Have you tried to make a cocktail at home using a regular drinking glass only to end up making a mess? If you're interested in making cocktails at home, you'll definitely need a cocktail shaker. Cocktail shakers make it easy to make professional-quality, chilled drinks without the risk of spills. However, it can be tricky to choose a shaker that suits your needs.
So if you need help finding some options, scroll down to our list of the 10 best products. One of our top picks is Cresimo's Cocktail Shaker Bar Set, which includes a durable stainless steel cocktail shaker and several other accessories you need to make drinks. At the end of this article, you'll find our buying guide with tips to help you choose the best product online. So read on!
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, an English-language drinks blog specializing in Japanese whisky, spirits, and Tokyo's cocktail culture. He has lived in Tokyo since 2008. He is a certified Cocktail Professor, SSI Shochu Kikisakeshi, and he provides consulting services for foreign spirits brands seeking to enter the Japanese market. Since 2021 he has served on the Executive Committee and as a judge for the Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition.
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Table of Contents
Now that you have some options in mind, it's time to make the best possible choice. You'll need to pay attention to crucial factors, such as the type, material, and capacity of a cocktail shaker. For more details, read on!
While you can definitely purchase a cocktail shaker by itself, a set with extra tools might come in handy. This is especially true if you've just started on your bartending journey. Also, buying a set is often more economical than buying each item separately.
A set usually comes with items such as a double-sided jigger for measuring, a strainer, a mixing spoon, and a few recipe cards. There are also some cocktail shakers that come with cocktail glasses.
If you're just starting out, it can be very convenient to just pick up a set that offers the basics. At the bare minimum, you'll want a shaker, jigger, bar spoon, and a mixing glass or tin with a strainer. As you gain more experience, you'll have a better idea of what kind of cocktails you want to make, so you can add or replace components of the set when the time comes.
The material of a shaker determines how quickly your drink can be chilled. Cocktail shakers are usually made of stainless steel, glass, or plastic. Read on to know the disadvantages and advantages of each!
Glass is a popular material for cocktail shakers. It's rust-proof and easy to clean. But it's brittle and easy to break, so handle it with care! Moreover, glass shakers don't chill as fast as metal ones and might feel quite heavy in your hand.
Still, a great point about glass is that it's transparent. You can see the color and ingredients of the drink, so you'll know whether or not you're making the right recipe.
Some glass shakers are graduated, making it easy to visually confirm measurements as you pour, rather than having to use a separate jigger. After you've added the necessary ingredients, add your ice, close things up, and shake away. With a glass shaker, you can also keep an eye on visual aspects of a cocktail like froth and color without having to open it up.
When it comes to durability, hardly any material can beat stainless steel. Products made of stainless steel also have a clean, sleek look that blends well with all kinds of home decor.
Stainless steel is a popular material for cocktail shakers because it chills your beverage the fastest. Moreover, it's rust-proof and can be used for a long time. But, one downside is that it gets very cold. Your hands might become chilly!
Keep in mind that not all stainless steel is created equal. 18/8 grade stainless steel is well-known for its durability and corrosion resistance, so it's an excellent choice for cocktail shakers.
Some products are also crafted from 304 stainless steel; this is basically 18/8 grade stainless steel with added carbon. The carbon helps strengthen the material, making 304 stainless steel harder and more durable.
Another common grade is 430. When it comes to stainless steel, the lower the grade the better. So 430 stainless steel is less corrosion-resistant than 304, but it's more affordable.
Cobbler shakers are traditionally made of stainless steel. If you're going after a classic look for your bar, stainless steel is the way to go. Because they chill drinks quickly, 12 to 20 seconds of shaking should be sufficient for most drinks. You'll know you're done shaking when the steel starts to get frosty and cold.
Plastic cocktail shakers are not used in professional bars, but they are a great option if you're just starting to make cocktails at home. They are affordable, less likely to break, and very lightweight.
One caveat of plastic is that it doesn't chill quickly. Plastic also stains easily and might absorb the flavor of your drinks. But like glass, plastic cocktail shakers are usually transparent and allow you to watch the shaking process inside.
Cocktail shakers can be divided into two kinds: Cobbler and Boston. Take the pros and cons of each type into consideration to choose a product that meets your skill level.
Cobbler shakers consist of three parts: a cap, built-in strainer, and container. Usually, the cap is about one or two ounces and can double as a measuring tool.
However, there are several caveats associated with this kind of shaker. First of all, the built-in strainers might get clogged with herbs or fruit. However, they do a great job of straining ice and keeping it inside.
As you chill the shaker, the metal gets cold and contracts around the lid area. So you might have a hard time separating the parts from each other. To solve this problem, run the shaker under warm water.
Nonetheless, if you're new to cocktail making, a Cobbler shaker is a great choice since it's simple to use, and you won't have to purchase any extra accessories.
In a fast-paced environment, like a bar or big party, professional bartenders have to make several drinks quickly. They don't want to waste time trying to open a stuck cocktail shaker, so professionals rarely use Cobbler shakers.
