The Best Cocktail Shakers for the Home Bar

Enjoying a cocktail at the end of the day is a simple, yet decadent pleasure. Make sure it’s a fantastic sip with this list of top picks for the best cocktail shakers on the market.

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The Best Cocktail Shaker

Photo: amazon.com

There’s nothing like a perfectly mixed cocktail at the end of a long, hard day—just as there are few things more enjoyable than having drinks and laughs with friends on the weekend. To ensure that your spirit of choice tastes absolutely delicious, you should invest in a top-notch cocktail shaker.

With hundreds of options on the market, finding the perfect cocktail shaker, however, is sometimes easier said than done. That’s where this list comes in. To help you create tasty homemade cocktails over and over again, we’ve narrowed down some of the best cocktail shaker sets available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Cresimo Cocktail Shaker Bar Set with Accessories
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BARILLIO Elite Cocktail Shaker Set Bartender Kit
  3. BEST FOR BEGINNERS: OXO Good Grips Cocktail Shaker
  4. BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS: Top Shelf Bar Supply Premium Cocktail Shaker Set
  5. BEST WITH MEASUREMENTS: Blusmart Cocktail Shaker Set with Recipe Guide
  6. BEST HIGH-VOLUME: Mixology Bartender Cocktail Shaker Set (15 Piece Set)
  7. BEST MIXOLOGY KIT: Mixology & Craft Mixology Bartender Kit: 10-Piece Set
The Best Cocktail Shaker

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cocktail Shakers

Finding a cocktail shaker for your home bar will take some thought. Ask yourself these questions and take the answers into consideration. What kind of cocktails will I be making? Will the shaker be used to satisfy guests or just a couple of people? Does the style and design of the shaker matter? How easy is it to use? What accessories are a must-have?

Now that you’ve narrowed your needs, keep reading for tips on how to choose the best cocktail shaker.

Type

There are several types of cocktail shakers. For some, a simple shaker will do, whereas others may want a specific type of shaker, more than one shaker, or a combination.

  • The cobbler shaker is the most common type and the one most people are familiar with. Cobbler shakers consist of a tumbler, a lid with a strainer, and a cap. You simply pour in the ingredients, top it with the lid and cap, and shake.
  • The Boston shaker is a two-part tool consisting of a tumbler and a smaller tumbler designed to be placed on top. This type of shaker typically requires two hands to use.
  • The French shaker, also known as a Parisian, is similar to a cobbler shaker, except it doesn’t have a cap. It requires a separate strainer.
  • The press-and-pour shaker eliminates the need for a strainer or cap. Just pour the ingredients into the tumbler, and then seal, shake, and press the button in the lid to open up the vessel and pour out the finished drink.

Material

The majority of cocktail shakers are made of metal or stainless steel. While silver is classic and typical, many manufacturers shake things up with a powdered finish coating that’s available in a variety of colors.

Some shakers are made of glass. Some, like the Boston shaker, can have one part made of metal and another part made of glass. Though there are copper shakers on the market, these are not dishwasher-safe and thus can require more work after a long night of mixing for friends. A vinyl sleeve can provide a better grip for those who want to prevent a slipup or avoid cold hands.

Volume

Most cocktail shakers can hold between 24 and 30 ounces of ice and liquid, allowing you to create at least two drinks at a time. When using a Boston shaker, expect the glass tumbler to measure at 1 pint (about 16 ounces). Though smaller shakers are out there, a smaller volume may not be able to handle certain ingredients, thus limiting your cocktail recipe options.

Volumes of 30 ounces or more are available but can become heavy and burdensome to shake. In addition to not chilling the drink properly, shaking larger volumes could mean a very long night for you or your appointed bartender.

Insulation

Proper insulation can lead to ultra-chilled drinks, which is always a bonus for those who prefer their cocktails or mocktails to be as cold as possible. However, the biggest benefit of an insulated shaker is that it’ll keep your hands from getting too cold.

When it comes to aesthetics, an insulated shaker looks just like a non-insulated one. An insulated shaker can eliminate the need for a sleeve allowing you to show off the shaker’s beautiful look while still protecting your hands from frostbite.

Aesthetic

The classic cocktail shaker is made of shiny stainless steel, which works with most bar décor. Those looking for something different, however, can turn to powdered finishes, from bold and bright colors to pastel hues to darker shades that suit a wooden or pub-style bar.

Beyond the colors are the lines of the shaker itself. Some are smooth, while others feature edges for a more modern look. Shakers can come with tiered or straight sides that are smooth,  ridged, or patterned. You could shop around for hours trying to find a style and design that suits the décor of your bar area.

Bar Accessories

Even the best cocktail shakers could use a few accessories to create a better mixing experience. Basic accessory options to consider include a muddling spoon, jigger for proper ounce measurements, tongs for ice, bottle openers, pour spouts for alcohol bottles, and a strainer, such as a Hawthorne or julep strainer. Keep in mind that items like spoons and muddlers will see a great deal of use, so having several on hand is a good idea.

For presentation, consider items like whiskey stones, specialized ice trays, a sharp knife for cutting citrus fruits, and a peeler for creating garnishes. When rounding out the options, consider expanding to different styles and sizes of glasses to accommodate a variety of drinks.

Ease of Use

Many home bar enthusiasts begin their cocktail journey with a cobbler shaker, as it’s easy to use. Over time, you may want to venture into other shakers, such as a French shaker.

If you have difficulty with gripping, opt for a piece with bumps or ridges. You could also add a sleeve or purchase a weighted shaker. A larger volume usually means a wider cup, which can be tough for smaller hands. It’s important to find a shaker that fits well in your hand and feels comfortable during use.

