Last updated: August 9, 2021

Welcome to our big cocktail shaker test 2021. Here we present all the cocktail shakers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best cocktail shaker for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a cocktail shaker.




Summary

  • Cocktail shakers help you prepare cocktails quickly. With a shaker, you can mix delicious drinks in summer and winter in no time at all.
  • There are two types of cocktail shakers: two-piece shakers without an integrated strainer and three-piece shakers with an integrated strainer.
  • Using a cocktail shaker requires some practice, but with the right accessories, you can make a wide variety of cocktails in a way that only professionals behind the bar can.

The Best Cocktail Shaker: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Cocktail Shaker

What makes a good cocktail shaker?

Of course, you can mix any cocktail by hand if you want to. But in order for the best possible flavour to develop in the mixture, preparation with a cocktail shaker is almost essential.

The selection of cocktail shakers is large in terms of manufacturer, shape and colour. However, the various models sometimes differ greatly in quality. Therefore, before you buy, you should definitely find out which features make a good cocktail mixer.

Cobbler shakers are very suitable for beginners, as the preparation of cocktails is easier. In addition, larger quantities can be prepared better in a cobbler shaker, as the Boston Shaker cannot be closed if the filling level is too high. (Photo: fedorkodratenko / 123RF.com)

Most cocktail shakers are made of stainless steel, some of metal and even PVC. A stainless steel cocktail shaker is the most expensive option, but also the best choice in terms of quality. Strikingly cheap cocktail shakers, i.e. those costing less than 10 euros, tend to leak. However, tightness is one of the most important criteria for a good cocktail shaker, so that nothing leaks out during shaking.

Before buying, you should consider which functions your own mixer should have. In addition, the possible types should be researched on the Internet. So that the right mixer can be purchased.

Boston shakers consist of a glass part and a metal part, the metal contracts when it comes into contact with the cold and an attraction is created between the two components. Such a construction is therefore quite tight.

However, models with plastic coating can quickly become leaky and are therefore not recommended.

How much do cocktail shakers cost and where can they be bought?

The prices for a cocktail shaker range between 6 and 50 euros, so there are very big differences. Generally speaking, you can expect good quality cocktail shakers from 20€. Since many cocktail shakers are offered for sale as a set on the internet, you should calculate the price accordingly.

You can find cocktail shakers in all common online shops such as amazon or ebay, but also in more specialised online shops.

Did you know that "James Bond's Martini" is also called Bradford?

This is shaken, not stirred - as Bond specifies in each case.

What types of Cocktail Shakers are there and which is the right one for you?

There are basically three types of cocktail shakers, which differ mainly in their construction:

  • Boston shaker
  • French shaker
  • Cobbler-Shaker

The main difference is that the Boston shaker and the French shaker are two-piece, while the Cobbler shaker is three-piece. This means that the Boston shaker and French shaker lack the bar strainer that is obligatory for preparation.

The bar strainer ensures that the ice cubes remain in the shaker for mixing. So if you buy the Boston shaker, you also have to buy a bar strainer. The three-part cocktail shakers already have a built-in strainer.

Two-piece shakers only consist of a metal cup, usuallystainless steel in the case of the Boston shaker, and a mixing glass.

The advantage of metal is that it heats up or cools down quickly and thus contracts slightly, which strengthens the bond between the glass part and the metal cup.

In the Boston shaker, the metal cup is placed across the mixing glass for shaking, while in the French shaker both parts fit exactly into each other. Otherwise, the models are very similar.

Three-part shakers consist of a metal cup, a lid and an attachment with a built-in strainer that fits exactly into the metal cup. The closing flap corresponds approximately to the content of a shot and can therefore also be used as a measure.

Both versions, two-part and three-part, have their advantages and disadvantages. It is practical to find a strainer already built in. At least you can't make a mistake, such as not attaching the strainer tightly enough so that the liquid runs out during mixing. This is likely to happen quite often if you are a beginner at shaking.

Nevertheless, despite the supposed disadvantage, the two-part Boston sh aker is the most widely used model, because with a separate strainer it is easier to keep the cocktail shaker clean. With a built-in strainer, dirt can accumulate more easily, but if the strainer can be removed, as with the Boston sh aker, cleaning is much easier.

