The choice of shaker impacts the taste and texture of the cocktail. This is because their different designs lend themselves to different aeration, chill and dilution of the liquid put inside. The cobbler shaker, for instance, provides a slightly different taste due to its built-in strainer, allowing finer particles to pass through, altering the mouthfeel. On the other hand, the Boston and Parisian shakers lightens the texture and creates better mouthfeel as their design allows for better aeration. They also provide different levels of ease and efficiency when using them. So, matching the shaker to the cocktail is essential but also to your experience.
1. The Cobbler Shaker: A Classic Choice
The cobbler shaker, although the newest of the styles, is the quintessential image that often comes to mind when envisioning a cocktail shaker. This iconic piece comprises three components: a metal cap, which doubles as a 1 ounce jigger, a tin container, and a lid with built-in holes for straining. It’s a classic choice, especially for beginners as crafting a cocktail in a Cobbler is as easy as it gets. The built-in strainer ensures a smooth pour, making it ideal for cocktails that don’t require additional muddling or fine straining. However, this attribute can also be a downfall as sometimes a finer sieve is necessary. For example, in drinks that you want to avoid diluting with any ice chips such as a martini or a cosmopolitan or egg-white cocktails, like an amaretto sour, since it won’t trap egg white impurities.
- Built in strainer
- Less aeration
- Not suitable for all cocktails
3. The Boston Shaker: The Professional’s Preference
The Boston shaker is the oldest of the trio. It consists of only two parts: a large 28-ounce shaker, and a smaller glass-based 16-ounce insert. For the seasoned bartender the Boston shaker is the most efficient method for a commercial setting because of its greater volume capacity and, consisting of two metal shakers inside each other, which are quick to seal and break apart and can also be easily cleaned for the next concoction- this important in a busy bar setting. The vacuum seal created also allows the liquid to be cooled rapidly, without overly diluting the liquid from the ice, which is important in delivering a desired refreshing quality, especially in drinks like martinis which need to be served as chilled as possible! They can also easily fit within one hand so that a bartender can shake with a set of tins in each hand (double shake) when service is demanding. The integration of more air into drinks lends to a better mouthfeel, and creates the best egg white foams in slings like a whiskey sour. It doesn’t come with an inbuilt strainer but this allows for more malleability when pairing the sieve needed for the cocktail. However, for a novice the sealing and unsealing of the metal shakers can pose quite the challenge and you may end up wearing more of the drink than you pour into the glass. The seal tightens after shaking so it is necessary to tap or squeeze the larger of the two containers to disjoin them.
- Egg whites
- Harder to use
3. The Parisian Shaker: A Stylish Hybrid
The Boston later evolved into the easier-to-use Parisian shaker. Also consisting of two components, while the seal is less tight, the design is super sleek, making it a stylish alternative that marries the user-friendliness of the cobbler and the capacity of the Boston shaker. The smaller cup on top is where the liquids are stirred, and the larger one on the bottom is where they’re shaken. The seal will be less secure than the others, making it more prone to accidents however this does mean it’s easier to open and close. The average volume sits at 24 ounces, slightly smaller than the average Boston, which creates a little less aeration. Parisian shakers are less efficient than he Boston, as they require two hands to operate when shaking.
- Less efficient
- Requires 2 hands