The image of the cocktail shaker is a quite common sight in luxury bars. You might have often seen bartenders playing around with this fancy tool countless times. But if you’re planning to buy one for your home, you might be a bit confused!
You might think, “what are the types of this tool? “, or “How do I use one, once I buy it”?
Well, do not worry! Just read this guide to know all the answers!
For starters, let’s begin with what the cocktail shaker is?
Cocktail Shaker: Basics
The cocktail shaker generally comes in a two-piece or three-piece body, that comprises of a smaller glass and a bigger glass. These glasses are placed atop one another and secured with a cap. The ingredients are poured inside, and the bartender shakes the tool vigorously to mix the ingredients as per the recipe.
Mainly, the purpose of the cocktail shaker is to do three things -
- Mixing Cold Beverages
You all have beverages before, right? For example, when you’re adding sugar in a cool drink, you stir it with a spoon to help it dissolve. But, have you noticed just how long it takes for the sugar to completely dissolve?
This is because the beverage is cold. With cold liquid, melting ingredients within it take a long time. This is why the cocktail shaker came into the scene to hasten up the stirring procedure. The reason being the ice inside the shaker doubles up as a blender ball.
Therefore, due to the continual movements while shaking the ice helps in melting all the ingredients super-fast.
- Fast Dilution
If you’re a frequent drinker, you will know that cocktails need to be diluted well before they are deemed drinkable. This is why, if you follow a cocktail recipe and mix it normally, you’ll find the taste is too strong.
Thus, to prevent a cocktail from being pungent and strong, the cocktail shaker can help. The reason being the cocktail shaker normally has ice, which dilutes once the ingredients are mixed. This results in 25-40% water dilution that makes the drink less strong and tasty.
- Super-Chilled Drink
Another purpose of the cocktail shaker is to chill the drinks. How fast does it work? Well, imagine stirring sugar in an iced tea. By the time the sugar dissolves, your cocktail shaker has already mixed 3 drinks.
That's right! The cocktail shaker is very good at chilling lukewarm ingredients like booze very fast. What's more? The ice being the blender ball quickly moves across all the ingredients and chills the beverage very quick.
Well, now that we are done with what the cocktail shaker is and its purpose, time to address the topic at hand.
Choosing the Right Cocktail Shaker and Tips to Use it!
1) The Boston Shaker
If you have something retro in mind, then pick the 19th century inspired Boston Shaker. This one has a larger cup and a smaller cup sealed together with a cap. The two cups are generally made of steel and glass.
Stainless steel is stylish, durable and less susceptible to breakage. Now, among the two cups, one or both might be ‘weighted.’ This weight adds support and rigidity and makes it easier for beginners to use this cocktail shaker.
Tips to use the Boston Shaker:
- Combine all the ingredients in the smaller cup.
- Fill the larger cup with ice and quickly place it over the smaller cup to prevent spillage. Once done tap lightly at the top of the cup to create some space between the two cups.
- Lift the shaker and place one hand at the top, and one hand holding the bottom. Now, ensure to keep the smaller cup at the top and the larger cup at the bottom.
- Shake the mixture for around 12 seconds and then break the seal between the two cups by tapping the base can with your palm.
- Before serving place a strainer at the mouth of the bottom shaker and strain the mixture into the glass.
- Once done, thoroughly rinse the shaker with soap and water and leave it to dry.
Now, for a beginner, the Boston shaker can be time-consuming to use. However, it is very stylish and will add a retro touch to your home bar. You can opt for a copper or a stainless-steel Boston shaker for best results.
But, before investing in the Boston shaker, here are a few of its cons. One of its biggest cons is that it comes without a strainer. However, you can easily invest in a Hawthrone strainer for best results. Additionally, as one of the cups of the Boston shaker is made of glass, there can be chances of breakage. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when using this one.
2) The Cobbler Shaker
If you want a cocktail shaker that is easy to handle and ideal for beginners, then you should consider the Cobbler shaker. This one flaunts a 3-piece body and comes with a metal cap and a built-in strainer.
Tips to use the Cobbler Shaker:
- Place all the ingredients in the base of the shaker.
- Now, fill two-thirds of the container with ice and secure the smaller cup over the larger one.
- Pick up the closed shaker with one hand at the bottom and one at the top. Now, shake vigorously until there is a hint of a frost formation.
- After the stainless-steel glass is showing enough frost, take the container and place it over a glass. The in-built strainer will strain the liquid and you can serve it to guests with ease.
As mentioned above, the cobbler shaker is quite a beginner friendly. It is easy to put together, and thanks to the built –in-strainer, it can easily strain a liquid and create a smooth drink.
However, if you’re buying the cobbler shaker, you need to know of a few disadvantages. Unlike the Boston shaker, this one does not come with a sealing option. Therefore, there can be chances of liquid leaking if not placed in the right amount. Additionally, if you aren’t buying the Cobbler shaker from a reputed store, there can be issues with the strainer.
This is why expert bartenders still prefer to buy a strainer, even if they are using a Cobbler shaker. Well, there you have it, there two most popular cocktail shaker for beginners along with tips to use them. So, depending on your need and level of expertise, invest in a good cocktail shaker from any reputed online store.
A pro buying tip is not to pick the least costly one. These usually do not offer genuine quality metal and can often end up breaking. For best results, go for stainless steel or copper-coated cocktail shakers from reliable websites. You can also check out online stores like Ellementry! This website has a good collection of cocktail shakers and barware!