Advantages
  • Easy to open
  • Does not clog like a built-in strainer
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Extra purchase of a strainer
  • You have to shake with both hands
  • Mug can open if the bar strainer is not attached tightly enough

In addition, a model with a built-in strainer may require you to hold the shaker under warm water after shaking to get it open at all. This is due to the air inside the shaker cooling down, which creates a strong negative pressure.

The cobbler shaker is generally easier to handle and is more often used by laymen, because here it is enough to shake the cocktail shaker with one hand. This is not possible with the Boston sh aker due to its construction. Nevertheless, the Boston sh aker is the most popular model among professional bartenders.

Advantages
  • Better foaming
  • One-handed operation
  • Contents do not spill
Disadvantages
  • Hard to clean
  • Often difficult to open after shaking

How you interpret the advantages and disadvantages is up to you. With a little practice, shaking with both three-part shakers and two-part shakers should not be a problem, so the biggest difference, apart from the handling, is still in the cleaning of the shakers.

Buying Criteria: You can use these Factors to compare and evaluate Cocktail Shakers

There is a lot to consider when buying cocktail shakers. Depending on the type, material or accessories, the cocktail shaker is used differently and has different advantages and disadvantages. To help you make the right decision, here are the most important criteria for choosing the right cocktail shaker.

Material

The material is one of the most important features of a cocktail shaker. The right tightness is enormously important for preparing cocktails. Most cocktail shakers are made of stainless steel. This material has the property of contracting when exposed to cold. This creates suction pressure and the metal and the shaker's mixing glass adhere firmly to each other.

It is not advisable to use cocktail shakers that have additional plastic components, as this reduces the suction pressure mentioned above and there is a risk that the shaker will leak.

The advantage of stainless steel is that it is rust-proof, so most cocktail shakers have this property. Other features you can look for when buying are:

Suitable for the dishwasher

Most shakers are, but some are not, depending on the material. You can find out whether the cocktail shaker is suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher from the specifications for each product.

Capacity

Most cocktail shakers have a similar capacity of between 0.5l and 0.8l. The diameter ranges between 8cm and 9cm, the height between 20cm and 30cm. Cocktail shakers that are far outside this range in height and diameter should not be considered for purchase. Otherwise, it depends on your preferences how big the shaker should be, most models have a very similar capacity anyway.

Use

A cocktail shaker is indispensable for every bar and disco. For the private user, using a cocktail shaker is first of all a new experience and it takes some practice until one masters the use of the shaker perfectly. Many criteria are important here: Can the cocktail shaker be used one-handed or do I need both hands? Does the shaker already include a strainer or do I need to install a bar strainer for mixing?

The simple two-piece Boston shaker is the classic among professionals.

All offers that include the Boston shaker are therefore suitable for professional use. It doesn't matter whether the offer is sold as a set and includes other accessories, what matters is the shaker itself.

What is the reason for this? When using the Boston shaker, the strainer itself must be installed. This allows for more flexibility and prevents the shaker from clogging. In addition, although the Boston shaker has to be operated with both hands, it is still easier to use. Thus, the bartender does not necessarily gain more time by shaking with only one hand and possibly already preparing another cocktail with the other.

All other shakers, whether two-part or three-part, can be used equally well in private. It all depends on your previous experience and your will. Is handy use important to you? Then perhaps you prefer a shaker that can be operated with one hand and already has a built-in strainer, otherwise there is a risk of not closing the shaker tightly enough. Or are you interested in easier cleaning? Then perhaps you would prefer a Boston shaker.

Accessories and equipment

Every cocktail shaker already consists of a stainless steel container and a stirring glass or mixing glass. Metal cup and glass are put together to mix the ingredients and ice cubes in the shaker. The mixing glass is also used to stir cocktails like a martini or to prepare others in layers. The metal cup and stirring glass are elementary components of every cocktail shaker.

It is important that the accessories are easy to clean and can possibly be washed in the dishwasher.

