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If you know your cocktail bartender from the Boston or Parisian then you’re likely to be one of  the 50 per cent of cocktail drinkers who say they have a cocktail bar and equipment in their own home, according to a recent survey. Around one in five also claimed they were “cocktail enthusiasts” and one in four said they were keen to “master the skills of cocktail-making in the future”. READ MORE on a wide range of Alchemy Bar courses


  • The first type of cocktail shaker… was a jar gourd used as a closed container in Mexico and South America around 7,000 BCE.

The first modern cocktail shaker… was said to be invented by an innkeeper who was holding two different sized container mouths together while pouring drinks and then decided to give them a “shake”.

New wave of cocktail devotees

There’s no doubt that cocktails and the esteemed mixing craft of the cocktail bartender is transforming bar catering to serve a new wave of cocktail devotees. The survey of 2000 adults which was commissioned by Gordon’s, Baileys and Tanqueray Gin also found that more one in three (37 per cent) enjoy cocktails both pre-dinner and after the meal.

With the passion for all things cocktail – in particular, flair bartending “shaking it up” at all types of gatherings – it’s no surprise to see many a moving bar at a pop up social event. Interest in the tongue-tingling art of cocktail-making may be mixing it big time but to go from cocktail enthusiast to expert cocktail bartender you need to master your shakers.

Introducing the three basic cocktail shakers

It’s definitely the most vital component in the mixology toolkit. A keenly flourished cocktail shaker enables all the ingredients to be finely mixed and crucially, chilled by the ice cubes with minimal dilution.

Here is a brief introduction to the three basic cocktail shakers – the Boston, the Cobbler (also referred to as the 3-piece shaker) and the Parisian.

The Boston – generally considered the choice of the professionals – consists of a conical shaped tin with a rim of around 9 – 10cm to allow a smaller glass to fit snugly inside but stops about a quarter of the way down to create a seal. Its large volume enables more than one drink can be shaken at any one time.

The Cobbler  – often used by beginners – has a smaller volume main container than the Boston. A lid with built-in strainer holes covered by a cap whilst being shaken is designed to remove the need for a separate cocktail strainer when pouring in to a glass.

The Parisian Shaker – also known as the French shaker – is a 2-piece cocktail shaker with the top half fitting well with the lower half. In-between the Boston and the Cobbler, the Parisian has the shape of the Cobbler but without the built-in strainer.


Shaking it up the flair bar way
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Author Costas Nicolaides

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