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We purchased the Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins so our reviewer could put it to the test in their home bar. Read on for the full review.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re looking for a shaker set that not only gets the job done, but also will make your friends think you moonlight at the neighborhood speakeasy, look no further.
- Stunningly beautiful
- Well insulated
- Easy to clean
- Tins stick together
- Not weighted enough
- Slide on wet surfaces
Let me start by saying that I am not a skilled enough bartender to truly appreciate these tins. To use a car metaphor, the Cocktail Kingdom copper-plated Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins are a shiny new Lexus, and I drive a ten-year-old Nissan. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to slide into the driver’s seat and sniff the leather.
The Koriko tins have been the cocktail shaker of choice for many bars and bartenders for the past decade. They are professional-grade barware and, therefore, may present some problems for the amateur cocktail enthusiast. That being said, these tins are the sexiest piece of cocktail equipment you will ever own, so it’s worth the learning curve for those interested in upgrading their home bar.
Design: Can I Just Look at These for a While?
Cocktail Kingdom touts itself as “the world’s premier manufacturer and distributor of professional barware.” It boasts endorsements and offers signature collections from some of the world’s most renowned bartenders, including David Wondrich and Jim Meehan. Ultimately, this means not only is everything this company produced backed by decades of experience and expertise but it is also designed with form in mind. The Koriko Shaking Tins are a stunning addition to the bar at a five-star hotel or the bar cart you salvaged from an alley. The copper-plating turns the already sleek and minimalist design of the Koriko tins into a work of art.
Material: Copper-Plating Is a Necessary Upgrade
Let’s talk about copper. You’re probably most familiar with copper in the kitchen department. Copper pots and pans are a status symbol of sorts for the gourmet home cook. This upgrade pretty much guarantees superior conductivity, meaning they heat up quickly and evenly. It also cools off just as quickly. The Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins are made from stainless steel surrounded by copper-plating. This is an optional upgrade to the tins, which also come in gold-plated and a new matte black. Why this upgrade is worth it is because the copper-plating keeps the inside of the tins ice-cold while the outside remains more comfortably chilled. This makes more prolonged shaking, something that might be necessary as you get used to the weight and feel of these tins, more comfortable and less frigid on your fingers.
Performance: Practice Will Make Perfect
Shortly after test-driving these tins I found myself at a bar. Sure enough, scattered around the edges of the U-shaped bar were at least half-a-dozen Koriko cocktail shaker sets. This bar, a high-volume cocktail and fried chicken shop, opted for the stainless steel version. As I’ve mentioned several times in this article, this is a bartender’s shaker, especially when speed and precision are a priority.
"Why this upgrade is worth it is because the copper-plating keeps the inside of the tins ice-cold while the outside of the tins remain more comfortably chilled."
At home, this shaker set performed as it should. When making a Clover Club, my process involved two separate shakes. The first is a dry shake to froth the egg white and a second shake to combine the egg white with the remaining ingredients: gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, raspberry jam, and ice. The shakers are a good size and easily fit all of the ingredients for a single cocktail, though you can make two cocktails in these tins. The light weight of these tins did make it a bit awkward to get a steady, vigorous shake. Again, something a more experienced bartender would find easier and something an amateur could improve upon with practice. These tins did stick together after the second shake and it took a bit of manipulation and a few sturdy slaps to dislodge the smaller tin from the larger one. In addition to sticking, there was a little bit of sliding when the tins were placed on wet countertops.
What makes the Clover Club such a showstopper is the separation between the bright pink cocktail and the creamy white foam on top. Alas, this shaker did not deliver clear separation, likely because the egg whites weren’t thoroughly emulsified, resulting in a murky cocktail. Several Amazon reviewers hypothesized that the design of these tins changed recently and they are not as weighted as they used to be. This may account for the more challenging handling.
Cleaning: More Difficult Over Time
Unlike the purely stainless steel shakers, the copper-plated shakers are not dishwasher safe. This isn’t a major issue, since they clean easily in the sink with some soap and warm water. What you do want to watch out for is oxidation. Copper will darken over time, developing a desirable patina. If you don’t want your tins turning the color of the Statue of Liberty, it’s advisable to treat them with an acid-based cleanser or polish.
"The Cocktail Kingdom copper-plated Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins are a shiny new Lexus, and I drive a ten-year-old Nissan."
Price: A Worthwhile Investment
The standard stainless steel Koriko Weighted Shaking Tin set, the kind you’ve likely seen if you’ve ever been to a cocktail bar, will set you back about $21 (view at Liquor.com Store). That’s a great deal for a set that will deliver hundreds, if not thousands, of cocktails. Add copper-plating and that set will cost you twice as much. At the end of the day, the copper-plated set has the added benefits of style and comfort. For me, the price is worth it in terms of ease of use and sheer sexiness. $36 is still a reasonable amount for such a well-crafted set.
Competition: Cocktail Kingdom Koriko vs. Leopold Weighted Shaking Tins
I was curious about the Amazon reviewers' claim that the set lacked weight. After testing the Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins against Cocktail Kingdom’s other leading shaker set, the Leopold (view at Amazon), I broke out the digital kitchen scale. Indeed, the Leopold set was 25 grams heavier than the Koriko, which is a lot when you are talking about a set that weighs a little more than 300 grams. In my testing, this weight difference led to easier handling, a more vigorous shake, and ultimately a more foolproof cocktail-making experience.
Final Verdict: A Next-Level Bartending Essential
If you regularly make cocktails at home and are looking to upgrade your home bar, the Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins (view at Cocktail Kingdom) will bring your bartending game to the next level. Throw in a pair of suspenders and handlebar mustache and you’ve got yourself the trendy speakeasy starter set. If you are a beginner bartender looking for a user-friendly piece of equipment, there are cheaper options designed with the casual consumer in mind.
- Product Name: Set of Two Copper-Plated Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins
- Product Brand: Cocktail Kingdom
- Product Number: KIT-SHA-KOR-C
- Price: $33.98
- Material: Stainless steel, copper-plated, gold-plated, matte black
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Sarah Freeman was the managing editor of Pitchfork's beer-focused sister site, October. Her work has also appeared in Chicago Magazine, Munchies and Tales of the Cocktail. While her current focus is beer and spirits, her first love is writing about food and restaurants. Previously she was an editor for Eater and Zagat in Chicago.