Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Lydia Martin
If you’ve ever enjoyed well-crafted cocktails like the Martini and Margarita, you know that the secret to a perfect drink lies in the details, like the type of cocktail shaker you use.
As a seasoned mixologist with years of experience in cocktail crafting, I can tell you that having the right shaker is essential.
So, if you’ve just started dabbling in the world of cocktail making or want to find out if you have the right tools in your arsenal, here are the different types of cocktail shakers to help you make fantastic drinks.
3 Types of Cocktail Shakers
1. Cobbler Shaker
Average Price: Starts at $15
Features & Specifications: The Cobbler shaker is a household favorite. Its user-friendly three-part design consists of a sturdy metal tin, a convenient strainer, and a well-measured metal cap.
“Shake up happiness, one cocktail at a time.” – Liquor Laboratory
However, the Cobbler shaker typically has a smaller cup, which means you can only make one cocktail at a time, and the built-in strainer tends to get clogged with fruit pulp.
How To Use It:
- Add your cocktail ingredients to the metal tin.
- Place the metal cap on top for a secure fit and mix.
- Remove the jigger cap and pour.
- Hold the built-in strainer to prevent ice chips from dropping into your drink.
- Comes in various sizes and styles
- Easy to use
- Comes with a built-in strainer
- Clean-up can be difficult (especially the strainer)
- Built-in strainer may allow larger particles to pass through
- Can only make one cocktail at a time
2. Boston Shaker
Average Price: Starts at $20
Features & Specifications: Many bartenders will tell you that the Boston shaker is the best. It is used in more professional settings because its large shaker tin allows you to make two stirred drinks simultaneously. 
The Boston shaker has two main components: a larger shaking metal tin and a smaller mixing glass tin, but it doesn’t include a built-in strainer and jigger.
One thing you should note with the Boston shaker is that you need to carefully place the glass tin on top of the metal tin and tap it firmly to create a tight seal. This sealing process will take some practice to master.
Lastly, while the Boston shaker can offer a sneak peek at your cocktail while you’re shaking it, the glass is prone to breaking.
How To Use It:
- Place the ingredients in the larger metal tin.
- Position the glass tin on top and seal it by tapping it securely.
- Shake vigorously to mix the ingredients.
- Tap or squeeze the larger metal tin to disjoin the two components.
- Faster preparation
- Recommended by professionals
- Can stir two beverages simultaneously
- Easy to clean and reuse
- Offers a cocktail sneak peek
- Can be challenging to seal and unseal for beginners
- Glass component is prone to breaking
- Additional accessories like a Hawthorne strainer and jigger are necessary
3. Parisian (French) Cocktail Shakers
Average Price: Starts at $30
Star Rating: ★★★
Features & Specifications: The Parisian, also known as the French-style shaker, is a rising star in the cocktail industry due to its elegant design.
The stylish Parisian shaker resembles the Cobbler in shape but lacks the built-in strainer like the Boston. It consists of two stainless steel parts, which can sometimes pose challenges when breaking the seal.
How To Use It:
- Add the ingredients to the smaller metal cup.
- Place the larger metal cup on top to create a seal.
- Mix the drink vigorously.
- Use your preferred method to strain ice and pour the cocktail into a glass.
- Stylish and elegant on your bar cart
- All-metal construction
- Quick, spill-free pouring
- Ideal for flair bartending
- Limited availability
- Slightly expensive
When choosing a shaker, consider the type of alcohol you’ll be using most frequently.
The Cobbler shaker is best suited for cocktails that require muddling and crushed ice, while the Parisian shaker is better for upscale spirits, where classy representation matters.
The capacity of the shaker matters. Those working at a busy bar will be better off with the Boston shaker, as its larger cup size will allow them to work on two drinks at once.
On the other hand, if you’re making drinks for yourself at your home bar, the traditional Cobbler shaker will suffice.
Quality cocktail shakers come in various price ranges, so find one that fits your budget without compromising essential features.
The choice of material is crucial for your cocktail shaker’s durability and aesthetics.
Those made from stainless steel are durable and easy to clean, and glass shakers, while more aesthetically pleasing, are more prone to cracking and breakage.
Explore popular brands known for producing high-quality tools that balance functionality and design.
Mixologists trust brands like OXO, Barfly, and Cocktail Kingdom for their reliability, functionality, and unique designs.
Consider the weight of the shaker. Weighted ones create tighter seals and are easier to handle during shaking.
The different types of cocktail shakers are highly dependent on your needs and level of expertise.
Cobblers are beginner-friendly, while the two-piece Boston shaker offers a larger capacity.
“The cocktail shaker is the conductor’s baton in the orchestra of mixology, creating harmonious symphonies of flavors.” – Audrey Saunders, Bartender
Lastly, consider a Parisian shaker if your main goal is style.
What are the two basic shakers that a bartender uses?
Bartenders commonly use the Boston shaker and the Cobbler shaker as their two basic shaker types.
Is a glass or metal cocktail shaker better?
It depends. Glass shakers offer visibility during shaking, which is excellent if aesthetics are your primary concern, while those made from metal are highly durable.
Can you use a glass jar as a cocktail shaker?
Yes, you can use a glass jar as a shaker, but remember, you won’t be able to seal glass jars effectively. We recommend investing in a proper shaker if you’re serious about cocktail-making.
To summarize, there are three main types of cocktail shakers, each with unique features.
The Cobbler shaker, with its all-in-one design and strainer, is an ideal choice for beginners. It simplifies the mixing process and eliminates the need for additional tools.
On the other hand, the Boston shaker is favored by professionals. The two-piece design allows for effective sealing, and the high-volume tin ensures you can make two drinks simultaneously.
Lastly, the Parisian shaker is a stylish hybrid that combines the aesthetics of the Cobbler with the functionality of the Boston.
Here’s a pro tip: Consider factors such as capacity requirements, expertise level, and design preferences to ensure your favorite drink turns out just right.