Whether you are just starting out with mixology or are a seasoned bartender, you probably know how important a shaker is to mixing drinks. There are several different types of shakers from those that come with two cups but no strainers to those that have strainers built-in to a cap of one cup. The different shakers require varying amounts of skill to use, but all of them can be mastered with some practice.
A line of Boston cocktail shakers

A Bar Above Boston Shakers, Copyright A Bar Above


When you are looking for a shaker to complete your bar for home or work, the Boston shaker is one of the most popular and widely-used shakers in the industry. It does not have a strainer built-in, but it is always best to use a separate strainer anyway when you want to make sure your drinks are smooth and chunk-free.

What is a Cocktail Shaker?

A cocktail shaker is a standard bar tool that is designed to do several things:
Shaking a cocktail in cocktail shaker

Copyright A Bar Above


Mix Cold Drinks

Cold liquid takes longer to mix. Just think about when you add chocolate powder to milk and how long it takes to combine them. The bar shaker was designed as a solution to making this a much quicker process. The ice in the shaker acts like a blender and mixes up the ingredients in the shaker faster than if you tried to stir it yourself.

Chills Liquid Quickly

When you are shaking your liquid with ice, it gets very cold very fast. The ice also breaks down in the drink shaker quickly so the liquid is touched by cold balls of ice before being strained, which makes it the perfect temperature for your chilled drink.
Pouring a cocktail out of a Boston shaker

A Bar Above Boston Shaker & Hawthorne Strainer, Copyright A Bar Above


Dilutes the Drink

When you put your ingredients in an alcohol shaker with ice, the alcohol gets diluted, which is actually the perfect way to serve it. Recipes for cocktails take into consideration a dilution percentage; otherwise, the drink would taste way too strong. With more practice, you can tell the difference in strength between drinks that have not been put in a shaker and those that are just stirred.
Boston shaker with a cocktail

Boston Shaker, Copyright A Bar Above

Boston Shaker

One very popular bar tool found in most bars is a Boston shaker. Out of all the tools to make drinks, you will probably use this one the most if you are entertaining guests at your home and mixing drinks.
There are two types of Boston shakers available: The first one has two stainless-steel cups, and the second one has one stainless-steel cup and one glass cup. The stainless steel is more durable and won’t break if dropped.
You will also find some Boston shakers that are weighted to feel better in the hands and make less noise when it is being used.
The benefits of using a Boston shaker include:

It Won’t Freeze Shut

It is unlikely that the Boston shaker will seal shut because the contents make the shaker too cold. This is a big problem with other shakers when using ice.
Boston Shaker with box

Boston Shaker, Copyright A Bar Above


It is Easy to Clean

Two cups make it a very easy tool to clean; there are no filters or strainers built-in, so you don’t have to use a wire brush to remove small bits.

It is Easy to Seal and Reopen

When you practice using this shaker, you will find the two-cup model very easy to seal and reopen, so it takes less time to make your drinks.

It is Durable

Made with stainless steel, the Boston shaker is made to last. If you are planning on serving drinks all night, then this is the shaker you should be using. If you get one with a glass cup, then you do have to be careful about dropping and breaking it.
Weighted Boston shaker with seal

Weighted Boston Shaker, Copyright A Bar Above

Other Types of Shakers Include:

History of Cocktail Shakers

Copyright A Bar Above


A Cobbler Shaker

A cobbler shaker has a built-in strainer and a lid. This shaker has been known to freeze shut after shaking a few frozen drinks, but it is ideal for beginners because it is easy to use and has an all-in-one mixing system.

A French Shaker

The French shaker is a two-cup shaker without a strainer like a Boston shaker, but it is more likely to freeze shut after mixing a few cold drinks. It is a beautiful-looking shaker that is difficult to find and not widely used.
When it comes to the best shaker for your bar, the Boston shaker is easy to use, easy to clean, and won’t freeze shut on you. When you anticipate a busy night of drink mixing, this shaker will fill all your needs.