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We purchased the Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker so our reviewer could put it to the test in their home bar. Read on for the full review.
The Bottom Line:
When it comes to cocktail shakers, you don't need to reinvent the wheel, case-in-point the sleek-looking but underperforming Rabbit Twist to Lock Cocktail Shaker.
- Handles well
- Insulated tin
- Built-in strainer
- Top leaks
- Confusing locking mechanism
Rabbit, a company known for its fancy corkscrews, makes a lot of promises with its Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker. It promises to “elevate” the cocktail-making experience in the ads I’ve been fed since researching this review. It promises a “leak-free seal” when making cocktails and “precise pouring” when serving them. All of these promises, combined with its sleek packaging and minimalist design, means this cocktail shaker has a lot to live up to. With such high expectations, it’s no surprise the Rabbit cocktail shaker fell a bit short.
Design: Ambitious but Flawed
Call me old fashioned, but when I’m breaking out the ice bucket and the bottles of booze to shake up drinks that may or may not impress my friends, I want to look the part. Not that I don a fedora and suspenders, but I want a cocktail shaker that looks like a cocktail shaker. Rabbit’s modernist take on the cobbler shaker, replaces the traditional metal strainer lid with a rounded plastic one that doubles as a small glass. The result is a contraption that looks like it belongs on a campsite, not a bar. It’s very thermos-like.
Material: Plastic Does Not Make Perfect
This three-piece shaker includes a double-walled stainless steel body and a plastic cap with a separate plastic strainer. I’m a fan of the double-walled stainless steel body because it keeps the cocktail insulated and cold while preventing the outside from getting too cold. This plastic strainer lid solves one problem while causing many others. It doesn’t freeze up like many of its competitors, however, it is very leak-prone. This is likely because metal contracts when cold—a metal body and a metal top will almost suction together when shaken with ice. This doesn’t happen with a plastic lid, hence a less tight seal. There’s also something to be said for the satisfying sound of ice on metal clanging from the top to the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and you just don’t get that with a plastic top.
Performance: Sticky Fingers
I should start by saying, despite all my hesitations about the plastic lid and overall design of this shaker, the Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker did deliver a textbook-perfect cocktail. The issues, however, outweighed its effectiveness. Let’s start with the locking mechanism, which allows the strainer to affix to the inside of the body’s lip and the cap to affix to the outside of the lip via raised nodes that slide into grooves. It can be tricky to line up these nodes and even straight out of the box, I found the locking mechanism a bit confusing.
I tested both a Daiquiri and a Clover Club cocktail with this shaker. The latter requires two rounds of shaking, a dry-shake with egg white and then another shake with ice and the remaining ingredients. When testing the Daiquiri the lid did leak, likely because the removable rubber ring, which fits into the cap, had slipped out of place at some point in the cocktail-making process without me realizing it. I could see this being a common problem since the ring slips so easily in and out of the cap. There was less leakage when making the Cover Club until it came time to add additional ingredients. Since the strainer attaches to the body of the shaker and is not just built into the lid, like most cobbler shakers, removing it to add more ingredients was messy.
"I should start by saying, despite all my hesitations about the plastic lid and overall design of this shaker, the Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker did deliver a textbook perfect cocktail."
According to Amazon reviewers, leakage and general messiness caused by the strainer is a common problem. By the time I was ready to strain the Clover Club cocktail, my fingers were sticky and the drink was dripping down the side of the shaker. I was surprised by how well the final drink turned out. The egg white was nice and foamy, forming a distinct white cap over the well-mixed, pink cocktail. While the cocktail in the glass was beautiful, the shaker was decidedly less so, covered on the inside and outside with drink residue.
Cleaning: A Real Hassle
By the cleaning stage in the process, the plastic lid felt positively cursed. The same strainer that caused problems during the cocktail-making stage, proved nearly impossible to thoroughly clean. All three pieces of the shaker are designed to be hand-washed and this wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the slatted strainer. It caught several raspberry seeds and you’d likely have a similar problem with thick pulp or other small seeds. After washing it with warm water, soap, and a sponge, I ended up running a fingernail through the slats to dislodge the seeds. Because the slats are so thick, this still didn’t clear all of the seeds from the strainer.
Price: Worth it if it Worked Better
For the amount of thought that went into the design and modification of the Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker, it didn’t perform like a $63 piece of equipment should. Sometimes change is a good thing. And sometimes improvements on a classic are worth the price of the upgrades. But in this case, neither of those things are true.
Competition: Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker vs. OXO SteeL Cocktail Shaker
If you’re looking to upgrade your cobbler shaker, the OXO SteeL Cocktail Shaker (view at Amazon) and the Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker are two solid options. The former looks more like the classic cobbler shaker, with its steel body and tapered steel lid with a small cap that fits over the strainer. The latter opts for a more sleek and minimalist aesthetic, with its rounded plastic lid. While both lids did leak slightly, the OXO’s seal was much tighter and more leak-proof. Its built-in strainer also performed better, allowing for less mess and easier cleanup.
Final Verdict: Stick to the Classic
It’s admirable anytime a company takes on the challenge of improving a kitchen or bar staple. Sometimes these endeavors result in tools that revolutionized the home cook or bartender experience. However, in the case of Rabbit Twist-to-Lock Cocktail Shaker (view at Amazon), modifications ultimately led to a less functional product.
- Product Name: Double Walled Twist-to-Lock Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker and Strainer
- Product Brand: Rabbit
- Product Number: 5268414OUT
- Price: $63
- Material: Stainless steel, plastic
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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.