A cocktail shaker is a tool used by bartenders to mix cocktails. It can consist of two shaker tins– usually both stainless steel or one metal and one glass– or one container cup and a lid with a built-in strainer.
The ingredients for the cocktail are added to the container and then the lid or other cup is placed on top. The bartender then shakes the cocktail by hand to mix the ingredients together and aerate the drink, using a cocktail strainer or the built-in strainer to filter the drink into a serving glass.

Types Of Cocktail Shakers

There are two main cocktail shaker types: the Boston shaker set and the Bartender shaker or cobbler shaker.
cocktail shaker types

Copyright A Bar Above

Boston Shaker Set

The Boston shaker set is the most common type of cocktail shaker set used by bartenders. It consists of two cups: either two metal tins or one tin and one glass mixing glass.
To use a Boston shaker set, the bartender adds the ingredients for the cocktail to the small cup and then places the larger tin on top. The two parts are then sealed together, and the bartender shakes the cocktail by hand, vigorously, for 10-15 seconds.
One of the benefits of the Boston shaker set is that it is easy to use and requires minimal equipment. It is also versatile, as the metal tins can also be used as a mixing glass if needed.
However, one of the drawbacks of the Boston shaker set is that it can be difficult to open and close, especially if the ingredients are not properly measured or the cups do not fit together snugly. It also requires a separate strainer.
the boston shaker

Copyright A Bar Above

Bartender Shaker (AKA The Cobbler Shaker)

The bartender shaker, also known as a liquor shaker or cobbler, is a type of cocktail shaker that consists of a single container with a built-in strainer top and a lid. It is typically made of metal and has a tapered shape that allows it to be easily sealed and opened, theoretically speaking.
To use a bartender shaker, the bartender adds the ingredients for the cocktail to the container and then places the lid on top. The shaker is then sealed and shaken by hand to mix the ingredients together and aerate the drink.
One of the benefits of the bartender shaker is that it can be easy to open and close because you are just removing a cap, making it a convenient choice for busy bartenders; however, these caps often do get stuck– be sure to get a quality shaker set.
However, one of the drawbacks of the bartender shaker is that it is not as versatile as the Boston shaker set, as it cannot be used as a mixing glass. It is also not suitable for shaking cocktails that contain large chunks of fruit or ice, as these can get stuck in the strainer; the strainers themselves are usually not very high-quality, making most bartenders want to purchase a separate one anyway.
stainless steel cocktail shaker set with a cocktail

Copyright A Bar Above

What To Consider When Choosing A Cocktail Shaker

To ensure you choose the best cocktail shaker, it’s worth taking the time to identify the ideal one for you. Firstly, consider size, as it needs to be big enough to contain all of your ingredients and sufficiently tall for a comfortable shake.
Also, do you typically make one or two cocktails at a time? A Boston shaker generally holds two cocktails comfortably, while a cobbler shaker often can only hold one.
Second, choose a material that suits your lifestyle. If you’re regularly throwing cocktail parties or attending competitions, then a well-made stainless steel shaker may give you the edge; otherwise, a cheaper plastic option could make more sense for occasional use. A shaker made out of glass is functional but also more fragile.
Lastly, don’t forget about accessories – How does the lid fit? Does it come with jiggers or spoons? By keeping these three considerations in mind, you’ll surely find the perfect shaker for you!
cocktail shaker set

Copyright A Bar Above

So the next time you find yourself in the market for a new cocktail shaker, remember that there are two main types: the Boston shaker set and the bartender or cobbler shaker. Both types of cocktail shakers are used by bartenders to mix cocktails by hand and create a wide range of drinks, and they both have their benefits and drawbacks. Use this guide to help you decide which is better for you!