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February 26, 2023 3 min read


You may have seen a talented bartender shake and stir your drinks in a fancy bar, but did you know you can do it yourself at home? In this blog post, we'll go through the basics of using a cocktail shaker so that you can quickly prepare all of your favorite drinks at home.


What Is a Cocktail Shaker?


cocktail shaker with drink

Credit: Envato Elements/ karandaev


A cocktail shaker is a tool that is used to shake cocktails to combine the ingredients. It typically has a tight-fitting lid and is constructed of glass, metal, or plastic. It serves as a closed vessel that chills the beverage while allowing rapid and complete ingredient blending.


Types of Cocktail Shakers


Cocktail shakers can be of 3 types:

  • Boston Shakers
  • Cobbler Shakers
  • French Shakers


1) Boston Shakers


bartender shaking drink with cocktail shaker

Credit: Envato Elements/ master1305


Boston shakers are two-piece cocktail shakers. They are made up of a large shaker tin and either a small shaker tin or a mixing glass. This type of shaker is the one that professionals tend to favor the most.


2) Cobbler Shakers


cocktail shaker

Credit: Envato Elements/ Artem_ka


A cobbler cocktail shaker is a three-piece cocktail shaker that includes a metal tumbler, a built-in strainer, and a smaller metal lid. Because of its unusual design, this shaker is likely the most well-known to the general public.


3) French Shakers


cocktail shaker with cocktail in glass



The French shaker is a two-piece shaker, similar to a Boston shaker. It consists of a sizable metal tin and a smaller metal lid. It also lacks an integrated strainer, just like the Boston shaker.


How to Use a Cocktail Shaker


bartender shaking cocktail shaker

Credit: Envato Elements/ vladans


Not sure how to use a cocktail shaker to make mixed drinks? It's quite simple. Just follow the steps below:


Step 1: Add Your Ingredients


Begin by adding your ingredients to the shaker. After that, add a substantial amount of ice. Make sure to use ice cubes rather than crushed ice since they melt more slowly and cause less dilution.


Step 2: Close the Lid of the Shaker


Next, close the lid of the shaker. If you're using a Cobbler shaker, you can just set the cap in place. If you're using a Boston or French shaker, place the large shaker tin on top of the smaller tin or pint glass and firmly tap it in place with your palm.


Step 3: Shake Vigorously


Next, you need to shake the shaker. To do this, place one hand on top of the shaker and the other at the bottom. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.


Step 4: Open the Shaker


For this stage, you might need a little strength. If you're using a Cobbler shaker, take off the cap. A Boston or French shaker may require a firm tap on the side to relieve any pressure.


Step 5: Strain and Pour the Beverage Into a Chilled Glass


Depending on the type of cocktail shaker you're using, this step will vary. If you're using a Cobbler shaker, all you need to do is take off the lid and use the built-in strainer. If you're using a Boston or French shaker, secure a Hawthorne strainer in place by pressing down with your thumb. Then, strain your drink to get rid of the ice and other components.


Step 6: Stir in Your Fizzy Element


If the drink has a fizzy element, such as club soda or ginger beer, add the fizzy element to the strained cocktail and stir it briefly with a bar spoon to combine.




Most cocktail recipes require you to shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Once you master the art of properly blending cocktails, your drinks will significantly improve. It's the simplest bartending technique. With some practice, you can easily master the technique.

Whether you work as a professional bartender or mix drinks at home, having a high-quality cocktail shaker and all the necessary bar equipment is essential. To shop for a complete bartending set, check out Pepe Nero.

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