The 9 Best Cocktail Shakers, According to Experts
There are three types of shakers—the French, the cobbler, and the Boston shaker, and the latter is a popular choice for professional bar settings. "A Boston-style shaker has great balance because it's weighted," says Chad Gant, the lead bartender and beverage expert at Bobby Hotel's Union Tavern in Nashville. "It creates a really effective seal without being impractical, and it's hard to break."
Generally speaking, bar and beverage professionals chose shakers for durability, sturdy weight, and a tight seal—adding up to the ability to build a stand-out cocktail. The best option is the set of Koriko Weighted Tins, which forms a tight seal and is a universal bartender favorite. Below, find nine of the best cocktail shakers for mixing chilled margaritas, frothy fizzes, and beyond.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Koriko Weighted Tins
- Best Cobbler Shaker: OXO Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker
- Best Value: Tin on Tin Boston Shaker Set
- Best Splurge: Sertodo Copper Boston Shaker Set
- Best Design: Leopold Weighted Shaking Tin Set
- Best Leakproof: Piña Barware Commercial Boston Tin Set
- Best for Visual Cues: Boston Shaker with a Pint Glass
- Best for Durability: Barfly Superfly Heavyweight Set
- Best Color Options: Barfly Antique Copper Tins Set
Best Overall: Koriko Weighted Tins
Best Cobbler Shaker: Oxo Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker
Best Value: Tin on Tin Boston Shaker Set
Best Splurge: Sertodo Copper Boston Shaker Set
Best Design: Leopold Weighted Shaking Tin Set
Best Leakproof: Piña Barware Commercial Boston Tin Set
Best for Visual Cues: Boston Shaker with a Pint Glass
Best for Durability: Barfly Superfly Heavyweight Set
Best for Color Options: Barfly Antique Copper Tins Set
There are plenty of solid cocktail shakers on the market, but the Koriko weighted tins are popular with bartenders and hospitality pros for good reason. The shakers are thin enough to feel the drink chill but durable enough to withstand many years of cocktail making. They create a strong seal that withstands a vigorous shake, and the price point makes it an easy addition to a home bar.
Factors to Consider
The vast majority of cocktail shakers are made with stainless steel for a reason—the material is durable, lightweight, easy to clean, and doesn't hold odors or stains. However, some are made with pure copper, which is beautiful and long-lasting and can have antimicrobial benefits.
Before buying a shaker, consider how often you plan to make drinks and where it will live. If your bar cart is on prominent display, choose a model you love to look at as much as you love using.
Most stainless steel shakers are dishwasher safe, and rugged enough to withstand years of usage and cleaning. Depending on how often you mix cocktails, keep in mind some options, including the ones made with copper, will be hand-wash only.
What's the best way to use a cocktail shaker correctly?
After pouring the ingredients into the tin, add ice and seal it with the lid or shaker tin (depending on which shaker you're using). Make sure to grip the shaker with both hands, one on top and one on the bottom. Shake vigorously in an up-and-down motion over your shoulder. Once the shaker starts to chill after about ten seconds, the cocktail is ready to strain into a glass.
What are the different types of shakers?
There are three types of cocktail shakers. The most popular model named by pro bartenders is the Boston shaker, which usually comes as a set with a large shaking tin and small tin. (The latter can be substituted with a pint glass.) The cobbler shaker is a tin with a built-in strainer and cap. Finally, the French (or Parisian) shaker is a hybrid of the first two, with a shaking tin and a cap but no built-in strainer. While the cobbler shaker is easier for novice home cocktail makers, some experts say it can be cumbersome—the cap can get stuck, and the strainer can get clogged more easily.
What are classic cocktails served shaken?
Besides the most obvious reason to use a shaker—that is, to thoroughly mix the drink—shaking a cocktail chills and aerates the ingredients. Cocktails that contain citrus, cream liqueurs, egg, and milk are typically shaken. Anything with club soda, sparkling wine, or bubbles should be stirred.
Regan Stephens is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor who has worked for nearly two decades in digital and print magazine production. She's worked on staff at People, Teen People, and Philadelphia magazines, and her writing has appeared in publications like Travel + Leisure, Fortune, and Conde Nast Traveler. She has contributed to Food & Wine for the last five years. For this piece, she spoke with over a dozen professionals—including bartenders, beverage managers, and spirits ambassadors—from all over the country.