Shaken, or stirred? If it’s the former, you’ll need a sturdy cocktail shaker. “Essentially, there are three different styles of cocktail shakers: glass-on-tin Boston, tin-on-tin Boston or cobbler,” explains Brandon Lockman, lead bartender at Portland’s Red Star Tavern.
Boston shakers are made of two, 12- and 28-ounce mixing tins, either with one glass shaker and one tin (glass-on-tin), or two tins (tin-on-tin). They fit inside each other, while the liquid creates a natural seal, and a quick shake will cool down the drink with ease. “I’ve been using the Koriko tin-on-tin Boston shaker for the last 10 to 12 years,” says Lockman. “It chills faster and has a better seal than glass-on-tin and doesn’t get stuck as easily as the cobbler.” A cobbler shaker is made up of three parts: a tin, a top with a built-in strainer, and a cap. It’s a favorite among home bartenders for its ease of use, but professional bartenders will say the top leaks and can be difficult to remove when chilled, making it inefficient for busy services. As for the Parisian shaker, Lockman says it’s “a cobbler without the cap.”
To help you figure out the ideal cocktail shaker for your home bar, we've meticulously put our favorites through real-world tests. Some of the attributes in which we rated each shaker include ease of use, design, overall performance, and how easy they were to clean. We also looked at the overall value of each product.
Cocktail Kingdom's Leopold Weighted Shaking Tins came out on top based on high home tester results.
Read on for an in-depth look at how all of our favorite cocktail shakers stacked up.
Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Weighted Shaking Tin Set
Easy to use
Comes in various sizes
May be challenging for beginners
Cocktail Kingdom’s Leopold Weighted Shaking Tins are extremely popular in the bar industry and are also consumer fan favorites...for a reason.
Isabella Marriott, head bartender at Brooklyn’s Bar Beau says, “They are so easy to snap open and closed that you never have to worry about the shakers getting stuck together.” You’ll find most experienced bartenders use this type of weighted shaking tins to mix craft cocktails. “An added bonus is you can stack them and never have to worry about the small tin getting trapped in the larger one,” she says.
These particular tins are a standard 18- and 28-ounce size and are made of commercial and home dishwasher-safe stainless steel. While we found these easy to use during testing—releasing easily while also not leaking during the shake—for the novice bartender there will be a learning curve to any style of Boston shaker. You’ll need to know how a shaker feels in your hand to properly seal the tins and avoid spills. Boston shakers are far easier to clean than the average cobbler shaker, however, and this set proves that, as there are fewer nooks and crannies to scrub.
Price at the time of publish: $28.98
Style: Boston Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 18- and 28-ounce tins | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
Classic and sleek with a nice weight to it that made it feel and perform like a high-end version of a classic Boston style shaker.
A Bar Above Copper Boston Shaker Set
Comes in various weights
Made from food-grade stainless steel
Hand wash only
“A Bar Above started as an incredibly informative drinks podcast,” says Deena Sayers, a beverage strategist at Doña Vega Mezcal. “Now, they have a fantastic line of bar tools that I’ve come to fall in love with.”
Tom Levron, formerly a bartender at The Beekeeper Bar in Carlsbad, Calif., likes the brand's Boston shakers in particular. “These shakers are welded all around and not just in three spots like most shakers, which means they are stronger and will last longer. Also, they are priced competitively with other high-end shakers.”
Sayers notes that these shakers are available in two options: weighted and unweighted. “If you’re a flair bartender or shake your cocktails extra hard, then you’ll prefer the weighted set that won’t break loose during your cocktail-making theatrics. If you’re a bartender focused on speed, an at-home enthusiast, or just always have a problem popping the tin off after you finish shaking, then you’ll want to go with the weighted/unweighted combination.” The shaker sets are also crafted from food-grade stainless steel with a copper-coated finish.
We found this set to be one of our favorites, and the best value by far. The product was a pleasure to unbox—very sleek and modern, with great fonts and marketing. We loved the minimalist design if the box—it was sturdy and of good quality and could definitely reuse it for something else. Each product was individually wrapped in plastic and the products themselves were very modern, sleek, and strong. They were definitely the shiniest of the bunch! The tins kept all ingredients inside and were totally sealed tight. Although the tins are slightly large, we thought that was a plus—perfect for making multiple drinks at once. The pour was clean and precise, as the strainer did not allow for any spillage. Best of all, the product came with an insert that included instructions on how to use the tins and shake a cocktail—a very big plus for first-time bartenders. It also included care instructions and a sample cocktail recipe to get started. The back of the insert gave direct contact information for questions and assistance.
Price at the time of publish: $49.99
Style: Boston Material: Stainless Steel, Copper | Capacity: 18- and 28-ounce shaker tins | Dishwasher-Safe: no
Beautiful stainless steel quality, durable and wasn't flimsy. We felt like we were using a high-end cocktail shaker.
