Movers & Shakers: How to Use Cocktail Shakers

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When it comes to mixing, nothing is as personal as your shake! Generally speaking, we shake cocktails that contain multiple ingredients with different densities or compositions – like spirits, liqueurs, fresh juices and syrups. Depending on your shaker and skills, you can create unique textures and temperatures – as different cocktails require different sorts of shake. Common shaker styles include: 

• The Continental, or Cobbler Shaker – unique for its built-in strainer. 

• The Boston Shaker – traditionally used in American bartending. 

• Its contemporary – the Toby Shaker – with both ‘tins’ made of metal. 

• and less diffused styles – like the Parisian Shaker. 

All shakers are unique and have different characteristics – but ultimately, the goals are the same: To mix the ingredients, creating a good amount of dilution from the ice – and to incorporate air, that will create textural bubbles on the top of and through our drinks. Here’s some tip to improve your shaking game: 

• Widen your stance to improve your balance; 

• Use good quality ice – and fill your shaker as much as possible 

• Be careful not to hold the shaker from the middle of its body, as you will absorb precious temperature from the metal 

• Shake hard! – allowing the ice and content to travel from one end of the shaker to the other. 

• And strain your drink quickly, before the ice melts too much – nobody wants an over-diluted drink! 

When shaking, always think about what you are trying to achieve for that particular drink – And ask yourself why you are doing it that way – and what’s happening inside your tins while you’re doing it.