The two-part cocktail shakers, such as the Boston shaker or the French shaker, consist only of these components. To ensure that the cooling ice remains in the shaker when preparing a cocktail, a strainer must also be used. So you have to buy a strainer separately if you decide on a two-part cocktail shaker. Very few models of this type that you can buy on the internet come with such a strainer.

Three-piece cocktail shakers or cobbler shakers already have a built-in strainer, so you don't need to buy a strainer here.

Both models have their advantages and disadvantages; a two-piece shaker without a strainer is easier to clean, while a three-piece shaker with a built-in strainer does not need to be closed. Both models, two-piece or three-piece, perform equally well, it also depends on all the other criteria when choosing a cocktail shaker.

Besides this elementary difference, there is a lot of other additional material that comes with the purchase of a cocktail shaker. Here I introduce you to the other accessories:

Scale

Every cocktail shaker has a stirring glass, and with some models you can also use it as a measuring cup. Of course, this requires an attached scale, which not every shaker has.

Bar pestle

The bar pestle is used to crush various herbs such as mint or fruit. It is therefore only really necessary for a limited range of cocktails.

Bar spoon

The bar spoon is usually 20cm to 24cm long and is necessary for most cocktails. It is used, as the name suggests, to stir cocktails. The style is usually twisted in a spiral and thus enables very fast movements when stirring. In addition, the bar spoon can also be used to prepare cocktails that have to be built in layers - to do this, you let the liquids run along the style into the glass. In addition, the bar spoon serves as a measure: one BL corresponds to 0.5cl and thus to about one teaspoon.

Measuring jug

The normal mixing glass, which every cocktail shaker has, can also function as a measuring cup with the appropriate scale. However, some cocktail sets also include an extra measuring cup or jigger. The measurement usually corresponds to 2cl to 4cl. Double measuring cups are two cups attached to each other, each with different measurements.

Ice crusher

There are two types of ice crushers: those that crush the ice cubes electrically and those that do it manually. With electric ice crushers, the ice cubes are crushed into finer ice pieces, but the pieces can also become mushy. If you are looking for a cocktail shaker for professional use, an electric ice crusher makes more sense because of its speed.

Manual ice crushers are better suited for private use, as you have enough time to crush the ice. Electric ice crushers, on the other hand, may be more suitable for professional use.

Seal

Some cocktail shakers have an additional seal in the form of a rubber ring on the rim of the mixing glass. As already mentioned, the main seal in the shaker is created by the suction pressure between the metal cup and the glass. A rubber seal is therefore not absolutely necessary and is also included in very few shakers, but it does not affect the quality either.

Did you know that 'to toast' has a historical background?

The ancient Romans put a piece of bread in their glass of wine to stay healthy. Friends also put a piece of bread in their wine and that's how 'to toast' came about.

Automatic

Most cocktail shakers are shaken by hand and this is also what makes the art of mixing cocktails. However, there are also automatic cocktail shakers where the shaking process is generated electrically. These models usually also switch off by themselves.

However, such shakers are a rarity and are not recommended, as the preparation for each cocktail is individual and the duration and strength of the shaking is best determined with the hands.

Other extras

The normal components, i.e. metal cup and stirring glass including strainer, are usually quite sufficient for private use. Especially the two-part Boston shakers are usually delivered without any accessories. However, there are also many sets that include several of the materials listed above. The accessories, unlike the manufacturing material, do not indicate the quality of the shaker itself.

Therefore, you should not be blinded by an extensive set of accessories. How important the accessories are to you depends on the variety of cocktails you want to prepare. Since Boston shakers are classics in professional use and also stand for very good quality, it can make sense in this case to purchase the accessories separately, even if this can be more expensive.

Facts worth knowing about Cocktail Shakers

How do you mix a cocktail with a cocktail shaker?

There are different ways to prepare a cocktail. Some cocktails are layered into the shaker, some are mixed with a pestle or muddler, such as a gin and tonic, and some are mixed with a shakenlike a gin and tonic, and some are made with a muddler stirredlike a martini, and many cocktails are shaken. For the last two, a cocktail shaker is used.

