You’ve got the spirits, juices and garnishes. Now you’re wondering how to use a cocktail shaker to create your mixology masterpiece. We’ll take you through each step, it’s easier than you think!

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Firstly, you’ll need to distinguish what sort of cocktail shaker you have….

Types of cocktail shakers

Cobbler shaker - the cobbler shaker is a classic three-in-one which features a metal container, a built-in strainer and a cap. This is one of the most popular shakers for crafting cocktails at home due to its user-friendly design.

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Boston shaker - the boston shaker is a two-piece set consisting of a mixing glass and metal container. This shaker is more commonly used by bartenders and mixologists due to its simple design, allowing for lots of different cocktails to be made in a matter of minutes. This type of shaker requires additional accessories such as a cocktail strainer and can leak if you don’t form a sealed vacuum between the two parts of the shaker.

Parisian shaker - the parisian shaker is a fusion of the cobbler and boston. It consists of a two-piece set that seals tight with a lid, but still requires an additional strainer.

Then, you’ll need to gather your cocktail accessories…

Jiggers - why do I need a double jigger?

Jiggers are an essential part of cocktail crafting. They help to create a perfectly balanced drink by accurately measuring out ingredients. If you have a double jigger, you can accurately measure single and double measurements of spirits by using either side of the spirit measure.

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Muddlers - why do I need a muddler?

Muddlers are great tools for cocktails that call for fresh fruit or herbs. As one of the first steps, you can use your muddler to gently press the juices out of fruits and the oils out of herbs, this can form the base of your cocktail flavour and add a freshness to your creation.

Ice accessories - why should I use ice?

Ice is essential to any cocktail, without it, you would simply have a mixture of liquids. Ice’s main purpose is to chill and dilute which together form the final process of cocktail perfection.

There are many styles of ice which match up with different drink styles. Shaved ice is very popular in drinks where water is not already added, this is because the dilution is very quick. However, using an ice ball shape keeps the drink cooler for longer, as the dilution is very slow, perfect for those stronger drinks that you want to sip and saver for a little longer.

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Once you have all of your accessories, you can finally begin with your cocktail masterpiece…

How to use a cocktail shaker - step by step

  1. Using a boston shaker - put your ingredients into one half of the cocktail shaker, add your ice in the other. Quickly join the two together and shake to your heart's content.

  2. If you have a standard cobbler shaker, simply put the liquid in first, then ice.

  3. We recommend that you shake for up to 15 seconds, or when the glass/metal frosts up.

  4. Get your drinking glasses ready and add more ice into these if the recipe calls for it.

  5. Grab a strainer if your strainer doesn’t come with one, if it’s built-in, simply pour away!

What to do if you don’t have a cocktail shaker

You can still create great cocktails if you don’t have a shaker! Find a big glass or metal container, add any dry ingredients, spirits, mixers, then ice. For those who prefer stirred, not shaken, stir with a long bar spoon to reach the bottom of the container. Then, grab a cocktail strainer and pour.

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