Have you ever had a stuck cocktail shaker and wondered how in the world you are going to separate the two sides? If you’ve ever shaken a cocktail with a metal shaker, chances are the answer is yes since this is one of the most common shaker issues.

But don’t fret about getting to your delicious drink: Chris is about to give you the secret of professional bartenders and show you exactly how to open a stainless steel, two-piece Boston shaker!

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Boston Shaker, Copyright A Bar Above 2021

When you’re shaking a cocktail with ice, the temperature of your metal cocktail shaker will get really cold, causing the two tins to expand and get stuck. It’s inevitable. And while you want a tight seal, a stuck cocktail shaker is certainly a bummer, so below is an easy, step-by-step way to separate it. 

Note: You definitely want to avoid running your shaker tin under hot water because it will just heat up your ingredients– Yuck! (Cold water or a bowl of ice water , for that matter, won’t do much, either– It will just make your .)

Another Note: We’re only demonstrating how to open a Boston-style shaker today, not other types of cocktail shakers. This method won’t apply to glass shakers, a cobbler-style shaker with built-in strainer, or a Parisian shaker. 

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Hit the Boston Shaker at the Frost Band, Copyright A Bar Above 2021

STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS TO OPEN COCKTAIL SHAKERS:

         1. Take your two-piece Boston shaker in one hand, and point the larger metal cup down to the ground with the smaller metal tin on top

         2. With your thumb, ring, and pinkie fingers, grab the larger shaker, leaving your middle and pointer fingers free.

         3. Reach up your pointer and middle fingers and hold the top tin (the small shaker on top). 

Note: The trick is to put your fingers on the side that is more wedged together, not on the side that seems to have some space between the top and bottom tins.

         4. See the unfrosted ring at the top of the big shaker? With the palm of your other hand that is not holding the shaker, hit there. That’s the  sweet spot because that ring is where the two shakers meet and form a tight seal.

Note: Hit your palm on the side of the shaker cups that has a little more space, while simultaneously pushing with your middle and pointer fingers on the other side. Make sure to push and hit at the same time: If you don’t push with your fingers, you’ll simply hit the top shaker to the other side, and it will remain stuck.

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The Boston Shaker Should Pop Right Open, Copyright A Bar Above 2021

If you hit the bar shaker from one side while pushing from the other side, you will allow air to rush in between the two tins, cracking the airtight shaker seal. Your stuck Boston shaker should pop apart right away, but it might take you a couple tries to get it.

Even if you don’t immediately hit it apart, they should be loosened so you can wiggle the top tin back and forth a bit to remove it from the bottom tin (I speak from personal experience). 

Just like experienced bartenders, you’ll definitely get the hang of it quickly if you practice (which just means making more delicious cocktails). And if you’re lacking in the cocktail shaker department, you can grab our Boston shaker here, just like the one that Chris uses in the video.

All About the San Francisco Spirit Competition with Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Anthony Blue!

Boston Shaker, Copyright A Bar Above 2021

Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to open a Boston shaker: 

Let us know in the comments or in our Facebook group if this trick helped you open your closed shaker. Hopefully it did, and now you can enjoy your delicious, cold drink!

Melanie Tornroth

Melanie Tornroth

A former English teacher, Melanie optimistically embraces the struggle that is work-from-home parenthood as the in-house writer for A Bar Above. When not responding to “Mom” and writing articles for ABA, she also runs Goodnickels Photography, loves to cuddle her cats, and is perfecting the art of keeping her pandemic “fermentation babies” alive.