For thin-bodied cocktails, it is usually sufficient to simply stir the liquids, as shaking and the air bubbles that are created in the process could make them cloudy and unwanted ice shavings could get into the cocktail.

Cocktails must be shaken if they contain thick ingredients such as liqueurs, eggs or citrus juices. Especially with cocktails containing eggs or cream, the shaker often needs to be shaken for longer in order to achieve foam formation. For all other cocktails, it is usually sufficient to shake for only about 15 to 20 seconds. The cocktail will then reach a temperature of about minus 5 to minus 8 degrees.

If you are not sure how to use the mixer correctly, you can also research on the internet

It doesn't really matter how you shake, because it has little effect on the dilution and cooling of the ingredients. In Japan, for example, the hard sh ake technique is practised. Here, the pieces of ice are first broken up during the shake, and the cocktail is supposed to become particularly cold through this method.

The dry shake is used to create more foam, for example in cocktails containing cream or eggs. The ingredients are first shaken without ice, then the ice cubes are added and everything is shaken again.

It is important to pay attention to the order in which you put the ingredients into the shaker: First the ice cubes, then the juices, liqueur, alcohol or whatever you need for your cocktail. Then place the metal or stainless steel cup diagonally over the mixing glass so that both cups adhere firmly to each other. Now shake as long as necessary (depending on the ingredients).

Then put the shaker down with the metal cup and open the mixing glass with a tap at the point where the two parts are joined together. This can also be done by knocking the shaker against the edge of a table and pressing it against the glass.

The cocktail is then poured into the glass. First pour the liquid through a sieve so that the ice cubes remain in the shaker. It doesn't sound difficult, but it does take some practice.

What are the most popular cocktails?

The spectrum of popular cocktails ranges from exotic and summery like a Caipirinha, Pinha Colada or Mojito to frosty like a White Russian or spicy like a Bloody Mary.

Other popular cocktails are the sophisticated Cosmopolitan and Manhattan, the southern Cuba Libreand the fruity classic Sex on the Beach.

Most cocktails are mixed with rum, vodka or whiskey and fruity ingredients. The range of possible mixtures is inexhaustible, and so there is something for every taste in the above-mentioned classics.

Here is an overview of the most popular cocktails and the ingredients used in them:

Cocktail taste ingredients
Caipirinha fresh, fruity, exotic, slightly sour but also sweet 5 cl Cachaca, lime, 2 tsp white or brown cane sugar, crushed ice
Pinha Colada exotic, sweet, creamy 6 cl white rum, 10 cl pineapple juice, 4 cl thick coconut cream, 2 cl whipped cream, ice cubes
Mojito tart and sweet, fresh, exotic, possibly slightly bitter 5 cl white Cuban rum, 2.5 cl lime juice, fresh mint leaves, 3 tsp white cane sugar, soda water
White Russian frosty, creamy, slightly sweet-tart 3 cl vodka, 3 cl coffee liqueur, 5 cl cream or milk
Bloody Mary hot, spicy, tangy 2 cl vodka, 6 cl tomato juice, 2 cl lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestersauce, salt, pepper
Sex on the Beach exotic, fruity, very sweet 4 cl vodka, 2 cl peach liqueur, 2 cl lemon juice, 1 cl grenadine, 4 cl orange juice, 2 cl pineapple juice
Cuba Libre refreshing, sweet 4 cl white Cuban rum, 1 glass cola, lime wedges, ice cubes
Cosmopolitan strong, aromatic, slightly tart, sweet and sour 2 cl vodka, 1 cl Cointreau, 1 cl lime juice, 2 cl cranberry juice, lime wedges, crushed ice
Manhattan aromatic, sweet 4 tbsp Canadian whisky, 2 tbsp red vermouth, 1 drop Angostura, 1 cocktail cherry, ice cubes

You can vary the proportions of the ingredients according to your taste or search for other recipes on the internet.

What are the classic ingredients for cocktails?

If you already have a cocktail shaker at home, you will certainly want to use it as often as possible. So that you don't have to run to the supermarket in a panic before every planned party, you could read here about the classic ingredients for various cocktails that you can always use.

