Best cocktail shaker sets UK 2022: mix the perfect drink with one of these excellent cocktail shakers

You may think that all cocktail shakers are the same - think again. There’s a right one for whatever form of mixologist you are

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While there are lots of cocktails you can make by mixing and muddling, for many more there will need to be a whole lot of shaking going on. And to properly shake, you’ll need a proper cocktail shaker.

You may think that all cocktail shakers are the same, and the only decision you need to make is one of aesthetics, but even such a seemingly simple item comes in various forms, and there are other factors that will determine what type is best for you.

What is the difference between a two or three piece cocktail shaker?

Cocktail shakers generally come in either two pieces or three pieces. If you’re an occasional shaker that has no intention of challenging the best bartenders for cocktail-making supremacy, then it’s likely you’ll want a three-piece, often referred to as a Cobbler or Standard shaker.

These consist of a main base (also known as a ‘can’) into which the ingredients are poured, a top section that fits securely to the base and has a built in strainer, and a cap so your cocktail doesn’t fly out of the straining holes while shaking.

Why go for a Cobbler or Standard shaker?

The advantages of these shakers are that they’re leak proof, easy to use (one handed if you wish), and don’t require an additional strainer. However, to take them apart and clean them after each serve can waste valuable time for those folk with a lot of cocktails to make.

For this reason, most bartenders opt for a two-piece shaker. With these shakers, you get two cans, one slightly larger than the other.

To make your cocktail, you combine the ingredients in the smaller can and place the larger can over the top (pros often put ice in the larger one and flip it into the smaller can when combining them).

Giving the can a gentle pat will seal the cans together before you start shaking with the smaller can on top. Make sure you don’t seal the cans together too tightly as they’ll be much trickier to separate (shaking with excessive vigour will also have this effect).

You’ll need to use two hands to shake, and it does feel a little strange at first, but you can make much larger quantities and simply dump and rinse when you’ve finished. And with a little practice you can even strain the cocktails by separating both parts so there’s a sufficient gap between them.

When should you opt for a French shaker?

An alternative two-piece shaker is the French shaker, which is sealed in much the same way as a Cobbler, but without the built in strainer, so you’ll definitely need this as a separate item. These are often chosen for their sleek design rather than practicality.

Steel or copper shaker - which should I choose?

When it comes to material, steel is the most common choice. You’ll also see copper shakers, which some prefer for their looks, but they’ll need a bit more cleaning to keep them at their pristine best.

Traditional two-piece shakers, also known as ‘Boston shakers’, have a glass bottom part and steel top part, which has the advantage of letting you see what you’re shaking.

In this list we’ve presented options for each of these styles, ranging from the basic to those with a few fancy flourishes. Whatever your preference, any one of these should have you shaking with confidence.

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