The key tool in any cocktail bar, home or professional, is a shaker. They come in many shapes and sizes and materials, but if you are just starting out a simple cobbler is the place to start.
A cobbler comes in three parts: the body, the strainer and the lid. You fill the body with ice and your cocktail ingredients, the strainer sits on top of the body and acts as a cover with the middle portion being an inbuilt strainer so you can pour out your drink, leaving the ice in the shaker. The lid is a small cap the goes over the strainer so your drink stays put while you’re shaking it. The lids are usually also a 30mL (1oz) measure so you can use it in place of a jigger. Shake your drink very vigorously using both hands, across your body and up over the shoulder is ideal. Once you’re done, remove the lid and strain your drink into your chilled glass. You should always fill your glass with ice while you are making your cocktail for maximum coldness. A cobbler is great for cocktails using spirits and fruit like a gimlet, Tom Collins, or a French 75.
The other common type of shaker is a Boston shaker. The advantages of a Boston shaker are that is is bigger and faster, but it is a bit more complicated to use. A Boston shaker comes in two parts. A large mixing tin and a smaller glass of a similar shape (some Boston shakers are made with two tins rather than a glass and a tin). Ice and ingredients go in the mixing tin, the glass is inverted on top firmly to create a seal. There should be a good tilt to the glass. Shake in the same way as the cobbler. The advantage of the Boston shaker is the larger surface area, making it ideal for for mixing up cocktails with egg white that needs to be properly frothed up, like a White Lady. It can be a bit tricky to get the shaker apart. The trick is give it a firm slap on the ‘short side’ to break the seal. Using a hawthorne strainer pour the cocktail into your prepared cocktail glass.
Now you’re ready to ‘shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off!’
WHERE TO BUY
All of this equipment is available from Cocktail King Australia. This is not a sponsored post, I just like their stuff.