Instead, most bartenders and cocktail apprentices rely on Boston shakers. They feature an unweighted tin and a weighted shaker, or a tin and a shaker glass, but there's no built-in strainer.
Therefore, you'll need to purchase a hawthorn strainer separately and position it inside the tin to strain out ice shards, herbs, and fruit. Still, a Hawthorne strainer clogs a lot less than a built-in strainer. It also provides more surface area for the liquid to pour out.
Boston models tend to have a higher volume than Cobbler shakers, allowing you to make several cocktails at once. Boston shakers are also easy to clean and are ready to be re-used in a matter of minutes. Plus, it's less likely to freeze shut during use, unlike Cobbler shakers.
However, it might take a bit more skill to use. You have to place the two tins carefully to create a water-tight seal to prevent leaks. To separate the two parts, simply tap the side of the container. If you try to take the two parts off hastily, your cocktail might splash.
If you're purchasing a cocktail shaker for a busy bar or big party, you'll want a product with a large capacity. 20 ounces will help you make more than two drinks at once. Most bars use 28-ounce shakers since they provide enough room to add ice and extra ingredients, helping bartenders make multiple drinks quickly.
However, cocktail shakers with a large capacity might be challenging to handle. For a home bar, opt for a cocktail shaker of around 16 to 18 ounces to help you make around two drinks at a time.
There are also mini cocktail shakers that hold around eight ounces of liquid. These are ideal for mixing up a single drink.
Ordinarily, you'll fill your shaker to most of its capacity with ice to ensure your liquid contacts plenty of ice surface area.
If the shaker is too small, you won't be able to make multiple drinks at once. If the shaker is too large, you may end up going through ice very quickly. For most home bars, a shaker that has the capacity to hold two cocktails' worth of liquid should be sufficient.
Shaking cocktails often results in cold hands! Metal shakers are particularly infamous for giving you frozen hands. Even though you'll probably get used to the cold with practice, there are many products with double- and even triple-walled construction to keep your hands from freezing.
However, these shakers might feel hefty in your hand. They are also somewhat hard to clean since liquid could get between the walls and just sit there.
On the other hand, regular cocktail shakers might be tough to deal with at first, but they are much easier to clean than insulated ones. There is also a simple trick to protect your hands from becoming frozen: use a towel while shaking.
To prevent spills and leaks, the lid needs to fit perfectly on top of the shaker. But it's tough to know how they fit together since you're buying online, so screen through the reviews to see what people think.
Some Boston shakers are designed with a rubber gasket, giving you a good seal to make sure that nothing spills while you shake your cocktails. This rubber gasket is often removable for easy cleaning. But it can be annoying to work with since it tends to slip off the shaker while you're making your cocktail.
Some Cobbler products feature a screw-on top with a silicone seal to avoid spilling. Thankfully, this kind of top can be taken off easily.
While cobbler shakers may not break easily, they can warp, potentially leading to imperfect seals and thus leakage during shaking. And the lids are typically placed atop the strainer head of the cobbler shaker, rather than screwed or snapped on, so you'll want to hold it on with your thumb as you shake.
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Cocktail Shaker Bar Set
Overall Best Shaker for the Large Capacity and Included Extras
Insulated Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker
Best Triple-Insulated Cocktail Shaker That Doubles as a Tumbler
Mixology & Craft
Boston Shaker Set
Best Cocktail Shaker Set That Fits in a Can
Cocktail Shaker Set
Best Weighted Boston Shaker
Dublin Martini Shaker
Best Glass Cocktail Shaker With a Diamond Design
Good Grips Cocktail Shaker
Best for Easy Measuring With the Jigger Cap
Cocktail Shtainless Steel Wine Shaker
Best Mini Cocktail Shaker for Single Servings
Glass Cocktail Shaker
Best Glass Shaker Screw-on Lid That Prevents Leakage Effectively
Best for the Sleek Design With a Shiny Finish
Recipe Cocktail Shaker
Best Plastic Cocktail Shaker With Recipes
This product comes with everything you need to start making a delicious drink. The stainless-steel cocktail shaker has a large 24-ounce capacity to make multiple cocktails at once. It also has a built-in strainer to prevent fruit chunks or herbs from getting into your drinks. Plus, the set includes a bar spoon, cocktail recipe booklet, and double jigger.
Most confirmed that the top and the bottom fitted snugly together, but some said due to the tight seal, it was hard to separate them. Nevertheless, the majority of reviewers were impressed with the solid construction of the cocktail shaker, and they added that it was easy to clean since there were no little nooks and crannies.
This sturdy triple-insulated stainless steel cocktail shaker can keep your drinks cold without chilling your hands. It has a 20-ounce capacity, so it holds about two drinks. On top of that, it can be converted to a tumbler! After you've finished making your cocktail, simply put the drinking lid on the shaker and enjoy.