Best for Beginners
Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker
Easy to use
This Rabbit cocktail shaker is ideal for beginners: it’s intuitive to use and easy to clean. The all-in-one design features a strainer, tin, and lid, all built into one simple shaker. Flip the lid to build a cocktail—the top of the cup has measuring lines so you can easily build cocktails right in the shaker, no jigger required. Lift open the lid to reveal an integrated strainer.
The unique bayonet lid securely fits into place on the 18-ounce tin, allowing you to shake up cocktails as vigorously as needed. But no need to shake too hard—the double-walled stainless steel allows the drinks inside to chill quickly, while still keeping the outside of the containers warm to hands. A twist-on lid means you don’t have to struggle to remove a frozen lid. Plus, the cocktail shaker has a reamer attachment, so you can juice citrus directly into the tin.
Price at the time of publish: $38.97
Style: Cobbler Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 18 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
I would buy this cocktail shaker in a heartbeat for simplicity alone. Other cocktail shakers I've used would get stuck or would be too cold to handle properly. Simple, effective, easy to assemble and clean, it's a solid choice for everyday cocktails.
Best for Professionals
Cocktail Kingdom Set of Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins
Comes in various finishes
Easy to grip
Can be hard to use at first
“The Cocktail Kingdom Koriko weighted tins are very nearly the industry standard for a reason,” explains Cameron Shaw, bar specialist at New York’s Lot 15, nestled in the back of the Kixby Hotel. “They are durable, and the relatively thin walls of the tins ensure that they form a good, tight seal from day one.” He also doesn't recommend banging the ends of the tins together to seal them when double shaking—otherwise, this will cause the weighted caps to come off prematurely. Amy Wong, of Portland’s King Tide Fish & Shell, notes that while these tins are industry favorites, they take a while to get used to. “They can be hard to seal the first few times, but that means they will last longer,” she says. “It’s like breaking in quality leather shoes—they are hard and cause soreness at first, but they eventually mold and you never want to get another pair.”
During testing, we loved the weight of these shaking tins and felt like we had more control than a traditional cobbler shaker. Each tin (large and small) holds two drinks and is made from weighted stainless steel. We love that this set comes in classic silver or a glamorous option of sleek rose gold, gold or black.
Price at the time of publish: $21.98
Style: Boston Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 18- and 28- ounce tins | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
I think these would be great for someone who makes a lot of cocktails—they are a fun addition to your usual bar tools. They are heavy and well made and worth the price.
Fortessa Crafthouse Cocktail Set, 4 Piece
Well-crafted wooden muddler
Must hand wash muddler
Take your bartending skills to the next level by investing in this high-quality cocktail set from Crafthouse by Fortessa. Designed by renowned bartender Charles Joly, this four-piece set comes with everything you need to make cocktails: a two-piece Boston shaker, 2-ounce jigger, a Hawthorne strainer and a muddler. The 15-ounce shaker, strainer and jigger are made of stainless steel and are dishwasher safe, while the 11.5-inch muddler is made of rich black walnut and is recommended to wash by hand.
During testing, we found this set to be one of the most comprehensive, easy-to-use, and aesthetically pleasing of the lineup. We found that the tins were well constructed and beautiful, although the strainer looked a tiny bit flimsier than some of the others. The tins felt great in the hand, separated easily, and the strainer poured just fine, while the muddler was simply an added bonus.
Price at the time of publish: $119.95
Style: Boston Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 15 ounce tins | Dishwasher-Safe: Everything except the muddler
Overall, I felt that this was the most comprehensive and best one-stop-shop set. I highly recommend it. (Plus, the packaging comes with easy-to-find instructions on the inside flap, as well as very clear and visible cleaning instructions on the side of the box.)
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Cocktail Kingdom Coley Shaker
Hand wash only
“For the home enthusiast, I am also loving the design and construction of the Coley shaker,” says Escalante. “[It will] get the job done while also bringing some style to your home bar.”
Its design is inspired by cocktail historians David Wondrich and Greg Boehm’s private collection, though the name is a nod to Ada "Coley" Coleman, a trailblazing female bartender from the turn of the century. The two-piece cocktail shaker is also made to an exacting standard and has an 18-ounce capacity. “The Coley can be a bit more expensive than the brands we use daily, but it comes back to design and construction,” continues Escalante. “Not to mention the silver-plated finish that will surely impress those you plan to entertain.”
While we agree with Escalante on the design and style factors, we had a particularly hard time separating the two tins from one another. There’s no doubt that the design is sleek, and unlike the design of other cocktail tins, these two pieces didn’t have much overhang, that’s to say, the two pieces nearly almost clicked together. However, the fit was pretty seal-tight, and we had a hard time separating the two tins from one another.
The design and packaging of this product is very sleek and will look beautiful on your home bar. That said, this may not be the best choice for the novice at-home bartender.
