When it comes to important tools for bartenders, cocktail shakers take the top place on your must-have list. It’s essential for creating delicious cocktails and drinks without taking a toll on the shoulders, arms, and wrists. Also, a cocktail shaker looks cool and perfect for entertaining family, friends, and guests. But what is a cocktail shaker and how to use it? Here’s the answer to all your questions about cocktail shakers.
What Is A Cocktail Shaker?
A cocktail shaker, also called a bar shaker, is a mixology tool used to efficiently, quickly, and easily blend cocktails and drinks. In mixology, the most common method used to create drinks is by shaking. And the cocktail shakers are designed for this purpose. Cocktail shakers are specially designed to help mixologists create mixed drinks and cocktails. By shaking ingredients together with ice, the ingredients are mixed, diluted, and chilled. If you want to add foam on top of the drinks, you can use a cocktail shaker with dairy or egg whites to make it.
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Different Types & Uses Of Cocktail Shakers
In general, cocktail shakers have two pieces, the top cover and the bottom where the ingredients are added. They’re usually made from stainless steel and categorized into 3 types based on their design and structure. All cocktail shakers can be used to create cocktails and drinks. The type you use will depend on your personal preferences and comfort.
A Boston shaker has the closest design to its original ancestor from the 19th century. Typically, one of the two pieces is smaller (mixing tumbler) and is made from metal or glass. While the bigger one is made from tin. To use this type of cocktail shaker, you need skills and patience. However, they’re easy to use, and it’s quicker to make cocktails with them.
How to use a Boston shaker:
- Add ingredients to the mixing tumbler.
- Transfer ice. Don’t overfill, should be about halfway full only.
- Cover with the bigger tin at a slight angle.
- Seal the lid by tapping the tin in place with the heel of your hand.
- Hold the Boston shaker using one hand and start shaking for 15 counts.
- To release the lid, use the heel of your hand to whack it, or turn the tin a quarter and whack it again.
- Remove the mixing tumbler. Strain using a fine strainer into the prepared glass.
A cobbler shaker has 3 parts including a large metal shaking tumbler, a fitted lid, and a smaller strainer cap on top of the lid. This type of cocktail shaker has an integrated strainer making them simple, convenient, and easier to use. However, ingredients can get stuck on the strainer making it harder to pour. Cobbler shakers are perfect for beginners.
How to use a cobbler shaker:
- Add ingredients to the tumbler.
- Place the strainer and strainer cap back in place.
- Ensure the pieces are tightly placed by rapping them using the heel of your hand.
- Hold both ends using your fingers and start shaking for 15 slow counts.
- Remove the cap, strain, and pour on the prepared glass.
The French shaker is a simplified version of a cobbler shaker. The main difference is the absence of the integrated strainer and the strainer cap. You’ll need to use a strainer to transfer the drinks. Like the Boston shaker, the French shaker has two pieces — the tumbler and the tin. It’s easier to use and clean and perfect for beginners. However, French shakers are more expensive compared to the other two types of cocktail shakers.
How to use a French shaker:
- Add ingredients to the tumbler.
- Transfer ice. Don’t overfill the tumbler to avoid spilling.
- Place the lid back and tap to seal.
- Hold both sides of the French shaker using your fingers and start shaking for 15 slow counts.
- Hit the cocktail shaker using the heel of your hand to release the lid.
- Remove the lid and strain it into the prepared glass.
Tips & Tricks In Using Cocktail Shakers
To help you create delicious cocktails and mixed drinks, here are a few tips and tricks:
- Add ice last. Don’t add your ice first before the ingredients. Start by building the drink, then add ice and seal.
- Notice how the ice moves while you shake. While you shake, pay attention to how the ice moves. If the ice is not moving, stop, release, and check your ingredients.
- Always strain when you pour. No one likes lumps on their drinks. Use a cocktail strainer when transferring the mixed drink to your prepared glass.
- Choose the cocktail shaker that fits you. Always use a cocktail shaker you’re comfortable using. If you’re a beginner, start with a cobbler shaker and try the other types once you’re comfortable with mixing.
Mastering the Art of the Shake
A cocktail shaker isn’t merely a tool; it’s the gateway to crafting impeccable cocktails that resonate with flavor, balance, and artistry. Understanding the nuances of using a cocktail shaker can significantly elevate the quality of your drinks, merging technique with passion. By grasping its proper usage, not only do you ensure a well-mixed beverage, but you also embrace the ritualistic dance of mixology. So, every time you pick up that shaker, remember it’s an extension of your creativity, and with each shake, you’re a step closer to concocting the perfect cocktail. Cheers to many delightful sips ahead!