 cocktail recipe book, you know you’ll have everything you need to craft elegant classics as well as unique cocktails to get the conversation – and the party – started.
- Portable to take anywhere
- Five-piece set
- Cocktail recipe book
- Travel bag with cocktail stirring spoon
- Makes a great gift
- Shaker takes some getting used to
Top Pick Best All Around: TUBNVOOT Bartender Shaker Cocktail Bar Set
You’re dying to mix cocktails like a pro, but don’t know where or how to start. As a budding mixologist, you’re looking for a good all-around shaker kit so you can practice your skills and start making great cocktails for your friends.
Now you can mix drinks like a pro with this Tubnvoot shaker set, the perfect starter cocktail kit for any skill level. The cobbler-style shaker is elegant and attractive and is made from Pro 304 18/8 food-grade stainless steel that resists rust, scratches and dents.
The 24-ounce capacity shaker is perfect for mixing one drink at a time, and has a built-in strainer for when you’re ready to pour. No need to buy any other accessories, as the kit also comes with a 15/30 ml double measurement jigger and a beautiful twisted mixing spoon. And if you really don’t have much experience mixing cocktails, you’ll really appreciate the included recipe booklet.
So easy to use, just pour your ingredients into the mixing section of the cocktail shaker using the measurement jigger and if you like, add ice. Put the middle cover with the built-in strainer on top of the mixing shaker, close with the top cover and after making sure it’s sealed well, hold the shaker in both hands and shake, shake, shake! After about 20 seconds, remove the top cover, pour the drink through the strainer, and enjoy.
- Great all-around starter set
- Includes everything so no extra pieces needed
- Comes with a jigger and mixing spoon
- Small 24-ounce capacity
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a cocktail shaker so you will choose one that best suits your needs:
To the untrained eye, all cocktail shakers look the same. And in a way, they are: regardless of the design, they are all made to do the same thing – mix or shake more than two liquid ingredients, with or without ice, into a delicious cocktail.
That being said, there are some characteristics over and above looks – although aesthetics are important, too – that you should look for before buying one, including your own expertise and how often you intend to use the shaker to make cocktails. Basically, there are three kinds of cocktail shakers: cobbler, French and Boston
A cobbler shaker comes with three parts: the shaker, the top with an integrated strainer, and the lid. A French shaker has two pieces and is similar in shape to a cobbler shaker but does not have a built-in strainer. A Boston shaker consists of a shaking metal tin and a mixing glass tin but has no built-in strainer.
Level of expertise
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is important to consider your own level of expertise when buying your cocktail shaker. If you have little to no experience and are just starting out, then a cobbler shaker is a good choice since it does not need advanced skills to use. Plus, a cobbler shaker has an integrated strainer, which makes it easier to pour out the drink. Professional bartenders prefer to use a Boston shaker, which requires a separate strainer and a certain amount of experience, or at least practice, to work properly, although the French shaker, which sits somewhere between a Cobbler and a Boston shaker, is making its way into more home bars.
How you’re going to use the shaker and how often, should also be considered. A cobbler shaker is a good choice if you will only use it occasionally and for small parties to make one or two drinks at a time, since they usually hold a smaller quantity of liquid compared to a Boston shaker. If you have a lot of parties and need to serve up many drinks quickly all night, then it’s best to consider a Boston shaker set since it can be used to mix several drinks because of its large capacity, ease of use, and ease of cleaning.
Aesthetics do play a role in choosing a cocktail shaker set since you’re going to want to own something that looks good to you and fits into the look of your home bar. A good weight should also be considered, depending on your preference. Weight adds rigidity to the shaker and helps for a more comfortable and quieter shake. Find one that’s comfortable to use without compromising quality.
The best material to choose is stainless steel since it is durable, chills drinks easily, and all that clinking and slushing during shaking sounds good. There are glass shakers, which look good because you can see the drink as its being shaken, but the downside is they may break if dropped on the ground. There are plastic shakers, which don’t break or dent, but they do not hold the chill as long as stainless steel. Finally, copper shakers are becoming popular and look great, but they are not dishwasher safe and you have to take extra measures to keep it looking good, which is okay if you’re willing to put the time and energy into it.
While you don’t have to get a premium quality cocktail shaker to do a good job, it’s best to choose something that can be used throughout the years and to make all types of cocktails.
Cocktail shakers come in a variety of capacities, but a general rule of thumb is to choose one with a 28-ounce capacity if you need to accommodate a large volume of ingredients, especially if you like to use ice to chill your drinks. Many cobbler shakers come in 25-ounce sizes if you are going to make one drink at a time, or two without using ice.