Price at the time of publish: $169.99
Style: Boston Material: Silver-Plated EPNS | Capacity: 18 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe: no
Barfly Basics Cocktail Set
Comes in various finishes
Hand wash only
For Nate Fishman, the two-piece Boston shaker from Barfly is his go-to cocktail shaker set: “I recommend them to bartenders for their weight and durability; not to mention that they are cheaper than many of the other shaker sets on the market.” The hand wash-only shakers are plated in 18/8 stainless steel to keep pitting and corrosion at bay.
Each set includes an 18- and 28-ounce shaker set, as well as a Japanese-style jigger designed with an elongated shape to give smooth, easy pours. Each jigger has a dual-side ounce and two-ounce pourers. Also included is a 13-inch, teardrop-end bar spoon and a heavy-duty Hawthorn strainer—all you need to churn out a cocktail or four.
In terms of functionality, this kit was easy to use and the tins were very durable. There was no leakage and the product was sturdy. We found the addition of the bar spoon to be a nice touch. The packaging and design were simple, but we appreciated the utilitarian quality of the shaking tins and other tools included.
Price at the time of publish: $66.32
Style: Boston Material: 18-8 Steel | Capacity: 18- and 28-ounce shaker tins | Dishwasher-Safe: no
Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Weighted Shaker tins are considered the industry standard. Through rigorous testing, they've also proved to be the best in terms of performance, design and cleanup. For the first-time drink maker or home bartender, the Rabbit Double Walled Twist-to-Lock Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker is easy to use and quick to clean.
Our Testing Process
All of the products featured in this list of cocktail shakers have been carefully chosen by our editors and writers. We then sent each of the products directly to the writer for at-home testing. After applying a comprehensive list of methodologies—rating each item through a number of steps, and ranking them on key attributes tailored to each category—the writer provided personal feedback and captured photos of the items in use.
Some of the attributes we looked for and rated each item on included how easy the shaker was to use, the design and aesthetics of the shaker, the overall performance, and how easy they were to clean. The overall value of each product was also taken into consideration.
Related: Learn More About How We Test Products
What are the different types of cocktail shakers?
Shakers come in all forms and sizes, but two reign in the category: cobbler and Boston. Cobbler is a household favorite made up of three parts: a tin, a cap, and a built-in strainer.
Professional bartenders tend to gravitate towards a Boston shaker. Composed of two 12- and 28-ounce mixing tins (either glass or tin), these shakers provide a tight natural seal and ample room for ice and drink.
How do you use a cocktail shaker?
Begin by filling your shaker with your cocktail ingredients in order of least expensive to most expensive. Then, fill the container with a generous amount of ice (the less ice, the quicker the drink will dilute).
Next, if using a cobbler shaker, pop on the lid. If using a Boston shaker, seal your tins. Shake the tins generously until the sides have frosted over and are cool to the touch—generally around 15 seconds, or longer if working with egg whites. Strain to remove ice chunks, herbs, and citrus seeds, and serve!
How do you stop cocktail shakers from leaking?
This will largely depend on the quality of your shaker. A good shaker tin will create a tight seal automatically. If working with a Boston shaker, use the heel of your hand to tighten the seal.
What to Look For
Shakers come in a variety of sizes, from single-serving to crowd-sized. If you just want a shaker large enough for a happy hour for one, a small 12-ounce shaker will do. If you’re looking to craft cocktails for a crowd, opt for a shaker that holds at least 28 ounces. This will save you time by giving you the space to craft many cocktails at once.
Material is crucial in a shaker. You want your shaker to last for a long time, and low-quality metals will rust, tarnish, and chip with wear. Higher-quality stainless steel is your best bet—it will remain shiny and new after years of shaking.
One way to prolong the life of your shakers is to avoid letting them sit in the dishwasher overnight (the steam will corrode the finish or plating) and wash them by hand to keep the finish looking new. If you work in a high-volume bar or if you’ve got a bad case of the butterfingers, avoid glass shakers.
Pro bartenders swear by a shaker with weight. With a weighted shaker, one tin will have weight to it, while the other is unweighted. This gives a tighter seal and adds rigidity. The real bonus here, though, is it’s easier on your arms—after a night of shaking cocktails, a weighted shaker is easier on your joints and muscles.
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Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist who splits her time between New York and Paris. Her work regularly appears in major industry publications. She is the content creator and social media manager for a list of prestigious clients, including Sopexa, Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman, Volcanic Selections, Le Du’s Wines, Windmill Wine & Spirits and Corkbuzz. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine.
Kate Dingwall is an experienced spirits writer and glassware collector. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years, including extensive coverage on glassware. She owns a concerning amount of glassware, from art deco Karl Palda decanters to 1800s-era crystal coupes, and she’s happy to wax poetic about all of them.
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