Our Top Picks

Choosing a cocktail shaker takes time, just like finding your ideal wine rack or the perfect corkscrew. To help you out, we looked at all the considerations listed above to find a cocktail shaker that’s suitable for each category. Here are our favorite options, each from reputable brands known for providing exactly what the home mixology expert needs.

Best Overall

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: Cresimo Cocktail Shaker Bar Set with Accessories
Photo: amazon.com

what the home bar needs at a reasonable price.
Made of high-quality, 18/8-grade stainless steel with a mirror finish, this cocktail shaker provides everything the amateur bartender needs to create decadent drinks. With a 24-ounce capacity, you’ll have plenty of space to shake things up, while the double size .5-ounce and 1-ounce jigger measurement tool keeps the ingredients at the same ratio each time.
A built-in strainer is a hallmark of this cobbler-style shaker, but the set also comes with a twisted bar spoon and an illustrated guide for making excellent cocktails. The classic cylindrical shape works well with most bar décor.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: BARILLIO Elite Cocktail Shaker Set Bartender Kit
Photo: amazon.com

This cocktail shaker kit provides everything you need to have a “great night out”—at home. The 24-ounce stainless steel cobbler shaker comes with a mojito muddler, mixing spoon, double jigger, and two liquid pourers.
There’s also a velvet storage bag, which can double as a sleeve if the mixture gets too cold, and a small booklet on how to create great cocktails. In addition, to take a deep dive into mixology, download the free eBook that’s offered with the purchase.

Best For Beginners

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: OXO Good Grips Cocktail Shaker
Photo: amazon.com

This plastic cocktail shaker from OXO is a great way to begin your journey to becoming an aspiring mixologist. Double-wall construction offers insulation, meaning this shaker is easy on the hands, keeping drinks chilled to perfection. The top of this 16-ounce cocktail shaker is easy to hold without slipping.
Rather than employ a separate measuring tool, the jigger cap has markings on the inside at .5 ounces, .75 ounces, and 1 ounce for the proper ratios. Handwash this shaker to help it last longer, but don’t expect it to be a forever staple of your bar—it’s best suited as a beginner’s piece.

Best For Professionals

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: Top Shelf Bar Supply Premium Cocktail Shaker Set
Photo: amazon.com

When it’s time to step up your game to a professional level, this classic Boston cocktail shaker set becomes an essential tool. The kit includes one 28-ounce weighted cup and one 18-ounce unweighted cup. These stainless steel cups from Top Shelf Bar Supply can create large beverage volumes with no drips or leaks, as the carefully-constructed design creates a watertight seal.
This set is also dishwasher-safe and, if properly taken care of, can last a lifetime. The cups nest inside each other for storage when not in use.

Best With Measurements

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: Blusmart Cocktail Shaker Set with Recipe Guide
Photo: amazon.com

To be certain of measurements, turn to the handy guide listed on the side of this shaker to make a tasty drink. Simply turn the user-friendly dial on this 24-ounce cobbler-style shaker and line up the ingredients for a margarita, Tom Collins, mojito, and more.
A bar spoon, a double-sided jigger, and an innovative sealing design on the cap provide all the help you need to make drinks for a crowd. Separate the two pieces of the larger cup to make cleaning easier. The conical shape is iconic, but the recipe dial on the side makes it a true conversation piece as well as providing a really easy cheat sheet.

Best With High-Volume

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: Mixology Bartender Cocktail Shaker Set (15 Piece Set)
Photo: amazon.com

This Boston shaker set from NutriChef includes cups of 30 ounces and 15 ounces and comes with all the accessories a pro might need, such as a Hawthorne strainer, pour spouts, bar spoon, tongs, a double jigger, and more. Commercial-grade stainless steel makes this a set great for the professional bartender or the amateur mixologist.
It’s also dishwasher-safe and resistant to rust, staining, oxidizing, or retaining odors, making this the ideal cocktail shaker set for creating a drink. Though it’s great for high-volume mixing, it’s also compact enough to store everything neatly together for travel.

Best Mixology Kit

The Best Cocktail Shaker Option: Mixology & Craft Mixology Bartender Kit 10-Piece Set
Photo: amazon.com

This stunning set, nestled in a dedicated mahogany stand, offers all the tools necessary to make a great drink and look fantastic while doing so. The stainless steel 20-ounce shaker comes in silver, gunmetal black, gold, and copper finishes.
Although this mixology set is dishwasher-safe, handwashing each piece will help to keep it looking its best. The sturdy wood box keeps it all nice and neat at the bar, ready for the next cocktail mood to strike.

FAQs About Your New Cocktail Shakers

Still unsure of how to choose the best cocktail shaker? These answers to common questions can help solve that problem. Read on to learn more about choosing the best cocktail shaker for your bar.

Q. How big should a cocktail shaker be?

Most cocktail shakers are 24 ounces, which is enough to serve a few drinks. A 16-ounce shaker can yield one drink, while larger shakers can help serve a crowd.

Q. Why do cocktail strainers have springs?

A Hawthorne strainer has a spring that, when properly placed, coils right along the inside lip of the open shaker. This strainer catches pieces of ice, fruit, and other small bits that were shaken to create the drink.

Q. How do you shake a cocktail?

Pour the ingredients into the shaker, add ice, close the shaker, and give it several solid shakes for 15 to 20 seconds. This will give the ice plenty of time to chill the liquid.

Q. How do you stop a cocktail shaker from leaking?

Leaking from a cocktail shaker often means the cap is not tight enough. In the case of the Boston shaker, the seal between cups might not be strong enough. Ensure a tight seal. If the leak continues, you might need to replace the shaker.

Q. How long do cocktail shakers last?

A well-made cocktail shaker can become an heirloom, passed down through generations. Look for a high-quality shaker made of a sturdy material that can stand the test of time.