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Cocktail Shaker Guide

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Most cocktail and shooter recipes call for ingredients to be chilled and strained, which is why the time-tested cocktail shaker (or shaker tin) is perhaps as central to bartending as the bottle opener. Shaking allows for a thorough mix and a bit of water dilution as the cocktail chills. Stirring, on the other hand, is usually for drinks where extreme mixing or dilution is not wanted, or to prevent cloudiness in clear alcohols.
Modern style shakers date back to the mid 1800s, but precursors to the shaker have been used for literally thousands of years!

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Basic Cocktail Shaker Types
Just about every company that produces barware has a unique twist on the basic shaker, so let's just take a look at the most common styles of shakers here and how they are used. Remember: What works for you is the correct way. Speed and results make happy customers!

Shaker Tins & "Cheater Tins"

The most common choice for working bartenders

A variation of the Boston Shaker is using a 28 oz shaker tin with a typically smaller (16 oz) tin called a "cheater tin" which fits inside. Add ice to the larger tin, then ingredients, and insert the smaller tin, making sure you have a good seal. Shake for at least 10 seconds for a good mix. Use a wire or julep cocktail strainer to strain the liquids from the ice. Many of our tins are available with a weighted bottom for stability and for flair bartending. We created the Mako™ Shaker to get even more out of one mix—great for busy nights and large rounds! It actually caps over the 28 oz tin, doubling shake volume. We also carry two piece (French) shakers with matching, fitted pieces.

Mixing Glasses & The Traditional "Boston Shaker"

There's no school like the old school

Perhaps the oldest method of mixing chilled cocktails is using a tin in conjunction with a mixing glass. Mixing glasses are typically the size of one US Pint. Many these days feature printed volume indicators, which comes in handy with home bar setups where using jiggers aren't normal practice. Use two hands to ensure a tight seal! Some bartenders forgo the strainer and allow a small gap between the tin and glass to strain out ice, although this is easier with larger (home) ice cubes. For its price, many bars stock BarConic™ Mixing Glasses as a regular beer/soda glass. We carry both glass and plastic model mixing glasses.

Three Piece Shakers

Also known as a European Shakers or Cobbler Shakers

These shakers are the most ornate, diverse, and inventive of the group. And because they feature a convenient strainer built into the top, these shakers are the popular choice for home bars. The classic configuration consists of a large tin, a smaller mid-section with built-in strainer, and a cap to cover the strainer when shaking. Often the cap can be used as a jigger as well. Three piece shakers are made to fit securely together, so a good tip to remember is not to force your seal so tightly that the metal pieces get stuck together when chilled! Our three piece shakers range from light up novelty plastic ones to elegant, high-end master mixologist models.
Related Tools
Shaking alone doesn't make cocktails. If you need bar tools, we've got you covered.
Cocktail Strainers
A must for bartenders! Wire strainers, a.k.a. Hawthorne strainers, fit all common shaker tin sizes and provide best way to strain the cocktail from the ice.
Muddlers & Spoons
Stirring and mashing go right alongside shaking, as many drinks require special tools. Have a well-rounded cocktail tool collection.
Jiggers
Measuring is more than inventory control, it's being consistent with your recipes and meeting customer expectation. We carry standard and metric.
Shaker Mats (Bar Mats)
keep your counters clean and dry and maintain a sanitary environment with mats designed just for bartending.
Ice Handling
Avoid dipping your shaker into your ice. Using ice scoops or tongs isn't just clean, it's following FDA guidelines, so we offer bars plenty of choices.
Flair Accessories
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, we have flair bartenders covered. Be sure to check out our colored shaker tape!
Endless Options
Your bar tools can say more than you realize to your customers or guests, so express yourself!
Our shaker collection is huge! We carry the popular Vinylworks™ line of shaker tins, which adds waterproof grip and color. Create a matching set with Vinylworks™ bottle openers and strainers! Our cocktail shaker collection also features fun printed shakers, novelty designs, unique shapes and much more.

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