A cocktail shaker is a must-have for mixing cocktails. It’s fair to say that bartending isn’t complete without a cocktail shaker. Currently, cocktail shakers on the market can be roughly divided into three basic types. Includes Boston shaker, cobbler shaker and French shaker. While the different types of plastic cocktail shakers serve the same purpose, they all have their own characteristics. To know which type of cocktail shaker is better, you need to understand the structure and pros and cons of each.
1. Boston Shaker
The Boston shaker, also known as the “tin,” is by far the most popular cocktail shaker in the bartending world. Commonly used in bars and commercial settings, it is the cocktail shaker of choice for most bartenders and true cocktail apprentices.
Today, the common Boston shakers on the market are roughly divided into two styles. Two metal tins of different sizes or a larger metal tin and a smaller mixed glass tin. Metal tins are mostly stainless steel. Helps reduce the temperature of the shaker and ingredients, which are essential to a successful cocktail shake. Weighted stainless steel shaker tins are stronger and put less stress on the bartender. And make the cocktail cool in less time. On the other hand, users who opted for a glass and stainless steel combination felt that the glass piece would allow the bartender to see the contents of the shaker.
1.1.1 High capacity. Compared to other styles, Boston shakers have a larger capacity. The larger space allows more air to exist, resulting in a fluffier albumen foam. Therefore, it is an ideal container for making albumen cocktails. Meanwhile, the large volume makes it possible to shake two cocktails at once.
1.1.2 Easy to clean. Boston shakers are simple in construction, easy to clean and put back for reuse. This is important in a busy bar environment. At the same time the simple two-piece construction means fewer parts are lost or ejected.
1.1.3 Easy to operate. Once you’ve mastered this skill, using a Boston shaker will become very easy. You can even use them easily with one hand. Boston shakers create an airtight seal that is easy to form. It is important to know that rapid sealing and disassembly of shaker tins is important in practical commercial bar applications.
1.2.1 Risk of shattering. Older versions of Boston shakers had a glass tin on one end and a metal tin on the other. This means that during use, the glass may shatter from shaking.
1.2.2 Difficulty to master. Novice bartenders need a lot of training and practice to figure out the correct sealing technique. And how to break the tight seal of this closed container after the bartending is done.
1.2.3 Buy additional filter. Because Boston shakers don’t have a built-in filter. You have to buy a separate filter. Bartenders often use Hawthorne filters to filter out unwanted ice, pulp, and other ingredients in cocktails. This will be an additional expense.
1.3 How To Use The Boston Shaker
There are roughly six steps to making a cocktail with a Boston shaker. Of course, to make a great cocktail, you also need to practice it over and over again. Adjust the timing, strength, and motion of the shake to find your own best point.
1.3.1 Take two tins and fill the second smaller tin with ice cubes and cocktail ingredients.
1.3.2 Place another taller tin at an angle above the rim of the smaller tin with the cocktail element in it. Hold the bottom tin and tap the top tin to create a seal between the two.
1.3.3 Place one hand on the Boston shaker and place your thumb or two fingers on the bottom of the shaker. Put your other hand on the other half of the shaker. Ensure the safety of the operation process.
1.3.4 Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds to cool and dilute the cocktail slightly.
1.3.5 When you’re done, tap the side of the Boston shaker with your hand to hear it pop. This is a signal of successful separation of the two shaker tins.
1.3.6 Finally, strain your cocktail through a Hawthorne filter and slowly pour the cocktail into the plastic champagne glasses.
2. Cobbler Shaker
Cobbler shakers are designed with a one-piece construction. The Cobbler shaker consists of three parts: a shaker, a lid and a built-in filter. Each part is detachable and easy to operate. That’s why Cobbler shakers are one of the most popular shakers, ideal for home bar lovers.
2.1.1 Appearance design. Cobbler shakers have more possibilities in shape and size design. The sleek and colorful look and attractive all-in-one design look great on a bar cart or home bar. At the same time, there are many different sizes of cobbler shakers for sale on the market. Meet the different needs of bartenders. After all, a small cobbler is far more suitable than an oversized Boston shaker for 3 oz of liquid, isn’t it?