Juices: Orange juice, cherry juice, lemon juice, maracuja juice, pineapple juice...anything that starts with a fruit and ends with juice is always good to have. After all, juices are the flavourful essence of your cocktail.

Fruits: See above...oranges, cherries, lemons, pineapples, why not strawberries and bananas...you can squeeze fresh juice from fruits yourself and attach individual slices to the cocktail glass as decoration and an additional treat.

Liqueurs: Besides juices, liqueurs are also the essence of your cocktails. Frequently used liqueurs are, for example, peach liqueur, orange liqueur and amaretto.

Alcohol: Of course, there are endless non-alcoholic cocktails that taste delicious, but for many classic cocktails, alcohol cannot be missing. Drinks like vodka, gin, tequila and rum can be used for many cocktails.

Ice: An iced cocktail tastes even better than it already does. Just buy an ice mould, fill it with water, put it in the freezer and you'll always have enough ice cubes for your cocktails.

What other accessories are useful for mixing cocktails?

The cocktail shaker already does most of the work for you, but the professional self-made bartender has a number of accessories that make mixing cocktails even easier. Here is a brief overview:

Measuring cup: An essential device if you want to measure out the liquids for your cocktail exactly.

Muddler: Muddler means pestle and helps you to crush ingredients such as herbs, mint or limes.

Bar spoon: With the long stainless steel spoon, you can not only stir your cocktails, but also measure your quantities of ingredients with the unit of measurement, which roughly corresponds to that of a teaspoon. For layered cocktails, the bar spoon also helps you to pour the liquids into the glass layer by layer. An all-round talent!

Stirringglass: As the name suggests, a stirring glass is used for cocktails that only need to be stirred, such as a martini.

Ice crusher: An ice crusher is used to crush the ice cubes for the cocktail. To do this, they are poured into the top of the ice crusher and broken into small pieces by cranking. The ice cubes are then removed from the bottom of the drawer with a small scoop.

All these are not absolutely necessary materials for making cocktails, but they make your work even easier and turn you into real professionals.

History of the Cocktail Shaker

For a long time, cocktails were not shaken, but merely stirred or poured from one glass into another until the ingredients had mixed enough - the so-called "rolling", which was even elevated to a real art.

It was not until the middle of the 19th century that it became customary to shake the cocktail in two glasses or tumblers placed inside each other. This is also how the Boston shaker came into being, in which the ingredients were shaken in a metal cup and a mixing glass.

The three-part cobbler sh aker with a built-in strainer and closing flap also came into being during this period. The first patent was registered in 1872 for the "Apparatus for Mixing Drink" by William Harnett from New York. In 1882, the Boston shaker was mentioned for the first time in Harry Johnson 's "Batender's Manual", and E.J. Hauck patented the first three-piece shaker in 1884.

The first mention of cocktails was in the first half of the 19th century, and the art of cocktail shaking became particularly well known through its forefather, Jerry Thomas, who wrote works such as "How to mix drinks" from 1862 or "The Bar-Tender's Guide or How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks".

Jerry Thomas worked as a bartender at the El Dorado in San Francisco and later opened his own bar on Broadway in New York. He performed veritable feats there and invented the famous "Blue Blazer" cocktail from burning whiskey. His knowledge has influenced numerous (amateur) bartenders over the decades until today.

In the 1930s, cocktail shakers experienced a real boom. They were produced in a wide variety of designs, in art deco style, chrome-plated, decorated and equipped with handles, some even with ruby and silver. You can still buy some of these extravagant designs today. A particularly well-known model is the "Manhattan Cocktail Shaker" in an especially elegant design.

During the Second World War, the metal was used for weapons and the era of great designs came to an end. Today, cocktail shakers are kept rather simple, but after a dry spell they are popular again - and rightly so.

The established types of cocktail shakers are therefore long-developed models that have hardly changed over time - except for the extravagant designs in the Art Deco style. In the meantime, there is even a real culture around cocktail shakers, different techniques from different cultural areas are spreading and the best methods are celebrated at entertaining bartender shows.

Image source: fedorkondratenko / 123rf.com

Reviews