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How to shake a cocktail

Shaking a cocktail can be done in many different ways with many different cocktail shakers. Obviously, you use a cocktail shaker to mix the different ingredients for your cocktail, but a shaker is also used to cool and dilute your drink. Did you know that shaker usually creates at least 25% dilution?

We have listed 4 different types of cocktail shakers with their pros and cons. And, don't forget to watch the video to see how it's done!

Boston Shaker

The Boston shaker, also known as the 'Two-Piece shaker' is a well-known and widely used shaker under bartenders. For the home cocktail shaker, this shaker needs a little more training to use. The Boston shaker has two parts. The (metal) shaker or and the mixing glass or Boston. 

Boston shaker pros

  • Pours quick

  • Big enough to create multiple drinks

  • Allows you to see what you are pouring

  • Easy to clean

Boston shaker cons

  • Doesn't cool your drinks as good as a tin shaker

  • Glass is breakable

  • Needs a bit more training to use

Tin Tin Shaker

Both parts of the Boston shaker can be metal. In this case, we call the shaker a Tin Tin Shaker, from which the smaller past is called a cheater tin. The Tin Tin shaker is lighter than the Boston shaker and that makes it a bit easier to use. The biggest advantage of the Tin Tin shaker is that it will cool your cocktails much better.

Tin Tin shaker pros

  • Cools your cocktails better and faster

  • Pours quick

  • Big enough to create multiple drinks

  • Light weight

  • Easy to clean

Tin Tin shaker cons

  • Can be uncomfortable to handle when very cold

  • Doesn't allow you to see what you are shaking

How to use the Boston & Tin Tin shaker:

  1. Pour ingredients into Boston glass of smallest part of the Tin Tin shaker.

  2. Add ice.

  3. Slide the shaker over the Boston to make a straight-line on one side only.

  4. Give the shaker a firm tap to seal it. 

  5. Shake hard for ten seconds, above shoulder level, parallel to guest, holding both ends of shaker & Boston and pushing your hands together to keep it sealed.

  6. Hold the shaker & Boston in one hand, so the Boston glass or tin is on top and your fingers are on both the shaker and the Boston.

  7. Use the heel of your hand to hit the shaker where the gap widens between it and the Boston. Keep tapping lightly until the seal opens.

  8. Use a Hawthorne strainer to strain out the liquid, either straight-up or over fresh ice. Never re-use the ice you have shaken with! 

Optional: You can also use a second, fine-strainer to remove shards of ice and fruit pulp from the liquid.

Parisian Shaker

The Parisian shaker is by far the best-looking shaker. This French-style to piece shaker is also available in a copper edition to make it look even more fancy. The Parisian shaker is a mix between the Boston and the Cobbler shaker. As it has the shape of a Cobbler shaker, but it doesn't have a strainer inside. The Parisian shaker is perfect for 'dry shaking'.

Parisian shaker pros

  • Stylish

  • Easy to use

  • Cools your cocktail good and fast

Parisian shaker cons

  • Quite difficult to find (but you can get it here!)

  • No built-in strainer

How to use a Parisian shaker

  1. Pour ingredients into the shaker.

  2. Add ice and close with the cap.

  3. Shake hard for ten seconds, above shoulder level, parallel to guest, holding both ends of shaker & Boston and pushing your hands together to keep it sealed.

  4. Twist off the cap of the shaker.

  5. Use a Hawthorne strainer to strain out the liquid, either straight-up or over fresh ice. Never re-use the ice you have shaken with! 

Cobbler shaker

Also known as the 'Three-piece shaker'. It can be bought everywhere, very easy to use, but pours extremely slow and is (usually) too small to use in a large-scale bar. The cobbler shaker has three parts. The shaker (the largest part), the strainer (perforated part), and the cap (smallest part).

Cobbler shaker pros

  • All-in-one solution

  • Easy to use

  • Easy to obtain

Cobbler shaker cons

  • Pours very slow

  • Shaking a cocktail creates a vacuum in the vessel. This can make it hard to remove the cap

  •  Strainer is not adjustable 

How to use the cobbler shaker:

  1. Pour ingredients into the shaker.

  2. Add ice and close with the cap.

  3. Shake hard for ten seconds, above shoulder level, parallel to the guest, holding both ends of the shaker and pushing your hands together to keep it sealed.

  4. Twist off the cap of the shaker.

  5. Pour out the contents through the strainer, either straight-up or over fresh ice. Never re-use the ice you shook with!

Optional: You can also use a fine-strainer to remove shards of ice and fruit pulp from the liquid.

Want to learn more about making cocktails yourself? Find out more about our courses here!

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