Cocktail shakers are used by bartenders all over the world to mix cocktails and are incredibly efficient at both chilling and diluting mixed drinks to perfection. As such, a great cocktail shaker is a must-have for those who want to take their homemade cocktails to the next level. Luckily, there are plenty of nifty cocktail shaker sets on the market that come with quality bartending essentials so that you can make your favorite cocktails whenever you want.
Why buy a cocktail shaker set?
A cocktail shaker set typically combines a cocktail shaker with bartending essentials, including a strainer, jigger, muddler, and more. If you’re new to mixing drinks and wonder why your homemade margarita doesn’t taste as good as your favorite bar’s, these tools will help you mix it like a professional. A cocktail shaker set is also an excellent product to invest in if you have a bar or bar cart at home or enjoy throwing parties for your friends and family. Even if you aren’t a fan of cocktails, it’s nice to be able to prepare your guests’ favorite drinks when hosting an event.
What should you look for in a cocktail shaker set?
- Design: You’ll find several common aspects among well-made cocktail shakers, but there are a few details that distinguish one product from another. A thick, sturdy shaker will help keep your hands from freezing when mixing your favorite drink and are especially useful for pros who spend a lot of time with their shaker. Also, investing in a dishwasher-safe design can save you time cleaning up after a night of cocktails and fun.
- Extras: While some cocktail shaker sets come with everything you’ll need to mix your favorite mixed drinks, others are decidedly more bare bones. Be sure to consider what bartending essentials you already have stocked as well as which items can use an upgrade. Naturally, shakers that come with lots of additional pieces tend to be more expensive, but this can still be a great investment if your set is put to good use.
- Appearance: Style is important when picking bartending supplies like cocktail shakers. Thus, consider selecting a cocktail shaker set that suits your personality. You’ll find clean and simple designs as well as elegant, playful, and utilitarian sets. Some sets even feature built-in storage, which is a great touch for those who like to keep clutter to a minimum.
What type of cocktail shaker is the best for me?
The two major players in the world of cocktail shakers are Boston shakers and Cobbler shakers. Boston shakers are probably the most popular option as they’re utilized by bartenders all over the world. These consist of two easy-to-clean shaking cups that create a reliable seal.
The Cobbler shaker is another classic option and is a convenient choice for at-home use due to its convenient built-in strainer. However, Cobbler shakers are often less durable than Boston shakers and can be tricky for beginners when attempting to break an airtight seal.
Ultimately, either shaker can be used to craft a killer martini, so personal preference will be the deciding factor for many when choosing which type of shaker set to invest in.
FineDine 14-Piece Cocktail Shaker Set
This versatile set includes nearly everything you'll need for your home bar at an affordable price.
Pros: This 14-piece set from FineDine includes just about everything you’ll need for your home’s bar cart. Featuring a rugged stainless steel Boston shaker, a Hawthorne strainer, a double-sided jigger, and much more, this set is definitely versatile enough to exceed the demands of the average home bar. Also, despite the budget price point, this set features sturdy stainless steel construction that can take plenty of abuse. To sweeten the deal, the shaker itself is incredibly simple to use, as it creates a reliable seal that’s easy to break after your cocktail is sufficiently mixed.
Cons: Since this set doesn’t include a rack for organizing its various pieces, it might present organizational issues for those who have trouble keeping track of their home bar gear. Also, while it does include a muddler on the handle of the bar spoon, a dedicated (and somewhat more effective) muddler would have been a very welcome addition to round out the set.
Bottom Line: While this 14-piece set may be a little much for those who already possess their home bar essentials, it’s by far the best option for those who are just starting out and want to keep costs down. That being said, both shaker cups are weighted, so mixing your favorite drink might feel a little different than with other Boston shakers. However, the end result still speaks for itself.
Koviti 12 Piece Bartender Kit
Featuring a unique design with a sleek black finish, this shaker set impresses with its variety of strainers.
Pros: The Koviti 12 Piece Bartender Kit looks incredibly sharp thanks to its unique black finish but scores points for more than just its sleek appearance. This set really stands out thanks to its rugged weighted shaker and incredibly useful accessories, including three different bar-quality strainers. Many will also appreciate the sturdy, weighted feel of this shaker and the useful muddler that comes with this ensemble.
Cons: While the black finish on the shaker looks absolutely awesome, it does tend to get scuffed fairly easily. Thus, this is a shaker set that you’ll want to handle with care and gently hand wash if you want its aesthetics to last.
Bottom Line: Simply put, this cocktail shaker set combines style and substance to stunning effect. Both the shaker and bar accessories are top-notch, sporting a quality that is sadly missing from most comparable sets. That being said, those looking for a budget-friendly and dishwasher-safe cocktail shaker set will have to look elsewhere.
Highball & Chaser Elite Bartender Kit
This Cobbler cocktail shaker set is easy to keep organized thanks to its included storage stand.
Pros: Unlike many popular cocktail shaker sets, the Highball & Chaser Elite Bartender Kit sports a handy Cobbler cocktail shaker as well as storage for all of the set’s components. The Cobbler shaker gets high marks in terms of design and usability as it prevents leaks well since all the parts fit snugly together. This set also impresses in terms of its four unique style options and included muddler, which sports a grated end that will do fine work on the mint in your mint julep.
Cons: This cocktail shaker is somewhat smaller than other products out there, so those seeking a shaker that can mix drinks for small groups should probably opt for a larger model. Also, the organizing stand is designed so that the (very sharp) bar knife sits blade up, which is a fairly poor design decision.
Bottom Line: While Cobbler cocktail shakers seem to be utilized less often than Boston shakers these days, they are a great choice for beginners, thanks to their easy-to-use designs. In this regard, this cocktail shaker set is no exception, but it’s also an ideal choice for those who like to keep their bar cart as tidy as possible.
CRESIMO 4pc Boston Cocktail Shaker Set
This set comes equipped with a sturdy Boston cocktail shaker, as well as a high-quality Hawthorne strainer, a jigger, and a recipe book.
Pros: Those seeking something simple and beginner-friendly should consider the CRESIMO Boston Cocktail Shaker Set. This set features a stainless steel Boston cocktail shaker with a nice thickness to it that prevents it from irritating your hands with biting cold. The shaker is also nicely weighted and forms a reliable seal to prevent leaks. While this set doesn’t come with too many extras, the included Hawthorne strainer sports impressive quality given this set’s affordable price.
Cons: This is a great set for beginners looking to get the bare necessities. However, the limited number of accessories will leave something to be desired for those who haven’t already invested in a muddler or quality bar spoon. It’s also worth pointing out that the included jigger lacks volumetric measurements, but most kitchens will be equipped with means to measure precise quantities of your spirit of choice.
Bottom Line: While this cocktail shaker set doesn’t have all the necessities for your home bar, it’s one of the best entry-level options on the market at its price point. If you’re looking for something sturdy, reliable, and cost-effective, this is a great choice. However, if you’re looking for a set with all the bells and whistles, this is probably not the product for you.
While many cocktail shaker sets may seem pretty similar, sometimes it’s the small differences that can determine which set is the perfect choice for your bar. Choosing a quality cocktail shaker is obviously the most important factor, but you will probably end up disappointed if the accessories the set comes with are sub-par. Thus, be sure to do your research so that you can end up with a cocktail shaker set that is well worth the investment.