2.1.2 Easy to use. Cobbler shakers are more beginner friendly. Get up to speed quickly with little or no training. Because it has a built-in filter and the parts don’t come apart easily. Also, if your bar or restaurant is doing tableside cocktails, this would be a great option.
2.1.3 Cost-effective. If you want to buy a cocktail shaker for your family and use it infrequently. Then this plastic cocktail shaker with measurements is a great choice. While satisfying the basic functions, the price is more affordable. And as a home cocktail shaker, the cobbler shaker requires no additional tools and is easy to purchase.
2.2.1 Filter problem. The built-in filter of the cobbler shaker has larger holes, so it cannot block all the ingredients. Some pulp and mixed ingredients are poured with the cocktail. The fall of particles can spoil the mouthfeel and aesthetics of the beverage. Since the cobbler can only filter in a single pass, you will need an additional mesh filter to filter finer particles. But it will undoubtedly increase the time to make the cocktail.
2.2.2 Difficult to clean. Like the filter hole problem mentioned above. Impurities stuck in the hole make cleaning process more difficult. So not very suitable for busy bar setups.
2.2.3 Difficult to open. The lids of cobbler shakers often freeze and stick due to too low temperatures. So it needs to be run in warm water to open. But the bad thing is that it heats up the prepared cocktail and ruins the flavor.
2.2.4 Easy to lose. Cobbler shaker lids are often lost because they are too small. When shaking the cocktail, the lid may also fly out due to the pressure. However, different cobbler shakers have great differences in the design of styles. This means that it is basically impossible to interchange or replace parts individually. Having to spend money on a new full set of shakers is definitely a bad experience.
2.3 How To Use The Cobbler Shaker
Obviously, cobbler shakers are more novice friendly than Boston shakers. Here we summarize a simple usage step for you.
2.3.1 Fill the mixing tin with the desired cocktail ingredients and ice.
2.3.2 Fasten the filter and lid to the shaker in sequence.
2.3.3 Check that all components fit snugly, then shake the cobbler shaker.
2.3.4 Finally, remove the top lid. Pour the prepared cocktail into the plastic wine glasses.
2.4 Some Special Styles
Cobbler shakers can come in a variety of different shapes, colors and patterns. Perfect for cocktail shaker lovers and collectors. As a manufacturer, we have our own brand and independent design. For example, this football-style plastic cocktail shaker is special enough while ensuring quality.
It is worth noting that you should buy cobbler shakers from reliable sources. Poor quality cobbler shakers mostly have poor seals, and the fine ingredients of complex cocktails can be squirted out the side.
3. French Shaker
The French shaker has played a role in the development of history. As a bar tool, the cocktail shaker originated with the Boston shaker created in the mid-nineteenth century. This method of mixing drinks from two glasses was very popular in the cocktail culture of the time. After it made its way to Europe, a custom shaker with a tight lid was created. This is what we now call a French shaker.
A French shaker is somewhere between a cobbler and a Boston shaker. It has the shape of a cobbler shaker but, like a Boston shaker, has no built-in filter. The French shaker is only composed of two parts: the main body and the lid.
The French shaker’s construction means it’s easy to clean and reuse.
French shakers are rare, hard to find, and expensive. Also, since there is no built-in filter, an additional Hawthorne filter needs to be purchased. The lid of the French shaker can also get stuck. But easier to open than a Cobbler shaker. It is important to note that French shakers are a test of the user’s skills.
In fact, comparing the three cocktail shakers, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Not saying one is particularly good over the other. Deciding which cocktail shaker to buy depends on your skills and needs.
In busy commercial bars, most bartenders prefer to use Boston shakers. Because it’s a lighter cocktail shaker, you can use it, seal and separate faster. And the possibility of fast double filtration is also more friendly to mixed beverages.
For a home bar, a cobbler shaker is a great option. Especially if you’re a novice home bartender, don’t worry too much about mistakes. Occasionally mixing simple drinks for party guests and yourself, a good quality plastic cocktail shaker may be enough. The style is also more beautiful and fashionable.