What is a Shaker Glass? | Types, Uses, Pros and Cons

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      A cocktail shaker is one of the most iconic bar tools that a bartender is known for. We are familiar with how it works but perhaps not as much when it’s deconstructed. A cocktail shaker has more than one component and this article will be solely about the shaker glass. 

      The shaker glass is the one-half of a Boston shaker and the one-third of a Cobbler shaker. Since there are different types of cocktail shakers, normally they would also differ in the shaker glass. For the purpose of this article, “shaker glass” would refer to the body component of the cocktail shaker, regardless of what they are made of. If you’re interested to know all about the different types of shaker glasses, this article is for you. Let’s dive in. 

      Types of Shaker Glasses

      To date, there are four types of cocktail shakers, in terms of the structure and components. They are the Boston shaker, Cobbler shaker, Parisian shaker and Tin on tin shaker. Obviously, they differ in structure and form overall. Despite the resemblance between their shaker glasses, they still have a couple of differences. Here they are:

      1. Boston Shaker Glass

      The most common and most used type of cocktail shaker by bartenders is the Boston shaker because it is easy to use and clean. It is recognizable because of its two-piece construction, the shaker tin and the mixing or shaker glass.The glass is made of soda lime glass and it measures 16 oz. while the tin measures 28 oz. The shaker glass is closely associated with a pint glass because of the measurement and resemblance that they share. However, there are some differences in heating during the process of making them and the Boston shaker glass is specifically designed to withstand the impact of ice cubes when shaking and potential  cracking. With this, you can’t substitute it with a pint glass because chances are, it will eventually chip especially when separating it from the shaker tin because a pint glass is more fragile.   

      Pros:

      • Heavyweight Design - Aside from shaking, a Boston shaker glass is also ideal for muddling and stirring ingredients. 
      • Clear Glass - Allows you to see the ingredients to ensure that they are properly mixed or muddled. Also, when shaking, it provides a clear view of the colors that are coming together from mixing the ingredients. 
      • Dishwasher-safe - When you have too much work to take care of at the bar, you can safely stick the shaker glass in the dishwasher to save time and effort. 
      • Compatible with standard Boston tins - It can fit almost any Boston shaker tin whose measurements range from 24 - 30 oz. 
      • Durable material - It is made from soda lime glass which is a strong type, making it resistant to cracks and abrasion.
      • Large volume - The Boston shaker is bigger than the other shaker glasses, and one can make more than one drink from one shake.  
      • Easy storage - The shaker glass has a conical shape like other standard glass, making it easy to stack. 

      Cons:

      • Can still break - Glass is not indestructible, so if you’re not careful in separating the shaker glass from the shaker tin, it could break.
      • Not for everyone - Because it is glass, it requires more skills and it caters to professionals rather than beginners. 
      • Common look - The appearance of the shaker glass isn’t far off from a pint glass or any regular glass, making it look less interesting. 

      2. Cobbler Shaker Glass

      The Cobbler cocktail shaker, also known as the Japanese shaker,  consists of three parts: the shaker glass, a strainer and a cap, all three are made from stainless steel. It is known for being smaller than other cocktail shakers with the shaker glass only measuring 17 oz. Although, compared to the Boston shaker glass, the Cobbler is bigger by 1 oz. but given that the other half of the Boston shaker is a 28-ounce shaker tin, it provides a much bigger area for shaking. Because it is made from metal, it makes the drink get cold faster. If you look closely, the shape of the shaker glass is a bit rounded rather than a slant but there are varying shapes.  

      Pros:

      • Room for Decoration - The Cobbler shaker glass has the edge in terms of the exterior design because it can have a variety of colors and finishes that make it look pleasing.  
      • Less Dilution - Because of the lesser volume and the material, the ice would not melt as fast and the drink would not be diluted as  much. 
      • Easy to Use - The shaker glass when attached with the other two components make one shaker that is easy to use, that is why beginners use it when they are practicing.  
      • Gets Cold Faster - Being made from metal, which is a good conductor, ice reacts faster, thus making the drink get cold faster. 

        Cons:

        • Small Volume - Given its small fluid ounce capacity overall, it can only make one drink, that is why it is suitable for practice but not for busy times at the bar. 
        • Prone to Getting Stuck - As mentioned, metal is a conductor, and it normally gets cold fast when filled with ice. When it gets cold, the metal contracts, making a vacuum seal that sticks the shaker glass with the strainer. The longer it is shaken, the more stuck it will be. 
        • Prone to Leaks - Unlike the Boston shaker glass that creates a tight seal with the shaker tin, the Cobbler shaker glass is simply placed together or attached with the strainer so the drink will more likely leak when shaking. 