Some reviewers complained that the lid came off while shaking. Nevertheless, the majority were pleased with the durable construction of this cocktail shaker and mentioned that it made a great gift. They also liked that it doubled as a tumbler. Reviewers also appreciated that its insulated body didn't leave their hands frozen while shaking.
Durable 430-grade stainless steel material to
28-ounce weighted bottom cup and 18-ounce shaker cup
Includes many accessories, including a double-sided jigger, a strainer, a storage container, and recipe cards
This Boston shaker is made of 430-grade stainless steel that is highly corrosion-resistant and durable. This set contains all the necessary accessories such as a double-sided jigger, a Hawthorne strainer, and some recipe cards, all of which stack together into a neat canister.
A couple of buyers noted that the jigger they got was too small. Still, many said the top and bottom fit nicely together, so most people didn't notice any leakage. Many buyers also tried running the shaker and accessories through the dishwasher and said there were no issues.
This cocktail shaker is made up of two sturdy stainless steel cups that are gold-plated for extra glamor and durability. They form a tight seal while shaking to prevent leakage. Plus, both parts are weighted to provide extra stability. Keep in mind that they should be hand-washed only.
Since these cups are made of metal, they can get cold to the touch during shaking. However, the simple design makes them easy to use. You can also purchase matching accessories, like tongs and strainers, to complete your set.
This diamond glass cocktail shaker will be a luxurious addition to your home bar. Since it's transparent, you can keep an eye on the ingredients and color of your beverage. And with a 17-ounce capacity, it's large enough to hold about two drinks.
Some buyers struggled to remove the lid, and the bottom broke off while shaking in a few cases. However, the majority of buyers raved about the beautiful design and said this product makes a great gift. They also mentioned that the rubber gasket sealed the lid securely to prevent spills.
This cocktail shaker has a built-in strainer to prevent ice or herbs from getting into your drink. On top of that, the cap functions as a jigger marked with three quarters, one, and one and a half-ounce pours for easy measuring. Another plus point is that this cocktail shaker is dishwasher-safe.
Some people said since the shaker wasn't insulated, it became really cold when shaking, so you might want to use a towel. On another note, buyers were satisfied with its sturdy construction. Moreover, the jigger cap fits securely into place on the shaker, so reviewers were able to shake beverages as strenuously as needed without spilling or dripping.
This stainless-steel eight-ounce cocktail shaker is perfect for mixing up a single drink. It's also small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so you can easily make a cocktail one-handed.
Buyers noted that if you like to use a lot of ice, this might be too small even for one drink. However, most people loved that the compact size made it great for travel or camping. Many reviewers also said the stainless steel material was durable and easy to clean.
This cocktail shaker has two main parts: a glass container and a plastic strainer lid to filter ice and other ingredients. And about 20 ounces, it can hold more than two drinks and is great for making a few cocktails. It's also easy to take apart after shaking.
According to one reviewer, this cocktail shaker broke after putting it in the dishwasher. So, consider handwashing instead. However, many reviewers loved the screw-on top with the rubber gasket that sealed completely to prevent spills. They also liked that this cocktail shaker was made of glass, as this material didn't freeze their hands like metal.
This 24-ounce cocktail shaker is coated with a black mirror finish for a unique and chic look. Moreover, it's crafted from durable and stain-resistant stainless steel. Its three pieces are also easy to assemble and clean.
A few buyers said the black finish chipped off. On the other hand, many reviewers loved that this product was leakproof and well-built. They further mentioned that the size was ideal for mixing about two drinks at a time.
This plastic shaker is a great choice for those who are new to bartending. There are six cocktail recipes on the shaker's body, allowing you to make your favorite drink without having to look up a recipe online. Plus, it has a strainer and comes with a built-n jigger.
A few buyers struggled to open and close the lid. Still, the majority of reviewers loved the recipes and praised the durable plastic. Many reviewers also liked that the body was clear, so they could see the contents inside.
In addition to reviewing and commenting on our buying guide, Whiskey Richard also took the time to answer a commonly asked question about cocktail shakers.
"Stainless steel shakers can sometimes get stuck because the ice inside causes the metal to contract," Whiskey Richard explains. "While this certainly helps your shaker retain a seal and not leak during shaking, it can sometimes be hard to separate the pieces after shaking.
For a Boston shaker, a good slap with the palm of your hand in the area of the seal should be sufficient. For a Cobbler shaker, the goal is also to break the vacuum seal."
Are you ready to whip up amazing drinks at home and wow your guests? We have a few product guides that can help make your home bar look much more professional.
If you haven't found a good option for yourself after reading our list of suggestions, check out Amazon's best-selling cocktail shakers!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Cresimo｜Cocktail Shaker Bar Set
No. 2: BrüMate｜Insulated Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker
No. 3: Mixology & Craft ｜Boston Shaker Set
No. 4: Koriko｜Cocktail Shaker Set
No. 5: Godinger｜Dublin Martini Shaker
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