          3. Parisian/ French Shaker Glass

          Among the other two cocktail shakers, the Parisian cocktail shaker is the least common but more expensive. It is somehow a combination of a Boston shaker and a Cobbler shaker because it has two pieces: the shaker glass and a cap, which looks like the strainer part of the Cobbler shaker. Both pieces are still made from stainless steel. The shaker glass may vary in size but they usually measure 18 - 20 oz. As opposed to the Cobbler shaker’s, the Parisian shaker glass has a slender look. 

          Pros:

          • Sophisticated Look - It has a sleek design and it also comes in various colors. With a simple design and construction, it manages to be elegant and classy. 
          • Chills Faster - Being made from stainless steel, it makes the drink cold faster. 
          • Strong and Durable - Even if you drop the shaker glass many times, it can withstand dents, scratches and breakage. 
          • Versatile - Since it is a combination of the Boston and Cobbler shaker, it is easy to use so it’s great for beginners but also suitable for professionals because of its practicality and look. 
          • Great Sound - The Parisian shaker glass is make from a thicker stainless steel making it sound great as the ice cubes hit the surface, producing a nice rattling sound  
          • Easy to clean - The shape of the shaker glass is simple, making it easy to clean and store and it is also dishwasher-safe. 
          • Better Seal - The cap of the Parisian cocktail shaker attaches to the shaker glass from the inside, giving it a tighter seal so there would be no leaks.  


            Cons:

            • Can get Stuck - It is still made from stainless steel, therefore, it still has chances of getting stuck with the cap, though not as much as the Cobbler shaker glass. 
            • Can’t be Substituted - This type of cocktail shaker is difficult to find, expensive, least common and specifically designed to perfectly fit the cap so the shaker glass is not easily substituted with any type of tin cup. 

              4. Tin on Tin Shaker Glass

              There is a new cocktail shaker that’s gaining popularity nowadays. The tin on tin cocktail shaker is a variation of the Boston shaker and works the same way but instead of a pint-sized glass, the shaker glass is stainless steel and measures 18 oz. (size can vary). Its shaker glass is also called “cheater tin” or “Toby tin”.  

              Pros:

              • Better seal - The two-tin shaker creates a tighter seal than is less likely to create leaks and only requires less effort to separate because of the tough material that can withstand a strong slap to break the seal. 
              • Long-lasting - Whether through constant use and strain or countless bumps and drops, because it is made from stainless steel rather than glass, it is free from shattering and less likely needs to be replaced. 
              • Lighter - You’ll need less energy to shake which is helpful during a busy time at the bar. 
              • Can be substituted - Unlike the Parisian and Cobbler shaker glasses that attach to the cap, the shaker glass of the tin on tin slots to the other shaker tin to create an airtight seal, so it can be replaced by any tin cup as long as it fits. 
              • Chills faster - Another shaker glass that is made of metal which means that it also gets cold easily and faster. 
              • Large capacity The shaker tin alone can be more than a pint so it can create 2 - 3 cocktails in one shake.

              Cons:

              • May be mismatched - Not all tin cups can be substituted with the shaker glass so the wrong one can cause a mismatch and possible leaks. 
              • Not for everyone - Like the Boston shaker, this shaker requires more skills so it’s reserved for professional bartenders. 
              • Ingredients are not visible - Stainless steel is obviously not transparent so you won’t see the ingredients from the outside and it may be difficult when muddling as well. 

              Uses of a Shaker Glass

              As a whole, cocktail shakers have a number of uses. But, if it’s just the shaker glass, its functions are as follows:

              • Muddling - the shaker glass can be used for directly muddling ingredients in so when liquors are added, the lid can be put on so it can be shaken immediately, in short, there’s no need for transferring. 
              • Mixing/ Stirring - For drinks that don’t need to be shaken, the ingredients can be combined and stirred in the shaker glass. 
              • Serving Glass - In the case of the Boston shaker glass, occasionally, it can be used to serve drinks because of its resemblance with a pint glass. 


              Conclusion 

              The shaker glass is the most important component of the cocktail shaker. Whether on its own or together with the lid and strainer, it is responsible for making delicious cocktails that we know and love. If you are up to buy one, try buying a set, that way, you’ll save money and you’ll get the other tools that you need for making amazing drinks. You can check out the 10 best cocktail shaker sets right here. And you can practice your shaking skills with these amazing cocktail recipes.


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